James Goolnik BDS MSc is a dentist in the City of London. He founded Bow Lane Dental Group nearly 20 years ago and has treated 111,951 mouths since then! They offer a full dental service under one roof including a dental laboratory and are first dental practice to win the Healthy Workplace Award from The Mayor of London.
James founded his business in the shadows of St Mary Le Bow in September 2001 as a squat. He started with two treatment rooms and just a team of three and the practice has grown to six treatment rooms and a team of 19.
Like many businesses providing personal services Bow Lane Dental Group has had to adapt over the past 6 months as James explains:
“Covid-19 has meant we have had to redefine our customer journey from scratch. The government asked us to close for three months in the initial lockdown. We filmed a series of videos to help our patients deal with common dental emergencies form home, set up tele-dentistry and posted hundreds of toothcare packs to patients in pain. Since reopening we have developed a touchless patient journey ranging from online payment systems to digital thermal imaging cameras. “
James was voted on as chairman of the Bow Bells trading association to help support local businesses in Bow Lane, Watling Street and Well Court during this uncertain time. For this he found CBL invaluable in providing contact details through the Fame database to help him reach out to the business owners.
For James, being able to give back is important, both in the UK and overseas. James was previously President of the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and is a judge for both the Dental Industry Awards and the Private Dentistry Awards. He lectures internationally on work/life balance in dentistry and his book ‘Brush’ is a number one best seller on Amazon. All profits are channelled to the charity, Dentaid which helps finance mobile clinics in the UK, Africa and Asia.
As a parent of three children James was constantly fending off the sugar pushed to his children. His then two-year-old was given a lollipop bigger than her as a “reward” for her first haircut from the hairdresser. She loved her first haircut but wouldn’t it have been better to have a certificate that she would treasure and put on her wall advertising the hairdresser rather than a 2 minute sugar rush never to be thought about again? He thought there must be a better way and set up the charity Rewards Project. “Everyone wants recognition, but it doesn’t need to be food or sweets to motivate people. Our mission is to help the world Kick Sugar and the first step is to make schools and nurseries sugar free by 2023.” James’ second book is charity cookbook called “Kick Sugar”
And James’ advice to first time business owners? “Think about your purpose and be consistent. Why do you want to be in business what are you trying to achieve? Once you know your story build on it every day. Consistency and staying on brand are very important so customers understand what you are trying to achieve and why they should do business with you.”