For many dental professionals, their first foray into the professional world typically involves working for a dental firm as an employee. You’ll probably work fixed hours and draw a salary (and sometimes bonuses). You probably have your weekends off to live your life.
However, things change when you choose to advance your career by opening your dental practice. You will have to combine practicing dentistry with running a business, which can be challenging and time-consuming. Additionally, starting a dental business will have a considerable impact on your personal and financial life.
With this in mind, we’ve created a guide for starting-up a dental business to give you an idea of what you’ll need to create a successful dental business, such as Smile Hub, that lasts, is profitable, and, importantly, helpful to your patients.
The genesis of a successful dental practice is readiness. That means evaluating your readiness status to start a new dental practice of your own. Evaluate your readiness by considering answering these questions.
Are you ready to take on more responsibility? Are you prepared for an increased workload? Are you okay living with uncertain cash flow? While the upside to creating a dental business is the potential for more success while operating a dental practice exactly how you like, you have to work longer hours and during weekends.
Moreover, you’ll experience uncertainty about your financial well-being, making it difficult or impossible to plan your finances. You must evaluate readiness to undertake an endeavour that tests you in ways you have not been tested.
While evaluating your readiness to venture out alone, you should consider the prospect of having a business partner. Consider venturing alone as a ‘big risk, big reward’ approach to starting a dental business. On the other hand, beginning a partnership with one or more dentists might offset some of the risks and costs. However, you must ensure you partner with dentists who share your vision and implement a partnership that protects all partners’ interests.
Are you financially prepared for this venture? Do you have enough working capital in hand, or do you have good credit? A dental business requires heavy investment into equipment, supplies, paying employees and their benefits, advertising, and a myriad of other expenses.
You need to conduct in-depth market research. You need to know your population area, the number of dentists operating in the geographical location of interest, the variety of services your potential competitors offer, and much more. The knowledge gained from market research will influence or even somewhat dictate your business plan and marketing strategies.
Developing a comprehensive business plan is akin to putting your idea to paper, except you are more extensive. Not only do you write about your goals, mission, and values, but you also clearly state the vision you want to accomplish.
Ensure your business plan has the following.
- Executive summary
- Company description
- Market analysis
- Organization structure and management
- Services you offer
- Sale and marketing strategies
- Project funding plan
- Financial forecasts
Before you start your journey, you might need to consult a lawyer to understand your legal standing, especially if you are already an employee. You might have a contract with a non-compete clause that stipulates you cannot open a practice within a specific geographical location and/or within a certain time frame after leaving the practice.
After that, you must handle the legal and licensing aspects of creating a dental business. The bureaucratic process is long and time-consuming. Getting the requisite licenses to accept and treat patients might take months. As such, the earlier you start the legal licensing processes, the better.
You must also settle on a business structure for taxation and liability purposes.
According to freedomdental.ie, The location you choose will influence the success of your practice greatly. Conduct extensive research to find out the population of the area of operation, the cost of living in the area, and competition. Ultimately, you need a sufficient population to attract enough clients to build a successful dental practice while avoiding areas saturated with dentists.
Every start-up will need an infusion of finances to start operating. In most cases, you will not have enough money to operationalize your practice on your own, hence the need for a loan. With your business plan, work with local or national banks or lending institutions for a loan or a line of credit. Be sure to shop around for the best terms possible.
After securing funding, it is time to operationalize your dentistry practice. To this end, consider the following elements.
In your preferred location, look for space that will meet your needs regarding actual footage and layout. How much space do you need for the bathrooms, waiting rooms, a reception area, consultation rooms, examination rooms (including an X-ray room), a sterilization room, storage room, break room, or any other type of space you need? You can settle on a particular layout to help you determine the total footage you need.
The next step in operationalizing your practice is acquiring all the necessary equipment. You need to work with an excellent dental equipment specialist with experience in getting start-up dental practices off the ground. As such, be wary of specialist equipment vendors out to sell everything at once. Instead, work with a vendor willing to advise you and recommend only the necessary equipment (while balancing quality and affordability) to get started.
Also, remember you must invest in computer systems, furniture, dental practice management software, and more.
You need to put a team together to be capable of providing the highest-quality dental services possible. As such, start by evaluating your staffing needs. Evaluate your need for associates, nurses, and front-desk personnel. Additionally, ensure the team members you on-board not only possess adequate skills but also have the right attitude and are dedicated to the business and your customers.
Implement a marketing strategy based on the marketing strategy you identified and settled on in your business plan. Generally speaking, you need to get the word out even before the opening date. Market across various channels, including local TV and radio stations, local print, online, and even billboards. Build and launch a professional website, and in today’s marketing environment, where social media is ubiquitous, set up social media pages across all the major platforms.short url: