Are you an experienced dentist or new to the field and ready to step out on your own? Are you wondering how to start your own dental practice?
By now, you’ve learned enough from other dentists to know how you do and don’t want your own office to run. Yet you’ll want your dental startup to run with the utmost efficiency.
Here’s what you need to know about starting a dental practice.
The Advantages of a Dental Startup
Working in an established office has its advantages. Your responsibility is to your own patients, and you can rely on other professionals to help with the responsibilities of managing an office.
Yet owning your own practice is a must for many dental professionals. It means you have control over the office culture, as well as the services you specialize in. You can create your own hours and hone the practice to fit your vision.
In addition, you’ll have increased earning potential. Unlike an associate, you won’t need to worry about your income staying the same even if you’re working overtime.
As a business owner, you’ll also have a nice asset to sell when you’re ready to retire. You’ll also enjoy the same tax benefits as other entrepreneurs, including tax-deductible pension and savings plans.
Practice owners enjoy better job satisfaction than associates. You can design your office, choose your practitioners, and decide where you want to live. If you’ve always wanted the freedom and profitability of owning your own business, a dental startup could be the right move for you.
- Offer Something Special
Before establishing your practice, research your competition and find out about popular dental practices in your area. What do they specialize in, and how can you set yourself apart?
For example, you may want to create a practice that caters to families. You may want to offer special entertainment in the waiting room for children, or colors and flavors they will enjoy while they’re having their teeth cleaned.
You may want to specialize in cosmetic dentistry and have a lot of information about it available on your website. You can build an awareness of your brand through your website, blogs, and social media pages. Let local community organizations know who you are and what you specialize in.
As always, personal connections with patients will have them returning to you for all of their dental needs. You can quickly establish yourself by becoming a dentist they know and trust.
- Build a Network of Professionals
As a dentist, you know your craft. You may not, however, be an expert on all aspects of building a business.
If you’re creating an office from scratch, you’ll need contractors who are experienced in building dental offices. You also may need to find a specialized CPA who can help with the financial issues of your practice. Some financial institutions also prefer to lend to dental practices.
You’ll need to find a dental hygiene supply store where you can count on getting quality, well-priced equipment. Before you start your practice, get some recommendations from trusted colleagues for suppliers you can count on.
- Establish an Office Culture
Deciding on a work culture is critical to set your practice apart. You’ll want to think about the values of your practice, important behaviors, and your leadership style.
It’s important to foster social interactions among your staff, as well as to reward any positive expressions of your values that you see. You can clarify your values by establishing clear goals that everyone can strive to meet.
For example, maybe you won’t tolerate complaining, or maybe you want to be the friendliest office in town. Encourage your staff to meet these goals in practical ways.
- Train and Retain Your Staff
You’ll want to carefully and clearly train your hygienists, specialists, and office staff to meet the needs of your patients. You’ll want their skills and attitudes to stand out to your patients.
Make sure you let your staff know how valued they are regularly. Special bonuses and promotions can encourage your best workers to avoid looking elsewhere.
- Invest in the Latest Software
Today’s dental software can help you keep track of patient information, treatments, and inventory all in one place. You can also access things like lab results and prescriptions as soon as they’re available.
By using the latest programs available, you’ll make your staff’s job easier. It will also increase your efficiency and effectiveness as a professional.
- Make Use of Social Media
Social media community groups are teeming with individuals looking for quality recommendations. Tell your staff to be on the lookout for people who need someone local offering your services.
This is also a great place to let prospective patients know about specials you’re running. Folks may be more inclined to make a first-time visit or recommend a friend if they know they’ll be eligible for some kind of discount.
- Offer Flexible Financing
Not everyone has dental insurance, and not everyone with dental insurance has all types of dental work covered. Offering flexible financing means you can accommodate folks who otherwise wouldn’t be interested in dental work by making their payments more manageable.
Special discounts for teachers, police offers, or veterans can also gain you some loyal customers. Consider your community and how you can set your practice apart from others.
Opening a dental startup can be an exciting time. With the right services, marketing, and financing, you could have a loyal group of patients in no time.
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