Starting Your Dental Practice? It’s Not As Difficult as You Think
Starting a practice is not as difficult as you think if you’re a dentist. However, there are many things that you need to consider before starting your dental practice. Read this article for tips on buying an existing practice, financing, creating a business plan, and marketing your new practice. If you’re still unsure, don’t worry! The process is easier than you think!
Buying an existing practice
While buying an existing dental practice may seem like a better option than starting from scratch, it is not without disadvantages. Although it can save you money and time, it might not be what you want. For instance, you might end up with a practice that doesn’t meet your expectations or is not as functional as you hoped. In either case, you should proceed with caution.
Getting a professional estimate of the practice’s value is a good start when buying an existing practice. A CPA or an attorney can help you with this. This way, you and the seller can reach a fair agreement on the price. When working with a lawyer, it is always best to get as much representation as possible. Your attorney or CPA can also help you negotiate the purchase terms.
In most cases, getting financing for your dental practice is not as difficult as you think. There are specialty lenders that only lend to physicians and understand the needs of the dental industry. On the other hand, banks use special programs to offer loans to doctors. Often, they have low-risk ratings and will happily lend to physicians. However, you need to weigh all of your options before deciding on a particular lender. Getting pre-approved for your dental practice financing will allow you to avoid applying for a loan without pulling your credit.
When preparing your business plan, you should ensure it contains statistical data and case studies to support your claim. You should highlight your industry experience and make your case for why your service area needs a new dental practice. Make it clear that your practice will be different than your competitors. Applying for financing should not be difficult, but it is essential to be prequalified before submitting your loan application. Pre-qualification will help your lender understand your ability to repay the loan, which will give you better bargaining power.
Developing a business plan
First of all, a dental business plan should clearly describe how you will run your practice. It should also provide information on your full-time staff, business associates, and other relevant details. It should also contain a financial projection for the next twelve to 24 months and total funding requirements for the next 12 to 24 months. Hopefully, this information will help you decide whether to pursue a dental practice loan.
It is important to have a business plan to protect your dental practice from financial disasters as a practice owner. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic reduced patient flow, and many techniques experienced lockdowns did dental practices challenging in the last couple of years, but the most prepared ones recovered faster. Writing a business plan is an essential first step toward protecting your practice and finding new opportunities.
There are numerous methods to market your dental practice, and one of the most effective is a free trial offer. Try this method of acquiring new patients by offering a discount. This method is effective for grabbing new patient interest and should stand out from competitors. You can offer a discount on certain services like teeth cleanings and exams. You can also offer a discount for those who prepay their bills in advance. Discounts are not necessarily a big deal, but they work to increase patients’ chances of sticking to their appointments.
Another way to market your dental practice is to engage your staff. For example, you may have a talented writer or social media manager on your team. Ask them to volunteer for these tasks. However, be careful not to overwhelm them by assigning jobs. If you give marketing duties to an employee, it may be challenging to get everyone to do everything. A better way to get employees involved is to ask volunteers to do specific tasks. This will increase employee engagement and responsibility.
Avoiding big-ticket items
One of the dentists’ most prominent mistakes is not carefully auditing their accounts, and this is a big mistake because it opens the doors to embezzlement. The dentist, in this case, signed off on checks without any documentation. The embezzler also forged the doctor’s signature on checks, and the doctor never made an effort to disguise it. The embezzler only feared discovery and was never absent.
While hiring staff, practice owners should conduct a thorough team audit. One dentist told us of his office manager, who started as a co-op student and worked in practice for 14 years. The office manager’s mother even held the bride’s veil while the dentist married her. The office discovered the problem when unauthorized charges began to appear. The employee was caught after special marking dye was placed on her credit card numbers.
Developing a culture
Developing a culture in your dental practice is crucial for your business. You’ve probably heard about attracting the right employees in the corporate world. The same holds in the dental industry. Your practice’s culture should be a good fit for the employees. It’s essential that your staff members are happy and productive, and your office culture should reflect this.
In a DSO, Jake Puhl, CEO of Dentist Entrepreneur Organization, explains the importance of creating a culture in his practice. He says that developing a culture helps align your team’s goals with the patient experience. Creating a culture where everyone is excited to work and where people want to be patients is an essential aspect of success. In a solo practice, you’re responsible for both the business and clinical characteristics of the practice.