When planning to start your own business, you want something which is going to be dependable for the long-term and has a substantial market; and dentistry is certainly a business opportunity which is going to see you have committed clients for years to come — as long as you run your business and practice in the best possible way.
Starting your own dental practice can offer you freedom as a dental practitioner and be a very rewarding business opportunity for those wanting to manage their own patient workload and provide exceptional service.
Why Start a Dental Practice?
- The freedom to be your own boss
- The opportunity to build your own professional reputation
- The chance to earn more money and be in control of your income
- Create your ideal working environment within your own practice
- Choose which patients you’d like to work with
- Follow your career dreams
A Guide for Starting Your Own Dental Practice
Create Your Business Plan
Any good business needs a dedicated business plan, and opening a new dental practice is no different. Your first business plan doesn’t need to be the end document, but a good starting point is to plan out what you’re looking to create, your aspirations for your dental practice, your reasons for opening one, and what you’re hoping to accomplish in the future. A step-by-step plan is a good idea.
You should be able to finalize your goals and business values as part of a complete business plan and use this as a foundation for building your new dental practice.
Decide Whether You’d Like to Specialize in a Specific Area
There are certain dentistry areas you may want to focus your practice on fully, or you may want to offer a variety of services within one clinic. Your choice is up to you and what you would like to concentrate on; it may also best suit your specific dentistry skills. The main areas to consider are general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, or orthodontics.
Whatever you choose, it’s important to remember that all marketing and efforts to build your business will need to be tailored based on the type of business you’re marketing. When considering success with a new orthodontics clinic, it all depends on your orthodontics marketing strategy, and the same applies to any other specialization.
Therefore, deciding this first will be important for future growth and marketing efforts.
Choose the Right Location
As a key service, dental clinics should be in central locations or elsewhere within a location easily accessible by public transport or by car. The ease of location with a dental practice will directly influence patients choosing you or easily travel the distance to get to you.
What’s important to establish first is the type of patients you’re going to be treating before finding a suitable location. This could follow from whether you’ve decided to specialize in a certain area or provide general dentistry. This could also relate to the price bands you’re looking to charge. All of these questions are key to establishing what kind of patient you’ll be dealing with: the everyday patient, cosmetic patients, or highly specialized areas for patients?
When you’ve explored these ideas, you’ll be able to think about location in terms of where your intended patient demographic live and also how to reach them within that area best.
Plan Your Finances
Whether you have initial savings or not will affect how successfully (or quickly) you can start up your own dental practice. You may need financing assistance like a business loan to open up your dream clinic. What matters is having a sound financial plan and budget and understanding what the costs are relating to your specific business model. You may need a great investment for specialized clinics, for example, compared to regular dentistry, so research is key.
A dental practice can take a lot of initial investment before you can begin treating any patients due to the level of equipment and personnel you may need. Even very small practices will need at least one dentist, dental assistant, and receptionist, and the same level of quality equipment and hygiene practices no matter the number of patients. Not to mention the initial payment for your practice building and utilities.
Therefore, good budgeting and financial management is key when planning for your dental practice.
Choose a Dependable Team
Running a successful dental clinic isn’t just about having a skilled dentist on hand to provide the actual treatment. A good dental practice needs a professional team that can communicate effectively and support one another.
When it comes to dental appointments, a lot of can go wrong before a patient even steps foot in the dentist’s treatment room. Appointments can be difficult to book, mistakes can be made with scheduling in patients, or a patient could have a negative experience in the waiting area or over the phone — all of these can reflect negatively on your business before any dental treatment has even been given.
With this in mind, it’s extremely important to take your time choosing the right team which is going to be the right fit for your dental clinic and the level of service you’re offering. Make time for team building and training, too, to strengthen your team.
A practice will run much more effectively if all those working within it, from the appointment manager to the dental practitioner, are all on the same page.
Starting and running an effective dental practice is naturally going to be about the level of service you can offer and the treatment of patients. However, before you can even begin to treat patients, building a dental practice business is very much like any other business; you’ll need a business plan, a budget, a location, and a team. Starting off on the right foot means making sure you don’t neglect any of these areas and ensure that you have everything you need to offer the highest quality of dental service when the first patient comes through the door.