Are you planning to start your own dental practice? Most dentists who’re just starting their practice often don’t have adequate training on how to build a rapidly growing dental start-up. The key aspects of running a new practice that you need to grasp include financing, the best practices of starting a new dental practice, and how to attract patients to a new dental office.
Here are the 7 mistakes you should avoid if want your dental practice to thrive from the start:
Building a Winning Team
When starting a new practice, having the right team is essential. The smartest thing to do is to work with people who have deep knowledge of the dental industry. Here are pitfalls to avoid when deciding who you should work with:
1. Working with an Inexpert Real Estate Broker
“Location, location, location” is a truism that you should never ignore. A dental office is a particular type of business that’s subject to given city requirements. By not working with a real estate broker who is a dental industry expert, you’ll waste energy and time looking at unsuitable locations.
Does the broker know the parking space requirement (based on the size of the office)? Do they have all the information on the tenant-improvement allowance? Do they know if you can transfer the lease if you choose to sell the practice? A Real estate broker with expertise in the dental industry will save you money and time.
2. Choosing the Wrong Contractor
Working with an incompetent contractor can bring about so many issues: voltage that doesn’t suit the CBCT system, hallways that don’t meet the dental association requirements, incorrect countertops, and more. You can avoid these issues by working with a reputable dental-specific contractor.
One of the trickiest aspects of starting a new dental office is attracting patients for your dental practice. Here are pitfalls to avoid when marketing your dental practice:
3. Targeting the Wrong People
Don’t build a practice you’d want to visit, instead build a practice that your target group would want to visit. If your target is families, create a family-friendly environment with child-friendly waiting areas and adequate space for buggies. If your target is 50+ years-olds, have seats with an appropriate height (no low sofas), serve great coffee, play suitable music, and make parking easy.
4. Choosing the Wrong Marketing Professionals
The best way to get patients through the door is by starting marketing early and running a precisely targeted marketing campaign. So work with a quality marketing firm that will identify your target demographics and then help you craft an effective marketing approach.
A marketing firm can also help with website design, branding, search engine optimization, social media management, and much more.
5. Believing a Website will Magically Attract Patients
Prospective clients may visit your website, but they won’t necessarily visit your practice unless the website convinces them that you offer tremendous value and thus converts them to visiting patients. Besides, your website should be part of an overarching internet marketing strategy if you’re to attain your set goals.
Also, while there are many free platforms on the internet that can help you market your business, it’s investing in an internet marketing strategy that yields the greatest impact.
6. Taking Over the Role of a Marketing Expert
You’re an expert in dentistry, but you likely don’t have a similar level of expertise in marketing. If you’re hoping to build a thriving practice, you should focus on the areas you’re good at and allow experts to assist you in areas outside your scope of expertise.
Marketing entails creating a suitable plan and knowing which strategies work, posting on social media, creating an appropriate site, writing blogs, creating an email list, direct mail, and much more. It’s a demanding but rewarding job. And so it’s prudent to delegate this aspect to experts and focus on providing the best treatment to your patients.
By having an effective marketing plan and a team of experts dedicated to executing it, you’ll position your practice for success.
7. Being indecisive
The only constant in life is change. Business models and practices are always shifting. Patient education and demands are always changing. Insurance is changing.
The more you put off incorporating best business practices and marketing to your budding dentist practice, the tougher it’ll be to gain a foothold on your local market. As a dentist just starting a practice, quickly gather a team of experts to help you set up your premises. Then, hire marketing professionals to help you get the phones ringing and patients dropping by. Through that, you’ll have many leads likely to convert to regular patients who’ll then recommend you to their family and friends, and then the virtuous cycle will go on and on.
Building a new dental practice takes a lot of work — sending and replying to an avalanche of emails, spending long hours on the phone, and sleepless nights. But it doesn’t have to be that way, by avoiding these 7 pitfalls you’ll have a much more positive experience.