Dental Practice Start-Up: 10 Steps To Start a Successful Dental Practice
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Let us start this article on a positive note.
As a dentist be assured that you have chosen an amazing profession with a high rate of proven success stories from all over the world. On a whole, dentists are one of the highest taxpaying group of professionals, all over the world. Thus it is apparent that dentists do make a lot of money and at the same time have the respect of the community also.
Yes, it is true that in the initial stages of your dental career you will have doubts.
What are some of the most common doubts that dentists have when they are starting their dental practice?
- Doubts related to Investments: A lot of financial investments are required to set up a dental practice. There is always that doubt of raising a high amount of money and then the fear of the practice running into a loss, thereby making the entire investment of no use.
- Doubts related to clinical skills: Every dentist in the initial years has the doubt if he/she has the adequate skills to handle all the types of dental treatments for the patients coming to the practice.
- Doubts related to networking & people skills: Many dentists are doubtful of their skills to interact with the patients and building up the professional network.
- Doubts on managing finance: A dental practice has a lot of financial matters running simultaneously. For a dentist, it gets confusing to manage and keep a track of all the financial matters.
- Fear of litigations and consumer cases: Every dentist is doubtful about consumer cases that might be filed and how to tackle with such issues.
- Fear of damages to the clinic: A dental practice has many high price equipment within the perimeter. So a dentist is always doubtful regarding the safety of the practice and insurances to cover the possibility of damages.
These are just some of the common doubts that every dentist has. In this article, we are going to try and provide 10 Tips For Dentists To Start With A Successful Dental Practice. For these points, we asked many young dentists who are into 2 to 3 years of their dental practice. They were very helpful in discussing the points and also hoped that these points will help new dentists.
All these points are some of the most important aspects of dental practice management.
Points that will be covered in this article are as follows:
10 Tips To Start a Successful Dental Practice
(The points on Dental Practice Management)
- Do detailed research & homework before starting taking into account all the crucial points.
- Before starting your practice, build up your professional networks.
- Prepare a financial plan covering all the possible investments and other factors. Get necessary insurances & plans to invest your money.
- Have a business plan of action for your dental practice. Work to improve your business acumen.
- Keep a strict control on your debt load. Try your best to stay within your budget and do not go overboard.
- Understand all the 5 professional stages of your dental career and act accordingly.
- Take help of technology and professionals for dental practice management.
- Work on promoting your dental practice. Make it known.
- Invite consultations or go as a consultant to other practices.
Conclusion and take away for dentists.
Infographic of all the points discussed.
1. Do Detailed Research, Homework, and Preparation
Being a professional dental practitioner is similar to being your own boss. You are in charge of the ship. There is no more scope to shift the blame to others. You are responsible for the failure of your practice and you are also the sole one get all the credits for the success. Until a few years back a dentist could easily build a practice from scratch and within few short months have a full list of patient appointments. In other words, the chances of failure were less and even if there were odd cases of failure, there was enough scope for the dentist to bounce back.
Fast forward to the current times and the scenario has changed a lot. A dentist no more has the luxury of bouncing back from a failure. I do not say that it is not possible but it is extremely difficult. Why?
Because in the modern day, dentistry is a profession with multiple aspects. The success of a dental practice does not depend anymore only on the dentist. There are many other factors running side by side. Any one factor that is neglected can be the cause for the failure of the dental practice.
Hence, as soon as your mind is made up to start your new dental practice do the following home works
- Contact your seniors and old staffs to take their suggestions. Search the internet. Check out financial information etc. In short, try to imbibe as much initial information as you can from all the sources.
- Make a list of the possible hurdles that you think you are going to face. This is very important as it makes you aware of the possible challenges you need to overcome to have a successful dental practice.
- Make a list of the possible solutions to the problems you listed in the previous point.
- Scout the areas where you want to start your dental practice. Survey the nearby areas too. If required survey interior areas also. Keep a note of the location prices. This will help you in comparing the real estate prices. In the end, your goal is to get a good location for your dental practice at a good price.
Prepare a list of all the necessities – Preferred locations for your practice, the equipment, electricity supply, furnishing, drainage, waste disposal etc. You aim must be to make a plan for all the required items in the lowest budget possible.
Read this article that gives you a detailed explanation of how to build your dental practice with a minimum investment?
Dental Practice Management: How To Make A Good Dental Clinic With Minimum Investment? This post will tell you 7 Best Ways to do so. This article is for all those young dentists planning to open their dental clinic/set up.
So, this is the preparatory stage before you actually start working on setting up your dental practice. The more you do this homework, there will be lesser chances for you to get surprised. You will be ready with a solution for all the steps.
2. Build a Stable Business Network
Right from the day you decide to start your own dental practice, you will get advises from many people. Of course, they will be well-meaning suggestions but you will need to filter them out. Always remember that for a dental practice to do well you need to make connections with Industry Specific Advisers. These are the people who already have experience and expertise in working in the dental sector. Connect with them.
So, who are those people?
Dental Set Up Builders: The first requirement of a dental practice is to have a good set up. For that, you should contact the contractors who are experienced in setting up dental practice set up. If are confused you can also take suggestions from your friends and fellow dentists. They can point you towards good contractors.
Establish contact with specialized dentists: If you are a general practitioner or a specialist in one stream of dentistry (e.g. Orthodontics), then you need to establish networks with other dental specialists like endodontics, oral surgery etc to carry out specialized dental treatments at your practice.
Dental Material Supplier & Equipment Specialist: To run a dental practice you need a regular supply of dental materials/equipment at an economical price. So, you need to connect with an efficient dental material supplier. Ask your fellow dentists for suggestions. A good dental material supplier can be a very insightful adviser, with years of experience in the dental sector. In fact, it’s not uncommon for a dental practice owner to maintain a career-long relationship with a trusted material/equipment specialist. There is a symbiotic relationship at work here. It is important to these specialists that your start-up practice is positioned for success since they hope to provide you with updated equipment and the latest technology for many years to come.
A Dental Specific Financial Lender: Starting a dental practice requires a considerable financial investment. You can take the help of financial institutions to raise the capital needed to start your clinic. A single dental practice comes under small scale business. A chain of dental clinics plan requires larger investments. The financial institutions and banks located at your location will be having loan plans for dentists. So, do a proper research at your location. It is best to enquire a bank where there is a previous track of lending finance to dentists. Dental-specific lenders are more experienced in handling the requirements of a dentist.
Always keep the fact in mind that:
- Success in dentistry in largely dependent on the business networks that you create with the people who are experienced in the business of dentistry.
- These advisers can give you effective suggestions from the beginning of your dental practice and also as your practice scales up.
- They want you and your practice to succeed as they want to be in business with you for a long time. Hence they are the best dental practice management advisers for you.