Did you know that the dental industry has grown by 1.4% in the past five years?
If you open a dental practice, you can benefit from this growth in the dental market. However, opening a dental practice is no easy task, and you might need some tips on how to get started.
Keep reading, and you’ll discover five tips for starting a dental practice. If you want to take advantage of the growing dental industry, these tips will help you capture a segment of the market.
1. Are You Experienced?
Before you go about opening a dental practice, it’s probably a good idea to think about how much experience you have.
That’s because your level of experience can impact how successful your dental practice will be.
After all, if you’ve never worked in a dental practice before, you might make a lot of mistakes when opening your own dental practice. This is because you might not understand certain industry best practices.
Following this, you should first try to work for another dental practice for a couple of years.
Once you’ve done this, you will then understand what it takes to run a successful dental practice. You can then use this knowledge when you finally get around to opening your own dental practice.
2. Creating a Business Plan
In many ways, a dental practice is no different from a normal business. Because of this, you need to think about creating a business plan before you open a dental practice.
When you’re creating a business plan, you will want to touch on the following things:
- The kinds of services you will offer
- Where your dental practice will be situated
- What your start-up costs will be
- How much money you expect to make in your first year
If you’re struggling with some of these questions, you might want to speak to existing dental practice owners. They will have real-world experience, and so they’ll help you develop realistic answers to these questions.
3. Getting Funding
Opening a dental practice can be very expensive, and there’s a good chance you won’t be able to pay for everything on your own. As a result, you will probably need to approach a bank to get the money you need.
Luckily, one of the great things about opening a dental practice is that it’s a tried and tested business model. Thus, you’ll find that it isn’t too hard to convince banks that you are worthy of investment.
Note that during this stage, many banks will want to see your business plan. So, if you haven’t developed a well-thought-out business plan, you will need to go and do that before you approach any banks.
When you’re securing a loan, the bank will often give you a choice concerning the ‘loan term.’ For instance, they will say that you can get a 10-year loan or a 15-year loan.
In most cases, it’s a good idea to go for the longest loan term that you can secure. In doing so, you will find that your monthly repayments are going to be lower. This then puts less pressure on you as your monthly expenses won’t be as high.
It’s worth noting that as your business grows, you can always put more money towards the loan, which will then naturally reduce the loan term.
However, if you’re going to do this, you need to be careful. That’s because some lenders will apply a penalty if you pay down the loan ‘too soon.’ Therefore, make sure you read the small print before you start paying off large chunks of the loan.
4. Finding Staff
Once you’ve secured funding, you will need to think about hiring some staff for your practice.
Ideally, you should try to hire staff that already have some experience with working in a dental practice. That’s because these individuals will understand how a dental practice works, and so they won’t be a burden.
Before you hire a potential staff member, you may want to think about getting some references.
If you tell someone that you need references, they will give you the contact details of their previous employer. You can then reach out to the former employer to determine how good the given individual was at their job.
Note that you also have the option of hiring people on a ‘trial basis.’
This means that you will try them out for three months or so, and then at the end of that period, you will evaluate their performance. This approach can be worthwhile if you’re on the fence about a particular individual.
5. Set up the IT Infrastructure
Another thing you’ll need to focus on is setting up the IT infrastructure within your dental practice. If you don’t do this, you won’t have a way to manage all the data associated with your dental practice.
You’ll find there are companies that specifically help dental practices with their IT systems. If you reach out to such a company, they will be able to set everything up, and they might even offer some training.
During this stage, you should also consider investing in some billing software so that you can process payments. Ideally, you want to find a software suite that focuses purely on billing for dentists.
That’s because specialist billing software already contains the forms you will need. Therefore, when you’re using the software, you will have less admin work as you won’t have to make any adjustments to the billing forms.
Will You Use These Tips for Starting a Dental Practice?
Starting a dental practice is challenging, but these tips should make the journey a little easier.
If you want your dental practice to be successful, you will also need to focus on marketing. After all, if you don’t know how to market yourself, you may not be able to stand out amongst the other competing dental practices.
At the moment, you might feel as though you have a huge mountain to climb. Yet, if you preserve, it won’t be long before you have a successful practice that has a large list of clients.
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