A Simple Guide to Starting & Growing Your Own Dental Practice

Mar 26, 2020 | Business Insurance

Your Own Dental Practice

You’ve had enough of being an associate, and you’re right, starting a dental practice is hands down one of the best ideas that could cross your mind.

With a growing demand in dental services such as cosmetic dentistry (whose market is expected to reach over $32 billion by 2026), implants, and teeth whitening, you can’t go wrong with opening your own practice.

So how do you start and grow your dental business? We have put together a comprehensive guide that will take you from planning to marketing your dental practice and everything in between.

A portrait of a dentist with his team working in the background

Have a Well-Thought Out Business Plan

When starting a dental practice, you need to have a challenging professional goal and an incredible business plan. A business plan is a document that will include all your business strategies, expected costs, standard operating procedures, and all other financial aspects of the business.

If you need to access a loan, then you must have a well thought out business plan for approval. 

Share your goal with the people you trust because it’ll make you accountable. Your business plan needs to include an outline of your main goals, a cash flow forecast for at least one year, a clear marketing plan, and a unique value proposition.

Determine What Equipment You Need and Your Space Requirements

One of the major expenses you’ll face when you start a dental business is the upfront costs of dental equipment, furniture, computer systems, and anything else you need to run the practice efficiently.  

Determine the kind of space you need and how many rooms you’ll be using in your office.

Apart from the regular reception area, waiting room, and exam room, do you want a private office? How about an x-ray room, storage space, a consultation room, a break room, or a sterilization area? 

Research other dental offices to gauge how much space will be sufficient.

Obtain Financing

If there’s one thing you should take seriously, it’s your finances. If possible, hire an accountant who fully understands your industry and cultivate a relationship that will last for years. You may have some capital saved up, or have a partner who will shoulder some of the expenses, but if not, you can get dental financing through brokers.

Consider all your expenses in terms of equipment, office space, marketing, relocation, and building projects to determine how much you need. If you decide to get a loan from a bank, your clear business plan will help a lot.

The Location of Your Business Is Everything

There aren’t that many facilities purposely built for dental businesses, so you need to find the most suitable location for your business and upgrade the building for your practice. 

You need a location that will impact the success of your business, which means an area that your target market will easily reach.

Ask yourself several questions about a location, such as the age distribution, whether it’s a commuter area, and what the general attitude towards dental care is.

Consider the parking area, access for disabled people, natural lights, building appeal, and maximum footfall, before you settle on a location.

Apply for Licenses and Permits

A license and insurance are among the things customers look for before hiring a dentist, so when starting a dental practice, you need to ensure you have both. 

Get the right permits that allow you to practice in your state and local area as well. Join professional memberships as well as it’ll give more confidence to your customers about you.

Have an Excellent Dental Marketing Plan

We are all living in a digital age where a business is not complete without an online presence. You need a good quality website and active social media platforms where you reach and interact with your patients. You should consider other marketing strategies, such as SEO, SMM, and email marketing, to get more patients.

Beyond that, explore other marketing strategies such as giving out leaflets to local homes and businesses to let people know about your opening date. 

You may also approach other health and wellness businesses around you and involve them in unique offers that are beneficial to both parties.

You can offer your patients a free initial checkup, which will essentially attract new patients and help you build long-lasting relationships. Ensure you have a well-trained receptionist who knows how to deal with all types of patients to avoid bad Google reviews.

Get a Practice Manager

When most people start a dental business, they overlook hiring a practice manager. The thing is, most people think they should postpone it until they can afford one, but you may limit your success if you don’t.

You see, as the principal dentist, you need to delegate some responsibilities such as the daily running of the practice. You can place your full attention on growing the services and revenue of your business. Your manager can take care of reception management, compliance management, staffing logistics, stock check, and supply orders, among other things.

Beyond that, think about the rest of the staff you need, like a receptionist and dental assistants. Decide how many people you need to figure out your financial projections.

Maintaining the Practice

Once your dental practice is up and running, you need to stay proactive and on top of your marketing game. As the owner and leader of the business, you’re responsible for the growth and development of your business. 

Ensure the dental equipment is well maintained and repaired on time when necessary.

Additionally, the value and respect you extend to your staff will play a huge role in the success of your business. 

Try to hold regular meetings to cultivate a positive working environment for everyone involved. Networking with your industry colleagues will also go a long way. So will joining social media groups and forums and keeping up with the industry trends.

Starting a Dental Practice: Growing Your Business the Right Way

These are the major steps you should take when starting a dental practice. It may seem like a long process with so much to do, but so is every other business. In the end, all this effort will be well worth it. 

So, how about you start creating that business plan! You can also contact us or check out our website for personal or business insurance.