Setting up a new dental practice is no different from starting a new business. Dental practice business planning can be a bit overwhelming sometimes, considering the amount of work that goes into it. For instance, you may want to decide whether you should get partners or how many employees you should start with. Here are some things that you need to keep in mind with your new dental practice as you are doing your dental practice business planning.
Think About What Makes Your Practice Unique
One of the things that you need to realize from the get-go is that there is a lot of competition in the dental world and in the world of primary care services in general. This means you will not only need to invest in an internet marketing service, but you must also find out what makes you unique. This is an important part of dental practice business planning.
The majority of successful dental marketing campaigns have a few things in common. If you want to establish your dental office as one of the leading oral health care providers in your location, you must first identify, market, and protect your unique selling points. Whether you offer a long list of dental services or you are a specialist in one particular area, your unique selling points have the power to draw and retain a lot of customers.
To make the most of what makes your practice unique, you need to constantly emphasize your attributes in your marketing campaigns and interactions with patients. Apart from that, you mustn’t just focus on traditional advertising channels. Instead, you must find other proven methods that can help you highlight what sets your dental practice apart. For instance, you can invest in uniquely customized dental newsletters, postcards, dental brochures, and social media platforms. These are some of the most effective ways to engage high-quality patients and increase brand awareness.
Build an Office Culture
Office culture is an important part of dental practice business planning. Once you are done figuring out your unique selling points, you need to dive a little deeper and discover your office culture. Office culture should reflect in everything, from your decor and physical environment to how you handle clients. It’s crucial to understand that your office culture already exists. All you need to do is find it. Your office culture is in your leadership style, your personality, values, and expectations. It’s also in the way that your staff members interact with each other and with your patients. In simpler terms, the office culture is how you run your dental practice. If you manage to fine-tune it, your office culture can help you boost productivity, attract quality staff and help you retain every patient that comes through your doors.
To build your office culture, you need to come together with your office staff and discuss how you can improve your dental office’s day-to-day operations. You must ensure that everyone knows and understands your long-term goals. Everyone should write down what they believe are the identifying factors of their dental practice. That way, you can all work on them so that everyone will be on the same page. When everyone on your team is working towards the same goals, your employees will not only be happier but will also help your dental practice to grow.
Expand Your Service Offerings
If you want to keep growing your patient base, you need to find ways to expand your services. That way, you can improve value and strengthen your competitive edge. This will draw the attention of prospective patients. If your production potential is currently limited by the size of your dental office, you might need to think of moving to a new dental office in the near future. Getting a bigger space will also mean that you may need to bring in some new associates or find staffing agencies to get more team members on board. You should also think about how to improve your dental office’s accessibility once you introduce new specialties.
Whatever you are planning to do, you should avoid overextending your practice! The idea is to strike the proper balance between state-of-the-art technology and uncompromising quality. That way, you can become a successful dental practice with a good reputation and lots of loyal clients.
Finetune Your Scheduling System
You need to ensure that there are no inconveniences in your booking process. Quality dental scheduling will give you more benefits than just being able to book clients easily. It will also help you to create a better patient flow. Apart from that, it can enable you to maximize productivity and decrease stress for both patients and staff. Remember that everything you do is about achieving superior customer service. That’s why you need to work tirelessly towards having the most flexible, efficient, and up-to-date scheduling system.
Your scheduling solutions need to be user-friendly. But what exactly does user-friendly mean? This simply refers to how easy it is for someone to interact with the technology that you use to make appointments. If you are giving your patients the opportunity to make appointments online, you need to ensure that they can do so easily. If your patients are able to visit your website and book appointments on the spot, you will be able to easily secure new patients without ever having to pick up the phone! You can check out scheduling systems online, including some best CRM for higher education that you can also use for your practice.
Invest in The Training of Your Staff
It’s important to understand that every patient’s experience starts with their first point of contact. In most instances, this will be a receptionist or another member of your office’s front desk team. This means that no matter how good you may be to everyone else, you are as good as your front desk team. Their attitude, professionalism, and communication skills are what are responsible for your practice’s first impression on clients. This impression can either make or break your dental practice.
If you want to ensure that you give the best first impression possible, you need to invest in professional training and continued education as part of your dental practice business planning. These are very crucial elements of running a dental practice. You need to ensure that everyone who comes into contact with your patients is trained to make the most of all their interactions—some of the training that you need to invest in includes advanced communication and customer service techniques. You also need to ensure that all relevant staff possesses the proper technical expertise and that they are aware of dental best practices. The best way to kickstart your team’s training is to invest in a quality dental front desk training program. This will ensure that your team has all the skills they need to improve patient satisfaction. You can also find an online class for whatever skill you want your team to learn.
Automate your Billing Desk
After performing the service, the next step will be to get paid by your clients. Easy, right? Well, not all the time. Tracking down patients to make their payments and process insurance claims can be one of the most stressful processes of running a dental business. It can also be quite expensive if you are not careful. If you want to handle payments with ease, you need to invest in an automated billing system or account updater. This can help streamline your workflow and help you get paid faster. It will also create space for your staff to focus on other areas of the business.
Still, on the issue of payments, you need to provide as many dental financing options as possible. This will strengthen your dental practice business planning. Let’s face it, visits to the dentist can get a bit expensive. At the end of the day, you will end up with a lot of people who can’t afford dental insurance but are in need of your services. That’s why the majority of practices are starting to offer several flexible dental financing options. For instance, some practices are offering patients the chance to make monthly payments towards services rendered. There are also other third-party options that you can adopt, including CareCredit and other similar companies. This is a company that offers lines of credit for the purposes of covering medical expenses.
Ensure That You Have a Strong Internet Presence
Nowadays, people use the internet for almost everything. If your practice is not easily discoverable on the internet, then you are likely losing a lot of business. According to Stanford University, more than three-quarters of the people who are looking for services will judge a provider solely based on their website design. This is why it’s crucial to have a strong internet presence and professional website design as part of your dental practice business planning. Your website should not only be designed properly. It should also include all of your credentials, experience, the insurance you accept, your office policies, hours, services your offer, and your contact information.
When evaluating your website, you must think about whether or not you will readily send your link to prospective patients. If you feel like it’s not what you need it to be, then you should invest in professional web design services. You can also take time to research your competitors’ websites sp you can get an idea of what the industry standards are like.
Invest in SEO
Having a website is just one step towards being discoverable online. You need to keep in mind that there are hundreds of thousands of websites on the internet. This means that if you don’t find ways to make your website visible, it will be buried under tons of websites, and no one will ever see it. Fortunately, there is a way to ensure that your website shows up when prospective patients are looking for services similar to the ones you offer. First, you need to think about how you and every other person find information online. Most people start their search for businesses by using a search engine. However, the majority will not browse past the first page. Instead, they will just check out the few top businesses and select those.
If you managed to optimize your website, you could appear in the top five search results. This position can guarantee you a lot of website traffic. The best way to ensure that your website is properly optimized is to hire an SEO specialist. They will develop and implement an effective strategy for your dental practice.
Get Reviews Online
You must never underestimate the power of online reviews when it comes to dental practice business planning. When patients discover your business online, they will likely go through your business reviews. This will give them an idea of what kind of treatment they can expect from you. At the end of each visit, you need to encourage your patient to leave a positive review on Yelp or Google. You can even create an incentive for you those who leave good reviews. For instance, you can give people a $5 Starbucks gift card. You must also focus on getting organic reviews by providing the best service possible.
Understand the Communication Preferences of Your Patients
It’s important to understand how your patients prefer to communicate. This is crucial for dental practice business planning. Research shows that 53% of practices use texting as their preferred method of communication with patients. You can implement a text-based reminder system so you can keep your patients engaged. You must remind your patients to confirm their appointments and schedule regular visits.
Once your practice is up and running, you must remember that each business comes with a set of challenges. Even if you get your dental practice business planning right, sometimes you can have problems with a patient, bone graft companies, or a dental implant procedure might not go as planned. You shouldn’t walk away. Instead, you must always keep the best interests of the patient at the forefront and keep pushing forward. Other challenges you can face include leasing, professional roofing installation, assembling your team, scheduling setbacks, or having personal/family issues. Keep these things in perspective.