Dentistry is all about the care we give our patients, but sustainability and profitability for the brand lie in core business principles. While we can excel in providing exceptional routine dental care and cosmetic results, our roles as managers and dental entrepreneurs should never be overlooked.
Fortunately, we don’t have to invent new business practices; we can draw inspiration from various industries and adapt proven principles. More than three-quarters of staff members understand the value of a clear business strategy in cultivating a positive culture, which carries over to the care we provide.
Dental Practice Profitability Flows From Here
Review these seven strategies that proven business leaders integrate into their operations, and consider implementing them to pave the path to success for your practice:
- Focus on customer service. Patients come to us as consumers first, and the innovators of the world know how to serve them. For dentists, this means going above and beyond to ensure patients are happy with their care and quickly addressing any concerns. For example, dentists can offer extended hours, accept walk-ins, or provide free consultations. Membership plans are another example of giving patients what they want as consumers. They will likely take their opinion online through reviews and social media if they’re unhappy.
- Invest in marketing. There are a variety of marketing strategies that dentists can use, such as online advertising, print advertising, and word-of-mouth marketing. Dentists should invest in marketing to reach their target audience and help them grow their businesses. A user-friendly website and steady social media campaigns are mandatory today. Paid ad campaigns can offer discounts or educate new patients on new services. An investment in SEO and a cohesive digital footprint pays dividends over time.
- Stay up-to-date with technology. Technology is constantly changing, and dentists must stay up-to-date with the latest trends to provide the best possible care for their patients. This includes using new technologies in the dental office, such as digital X-rays and laser dentistry. For example, dentists can invest in a cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) scanner, which can provide detailed images of the teeth and gums. However, technology investments should be part of a well-defined strategic plan with a clear ROI.
- Be organized. A well organized dental practice is a successful dental practice. Dentists must have a system to manage their patients, finances, and inventory. This will help them run their practices more efficiently and effectively. For example, dentists can use a practice management software to keep track of patient records, appointments, and billing. Most “people” problems in a dental practice are minimized when detailed, written systems are in place to guide operations.
- Delegate tasks. Dentists need help to do everything themselves and must learn to delegate tasks to their staff. This will free up their time to focus on the most critical aspects of their businesses. In a challenging hiring environment, some dentists have discovered the benefit of virtual service companies that manage non-patient-facing activities off-site. Claim processing, treatment plans, and scheduling are just some activities a competent virtual team can handle.
- Set goals and track your progress. Dentists need to set goals for their businesses and track their progress. This will help them stay on track and make necessary adjustments as needed. For example, dentists can set a goal to increase their patient base by 10% annually. Dentists focusing on boosting net income enjoy the long-term benefit of higher practice value. A seller may realize $5 increased value for every dollar of reduced overhead.
- Be willing to change. The business world constantly evolves, and dentists must be ready to change. This means being open to new ideas and adapting to new technologies and procedures. For example, dentists can offer new services, such as laser dentistry and 3D printing, along with patient portals and virtual consults. Consumer expectations lead the market, and healthcare brands that align with them tend to thrive the most.
Navigating Dental Practice Success
Today’s healthcare environment continues to present challenges and opportunities mixed together. But in every economic cycle, profitability and fulfillment in dentistry require technical skill, managerial finesse, and entrepreneurial foresight. While we can try to juggle all the pieces alone, the most innovative dentists bring together the right resources and partners so that they can focus on taking care of patients.
At Method Pro, our team knows dentistry inside and out. We can help build your brand’s external message, but we can also help nurture your existing patient base. Plus, we can help you analyze your metrics and financials for ultimate growth and profitability.