Dental Strategies For Success library
Six Ways to Make Your New Practice Skyrocket
It is not enough to simply choose the correct location or space, equipment and financing. Starting a new practice requires tenacity and business savvy – two things they may not have taught you in dental school. If you’d rather be successful than struggling, these six tips are the ticket.
1. Create a business plan: More than just a tool to get the right loan, a business plan sets the tone for your practice’s identity and provides a road map for achieving your short-term goals and long-term vision. Planning ahead gives you an internal compass to guide every decision. If it doesn’t fit the plan, it probably isn’t right for you.
2. Build a team of "superstars": Any practice can limp by with less than perfect employees, but the successful practitioner works hard at having the right players in place. Recruitment, identifying ideal candidates, developing specific interview questions and thorough reference checks are essential. Be sure to administer behavior tests to potential new-hires. Desirable qualities like social skills, attention to detail and follow-through are easily measured with a DISC profile or other assessment. Motivate and retain good employees with concise job descriptions, annual reviews, and frequent feedback on performance. It takes just five minutes a day to tell someone how to please you. Don’t hold back!
3. Budget for aggressive marketing during your first two years: We suggest that 5% of collections go toward attracting new patients during your formative years. Don’t skimp on the things that last: brand your practice with a name, logo and website. Conduct an early, soft grand opening and a later full-blown celebration, inviting patients and others who might refer you. Use incentives to attract new patients. E-mail your patients often to stay top-of-mind and reinforce your brand. E-mail newsletters are the new direct mail, so collect patient e-mail addresses from day one and use them to drive traffic to your website (online offers are a nice touch).
4. Focus on driving revenue: Develop a sense of urgency regarding your finances. This requires being willing to do whatever it takes to make your business thrive: making quick decisions, bypassing the “rules” of what you will and won’t do and wearing the two hats of a business manager and dentist. Don’t think you will get ahead quickly if you aren’t intent on your daily goals — every day must be fiscally viable. During the first 12 months of business, track your marketing effectiveness, new patient satisfaction and recare effectiveness closely. Be willing to make adjustments to protocol (or your style) if needed.
5. Find a mentor to guide you through tough decisions — or tough times: The best mentors have been where you were at some point, and achieved the level of success you desire. Meet regularly, keeping an agenda and notes for accountability. Mentorship can benefit the bottom line of a business, not to mention the mental state of its owner.
6. Remember: you’re in the people business: If you are not the best communicator, don’t wait! Take a Dale Carnegie or other self-help communication course. Read books on personal growth or communication. Instant Rapport by Michael Brooks is a must read. Connecting on a personal level with your patient is the shortest route to success.
Statements of opinion not necessarily endorsed by ADA Member Advantage, ADA Business Enterprises, Inc., or the American Dental Association, or any of its subsidiaries, counsels, commissions, or agencies.
|Penny Reed is a co-founder of Dental Genius, a management and marketing company specializing in the business of dentistry. Ms. Reed has spent over a decade coaching and training dental professionals. She can be reached at 866-332-6224 or email@example.com.|
All practice financing is subject to credit approval. Business Refinance Program is for business term debt only. Revolving credit and existing Wells Fargo Practice Finance debt are not eligible for consolidation.
The articles and materials on the Wells Fargo Practice Finance Web site are provided for general information only and do not constitute, nor are they intended as, a substitute for consultation with accounting, tax, legal or other professional advisors. Wells Fargo makes no representation regarding the articles available in the Strategies for Success Library or the completeness or accuracy of the information contained therein. The articles and the information contained therein may be incomplete, may contain errors or may have become out of date. Wells Fargo makes no commitment, and disclaims any duty, to update any of the articles or materials in the Strategies for Success Library. The views expressed in the articles are those of the authors alone. They may or may not reflect the views or opinions of Wells Fargo.
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