The dental industry is rapidly growing, both due to the raised awareness of the importance of one’s dental health and also because of a growing prevalence of oral disorders in today’s world. It is expected that the global dental service market might reach a total value of $698.8 billion by 2030, which speaks volumes about its expansion.
Now, in order to become a part of this lucrative market, one needs to start a successful dental practice on their own. Sure, a lot of dentists are looking forward to becoming self-employed entrepreneurs, but the truth is that starting a practice requires something more. First of all, you need to acknowledge the fact that a practice is not just a healthcare organization but a business, as well.
So, with all that in mind, how would one approach the project of starting a dental practice from a business perspective? Here are a couple of things to keep in mind!
Figure Out Your Team Composition
How many staff members do you need to get started? The first question you need to start with is the number of dentists in your employ. Are they working around the clock? If so, you need to figure out the number of rooms and chairs. This way, you can optimize your operational capacities.
This also needs to be determined based on your potential workload. You see, if you expect to see a large number of people on a daily basis, you might want to hire more front office team members. While more patients mean higher profit, there is a threshold past which it’s financially justifiable to hire more people. This depends on the dental services/products prices in your region, your reputation, etc.
Remember that you need more than just dentists and dental assistants in your employ. Hiring the right dental management can completely revolutionize the operational efficiency of your practice. Keep in mind that while you are running a healthcare organization, it’s also a business. Therefore, you need someone to handle the workforce, expenses, infrastructure, and logistics.
In the end, remember that you don’t have to directly employ everyone. You can also outsource some functions. For instance, you can outsource your company’s accounting, web maintenance, hire third-party cleaning services, etc. Overall, you need to put it all on paper and see whether it’s more cost-effective to directly hire or outsource.
One of the most effective strategies in starting your own dental practice lies in figuring out potential bottlenecks. For instance, you can start by thinking about why people avoid going to the dentist, even though they clearly need their assistance. Each of these problems contains a hidden solution.
- The cost of dental intervention may be a big issue. If that’s the case, you can reinvent your pricing policy while keeping in mind the danger of lowering your prices too much. We’ll discuss this later on in greater detail.
- Some people may believe that they don’t need dental care. Educating these people is the right way to go. You can create all sorts of content for your blog or YouTube channel, as well as share this content on social media.
- There are people who have no time to go to the dentist. The way to proceed here is to expand your working hours. If they can visit you when they get home from work, they might be more likely to pay you a visit.
- Your practice is too far. The choice of location might make the key difference in the way your practice performs. So, try finding an office that’s closer to your primary target audience.
- You don’t accept their insurance. This is one of the most straightforward reasons and one with a clear course of action ahead. The more inclusive your payment and insurance matters are, the more likely they are to give you a chance. With more and more customers using crypto wallets, considering the integration of this payment method might not be a bad idea either.
All of these bottlenecks can easily be integrated into your USP (unique sales proposition). This is the essential part of your marketing. Speaking of which…
Work on Your Marketing
When it comes to marketing, you need to use as many venues as possible. First, you need to become active on social networks. Platforms like Instagram are a great way to introduce your staff, equipment, and practice in general.
It might also be a good idea to make a website early on. After all, you need something to link and tag in all your shares. Also, make sure to go for a professionally-made site. Try to find some room in your budget to hire a professional.
Next, you need to put yourself on the map, quite literally. This means registering on Google My Business and similar directories. This will enable people to find your physical location and contact information quite effortlessly. This only takes a couple of minutes but might end up providing your business with a lot of legitimacy.
Furthermore, you need to start a blog. When it comes to oral health and hygiene, this is a topic that a lot of people are interested in. By blogging from a standpoint of a renowned professional, you’ll provide a ton of value to your audience (in terms of crucial information). It will increase your traffic, help you establish your authority in the field, and even grow your revenue.
Remember, when it comes to pricing, you need to be extra careful. You can’t just lower the price and profit from it, seeing as how this might have a negative impact on your reputation. Even without blunders to tarnish your name in this industry, a lot of people are uncomfortable going to the cheapest dentist. Sometimes, the price needs to be kept for the sake of appearances.
Hot Topics/Services in the Dental Industry
It’s also important that you accept the fact that innovation in the dental industry helps people rank you within the field. For instance, while the vast majority of people need basic dental services, they’re also on the lookout for laser dentistry and 3D printing.
Other than this, they’re interested in subscription-based coverage, which affects their own personal finances and their own approach to this field.
Keep in mind that cosmetic surgery in the dental industry might just be its biggest growing trend. Specializing in this field can, therefore, make drastic differences in your appeal. Still, how do you specialize? Well, by hiring renowned experts in this field, innovating your equipment, and constantly investing in technical improvement.
One more thing worth pointing out is that the dental industry, due to its nature, might have particularly troublesome experiences with the COVID-19 pandemic. It is an industry with a sizably higher risk factor, which involves additional investments and measures taken. Needless to say, it makes the managerial task of starting and running a dental practice in 2022 an even harder task.
In the end, the internal organization of your own dental practice is left to every business owner to decide on their own. The key thing to remember is that specialization of tasks and a proper business model from the very start might provide you with a sizable competitive edge. So, improve your hiring process, outsource, invest in your marketing, and try to predict all the bottlenecks ahead of time.