5 Important Steps to Starting a Dental Practice

There are around 191,497 dental offices in the U.S, which shows that opening an independent office is an attractive venture for dental professionals.

Starting a dental practice lets you capitalize on your passion and help patients directly, so you feel fulfilled with your career path. But, like with any business venture, it can feel overwhelming knowing where to start. Maybe that’s why you’re here; you want to open a dental practice and are searching for a nudge in the right direction.

Sounds like you? No worries, we’ve got your back. Here are five important steps when starting a dental practice.

  1. Write a Business Plan

Before starting a business, it’s important to create a detailed business plan. The document should include your strategy, operating costs, and potential annual earnings. Make sure you spend time creating a realistic plan because this is what you provide banks, so they can decide whether or not to give you a loan.

Also, don’t make the common mistake of not mentioning your exit strategy. Hopefully, you won’t need it, but you may want to sell your dental practice in the future. Note that you should refer to your business plan to help establish a budget for your dental practice.

Generally, even the best dental practice needs around $25,000 to open its doors. But this will depend on where you’re opening the practice or your specialty, especially if it’s niche. When you have an idea of costs, figure out whether you need bank loans or are going to use your entire savings.

It’s wise to use a combination of loans, your backup funds, and potentially using a credit card as long as you don’t fall into debt.

  1. Find the Perfect Space

Anyone pursuing a dental career knows the importance of finding the perfect office space.

Before signing a lease, research your area extensively to determine how many practices are there because you don’t want to be stuck competing against other dentists. And don’t forget to check which services they offer, because if yours is niche, you needn’t worry about patients flocking to other offices.

Also, you want somewhere that has a high potential for walk-ins, which is a lifesaver when you’re building your client base. Note that many practices are on the ground floor because it’s more accessible, whereas the upper floors will be more affordable. Plus, factor in parking so that there is enough for your patients and team.

Once you’ve decided on the location, you should calculate the actual square footage you need. This includes the patient’s waiting room, bathroom, reception area, and even examination rooms. You should also decide whether you need a break room for employees or storage space for your equipment.

If you’re overwhelmed about becoming a dentist with practice, research other layouts to find out how dentists maximize their office space.

  1. Get Equipment

Whether you’re buying new or second-hand, you must have the basic dental equipment to run your practice. Alongside this, you’ll need furniture, computers, and management software, so you can manage patients’ records. Before investing thousands into equipment, make sure you find a reputable salesperson who will provide quality apparatus at an affordable price.

If you don’t initially have enough funds, lease the equipment and then buy newer models when you’re ready to upgrade it.

  1. Hire an Expert Team

Next, you’ll need to hire a team of experts. Don’t rush the hiring process because you want to vet each candidate and determine whether they’re the right fit for your practice.

Before you start the recruiting process, write a detailed job description so candidates understand the role and its responsibilities. You should also create a thorough onboarding process to train employees and only hire a candidate if they have had relevant experience in your industry.

Although the number of employees differs between offices, you’ll need at least one dentist, an assistant, and a receptionist to greet patients.

  1. Grow Your Dental Practice

When you’re becoming an entrepreneur, having a robust marketing strategy is a must. Read classic books, such as This Is Marketing by Seth Godin, and even posts like the “Simple Secrets of Successful Marketing” to get inspiration for your venture.

At the very least, you want a user-friendly website and several social media pages, so customers can easily find you and make an appointment. For your site, you can either hire a professional to help you build a website or use a platform like WordPress to get started.

You should also consider hiring an SEO agency to boost your site’s ranking on search engines and target patients. The beauty is you needn’t wait for opening day because it can take months to see results, so build an SEO strategy immediately.

Further, take advantage of word-of-mouth marketing as it’s still the most effective. For instance, you could give your current patients a discount if they refer a friend or family member to your practice.

Also, encourage patients to leave a glowing review on your site or Google, as it has the power to attract new clients. And don’t forget to be active in your community by networking and attending industry-related events to raise awareness of your practice.

Enjoy Our Tips for Starting a Dental Practice

Hopefully, you now know everything about starting a dental practice.

There are many tips to take on board, such as following your business plan and finding the ultimate space for your practice. You should also work with a developer to create a user-friendly website and market your business to attract new patients. Good luck with your venture!

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