So, you’ve decided to start a new dental practice. Starting a dental practice is similar to starting a new business, both can be incredibly challenging and rewarding—sometimes at the same time. But, starting a dental practice isn’t a small investment, and costs can add up rather quickly. So, how do you ensure that your entrepreneurial journey doesn’t cost you more than it has to? The answer is, by following the seven money-saving tips that we’ve listed below.
Create a Solid Business Plan
Having a business plan is critical before you take any steps towards starting your practice.
A lender’s priority is getting the money back, and if you don’t have the answer to that, then they might not finance your practice at all. Having a solid business plan will not only help you get the financing you need but also get more favorable payment terms.
Don’t Borrow More Than You Need
If you have a solid business plan in place and have had some experience, then lenders will be happy to lend money to you. But, you have to remember that dental practices are lucrative businesses, and lenders make money by loaning you money and collecting interest on it. It’s in their best interests to lend you more money, and that might not be good for you.
Under capitalization may be the most common cause of business failure, but over capitalization is not far behind. No matter what the lender offers, stick to your business plan and only borrow the money you need.
Starting a dental practice can be a lengthy process, and it can be months before you see any progress. At this time, it is essential to be patient and make all your decisions logically. You might be excited and motivated to start your practice, but the people you’ll need help from—lawyers, brokers, lenders, and others—might not share your excitement. It is important to take a step back and look at the big picture before making any important decisions, as decisions taken hastily may end up costing you more in the long run.
Invest in the Right Technology
Technology has made many aspects of dental practice management easy and affordable. Gone are the days of paper-based management systems that required dedicated staff to manage and operate—electronic based systems have changed all that.
Investing in the right EHR and PMS is absolutely critical for your practice. A good PMS will help you with documentation, created treatment plans, schedule patients, manage collections, file insurance claims, and also help you see how your practice is performing with useful dashboards and KPI tracking.
Hire Slow, Fire Fast
Hiring is part art, part science, and its important to get it right the first time. A single bad hire can cost you a lot of money when you consider the time and cost of training, wasted payroll, loss of business, and the opportunity cost. It is therefore important that you make hiring decisions slowly and make sure each employee that you hire is also culturally aligned with the vision of your practice. On the other hand, if an employee is not performing up to the mark, be quick to let them go.
Keep Your Marketing Lean
When you start your practice, you may be tempted to spend a lot of money on marketing. But, it may or may not bring you the business you expect. To keep costs in check, you should use cheaper, or even free marketing tactics.
Networking and word of mouth can definitely bring people through the door. Start by participating in social events around your practice to expand your social circle.
Maximize the value from each patient by encouraging them to leave reviews for your practice on your website and other channels. If you can, you should record video testimonials, which are even more effective.
Social media is a free and easy way to stay in touch with patients and even attract new ones. Create business profiles, and stay active on the popular social media platforms to increase the visibility of your practice.
Negotiate, negotiate, and then negotiate some more
Starting a dental practice involves a lot of financial transactions. You’ll deal with brokers, landlords, suppliers, designers, marketers, and many others—each of which you’ll likely pay thousands of dollars. What can you do to save money in each of these transactions is negotiate. Spending some time negotiating the best deal in every transaction can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years. If you’re not sure about your negotiating skills, you can always learn some, or take the help of a practice set-up adviser to do the heavy lifting for you.
Starting a new practice doesn’t have to be overly expensive. By planning your setup patiently, following a structured plan, and by utilizing the money saving tips we’ve mentioned, you can save yourself a lot of money and improve your chances of success.
Also, your dental practice management software doesn't have to be a big cost. Tab32 doesn't charge set-up fees, so you can get on your feet quickly and become profitable sooner!