How to Keep Your Dental Practice Startup Costs Down

Kiltesh Patel
June 26, 2018 | 4 min read

How to Keep Your Dental Practice Startup Costs DownWhen you are starting out to launch your new practice, banks will be there offering you LOTS of money. The average cost (according to Bank of America) of a new dental practice is upwards of $450,000! They know that dental practices are a great investment and that they will make more money if they can get you to take a bigger loan. What they don't know is that you're smarter than that! You want to be profitable sooner, and spend less money paying the interest on your loan. While you can't completely eliminate your startup costs, you can be mindful of how and where you spend your money. Being frugal in your startup costs means less money paid to the bank and more in your pocket or to reinvest in the practice.

Make a business plan

This cannot be skipped or ignored. In fact, banks will want to see it before they even invest. But that's not the only reason you'll want to take this step. A business plan will help you put down in black and white how much your startup costs will be and where the money is going. You'll get a good perspective on what's realistic for you to shoot for as you get started, and what can come in a second or third phase of your business. For example, your goal may be five operatories, but you can start with three (and space for five), and then equip the other two further down the road.

You'll also know how many patients you need to work up to for profitability—and what you need to make in a day to keep your lights on. As a dentist, knowing these numbers are really important! But they don't teach you a lot of that stuff in dental school. You know all about teeth, it's okay that you have some holes in your business knowledge. The business plan will help you get a good picture of the financial side of your practice.

Ask for help

Not sure where to start with a business plan? Don't know what you need to ask for in a loan? Feeling completely overwhelmed by it all? That's okay, too! It's normal to feel unprepared for such a huge undertaking. A dental practice is nearly impossible to "bootstrap" like many other businesses. You HAVE to have a fully functioning office before you open your doors. 

The good news is that you don't have to do it alone. There are a number of consultants, mentors, and other resources available. Some you'll have to pay for, but they will be worth it in the end. Those who have experience in the field can help you really understand what you need to get started and weigh the costs and benefits. 

Wants v. needs

There are so many things you NEED to get your doors open. Sometimes we can get caught up in the excitement of it all and start thinking some WANTS fall into that category! While it's true you do need a lot of the basics, there are some things that can wait. For example, it's probably not necessary to have top of the line entertainment systems installed. You also don't need to have an interior designer come in and make a top of the line waiting room. 

This can get super confusing because there are lots of people out there who want you to spend, spend, spend! From the latest and greatest equipment to expensive software and servers, you have a big target on your back. And the bank is no help! Like we mentioned before, they want you to borrow every last dollar they offer.

The bottom line is that you want to be careful in how much you borrow and what you spend. While we can't navigate too much of that journey with you we can help you get the right software for your new practice. Our cloud-based platform has no startup costs, no hardware requirements (beyond x-ray sensors), and no costs for training or customer support.

Learn more now!

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