Starting a dental practice is a big decision to make, and you need to consider a lot of things, especially if you don’t have enough background about running a business. Being a dentist is no different from being a business owner, and it can be exciting and enriching since you’ll be in line with some of the successful dentist businesses, like Tacoma WA Dentist Duke Bui. But it’s also a risky move if you don’t know exactly what to do.
You may think that the skills and training you’ve gained out of your degree is all that’s needed to open a dental clinic, but that is not the case. You also need to have the mind of a business owner.
Here are steps on how you can start your own dentist practice:
Step 1: Research
In any business, it can be a disaster if it fails, both personally and professionally. As soon as you’ve decided to become a business owner, you have to do your research and explore all the things that comes with starting a dental practice.
Talk to your colleagues, friends, or a family who have their own dental clinics, and ask them how they started, if they’ve used digital marketing like mydentistnearme.com to get more clients and online presence. Ask them as well about the obstacles and challenges they’ve faced in the past, and how they’ve overcome those roadblocks to reach success.
You can also search for some success stories on the internet to get some inspiration about the leading and most reputable dental practices in the world.
Step 2: Establish your goals
What do you want to achieve in the long run and how do you envision your dental practice to become? Listing your long-term and short-term goals can be your baseline when doing your business plan. It can be your guide to achieve each goal at the right time frame.
You should ask yourself if:
- You’ll cater to general dentistry services or just pick a specialization
- You’re ready for expansion when needed
- An assistant is needed when you start, or you’ll just start off as a solo dentist
- The practice debt build-up in the first few years can be paid
- The operatories needed is enough
These are just some of the things that you should ask yourself when establishing your personal and professional goals. When your questions are answered, you can then start to create a business plan.
Step 3: Talk to trusted advisers
Industry-specific advisers can help you with some of the decisions you’ll have to make, so it’s important to team up with them. You’ll get to meet a lot of people once you start your own practice, and you have to filter the different relationships you’ll establish, as well as their advice. There are some of the trusted advisers that you should talk to:
- Specialized Certified Public Accountant: They can help you to gain a much better understanding about businesses and general practice finances.
- Dental-specific lender: A lot of financial institutions are interested in financing dental practices. They can be general business lenders or lenders who specifically provide finances to a dental practice. It is important to pick the right lender who considers the true dental practice’s cost and understands the project breakdown.
- Practice management consultant: They can provide efficiency as your business or practice grows by guiding you on how to establish the internal control systems in the planning stage of your dental practice.
- Equipment specialist: They’ll provide you with the latest technologies and updated equipment used in the practice. They can also be in touch with building contractors to save money on construction.
Step 4: Secure your finances
Since not all banks and lending companies are that familiar with the fund allocation requirement and cost for a start-up dental practice, you should find a lender who has enough knowledge about it. Although it’s an important factor to keep the payments low, make sure that you won’t base your loan decision solely on it.
Here are the other loan features to consider:
- Lender service levels
- Loan term
Step 5: Create a plan
Once you’re done with the four steps mentioned above, you’re now ready to create a business plan. A comprehensive and specific treatment plan for your patients is an important step when starting a dental practice. A solid and strong business plan is the key to reaching your goals, and a framework to achieve success. It can provide security to lenders as well.
Here’s what a good business plan should contain:
- Debt service plan
- Different patient goals every month
- Breakdown of project expenses and budget
- Marketing plan
- Financial forecasts
- Proposed deadlines
- Timeline with important milestones
These are just some of the major steps on how to start your own dental practice. Maintaining a debt load that is manageable, staying on your budget, looking for a great location, and maintaining a good cash flow as your business grows, are the other steps that you should consider. Being prepared is the key, so establish your goals and do as much research needed to achieve a successful business.