After working for others for a while, new dentists often set their sites on starting a successful dental practice. As with starting any business, opening a dental practice will take some time, money, and attention to detail to be successful. One of the first things you can do is think about your experience with dentists over the years. What things made you feel comfortable and safe (or not)? Were there office features that stood out to you as a patient? You might also interview your friends and family and ask these same questions to get a broader perspective. This information will help you build a dental practice that patients want to visit. Furthermore, check out the following basic strategies to get you headed in the right direction.
Create a Business Plan
Don’t assume just because you rent a space and slap a sign on the door that people will just show up. Starting your dental practice is a complex venture that deserves a detailed plan of action. This step can not be skipped for many reasons. First, you are likely going to need some money. Banks and/or private investors want to know that they will see a return of their investment. A solid business plan points to how you will accomplish this in the near and distant future. Additionally, your BP shows financial predictions as well as market trends. These are things that you want to know as a business owner. Remember, with your private practice, you are more than a doctor, you are a business woman.
Create a Welcoming Environment in Your Office
Dental patients are more likely to be apprehensive than not when visiting their dentist for treatment. The sounds, lights, and even the sight of dental supplies and tools can trigger anxiety or even worse. This is why quality dental practices put time and effort into making their facilities as welcoming and comfortable as possible. Additionally, consider the age of your ideal patients and what they would like to see while visiting you.
Think about how you can appeal to your patients senses before you finalize the interior of your space. Things like soft lighting, aromatherapy, and comforting textures could set your patients at ease from the beginning. You might also benefit from getting a designer to help you with the details. You’ll find comfortable chairs, TVs, and plenty of magazines. And, importantly, it won’t look like a dental waiting room.
Use Modern Marketing Techniques
Though word-of-mouth will always be useful for starting a successful dental practice, using more modern marketing techniques will serve you well. Today, digital marketing such as blogging and using social media to make connections are both fabulous what to get noticed and build cred in the market. Simply posting valuable information and solving problems for your audience can positively affect your effort to gain new patients. Also, dentists that nail their website SEO, while providing quality content, are way more likely to be found in an online search.
All of that said, don’t try to do it all yourself (unless you were a digital marketer in a previous life). Instead, hire a business coach or an agency to help you develop a marketing plan of action. This way, you can focus on some of crucial practice-building tasks only you can do.
Hire Quality People
As a business owner who needs a staff, consider hiring those who fit well with your mission and culture. I know it’s tempting to hire the ones who have the highest grades or the most experience, but also use your intuition to make the best choices. What a unique and quality dental practice needs are people who are kind, have good manners, are engaging, and care about your mission. Look for personality traits that will fit well with yours. However, this doesn’t mean you should only hire people like you. On the contrary, a balanced perspective in your office will serve as a good foundation for future growth.