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Starting a dental practice or upgrading an existing practice can be tricky. With an overwhelming list of tasks, partnering with the right people, getting the right dental equipment, and hiring the right employees can take a toll on you if not managed properly. Thus, we are here to answer all your queries with this blog. Reading and following the tips mentioned here will help you know all about “How To Start A Dental Practice?”
Why Do You Need to Start an Own Dental Practice?
Starting a dental practice can be exciting. However, the motivation and purpose behind the same can vary. Here are some advantages you can expect if you are keen on starting a new dental practice.
1. Independent Decision Making
Working for other dentists can be frustrating as their working style may not align with yours. Be it poor management, treatment of workers, or simply the atmosphere at your previous dental practice. Not only can you adopt different systems, but you can be 3x sure that you are not repeating the same mistake in your new dental practice.
2. Tax Advantages
Increased equity, access to credit lines, and reduced taxes are just a few benefits of opening dental clinics. Plus, you can look forward to added advantages if you own the property. All these combined can facilitate investments and future purchases.
3. Building A Community
If your mission statement is to offer top-notch oral health care to your local community, starting a dental practice will further the cause. When you prioritize patient care over everything, you will earn a good reputation and become a known name in the area soon.
4. Increased Revenue
If you remove all running costs for your business, you can easily save 30% of your revenue. Even as a solo practitioner, you can earn up to $ 160K per year. With the right strategies, marketing, and implementation, you can earn more and take your dental practice to higher levels of success.
How to Start A Dental Practice: 9 Steps to Follow
Now, that you know all about the benefits of starting a dental practice, let’s understand the process to open one.
1. Create A Business Plan
A detailed document with your business strategy, costs, operating procedures, and financial information is a must for opening your dental practice. Also, if you look forward to obtaining a business loan, you will need to add it to your plan as well. With multiple online resources to assist you, you can make a plan that suits your budget and use templates for the same.
You will also need to figure out a smooth exit strategy as, at some point in time, you might want to sell your practice. Having a strategy for the same will help you manage future hassles and transition smoothly. Last but not least, your business plan must include details about your marketing and branding strategies.
2. Consider Having A Business Partner
You can choose to open your dental practice or associate with a fellow dentist. When partnering, you can look forward to half the costs, and it will also be easier to obtain a loan. It is important to choose a partner that shares your mindset and vision. Thus, finalize a business structure that is profitable for all partners. Your agreements must have all details and clauses on the further course of action if one partner decides to leave the business.
3. Choose A Location for Your Dental Office
Finding a location when starting a dental practice is crucial. This is a time-consuming process, and you will have to search towns and cities and calculate the cost of living and competition in the area. As this will directly impact the clientele you build for your practice.
You will need to take account of other dentists in your region and modify your USPs accordingly. An important factor to be considered is walk-ins. Establishing your practice at a place that receives a lot of pedestrian traffic can be useful in the short and long term. If you are opening your dental office in urban areas, make sure it is close to bus and train stations. Last but not least, rents can vary depending on your location. Thus, compare costs for the same and see if they fit in your budget.
4. Purchase Necessary Dental Equipment
Dental equipment will be your primary expense, along with furniture when you are starting a dental clinic. Thus, you must find a vendor that can provide you with quality and affordable equipment. In the initial stages, you can lease equipment and purchase new equipment when you are ready to buy. As you grow in size you will also need to invest in dental management solutions, tablets, call-tracking systems, and even furniture.
5. Use Professional Invoice Tools
With all dental equipment and human resources in place, it is time to streamline your billing methods. If you plan to bill your clients on paper, you will have trouble calculating expenses and taxes in the short and long run. In case your budget doesn’t allow you to invest in a full-fledged accounting tool, you must consider using dental invoice templates. These will help you save customer details, avoid making invoices from scratch, bill faster, and do justice to your work. You can get these templates online and kickstart your billing process without the added hassles of errors.
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6. Evaluating Your Space Needs
Before you lease or purchase a space, you need to have clarity on the square footage you need for your:
- Waiting Room
- Reception Area
- Exam Room
- X-Ray Room
Also, you must know if you wish to include a consultation room or a sterilization area. Before picking a layout, make sure you explore your options well. Above all, you need to be sure that you are not overshooting your budget.
7. Hiring The Right Staff
It is seldom possible to do anything and everything in your dental clinic. We understand you might not want to hire another dentist soon. However, you will need an assistant, a receptionist, an accountant, and a salesperson. Finding and retaining them can be tricky. Thus, you will need to decide beforehand the number of employees needed, salary budgets, and how to manage them with ease. Once this is achieved, you can add their costs to your business plan.
8. Getting Patients
Word of mouth will only work to an extent. To make your dental practice up and running, the bare minimum you can do is to invest in a website and stay active on social media handles. It will boost brand recognition and attract new patients gradually. You can choose to carry out these initiatives on your own but you will need the help of a marketing company in the long run to manage SEO operations.
This combined with social media, will give you positive returns on investments. Once your engine has started generating leads, you can also consider paid digital advertising to bring in more patients. PPC is one of the most effective ways to attract new patients to your dental practice.
9. Apply For Licenses
Last but not least is to get all the licenses for your new dental practice. The basics include a tax ID number and a business license as per your state regulations. You can even consider purchasing professional memberships. They can help you connect with local entrepreneurs and expand your business acumen. Also, legal requirements vary from state to state. Thus, it is imperative to have time for research and obtain the necessary permits.
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How Much Does It Cost To Set Up A New Dental Practice?
The cost of opening a dental clinic can range between 200,000- 500,000 USD. The variables impacting the same include the location of the dental office, the cost of equipment, and the services being offered. If you are operating in an area with affordable rents, you will be able to reduce costs to a certain extent.
Besides the money you will need to open your new dental practice, you also require six months of emergency funds. As it may take time to get customers and eventually meet your financial obligations.
If you follow all these tips for starting a dental practice, you will surely see results in no time. Make sure to invest in high-quality dental equipment and malpractice insurance coverage to keep customers satisfied and keep your business operations running seamlessly.