Having spent years studying dentistry will make you a competent dentist, but it won’t necessarily make you an efficient business owner. If you want your dental practice to be fruitful, you need to know how to be an entrepreneur as well as a dentist.
From negotiating with suppliers of dental handpieces and tools to performing various dental procedures, having your own dental practice requires you to balance two disciplines.
Come up with a business plan
First order of business is to come up with a business plan for your clinic. A business plan is what you can show to your lenders if you’re going to ask for a loan. Banks or lenders will need a detailed description of your clinic and how you plan to run it.
This means that you need to show how big your clinic is going to be, how many people will be working there, how much your overhead cost is going to be, and how many patients you’re expecting to have. This way, lenders have a clearer view on how your clinic will be able to operate and if it will be lucrative enough that they’ll give you a loan.
Find a good location
If you’re looking for a place to set up your clinic, you need to figure out a few details and not just pick the first spot you find. You need to look for a spot where foot traffic is high and there’s enough space for parking.
Even if you advertise your clinic online and via flyers, you still need your clinic to be visible to the public. So, find an area in your location where there are many people milling around, like near a mall, and set up your clinic there.
Figure out the size of your clinic
You should also figure out how big or how small your clinic is going to be. Do you need extra space to serve as your X-ray room or could that equipment fit inside the room where your dental chair is going to be?
Do you need a large waiting room or do you think it’s too soon to assume that you’ll have that many patients since you’re still new to the business? Figuring out these details is important because it will also dictate your overhead cost. It will also tell you how aggressive your marketing plan should be if you intend to get your ROI as soon as possible.
Offer something unique
When you’re ready to advertise your practice, keep in mind that you’re not the only dentist in your location. There are thousands of practicing dentists in New Zealand, so you need to set yourself apart and try to offer something unique.
You can try offering two services for the price of one, like dental cleaning with a free X-ray. This way, your patients will patronize your clinic and not others because of your unique offers and services.
Managing a dental clinic requires you to be two things: a dentist and an entrepreneur. As long as you balance these two things by constantly educating yourself, you’ll be able to help people with dental care and have a lucrative business at the same time.