In the highly competitive dental care industry, practices must prioritize growth, patient acquisition, and volume increase for financial stability and success. Dental Practice Growth Planning for Expansion is crucial in achieving this.
Having a dental practice growth strategy helps dental clinic owners focus on the business side of their practice to ensure success. Unsurprisingly, many dentists tend to neglect business decisions and activities in favour of focusing on providing dental health services, since it is what they went to school for.
However, it is important to grow your dental practice and achieve revenue growth — it is your livelihood! Be sure to take time to assess your current business state of affairs, look at ways to grow, and establish plans to ensure expansion and growth is successful.
Start to Grow Through Patient Retention and Attracting Prospective Patients
Standing out amongst the competition is essential. You need to offer a great experience and valuable benefit to your clients so they keep coming back, but you also need to reach new ones to maintain a strong business. A professional marketing company can help you set and implement marketing strategies to boost your clientele through online and social media marketing, and other methods, but there are some steps you can take yourself.
A modern, attractive, and professional website, with all critical business details, is essential to give a good first impression and so potential patients can find you.
Patient communication is critical. Make sure clients have a few ways to contact you, including web chats, emails, text, and phone calls to cater to their communication preferences. Biographies can make you seem more ‘real’ to patients. Online appointment scheduling, automated appointment reminders, and other tools make it as easy as possible for your patients to use you.
Most potential clients look at reviews to see if you have a positive patient experience before trying your services. Giving great service is just the first step to getting good reviews; personally invite and encourage patients to leave a positive review. You can also offer an incentive program, with a little bonus for your patient, for an honest review.
Patient Satisfaction Surveys
Find out what your patients love about you, so you know what you are doing right to inspire patient loyalty, and what you can do differently. This helps you offer what people really want, and lets you know what unique value you offer them, so you can advertise that.
Leverage Patient Referrals
Start a referral program with incentives to encourage current patients to review your services and draw new dental patients with these positive reviews. It’s important to maximize referral possibilities so word of mouth can grow your dental practice for you.
Add Value to Your Patients
Staying on top of new technology and techniques, providing a wider variety of services, offering extended or evening hours, and other services you can offer (which other dentists don’t) will help you draw a new patient base. Make sure you advertise what you offer on your website and in patient communication.
Have Adequate Resources to Support Your Expansion
As you start to increase patient flow and get busier, prepare for the increased workload by having the right resources in place. From technology for automated appointment booking, to hiring an additional receptionist or medical assistant for extended hours, you need to be fully prepared before you offer additional dental services, such as cosmetic dentistry, or expand, so you don’t end up with chaos and a negative patient experience.
Your dental marketing strategy should include communicating planned growth and changes, so people are ready to take advantage as soon as you are ready and launch the changes.
Have a Comprehensive Financial Plan
To be able to make changes and expand your services, you need to have a solid financial plan. A dental practitioner or dental practice owner needs to be able to free up cash flow to pay for new technologies, pay for additional staff, expand or purchase a new dental practice building, or any other initiative that is necessary for dental practice growth.
The plan should include how to pay for necessary expenses. You need to be able to still pay yourself from the business. If a loan or mortgage is necessary, how can the financial impact be minimized, so you don’t end up paying more than necessary? Do you have enough financial security if an unexpected event happens, such as a long-term illness? Are there ways to improve efficiency so money can be freed up without negatively impacting another area?
For example, an effective tax strategy can significantly reduce the amount of taxes you pay each year. This windfall can be reinvested into your dental practice to boost growth, like a bonus.
A practical, realistic long term plan can help ensure you meet your business goals, while letting you achieve your personal goals, as well. Getting professional advice on business and tax planning can simplify this for you and maximize benefits, so you are fully prepared for successful expansion.
Expand Your Services and Dental Office
Consider the unique value you provide to patients and leverage that to stand apart from the competition before starting an expansion.
You can also consider offering a new service, perhaps by partnering with or hiring another dentist. In some cases, you may need to expand your physical location to enable this, or you may be able to reorganize your existing dental clinic to accommodate this.
Helping Dental Practices Grow So They Can Focus on Oral Health
Dental professionals can start on the road to growth and expansion by boosting their online reputation and word-of-mouth advertising, and having a realistic business plan to take them to the next level and give them a competitive advantage in the dental industry. Using a range of strategies, and timing them carefully to increase the chances of success at each stage is essential.