Did you know that there are about 200,000 practicing dentists in the United States?
There are a lot of people that can take care of your teeth. Most of these people have their own practice considering that there are about 189,000 of them in the United States.
If you are considering opening up your own dental practice, you may not think of all of the business aspects that go behind it. You may get caught up in being your own boss and focusing on dental care.
However, there are other things that you need to be aware of before you start a dental practice. Read more to find out about the proper steps to take before you start a dental practice.
Research Your Target Market
The first thing that you need to do is decide what area you are going to have your practice in. If you have an idea of where you want to be, do not just buy or lease a building. Do some additional research to determine if this is the right location for you.
An example can be finding out how many dentists practice within a certain radius of your area. That can give you an idea of how much competition you have and if the market has enough room for a new dentist.
The other thing you need to consider along with that is the population of the target market. Let’s say that one area has 10 dentists within 50 miles but they can only serve 1,000 people. That leaves about 100 patients for each dentist to have, which could be limiting.
Now, imagine that another market has 20 dentists but they have 10,000 people that they can serve. With an average of 500 patients available for every dentist, it may be worth it to go to that market in this scenario.
Choose a Location
Once you have a target market down, you are going to want to find a location for your dental practice. You need to scope buildings out and determine which one is the one that can fit your needs.
The budget may come into play here, as some buildings may simply be too expensive for you to buy or lease. Other buildings may be in a great location but lack the space that you need.
Figure out what your budget is to buy or lease space, the desired location, and the space needed for your dental practice.
Create a Business Plan
Before you can buy a property, you should have some sort of plan for your business. By that, we mean that you need to sit down and run some realistic numbers about what you can expect from your business.
What are you going to charge each patient? What insurance providers are you going to accept? How much staff do you need? What are your operating hours? How many patients do you expect to get in your first year?
These are all things that need to be considered in your business plan. That will determine your estimated finances and it can even determine what kind of loan you can qualify for.
That is another thing that you need to be aware of with this. In your business plan, you should have an ideal loan and an ideal loan amount in mind during your proposal. This can help people see your goals, what you plan to do with the loan money, and how soon you can expect to pay the loan off.
Marketing Your Business
Having the skills and the vision is one thing, but potential patients still need to know that you exist. This is why you have to have a marketing strategy when you are trying to open up a new practice. This is especially the case if you are in a market that has a lot of practices already.
You need to have an online presence and get people to look towards coming to your practice. If you need help with this, companies like Delmain are great when it comes to online marketing for dental practices.
They can help you with things such as branding services, SEO, website design, software, Google and Facebook ads, and more. If you have a good marketing strategy or at least professionals with experience in marketing in this field, that should get you new customers at a much faster rate.
Getting the Right Equipment
As a dentist, you are going to need to get certain equipment that is essential to your practice. You are going to need things like a few chairs for the waiting room, a few chairs for patients to sit in, an x-ray machine, a couple of computers for receptionists, software to schedule appointments and keep track of billings, and more.
If you are running your own practice, you need to sit down and evaluate what equipment you need to run your business. Then, you need to determine how much this equipment is going to cost.
Doing this will give you a much better idea of what your startup costs are going to be along with a much more detailed business plan.
Create a Dental Practice
These are just some of the things that you need to keep in mind if you are thinking about starting a dental practice. You need to be aware of what equipment you are going to need, what your business plan is going to be, and how you are going to market your business.
For more relevant information on how to open your own dentist office and more, check out other articles in our Business section.