Build Your Team
There is more to expanding and running your dental practice than just building a team of dental hygienists, dental assistants, and dentists.
If you are truly looking to expand it might be a good idea to bring on contract-based consultants. The difference in this is that they will not be full-time employees so the expense should still come out significantly lower. There are plenty of different fields that you can hire a consultant from depending on what you feel you need to improve on the most.
There are specific patient acquisition consultants, and they prioritize increasing the funnels of your business to bring in more patients organically, or via different methods of lead generation.
There are other forms of consultants that will help you get the most of the money that you’re already able to use. These consultants typically are financial-based consultants. They will conduct an audit of all of your spending for your business and find places that you can make more money from, and the best way to help allocate your funds for the most effective manner for your own expansion.
Your priority should still be performing good work for your patients. Having the ability to bring on consultants will allow you to dedicate more time to your patients and your team, and allow them to advise you on their own expertise.
Remember that no one can expect you to be an expert in everything, so bring in as many experts as you can so that way you can make the most well-informed decisions for your business as possible.
Market Your Business
We are a big proponent of marketing yourself when possible.
There are plenty of ways to market, and some of them are more traditional while others are more modern.
Some of the more modern approaches can be running online advertisements. These can range from running them depending on what someone is searching for on Google, to having them be able to see it on their favorite social media website. The targeting that is available for someone to be able to run it as is very specific, and can be very efficient for the amount of money that you’re going to spend.
Some platforms allow you to run advertisements for very cheap, like Facebook for example. Their minimum to run online advertisements is one dollar per day.
As a dental practice it would prove very beneficial to only target people within 30 miles of your practice, and then implement any other deciding factors for someone that you would want to target.
There are also more traditional ways to market yourself. There are still a lot of the traditional mediums of radio, television, newspapers, magazines, and billboards. However, one of the most effective forms of traditional advertisement is still from word-of-mouth referrals.
So how do you increase word-of-mouth referrals even though you have no control over what someone tells someone else?
We already know the basics which are to perform as well as you possibly can for every single patient. The next thing you can do is send follow-up emails or give them a physical card after their appointment. Thanking them so much for coming in, and asking them to please let the friends know if they need any dentistry services.
If you still aren’t seeing any return in these endeavors, feel free to offer small incentives for people that recommend others. Whether this is a small $10 gift card if one of their referrals signs up, or a credit towards a discount on their next visit any of these would be very valuable, and giving the last little push to someone to try and refer your practice.
Find Your Untapped Market
One of the hardest things to do is to think about all the things that you can branch out doing when you have been focusing on the same things for so long.
For example, what are some markets that you think would be applicable that you could branch into but haven’t done so yet? Do you offer flexible financing options for individuals that might find it a little bit more financially difficult to afford to go to get dental procedures? Have you attempted to expand the insurances that you accept?
One of the biggest things financially is whether you offer plans for people that are uninsured? Or are the current rates that you’re charging with no other financial plan available drastically too high for them to be able to realistically afford to go to your practice?
If you are completely at a loss for markets to look into, conduct an audit amongst your competitors. What things are they offering that are incentivizing patients to go to their dental practice instead of yours?
Maybe they offer longer-term payment plans to be able to pay for dental procedures, or even in some cases the visits themselves. They may pride themselves on being a bilingual dental office, and that makes other individuals that speak the other language feel much more comfortable coming in.
Conducting this audit amongst the market will allow you to broaden your horizons as far as markets are concerned that you would possibly be able to branch into.
Manage Your Reputation
Your reputation is everything that you have as a business. We are currently in a world of online reviews, and quick Google searches.
The odds of someone looking up your business and seeing that you have an overall review score of 3 stars out of 5 and that your competitor has 4.5 stars out of 5 and then them choosing to go with you, is very low.
These reviews may not even be due to a lack of performance on your staff's part. You may still be gaining clients via word-of-mouth, and your online reviews don’t accurately reflect how a lot of your patients feel. In cases like this, it’s important to send patients home with a small reminder card to please leave a review and let you know how you did online. You can even offer a small incentive for them to do so.
Feedback is crucial, and it is just as crucial to have positive feedback, as it is to have negative feedback. If there’s a problem going on that is leaving patients feeling uncomfortable, unsatisfied, or anything in between it is something you definitely want to know. Having the knowledge of these issues even if they were to tell you in an undesirable way such as an online review, gives you the opportunity to be able to fix these problems so they don’t occur again.
We would even recommend responding to these poor reviews in a professional and understanding way and alerting that patient that you’re taking our concerns seriously and are working to fix them.
Problems may have also stemmed from a simple misunderstanding which you can reach out to them about after seeing their negative review. Having a professional response to these reviews allow other consumers that are looking through your reviews to see that you do care about your patients and are responding and taking all of their concerns seriously.
Ensure You Are Financially Prepared To Expand
We know that the concept of expanding your business is something that is super exciting. This may be something that you have been looking forward to for years to come. However, it’s important to sit down and look at the logistics.
What kind of expansion are you preparing for? Are you going to be opening another office that will require another building space, full staff, and possibly another dentist?
Are you looking to just expand your current office and maybe buy out some of the office space next door, knock down a wall, and now you can treat more patients?
We would always recommend making sure you have more than you think you will need before choosing to expand your dental office in either regard.
It is a massive endeavor and the last thing we would want to happen would be you creating additional large amounts of stress for yourself.