If you are passionate about dentistry and want to take your career to the utmost limit, you may well be considering opening a dental practice yourself. After all, everyone dreams of working for themselves and becoming successful in the industry they enthuse over.
However, that’s not to say that opening a dental practice is any easy feat. Much like running any business, operating a dental practice can be very demanding, both physically and emotionally, and many people make several mistakes along the way before finding their feet.
Not only will your dentist practice most likely test your skills within the industry to the limit, but you will also need to handle many other issues which you may not have had experience in before, for example, the financial, business and marketing side of things.
It goes without saying that along the journey you will, of course, learn from your own mistakes and develop your business from there. But, to give you a head start, we have listed the most common mistakes made when opening a dental practice, so you can watch out and avoid them.
Rushing into decisions
Opening up your very own dental practice is an exciting time, and you will most likely be chomping at the bit to get on with things and make a success of yourself. People who fancy themselves as entrepreneurs can also have a tendency to make rash decisions based solely on their gut feelings. However, rushing into things from the outset can be detrimental to the success of your dental practice.
Think carefully about all the decisions you make and ensure to ask for advice from someone who knows the industry when you need it. It is also highly advisable to draw up a complete business plan before starting so that you can work out exact figures, time frames and aims.
Thinking it’s easy
Running your own dental practice most likely sounds like a dream, and once you get on your feet, it may well be. However, be careful not to underestimate the difficulty of building up to success; it’s not for the faint-hearted, that’s for sure. The truth of the matter is that it will suck up all your finances very quickly, and it will take some serious effort and a lot of your time for the first two years at least.
Before you commit to opening a dental practice, make sure that you are ready to invest everything into it and reap the benefits afterwards; it’s not a walk in the park at first but it could be worth it if you do things properly.
Not standing out
As with most business opportunities, there is a lot of competition out there in terms of dental practices, and it will take something special to make people move from their usual one.
In order to combat this issue, it is essential that your new dental practice offers something that the others don’t. You will need your practice to look compelling to all your potential clients and stand out from the crowd with what you offer. Some appealing options for your practice could include painless dentistry, affordable dentistry, evening opening hours, and additional help for patients who have dentist anxiety.
Whatever unique selling points you choose to offer, use it to your advantage in your marketing campaign and draw on what makes you different from everyone else, and then you will stand more of a chance in competing within the industry.
Not having sufficient funding
It goes without saying that opening up a dental practice will be pricey endeavour from the outset, and it is important to note that the initial hit will be the most considerable. This means that you will have to prepare yourself before you go ahead with your dentist practice.
However, just because you’re not rolling in cash doesn’t mean that you still can’t go ahead with your business plan. There are many ways you can get the funding you need to start up and be a success from the beginning, but you need to think it through, plan and ensure you have enough cash to get you through the initial period until you start making a profit, which could, in fact, be a considerable length of time.
To acquire sufficient business funding, there are several different options you could try. You could apply for a business loan, use your own savings, or go through a dental loans specialist.
When it comes to opening a dental practice, a small one is simply just not profitable when all the costs and profits are taken into account. For this reason, it is important to make sure that you think big from the outset. This means aiming to build up a practice with three or four chairs at least from the first day.
Along with the necessity for opening a larger dental practice also comes further responsibilities. When running a practice of this size, you will also need to account for more space in your premise for a large reception area, a waiting room, a decontamination room, and a staff room.