Setting up a dental practice is an uphill task. The magnitude of the challenge will vary depending on your profile, experience and current financial strength. A dentist who has worked for twenty years and has some substantial savings, a clientele and contacts in the industry, will find it easier to start up a private practice but even then she or he would need some professional guidance. A dentist who is fresh out of school and has a student loan to repay will find it exponentially more difficult to start a dental practice and to succeed in it.
The purpose of sharing this reality isn’t to scare anyone away or to discourage anyone from a dentistry startup. The purpose is to highlight the importance of dental consulting firms for dentists looking at starting their own practices.
Let us talk about the ground reality and discuss the challenges.
- A dentistry startup will need a handsome loan or financing to set up the practice. New technology, equipments, initial marketing or branding, salaries for the staff, utilities and a ton of other expenses will call for a lump sum initial investment and a working capital. Now, how much money is enough? Unless you have operated a dental practice before, all on your own, you would not know how much money you need. A dental consulting firm would be able to help you draw up a business plan that would have the entire financial requisite detailed. With less than adequate investment, you would set up a substandard clinic which will hit your business prospects. With less than adequate working capital, you may have to shut down your practice sooner than you think.
- A major challenge for most dentists or dentistry startups is getting new patients. There are many reasons why this is a problem. First, most dentists don’t understand the need for marketing and even if they do understand they don’t invest in it. Dental consulting firms can help startups to not just formulate marketing strategies but can also provide such services. Second, patients are often uncertain of a new practice and worry about the quality of treatment and the waiting time at the front desk implying poor patient or customer service doesn’t help either. There are many facets of a dentistry startup that needs clever planning which an expert consultant can do for you.
- There is a need to focus on profits right from day one. Most dentists have staggering overhead costs and they don’t make much profit even when there’s substantial revenue. This calls for business monitoring systems and strategies that would allow a dentist to not just earn revenue but to keep a large chunk of the revenue as profits. Here again, the importance of dental consulting firms cannot be overstated, even if you do discount dental care.