Painful Business Problems That Dental Clinic Operators Typically Experience
Dental Marketing: What are the most painful business problems experienced by dentists? Originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
This is a very frequently asked question. Running a business can be a difficult task, and managing a dental practice comes with its own unique challenges. Here, I’ll list out some of the common challenges all dental practices face, as well as some tips to overcome them.
Easily one of the most frequent and central challenges to any dental practice. Attracting patients ties into what you as an individual practice can offer the patients, that they cannot get anywhere else. Creating a unique selling point (USP) to draw in patients, and keep them, all ties into the profitability and sustainability of your practice. However, offering a unique selling point (whether it’s better quality service, cheaper rates etc.) only solves half the problem. One of the most important things vital to the survival and growth of any practice is marketing. Marketing your practice is so important as it gets people informed about your practice and what you can do for them. So to find patients, you’re going to need a strong USP and a good marketing base.
Keeping Up to Date
Keeping up to date on the latest developments in your field is another thing to look out for when managing a dental practice. It can get challenging as technological changes happen at a rapid rate, it could get hard to keep up. Nevertheless, it’s important to ensure that your practice is up-to-date with all the latest dental equipment and regular upgrades. By doing this, you offer better services to your patients, and can also help in retaining them. This will also give you an edge and help you stay afloat in the extremely competitive world of dental practice management.
Revenue and Cash Flow
Ah, money issues. It’s okay to have them, all businesses do. Even though you’re providing a very important service to your patients and society, your practice is, after all, a business. Problems may arise when patients fail to complete their payments, outstanding bills etc. There are quite a few good cash-management applications that could help you deal with this, and manage things like your cash inflow/outflow, tax payments, make automated bill payments etc. You can also use apps to calculate your credit score, this will give you an idea of how well your business is performing, and the problem areas you need to work on. You can also work on implementing policies that keep up a steady cash inflow into your practice such as asking patients for a part-payment while setting the appointment, and the balance on completion of treatment. Such policies minimise the risk of bad debts and help to keep your practice running smoothly in the short term.
Contributed by Dalia Gurrion, Practice Management Consultant at Complete Dental Consulting