Dentistry is undoubtedly one of the most popular branches of the medical business. According to the results of the planned dental examination of the population of the US in 2020, 52.7% of patients needed further treatment.
In addition to the necessary dental treatment, aesthetic dentistry has also gained popularity: a modern client signs up for a teeth whitening service along with beauty treatments in beauty salons. It is logical that with such a high need for services, opening a dental clinic looks like a win-win business option.
Quite often modern offices are closed in the first couple of years and do not bring the expected profit. This can happen due to seemingly banal things: incorrect pricing policy, irrelevant services, unqualified staff, and other problems.
Opening a dental clinic consists of many important steps, including obtaining a special license, purchasing equipment, registering a business form, etc. All this is quite a voluminous and expensive process, but the benefit from stable working dentistry is worth all the investment.
Don’t know where to start opening a dental clinic? What things should be taken into account to start a profitable business? In this article, I will describe 11 essential steps when opening a dental clinic.
Step 1. Explore the market
As in any industry, I recommend that you conduct a market analysis. Investing money in a business without an idea about the current market situation — it’s like skydiving without a parachute.
In order not to waste time and money, first determine what is in demand in the market of dental services, who are your main competitors and what are your advantages in comparison with them.
To do this, answer the questions:
- What dental services are in demand today?
- What are the market segments? What does your dentistry belong to?
- What pricing is adequate for these services?
- What can you offer different from the competition? What are their weaknesses and strengths of your competitors?
This information you can explore on your own, or you can contact the marketing experts.
Step 2. Identify your target audience
The more accurately you identify your potential customer, the better you will be able to meet their expectations. The compiled client profile will help you understand whether you have chosen the right location for your dentistry, determine the further list of services, prices, and other important parameters.
To determine the portrait of the client, describe who your dental office is designed for:
- Age of patients: will you work with children, or only with adults?
- What is the level of wealth of your potential client?
- For a newly opened dental office, it is very important to attract those who live, work in the neighborhood, or just often visit your area on business.
- Match the client’s profile picture with the demographic data of the district:
Who lives in your chosen area?
At what time would it be convenient for the residents of this area to come to you?
Analyzing your target audience can help you make the right decision.
For example, in a modern residential area with new houses and many young families, it is appropriate to open family-type dentistry, with services for adults and children, of the average price category and above. For sure, it will be very convenient for young families to visit this kind of clinic.
Step 3. Define the concept
You have studied the market and made a portrait of your client. Based on these data, you need to decide on the type of dentistry and the portfolio of services.
By type, you can distinguish dental clinics and dental offices.
The difference in scale, the clinic implies the availability of a full range of dental treatment services, such as:
- Therapeutic dentistry.
- Orthopedic dentistry.
- Implantation, removal of teeth.
- Treatment of neuralgic pain.
- Prosthetics of teeth.
- Simple oral hygiene services, etc.
- A private dental office offers a fairly small list of the most popular services on the market. The list of services may look like this:
- Dental treatment.
- Hygienic procedures.
- Installation of braces.
- Tooth extraction, and so on.
The opening of a dental clinic requires a solid budget (from $100,000) for the appropriate premises, equipment, qualified doctors, and so on.
Opening a dental office is a simpler and less expensive task (at the start, you need from $20,000).
The choice of the type of dentistry and the list of services depends on your budget and knowledge in this field. If you are completely new to this topic, then we recommend starting with the opening of the dental office, so as not to burn out when trying to deploy a complex enterprise from scratch.
Step 4. Create a Business Plan
The basic principles of running your business, which we discussed earlier, form the basis of a business plan.
A business plan is a “flexible” document in which you describe your vision, strategy, goals, methods, and expected business results. Financial planning is also essential part of a business plan. Flexible because it can be changed at any time by the new input data in the market, with changes in the operational activities of your company.
In the business plan for the dental office, it is necessary to describe the main sections:
- A summary of the business idea of the project, risk, and return on investment.
- Tasks and goals of the enterprise.
- Target audience.
- Analysis of the market.
- The concept.
- List of services.
- Business registration and type of taxation.
- Personnel (recruitment, schedules, salary).
- Marketing plan.
- Production plan.
- Financial plan.
- A business plan will significantly simplify your life at the start, so we advise you not to neglect this step.
Step 5. Register your business activity
Having a clear plan of action, a vision of your company, the goals, and objectives of the project, proceed to implementation. You need to start any business with the registration of the form of entrepreneurial activity.
Step 6. Employ the staff
If you plan to work independently, this step is not for you. However, if you are going to hire employees, then this is an extremely important stage for the successful launch of the entire business.
- Once you have decided on the concept of dentistry and the list of services, you will have to hire specialists.
- If you employ highly qualified specialists, then word of mouth will bring you more customers than all other advertising channels.
- Remember that for each branch of dentistry, each specialist must have a license that allows them to work.
So the main criteria for the selection of specialists:
- Specialized education.
- Availability of a license.
- Work experience (ideally at least 3 years in a specific industry).
- Reputation (a good reputation doctor will undoubtedly lead you to new patients).
Step 7. Select location
You have a plan, a vision, a strategy, the necessary staff, a registered business. Now consider what should be the location.
Proceed from the calculation that a small room of 20-30 m2 is enough for the medical cabinet.
The rest of the space is allocated to other zones:
- The waiting room
- Bathroom, etc.
- Also, pay attention to the fact that the room must meet the requirements of the fire supervision. Here are just a few of them:
- It is necessary to provide for the supply of carbon dioxide and compressed air.
- If an X-ray is performed, then the walls in the room should not be finished.
Step 8. Purchase the equipment
Now we turn to the question of choosing the equipment.
For one workplace in the dental office, it is necessary to install one dental chair. Also, you need to buy basic equipment that meets the sanitary rules, and consumables.
The main list of equipment and materials that you will need in the work:
- Dental chair.
- Dental lamps.
- The sterilizer.
- Dental instruments.
- Hygiene products.
- Filling material.
- Cabinets for tools.
Step 9. Select the software
Next, when you are ready to launch, think about how you can simplify and automate your business. During the work of the dental office, you will at least need to:
- Keep records of patient visits.
- Make treatment plans.
- Manage appointments.
- Control expenses and income.
- To calculate the salaries of employees and more.
All these actions require a lot of time and strict control. Fortunately, we live in the 21st century and technology has come to the aid of business leaders and administrators.
To solve all these tasks (and many others), there are many options of special software.
Step 10. Launch your ad campaign
You have everything ready to launch, it’s time to announce your new dentistry to a wide audience. To do this, we recommend using online and offline advertising.
- Create a modern website for your dentistry.
- Facebook and Instagram are the main SM platforms today, take advantage of them.
- If your budget allows, advertise on local TV channels, radio, and in the media.
- Distribute advertising booklets and flyers.
- Order billboards, banners to attract attention.
The dental office is a profitable business, but its stability requires the right approach and careful planning at the start-up stage. The earlier you start to plan your dream business, the better. Many successful businessmen have started to work on their project from the College years. Student life is very time demanding, luckily it is possible to get help with academic papers from qualified essay writer.
By following the right steps when opening a dental clinic, you can not only successfully launch a project but also plan the automation of a huge number of management tasks.