June 15, 2023

Dental Practice Ownership: 5 Strategies to Set Your Dental Practice Up for Success

By Drew Hinrichs, CPA, CEO of Engage Advisors

There are a lot of moving parts to running your own dental practice, so it’s important to embrace strategies that will set you up for success. Here are some ideas for how you can grow your practice into a financially secure business.

Get Professionals Help When You Need It

Graduating from dental school doesn’t make you an expert on everything you’ll need to be able to do when building a successful business. Trying to do it all yourself could really limit your practice’s growth potential and result in you spending a lot of time on tasks you don’t enjoy. Whether it’s marketing, tax planning, bookkeeping, or insurance management, working with professionals who specialize in these areas can make your life a lot easier while leading to greater efficiency and higher revenues. I call it delegate and elevate.

Continuous Evaluation

As a practice owner, it’s important to conduct regular evaluations in order to bridge the gap between business expectations and actual outcomes. By conducting quarterly reviews, you can quickly get ahead of any concerning trends and determine if changes are necessary. Evaluations should cover every major function of your practice such as the financials, productivity, marketing, and administration. It doesn’t need to be complicated – just ask yourself what’s going well and what’s not. Having systems in place that provide easy access to reliable production and financial metrics will help.

Set 3-5 Key Objectives Quarterly

While quarterly evaluations help you stay on top of what’s happening at your practice, setting quarterly objectives helps you keep your practice moving forward. Specific goals that are measurable work best. For instance, if your periodontal percentages are at 9% and the national average is 30%, an appropriate quarterly objective would be to increase perio treatment to 12%. Focus on proper diagnosis and most importantly patient education and communication around the matter, and then be sure to celebrate success with your team when you reach the goal. Another key objective might be to increase your sleep apnea treatment among your existing patient base. But key objectives can go beyond treatments to include any aspect of your practice, such as increasing the number of cash-paying patients, reducing accounts receivable, or decreasing the number of patient no-shows.

Invest in Leadership Training for Yourself

This might sound like an extra – something to do if you have the time – but in reality, it’s often the leadership of a practice that determines its success. The symptoms of poor leadership are often blamed on other factors such as stagnant growth, poor team morale, stressful workdays, and high employee turnover. In reality, all of these conditions can be warning signs that there is a breakdown in leadership skills. An effective leader can help improve the company’s culture, promote teamwork, cultivate a sense of greater good, inspire trust, and provide direction. Strong leadership skills will also help ensure that you consistently deliver optimal care to your patients, which is crucial to the long-term success of your practice.

Build a Network of Like-minded Dental Practice Owners

Networking provides a community where dentists can learn from one another, give and receive support to each other, and form both professional and personal friendships. By masterminding a group of like-minded dental practice owners, you establish a set of special, reliable relationships that can lead to benefits such as sharing resources or other creative collaborations. Simply having an opportunity to connect with people who understand the rigors of running a dental practice can provide a huge emotional lift.

Whether you’re a new practice owner or have been running your practice for a while, these strategies can set you up for success. To learn more about how to build a profitable dental practice, contact us or schedule a call with our team at Engage Advisors. We combine industry expertise with business knowledge to help you achieve the success you deserve.