Statista reports that there are over 40,000 dental practitioners in the UK. With factors such as an ageing population, a higher awareness of oral health and the rise in cosmetic dentistry, the dental industry will provide much more opportunity for growth over the coming years.
However like any business venture, setting up a dental practice has its challenges - patient acquisition and attrition, growth in a competitive climate and advancements in technology can make it difficult to ensure long-term success. If you’re planning on setting up your own dental practice, we’ve put together 7 top tips to ensure it’s built for success from the start, and in the right way:
1. Take time with your business plan
Really spend the time to carry out the initial planning stages with your business plan. A thorough business plan will help you clearly set out what you need to do to set up and run your practice, what resources you’ll need and what you expect to happen. A proper business plan is key to giving you better strategic control over your practice’s short and long-term success.
2. Identify your ideal patients
Identifying and creating an ideal patient persona will allow you to develop your unique value propositions. It will help you to determine what services you’ll specialise in - whether dealing with paediatric dentistry, in orthodontics or in care for the elderly. Having a strong idea about your ideal patients will also help to create a consistent branding and marketing strategy, enabling you to stand out from the competition and deliver more personalised services and care.
3. Research the competition
Knowing who you are competing with will give you the opportunity to differentiate your dental practice. If there will be other practices in close proximity, look at what they are doing and see what additional benefits you can provide patients with. Incentives, such as promotional offers and referral schemes are great tools to get patients to choose your practice over others and keep returning.
4. Think carefully about the location you choose
Consider whether your practice is easily accessible and convenient for local patients. Will it offer free parking? Is it visible on the road for passing traffic? If parking will be limited, check whether your location will be close to public transport routes to give people plenty of options. With your location set, you’ll also need to decide whether you will buy or lease your premises.
5. Form a trusted team around you
As well as hiring dependable, trustworthy staff, it’s important to build a network of trusted advisors to help you set up a practice that’s more likely to succeed. Seek help from industry experts such as finance specialists, legal advisors business management consultants and accountants etc. as they will provide you with the most beneficial knowledge and expertise.
6. Protect yourself with insurance
You need to familiarise yourself with all the necessary and available insurances, how to acquire them, how much they will cost, and how they will protect you professionally and personally. Make sure that these insurances are put in place before you need them, and that you have spoken to your financial specialist before purchasing them.
7. Know your legal and compliance obligations
There are numerous legal obligations and standards for patient care to consider when setting up your dental practice. Again, enlist in the help of the experts and seek professional legal guidance in order that you comply with industry regulations.
We know that it can be daunting starting your own practice, which is why we're here to help guide you through the rules and regulations of setting up on your own. With over 25 years’ experience in the dental sector, we can help you pass the necessary CQC criteria and meet all GDC guidelines. .
Connect Dental specialises in helping new practitioners set up for success with business development, recruitment and training. We’ll assist with building the ideal team for your practice and introducing procedures to enable your practice to reach its true potential.