You’re a certified or licensed practitioner – maybe even a fresh graduate. Now that you’ve done your studies and gone through all the exams, what’s next?
Well, from all the dentists that I’ve helped over the years as their practice management coach, the majority of them knew early on that they wanted to have their own practice. Of course, there is a common reason for why they all wanted this; To meet their own unique professional and personal goals; faster and on their own terms.
But one thing that was also common among them was the question, “How can I make it a reality?”
Whether you want a start-up practice or to purchase an already established one, I will share and go through some things you can do, with any business, to create this opportunity. And if there’s one principle that you should get out of this advice, then it is the that opportunity is everywhere.
Don’t Just Wait, Make it Happen.
Before going ahead with some of the advice I have to share, I want to talk about this magic word, “opportunity.” In the dictionary – this word means, “A set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something.” That definition is perfect in its simplicity.
It is precisely my point, circumstances are such that the world needs more dentistry and the landscape is set to support any qualified dentist to get what they want.
My first piece of advice to those who wish to have their own practice, especially those who want to branch out into multiple practices: You must believe that opportunity is abundant, and regardless of what the others say, if you start with this mindset you will find success.
Prepare your own circumstances.
It is uncommon for existing practice owners to come to you with an offer to sell their practice just because you’ve graduated or because you’ve reached so many years of experience in the field. You also likely won’t have the money to start a practice straight away.
While it may be true that good things come to those who wait, it is most definitely true that better things come to those who take action! Prepare yourself to receive these opportunities that may come in the future. At times, you may even need to make these opportunities happen for your goal to be achieved.
Preparing can be as simple as saving money, the moment you start college or save a portion of your associate’s salary. Then, when the time is right, you’ll have the right financials to get financed and go for your own practice.
Whatever your goal, dream, or vision is, always prepare ahead as much as possible. As the famous saying goes, “If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.”
Use bank money.
In addition to the importance of creating and preparing for potential opportunities, my advice for you as an entrepreneurial dentist is to use the bank’s money or seller financing. Even if you have saved up a ton of money I would still recommend not tapping in to personal funds to open up shop.
The main reason for this is because a business needs capital to maintain its operations. This is particularly the case if you want to establish multiple locations in a short period of time. By relying on bank funds, you can ensure your business has enough capital to get it going until you can start to make a substantial cashflow. In the meantime, hold onto your personal savings. Furthermore, you will at least have your own funds set aside for any emergencies or unexpected events.
Obtain detailed patient feedback
This bit of advice is about the customer. It’s easy-to-apply and can make a significant difference in your practice’s progress. However, it is something that even veteran dental practice owners tend to overlook. Whether your goal is to have one or 10 practices then you will need to know what goes on in the minds of your patients.
Why do I say it is so simple? All you need to do is ask your current patients the simple question, “Why did you choose us?” Or “What makes us so great?” By understanding what your patients think about you and your practice, you can make necessary adjustments that will better meet your patient’s expectations.
Knowing your value to your patients will help you develop and grow as a business. As a result, you can have a greater sense of security for your business’ future and in accomplishing your long-term goals.
Whether you’re a new dentist looking to start your first office or a seasoned dentist wanting to expand, remember that although it won’t always be easy, opportunity is everywhere. The effort you put in will be well worth it. Your dental skills and knowledge aren’t all it takes to run a business, which is why I help dentists with their practices.
If you are looking for any further advice, please feel free to reach out to me.