25 Tips For Making Your Dental Practice More Profitable That Are Proven To Work

25 Tips For Making Your Dental Practice More Profitable, That Are Proven To Work

Dentistry is a great profession to train in, since a good dentist is always in demand.

While it takes years of training to become a dentist in the end, the rewards you can reap often make it all worthwhile.

25 Tips For Making Your Dental Practice More Profitable, That Are Proven To Work

Dentistry is a great way to make a lot of money while providing a valuable service for your community.

However, even if you are a skilled dentist, starting your first practice can be a real challenge.

For a start, you need to find the right location, but even when you have your building all set up, there are still a few things you will need to start bringing in more patients.

Even if you already own successful practice, there are likely a few things you could be doing better.

That’s why this guide is here to show you some hot tips for making your practice more profitable.

We will cover a few basics for people starting their first practice, as well as advice for those who have been working in dentistry for several years.

So read on and discover 25 ways to make your practice more profitable today.

Learn How To Manage A Business

Just because you are a great dentist doesn’t mean you’re going to be a great business owner.

Several factors are involved in running a successful business, and you shouldn’t expect to excel without studying some of them first.

Yes, to understand how to make your business more profitable, you should first aim to understand what makes it profitable in the first place.

This means you must spend time researching the fundamental parts of any good business.

Consider the location of your practice, how many patients you expect to treat, the price you intend to charge for your services, and your overhead costs.

Overhead costs include all the money you have to spend to keep your business running, such as wages for your employees, the rent on your buildings and the cost of equipment.

How Much Does The Average Dental Practice Earn?

If you want to start in the dentistry business, then you should have a good idea of what you expect to earn. According to several studies, the average dental practice can generate $771,000 in revenue annually.

While this sounds like a lot, this is just the annual revenue and doesn’t account for the fact that up to 75% of this money is often spent on overhead costs.

This leaves just a 25% profit margin, giving you a good idea of how much you will make from your business.

Looking into the typical profit margins for a dental practice will help you to know how much of your revenue you need to put back into your business for it to be successful.

Failure Rates For Dental Businesses

Another thing you should consider when starting any kind of new business is the failure rates for that profession. Thankfully, you will be happy to hear that dental clinics have one of the lowest failure rates of any new business.

This means that if you choose your location well and don’t have too much competition, your practice will likely be successful.

However, success is relative, and even though your practice is unlikely to fail, that doesn’t mean you can sit back on your laurels. You will still need to follow all of our other tips as well if you want to maximize your profits as much as you can.

Research Good Business Practices

The first rule when running a good business is to understand what makes a business work.

Knowing the dos and don’ts of running any kind of business is essential if you want to avoid getting in over your head.

Look at your daily schedule and scrutinize everything you do by whether or not it helps your business. Furthermore, learn to identify when a specific practice wastes time or resources so that you can nip it in the bud.

Teach Them To Your Staff As Well

It isn’t enough for just you to be on the lookout for situations that could negatively impact your bottom line. You also need to make your staff aware of good business practices so that they can be on the lookout too.

This will help your employees to know what their duties are and what they should prioritize to help ensure the success of your business.

As well as keeping an eye out for potential issues, they should also be looking for ways that they can improve customer satisfaction to draw more patients to your practice.

Create A Marketing Plan

If you want your business to be successful, you should consider developing a cohesive marketing plan.

You likely think you already have a marketing plan in place, but just how much of it is coincidental and how much is planned?

When marketing your practice, you should ensure everyone in your business reads from the same page. This involves keeping your staff up to date with campaigns and initiatives intended to help your business reach a wider audience.

Generally, any online marketing efforts should focus on your efforts since they will reach the most people. Making your staff aware of your marketing strategy can also allow them to make suggestions and point out things they may have missed.

Set SMART Goals

Another sensible thing to try if you want to improve your practice is to set SMART goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Based.

All of these criteria are great things to bear in mind when setting goals for your business.

Instead of saying I want to attract more patients, you can phrase this goal as ‘I want to bring in at least 5 more patients every week for the next month’.

The second goal is better because it gives you a clear idea of what you want to achieve and how long you expect it will take to achieve it.

SMART goals make it much easier to track the progress you have made by allowing you to keep a clear record of the measures you are implementing to help improve your business.

Offer Several Payment Options

Your patients may not always have the funds to pay for treatment upfront. This is why it is a good idea to work with a financing company that specializes in healthcare.

You should always provide a comprehensive list of the insurance companies you accept on your website and provide options to pay for treatment online.

It is also a good idea to ask patients about their insurance plans while arranging an appointment on the phone. This will prevent any unpleasant surprises further down the line.

Provide Incentives For Your Staff

This is another piece of advice that just constitutes good business practices.

If you want your staff to be content in their roles and motivated to do the best job they can, you will need to offer incentives that reward good work.

When coming up with incentives, always make clear what your staff need to do to earn them.

You should also make it very clear what the incentives are so that your employees will be more motivated to work towards them.

Develop Your People Skills

One of the best pieces of advice for aspiring dentists is to cultivate good communication skills.

Your patients should feel that you care for their health and aren’t just rushing them through the steps so that you can get paid.

Work on communicating with your patients so you come across as friendly and approachable.

Provide multiple treatment options wherever possible so your patients feel like they are part of the process. This doesn’t just extend to your patients either, and you should aim to extend your hospitality to your staff.

After all, happy staff will lead to happier patients and more people recommending your business to friends and family.

Upgrade Your Patient Experience

Behind every successful dental practice, there are happy patients. Many people will see going to the dentist as an inherently negative experience, and it is your job to subvert these expectations.

Taking steps to improve the experience of your patients will make them more likely to recommend your practice to others, which will only increase your revenue.

Your practice manager should oversee the organization of your waiting room to make it as hospitable as possible. Here are just a few of the ways you can improve your patient’s trip to the dentist.

Make sure your waiting room has a water cooler and is decorated invitingly.

Provide plenty of reading material, and try to gauge what your regular patients like to read so that it is always available.

Encourage your receptionists to hold a small talk and remember the names of regular patients.

Doing everything you can to make sure your patients have a good experience will help massively with drawing in new patients and increasing profits.

Word of mouth is one of the most valuable ways of getting new patients, so make sure your existing patients will be willing to recommend your practice.

Presentation Is Everything

Carrying on from our last point, the way you present your business will massively affect your ability to expand and grow. It isn’t just about how you decorate and remodel the interior and exterior of your practice, although that is very important.

You also want to consider the presentation in all aspects of your business, from the building you use to your advertising and promotional campaigns.

This could include buying a better camera for filming marketing material or hiring a website developer to help you build a web page for your business.

A well-laid-out and intuitive web page will make it much easier for new patients to discover your practice. It will also make them much more comfortable booking an appointment with you.

Support And Connect With Your Patients

Encouraging your receptionist to remember your patients’ names is a great way to make your practice more hospitable. However, this shouldn’t just apply to your staff.

You should also try to talk with your patients and get to know what is going on in their lives.

If you start each appointment chatting with patients about things they told you last month, your customers will sense that you care about them.

This also applies to dental health, and you should tailor your advice to suit your patients. If they don’t want a perfect Hollywood smile, then don’t recommend superfluous treatments that they may not be interested in.

It is about building a connection with your patients beyond just being their dentist. Treating them like actual people who you care for will go a long way towards getting your patients to recommend your practice to others.

Develop A Call Answering Strategy

Often the first point of contact between a new patient and your practice will be a simple phone call.

Every patient who calls your practice must be met with politeness and efficiency.

Your receptionists should have standard questions and responses for patients who call asking to book an appointment and cancel one.

They should know what information is important to collect when setting up an appointment and how they should deal with standard day-to-day interactions.

However, it is equally important to ensure that your patients get a human experience.

This means training your receptionists to make a reasonable amount of small talk while still staying focused on fulfilling the needs of each call.

Ask For Patient Feedback

The number one way to improve at anything is by gathering feedback. This helps you to know exactly what you are doing right and where your performance could be improved.

Tips For Making Your Dental Practice More Profitable

It should be noted that even when you do identify you are doing something well, you shouldn’t necessarily just leave it as is. You should always aim to double down on your strengths to make them even better while also taking steps to address the weaknesses of your business.

Below you will find a few ways of gathering patient feedback.

  • Arrange follow-up calls with patients who have complex procedures.
  • Create a customer satisfaction questionnaire you can offer to patients after their appointments.
  • Tell your receptionist to ask one patient daily for a review on Google or another similar.

All of the above are good ways of collecting customer feedback so you can make sure you are growing your business in the right direction.

Specialize

If you are in an area with a lot of competition with other neighbouring dental practices, choosing a speciality can be a really good idea.

This means focusing on a specific condition, problem or demographic and studying to specialize in treating those patients.

While you may lose a few patients who do not fall under your new specialization, you will gain a lot more who do. The best part is that if you work hard to excel at your new speciality, your new patients will only come to you since they value your expertise.

This is a good way to set yourself apart from the competition and create more high-value patients.

It should be said, however, that specializing will take a lot of work and often years of additional study.

This means it could take a long time to see the benefits in your profit margin, but once you do, you will find the rewards worthwhile.

Organize Training For Your Staff

Practice makes perfect, and you should ensure your staff have plenty of opportunities to practice their relative roles. One good piece of training is to arrange sessions to go through the different types of patient interactions you and your staff might encounter.

This means holding sessions where you present your employees with scripted scenarios and see how they react. Doing this will not only allow you a chance to give feedback on where your staff could improve, but it also helps prepare them for the job.

If your staff have been through training exercises focused on dealing with difficult patients, they will be far less likely to panic when this happens in real life. Training sessions are also a great opportunity for team building.

They can offer a valuable chance for your staff to get to know each other and become familiar with each other’s roles. They will be far more confident and efficient when working together in practice.

Automate Processes Where You Can

Automation is a great way to cut back on annoying processes that would normally take up a lot of time and, subsequently, money.

Workflow software is a great tool to invest in for managing all of your sensitive data. This includes data on your patients and their conditions, as well as the accounts for your business.

Sorting and organizing all of this data manually would probably require you to hire more staff, while automated software will help you to get it done faster, with fewer people.

Collect Data On Your Patients

This ties in with our last point since automated software can make gathering and organizing customer data much more expedient.

Collecting information about your customers will give a great insight into who uses your clinic the most. It will also help you identify conditions you frequently see in your clinic and any anomalies.

This information will be very helpful when investing in new equipment or planning a marketing campaign. Knowing your customers will help you tailor your promotional material to attract more patients.

Organize Your Data

Remember, any data you collect must be kept confidential, and you should look for non-intrusive methods of gathering it.

You will also need a good system for organizing the information you collect so that it can be easily read and analyzed.

There are many pieces of software you can use that will make organizing and compiling data much easier.

This will not only help with reflecting on your business’s performance, but it will also save valuable time.

Financial data should always be kept safe and well organized so it can be quickly accessed during an audit or other similar circumstances.

Expand Your Staff

Hiring more staff may sound counter-productive when maximizing profits, but this is simply not the case.

If your practice is understaffed, then you will frequently run into issues, issues that will require valuable time and money to correct.

Ideally, you should look to hire multiple assistants who can work alongside you and your hygienists.

Assistants should work well with their respective hygienists and should be willing to take on any task, no matter how trivial, that is required.

This will help you to delegate tasks effectively so that no one is left doing too much.

Hiring more assistants is a great way to improve the efficiency of your dental practice. It also means you can quickly get an extra pair of hands on deck whenever an emergency occurs.

Regularly Review Your Pricing

You should review your pricing structure yearly to keep up to date with the current market.

If you don’t do this, you may risk your prices becoming outdated in a matter of years. If your services are underpriced, then you won’t be making as much money as you possibly could.

On the other hand, if your practice is priced higher than the competition, many patients may simply look elsewhere.

As such, you should regularly keep up with what you are charging a customer for various procedures and what your competition is charging.

Review Your Payment Collection Methods

As well as keeping tabs on what you are charging your customers, you should also look to improve the way you collect payments.

It is important to avoid payment collection becoming a negative aspect of your business. After all, as a dentist, you provide an essential service and deserve to be compensated for your hard work.

Simple things, like arranging follow-up calls to discuss payment, or offering the option to pay in instalments, can help to put customers at ease.

This means they are more likely to pay back what they owe without panicking or feeling trapped. It is also important to reassure patients that they can still receive treatment for future issues while repaying you.

Helping patients through the payment process will make them far more likely to pay everything they owe. They will also be more inclined to recommend your practices to friends and family.

Reach Out To Your Inactive Patients

Any practice running for more than a few years will have inactive patients.

These patients have visited your practice before but have not returned for a check-up or another appointment in a long time.

Reactivation campaigns can help you to reach out to these patients and get them to return to your business. These could include an automated email when it has been a certain amount of time since their last check-up.

You could also offer a discount for returning patients concerned about their finances. After all, why seek out new patients when you can reach out to your old ones?

Modernize

You want to make your dental practice stand out from all others so your patients leave happy and impressed. If you can impress your customers, they will be far more likely to leave a positive review or recommend your business to others.

This is why it is important to invest in modern equipment and facilities. Touch screen devices for checking in and booking walk-in appointments can help to speed up your intake.

They will also help to make your clinic feel more modern. Modern practices not only look better, but they also make your patients feel more relaxed and willing to trust you with their dental healthcare.

Keep Up To Date With Modern Dental Research

This is an important part of modernizing your practice since to buy the latest technology, and you need to know what it is first. You should aim to keep up to date with the latest practices and techniques being used by dentists.

This will help you to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to upgrading your equipment and offering new treatments. If your practice is one of the first in your area to offer a new treatment, then this will help generate new patients.

Keeping up with the latest dental research will also allow you to give up-to-date and accurate advice to all of your patients. This will ensure that they get a better standard of treatment and will leave your practice satisfied.

Improve Your Cancellation Rate

How can you stop patients from cancelling their appointments? One of the best ways to do this is to set up automatic reminders for patients that tell them the date and time of their appointment.

These reminders can be in the form of texts, or emails (or even both), and have proven to be one of the best ways to lower your cancellation rate.

However, you won’t always be able to stop someone from cancelling their appointment.

In these cases, you need to make sure you have a good system in place for rescheduling appointments to a later date. You need to find a way to fill slots occupied by patients who have cancelled their appointments.

Setting up last-minute appointments will make your practice much more popular and accessible.

It will also help you to dedicate as much time as possible to helping your patients, improving your efficiency and your profit margin.

Always Keep Learning

Just because you have finished dental school and run your own practice doesn’t mean you should stop studying dentistry. Revising and refining your knowledge of your profession will help you to stay on top of your game and offer the best service possible to your patients.

Failing to do this could lead to stagnation, which won’t be good for your business or your patients. It is important to remember that times are always changing, and you need to change with them if you want to succeed.

Keep up to date with recent breakthroughs in dental research, and stay aware of techniques or equipment that are now considered outdated.

Obviously, you don’t need to spend every waking hour thinking about teeth and dentistry, but you should always be ready and willing to learn new things.

Furthermore, you should actively seek, through dental journals and lectures, to improve your knowledge and better understand your profession.

The more you know, the more accurate the advice you can give your patients and the happier they will be with your practice.

Conclusion

These 25 tips are just a few ways to generate more profit from your dental practice. Most of the time, improving your business is finding where your shortcomings are and addressing them.

Patient satisfaction is everything, especially with any kind of dental care, and provided you keep your patients happy, and they will keep coming back to your practice.

It is also important to remember that revenue does not equal profit. You need to cycle the money you earn back into your business constantly, so it can keep improving and growing at a steady rate.

Doing this will help you to avoid stagnation and keep making more revenue that can go towards hiring more staff, upgrading your equipment and improving your practice.

Also, never forget that your staff are essential to making sure that your business runs smoothly.

You should take steps to make sure that your employees feel as though they are a valued part of the practice and that their hard work will be appropriately rewarded.

If you follow all of this advice, then your practice is sure to succeed and draw in lots of new patients.