Whether your dental practice is new or has been around for many years, you will always discover issues that need your attention. Rather than fixing each problem as it arises on an ad hoc basis, consider doing a full SWOT analysis of your dental practice to identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT).
A full SWOT analysis allows you to examine your entire business operation from top to bottom. If done correctly, it will save you time and money and streamline your dental practice.
Before you examine the problems that may exist in your dental office, start by reviewing all of your strengths.
By focusing on your strengths, you will not only discover that there are many things you are doing well, but it will also give you and your team something to be proud of before identifying the problems that may exist.
– One of the best ways to do this is by asking yourself a few questions.
What sets your dental practice apart from other dentists in your area? List every possible item you can preserve and leverage to make your practice stand out from the competition.
Look at your staff. Do you have the best team? Can they be upskilled? Do they enjoy their jobs?
What about your website? Is it professional and easy to navigate? Have you included positive reviews from patients? Is there a clear call to action on your home page?
By identifying your dental practice’s strengths first, you will naturally begin to identify some of your dental practice’s weaknesses, which is the next step in the process.
After identifying your dental office’s strengths, the next step is to determine its weaknesses.
While this can be challenging, it’s essential to be honest with yourself. Listen to your team. In many cases, you may not be aware of the issues they face.
What are the most significant patient complaints? Be honest with this list so you can recognize and deal with any obstacles.
– Ask your staff what they hear from clients.
Another useful tool is asking patients to complete an anonymous survey so you can learn from their answers.
You can ask patients to complete the survey while they are in the office or online to their email addresses.
Other areas to look at include your staff, office design, website, IT systems, and marketing.
In most cases, you will likely find at least one or two things that you can tweak and improve.
Once you’ve got a good grasp of your dental office’s strengths and weaknesses, the next step is to identify opportunities.
Where can growth come from? Evaluate each item to determine what you can take advantage of.
Look at competitors; what are they doing differently? Look at their websites’, their social media profiles and sign up for their newsletters to get an idea of their marketing efforts.
Are other patient-based businesses using a technology you can adopt into your business?
– What about your overhead costs?
Are there any costs you can cut or eliminate that won’t hinder your services?
Are there any investments you’ve overlooked that would improve your office or patient experience?
This exercise can be quite enjoyable. It allows you to revisit your original vision and ask yourself what you could be doing better or differently to achieve your goals.
After identifying opportunities, it’s important to recognize any threats that could hurt your business.
Are there any issues your practice may have to anticipate, prepare for, and defend against?
– Try to cast your net as wide as possible, so you don’t miss any potential threats.
Think about everything from new regulations that could affect your business to how a new construction project could limit the amount of available parking near your dental office.
Once you have identified all of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) on paper, you can look at them one by one and take steps to work on them.
To learn more about improving your dental practice, make sure to take a look at my new book, DentalEase: The Essential Guide to Building the Stress-Free and Profitable Dental Practice of Your Dreams. The first chapter is free to download and will give you even more insight into how to grow your dental practice.