Owning a dental practice means you will have to wear many different hats, most of which have nothing to do with dentistry. The four areas of successful operations have almost nothing to do with your profession but are integral to running a successful business.
Technology is one of the most important things you can invest in as a business owner. While it might seem expensive and unnecessary, buying the latest hardware and software will help ensure your business’s smooth operation and ultimately provide the best possible service for your patients.
It will also help you book appointments, follow up on leads, organize medical records and keep track of your finances. Investing in technology and continually updating your IT systems will save you time and money and lead to better outcomes for everyone.
It’s crucial to invest in IT systems, such as record-keeping, workflow, and fiduciary standards. In many cases, this means that you will likely need to hire third-party help to get started and then make sure your staff is adequately trained to understand and use the systems effectively. Investing in high-quality, easy-to-use IT systems, will help your practice save both time and money.
As you hire employees, take the time to verify that they fit with you and your teams’ style and personality.
I always advise dentists to hire slowly to find the perfect fit and quickly fire employees that aren’t working out. A poor-performing, negative, or even destructive employee can soon drag you down and become a disruption in your office.
One of the most critical employees you can hire is a good receptionist. In a previous post, I detail why a good receptionist can be the difference between success and failure.
For starters, a receptionist should have impeccable customer service skills. They should answer questions, troubleshoot problems, and interact with patients in a calm and friendly way.
Your receptionist is the first point of contact patients will have, so they should be competent, knowledgeable, and friendly. In many cases, receptionists will need to demonstrate empathy when patients are frustrated or unhappy.
Building a strong team requires effective management skills. If you are struggling to develop the right team or hire the right people, it’s never a bad idea to hire outside up or enroll in a business management course to spruce up your skills.
Design & Branding
The design of your office is critical to the success of a well-functioning practice. Far too often, dentists don’t spend the time or money to design an efficient office, and it hurts their business’s success.
One of the most important things to consider when designing a dental practice is making sure that it is functional and will meet future growth needs.
In order to do this, you will need to understand the three functional zones within your office. These include the public, production, and private areas.
As you get into the finer details of your office design, keep these areas separate as much as possible. Make sure the sub-functions of each are grouped.
Do your best not to intermix the areas. If you combine the areas, you will experience extra work, lost production, and frustration with your end design.
After you’re satisfied with your office’s design, it’s essential to focus on good branding.
Ensure that everything connected with your office has the same look and feel, is presented in the same way, and is perceived the way you want it to be. It’s all about consistency.
Consistency provides an excellent opportunity to build trust in everything you’re saying, displaying, and marketing. Everything you do must consistently demonstrate your integrity and brand.
Consider everything from the signage you use to make your office more visible, to the content you include on your website, to the paint on your walls.
Not only will this convey a level of professionalism and attention to detail, but it will also demonstrate to your patients that you take your practice and, in turn, their health seriously.
To learn more about the four areas of successful operations, make sure to download the first chapter of my 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 creating your dream dental practice.