Starting your own dental practice is, essentially, starting a business. And while you may have been the top of your class in dental school, and well-renowned for your skill with the toughest of wisdom teeth removals, running a business isn’t a natural extension dental theory.
Recognizing this fact is key, because then you can also take advantage of these other time-tested tips that go a long way towards a successful dental practice:
- Go back to school – Take a bit of time to understand some business courses. At a minimum, at least an accounting courses for a small business and a course in sales are a must. While no one expects you to start selling cars or real estate, people skills make a huge difference in building clientele. And accounting is how you know when to grow your business or monitor your business financing. Plan on finding a CPA to help you with your payroll for staff and tax reporting; don’t do it yourself as a business.
- Get practical knowledge – Talk to other dentists who’ve already been running a practice. Talk to a mix of folks, both new firms and those at the end of their tenure. This will give you a broad spectrum of what mistakes they made, what has changed running a dental office, and what to expect going in that will otherwise surprise you.
- Don’t go discount with equipment, work with a specialist – Equipment specialists match their inventory to your actual needs. While you might spend a bit more, you will have exactly what you need for a long time versus stuck with a bunch of items you only use 10 percent of the time but it was discounted price at the time, so it must have been a bargain, right? Wrong. Value comes in utility. Invest wisely, and good equipment will reward your practice.
- Hire reliable staff – Same as equipment, pay your staff well and hire carefully. Long-term support is far better than a revolving door of problems.