In 2020, the average income for dentists in private practice was $170,160. For that reason alone, some dentists are attracted to the idea of opening their own practice, but they might not be aware of everything that goes into opening a new dental practice.
Whether you’re just curious or you’re really wanting to venture out on your own, however, we’re here to walk you through every step of the process.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about opening a private dental practice.
1. Know Your Budget
This might be the most important part of becoming a small business owner in any industry, and that’s knowing your budget. If you haven’t thought about it, or you don’t have any money to spend, how are you even going to fund your new practice?
You might have to consider taking out a loan or working with a partner to collect the necessary funding you’ll need to open your practice.
To get an idea for your budget, it’s best to sit down and tally up all of your startup costs.
It’s important to be thorough here, however. The worst thing you can do is run out of money in the middle of startup and be forced to turn to credit cards and other sources of capital that just run your debt up higher.
2. How’s Your Location?
Next, before you settle on a location for your practice, it’s best to conduct research on the surrounding area. Try to avoid areas that are saturated with practices offering services similar to yours, and also be sure to avoid areas that are inaccessible to your patients.
It’s important to stay in a location that’s central to your target demographic, but also to choose one that’s in your budget.
These factors all have the ability to impact your revenue stream — either positively or negatively — and can affect your patient base as well.
3. What Equipment Do You Need?
Ensuring that you have all the necessary things like furniture, software, supplies, and medical equipment is important to your practice, but it also has the potential to be a long, drawn-out process.
It’s important to do your research before making any big decisions so that you know you like the things you’re purchasing, and so you also know that you have everything you need well in advance. Turning to trusted brands like Primo Dental products is always a safe bet in these situations.
Neglecting this step has the potential to leave you scrambling for necessary supplies once you start seeing patients, and that’s only going to drive them away from your practice.
4. Can You Hire Staff?
While we know you probably can hire staff, it’s important to make sure you cover all the legalities that come with doing so. You also have to make sure you can afford to do that beforehand.
You should start thinking about this step before you even get into a new office space, and you should ensure you set aside the necessary time to properly screen, interview, and hire candidates.
Beyond just planning for salary, you also need to ensure you have the budget for other necessities like health insurance, time off, sick days, and other employee benefits.
5. Cover All the Legalities
Just like with ensuring you can hire employees, you don’t want to until the last minute to handle any and all of the legal aspects of opening your practice. It can take months to earn the proper credentials you need, and so can obtaining the proper insurance.
Besides that, you’ll also have to make sure you’re licensed on a state and local level, registered with the DEA, and that you have a national provider identifier number. It’s also best to know all the regulations specific to your area.
If you’re stuck or feel unsure about anything during this process, hiring a lawyer can help.
6. Do You Need a Partner?
If you’re feeling unsure about anything in this process, it might be wise to ask yourself whether or not opening with a partner would be a strategic move.
Not only would a partner give you the privilege of having someone to go through the entire process with, but it would also help you split the responsibility straight down the middle.
Chances are you’ll each have your own skillset, so you’ll be able to divide things like marketing, bookkeeping, or even scheduling up so it all gets done properly, and so you’re both playing to your strengths.
7. Don’t Forget About Patients
Finally, you’re on to the thing that’s going to carry your practice through to the end — patients. No practice is going to succeed without them, and it’s important to ensure you have at least a few lined up before your opening day.
If you worked at another office or are coming from a different practice, then you might have a few patients that decide to follow you over. If you don’t have that, though, then it’s important to start marketing yourself as soon as possible.
Build a professional website, create a place to set up an appointment, and make sure there’s a spot for patients to be able to contact you with questions.
Start marketing on social media too, and you’ll be set to go from day one.
Ready to Start Your New Dental Practice?
Now that we’ve gone over the basics of starting a new dental practice, are you ready to get started with your very own?
Whether you’re venturing out on your own or are partnering up with someone for the journey, opening a dental practice of your very own is an exciting, somewhat daunting experience that you deserve all the time to prepare for.
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