Dentists are a throwback to an older time. As most dental practices are owned by the practicing dentist, the business owner/manager/CEO/HR department is also a primary source of production and revenue. Few other businesses so consistently require the owner to manage multiple roles in such a fashion.
Years of training and education have prepared you with the skillset needed to care for your patients, but that likely didn’t include adequate preparation in starting your own business.
The Sunrise Dental Solutions Startup Program is the perfect solution to hit the ground running. Having worked in the industry for years, the professionals at Sunrise have seen many practices suffer failure at launch, despite the best efforts of their most talented dentists. We know what works, and now you can be the benefactor of our experience and knowledge.
There’s a lot that goes into starting your own business, and Sunrise Dental Solutions is here to help you through every aspect of it. The Sunrise Startup Program will help you get started on the right foot by getting all the details of your practice dialed in from the beginning. Instead of worrying about the headaches of administration, you can focus on doing what you do — treating patients.
Factors to Consider
Starting a new dental practice can be overwhelming. There are a lot of factors that need to be carefully considered before you can even see your first patient. Below are just some of the more important considerations that you’ll need to cover. If you have any questions about how to best approach any particular subject, we’ll be happy to help.
A vision for the future of your practice involves seeing what you want it to become 5-10 years from now. It is the “after photo” of your business, a reference that you and your team will reference to remind you of why your practice exists. Your vision statement is the how of your practice accomplishing its mission.
Location is a very important factor. Visibility, neighborhood and traffic are very important considerations. Demographics are another are another important aspect of site selection.
Lease negotiations – Negotiating a lease can save tens of thousands of dollars a year, as well as other terms that make a big difference in the satisfaction of the leaseholder. The key word here is “negotiating”. There are companies and individuals who are skilled and experienced in the are of making the deal whenever the potential leaseholder has even a small amount of leverage.
Also, it is a common misconception that an existing lease is a binding document that cannot be legally broken or altered. What a lease is is a legal document that spells out the responsibilities of all parties entered into the lease arrangement. If one of the parties does not uphold their responsibilities, then other parties have rights up to and including termination of the lease, even if those rights are not spelled out in the lease document.
Don’t do this alone! Sunrise Dental Solutions has a working relationship with these people, and they can prevent you from squandering resources that you have worked hard to accumulate.
Purchase Negotiation and Contract
Purchasing another practice can be one of the best, or the worst, decisions a dental practice owner can make. Making the right decision involves analyzing the needs of the practice, determining what such a purchase must look like to make sense, knowing how and where to search, assessing the value of the opportunities available, asking the right questions, and negotiating the deal. Sunrise Dental Solutions has the experience, the infrastructure support, and the skills to guide the dentist-client in making and following through with these decisions.
Eighteen year-olds in their first day of college business 101, learn that every business starts with a plan, and they spend a lot of time studying the value of having a well-thought-out
direction, written down, with numbers and specific steps, goal, and contingencies. Problem is, dentist never were taught that, and if they were, they forgot what they learned, because dental school taught them that success was a good crown margin, or a good endodontic fill. So when the private practice owner’s business starts to suffer, the only thing the dentist knows to do is work harder, and all that accomplishes is stress and fatigue.
Sunrise Dental Solutions starts each working relationship with a business plan, based on the client’s vision, and that plan becomes the foundation for planning, implementing, measuring, and supporting that client.
We didn’t get into dentistry for our love of numbers and spreadsheets, but good budgeting is a vital part of business success. Many dentists feel that the finances of their practice are controlling them, but establishing an effective budget and sticking to it is a choice. We can help you to look at the numbers as part of a larger plan and ask “why?”
The number one reason for business failure is under-capitalization. Another prominent reason for failure is crushing debt. Therefore, determining financial needs within the framework of the practice budget is critical to profit management. Most practices do not have a budget, and most of the ones that do do not utilize the budget as a yardstick for success, and a source for making business decisions. There is a lot of talk today about having a “dashboard” to monitor and see at a glance vital business statistics. If profit is the result of production, collections, and costs, then there has never been, nor will there ever be, a better dashboard than a practice budget.
Sunrise Dental Solutions has the ability to assist the client in developing and using a practice budget. And when it comes time to procure financing for business purposes, direct the client in assessing financing needs, and point them toward optimum financing sources.
As a dentist, you have probably already considered the equipment and technology you’d like to have in your practice. You’ll also need to consider the qualities of the building itself, layout, potential for growth, office supplies, furniture, software, and so on. It can be a daunting proposition, so don’t do it alone – call Sunrise Dental Solutions for help!
Setting your fees will be one of the most important things you do as a dentist. It’s important to know how to adjust your fees to your market if you want to be successful in the long run. Many dentists undercharge for their services, or fail to make annual market adjustments (or even keep up with inflation), slowly devaluing their own skillset.
It might be more profitable to adjust the price of one service for your area, while charging a premium fee for another. Besides the local general economy, your fee schedule needs to account for typical insurance billing, your payment policies, and the methods you will use to collect payments. We will help you analyze your fees for the surround zip codes, too.
To PPO, or not to PPO?
It can be tempting to plug into that steady stream of patients that flows from plan participation, especially when starting a new practice. We can analyze your market and help you determine which plans you should participate in (if any). Do what is best for your practice and not what is in the best interest of a hundred other dentists in your area.
While it would be great if you could just hang out a sign and have plenty of walk-ins, on day-one you are likely to have to compete for the attention of prospective patients. Your marketing plan will determine how effective your outreach is and what makes you different to competitors. In the age of the Internet, this also means you will need to go the extra mile to reach people where they are most likely to find you– online. We will help you develop an effective marketing plan, and monitor your ROI.
Even the best dentist is doomed to fail without the support of good team. Your team members are going to be the biggest investments of your practice, and your hiring decisions will either make or break you. Unfortunately, most dentists will go through a long trial-and-error process until they either figure it out or they close their practice. Use our cumulative experience to get it right the first time around.
How do you consistently improve the skills of your team. Whether they have experience in a dental office or just starting on their career in dentistry,selection and training of your team is a key component to success. We will train them on everything from answering the telephone to
case presentation and everything in between. Leadership and team management is a crucial aspect of your training.
Don’t Go It Alone
The Sunrise Dental Solutions Startup Program will help you with the details of starting your own business, saving you years of stress and lost revenue. With Sunrise Dental Solutions in your corner, you can focus on what matters most– your patients.
To enroll in the Sunrise Dental Solutions Startup Program, simply contact us today. We can then start the process to help make your new (or next) dental practice a success straight from the start!