Setting up a new dental practice is an exciting venture, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. No matter how great your clinical skills are, starting a new business requires knowledge and insight in areas going beyond dentistry, and the process can easily become overwhelming if you do not approach it the right way. That is why we prepared a concise list of actionable steps you should take to successfully launch a dental office.
Create a Business Plan
Creating a detailed business plan is the first step you should take to get your practice up and running. The plan should include your overall business strategy, operating procedures, and relevant financial information that should include expected costs and earnings. If this is something you’ve never done before, you should know there are plenty of online resources and templates that will simplify your efforts. However, before you start doing the necessary research, create a general outline of all the important data points you wish to incorporate. While you’re at it, do not forget to include an exit strategy. It surely isn’t something you will find relevant before launching a business, but a time may come when you’ll want to sell the practice and do something else.
Choose a Location
Picking the right location is crucial for the success of your practice, and doing so requires plenty of homework. Once you’ve selected the city or town you’d like to work in, you should research the population in the area, as well as the level of competition. Find out how many dental practices are there, and then look for available office space in the spots that make the most sense. Another thing to consider is the potential for walk-ins. Being in a location with a lot of pedestrian traffic can boost your business significantly. On the other hand, do not forget the importance of having a convenient parking space nearby.
Prioritize Patient Safety
Even though infection is rarely transmitted in dental clinics, it can happen when the staff fails to handle equipment according to the guidelines that ensure patient safety. Safety depends largely on the sterilization procedures in place, and staff members need to be trained to follow exact steps that will destroy all microorganisms present on the dental handpieces. On top of that, you need to make sure that your practice implements proper infection control procedures which guarantee that your staff members have a good understanding of how bacteria, viruses, and fungi develop and spread.
Get the Right Equipment
The cost of equipment is one of the greatest expenses of a new dental practice. Besides all the instruments that are essential for dentistry itself, you will need to get computer systems, management software, medical supplies, furniture, and various other office items. Before you start buying one thing after another, do thorough research on the best equipment providers and sellers on the market. Partnering with the right vendors can help you find affordable equipment without sacrificing quality.
Obtain the Necessary Permits and Licenses
Launching a dental practice and operating legally requires a number of licenses and permits. Of course, the requirements can vary depending on the area where you decided to do business. However, there are some standard documents that you’ll need to get, and those include business organization papers, a valid business license, as well as a tax ID number. Next, if you haven’t already, you should be looking into memberships with professional organizations focused on dentistry. Moreover, it would be useful to join the local Chamber of Commerce so you can get to know other entrepreneurs in the area and stay on top of relevant information. Not only do laws vary from one area to another, but they can also change over time. Therefore, make sure you leave enough time and money so you could complete these steps thoroughly before opening the practice.
Starting a business from scratch requires hard work and persistence, no matter how experienced and passionate you are about your profession. However, it is also incredibly rewarding once everything is up and running. Now that you’ve learned about the necessary steps you should take before opening a new dental practice, you can start making plans that will bring your goals and vision to fruition.
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