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16 July, 2021

7 Dental Practice Management Tips for Profitable Dentists

Being a great dentist may make your patients happy, but it isn’t nearly enough to run a successful dental practice. It may be hard to hear, after all, dentists invest a lot of time and money into becoming a great dentist. However, in today’s competitive marketplace, you need to possess business savvy and have dental practice management strategies in place to ensure your business operation is growing and profitable. 

By implementing sound strategies that emphasize important aspects such as superior accounting and bookkeeping practices, excellent communication, efficient scheduling, and smart equipment purchases, you will foster a climate at your dental business for consistent growth and robust revenue. 

Here are some practical management tips that are designed to help you build your dental practice and increase your profit margin.

 Management Tips to Help Your Dental Practice Thrive

1)     Upgrade Your Scheduling Software

There is no doubt about it, modern dental practice management runs on efficiency. That is where software integrations such as online bookings come in. Scheduling an appointment should be as easy and stress-free as possible for your patients, which is why we recommend implementing online  or even text based scheduling.

There are many dental scheduling programs available that deliver flexibility and efficiency to your dental business operation.

These scheduling software programs provide the following benefits:

  • Maximized productivity
  • Better patient flow
  • Improved relationships with your patients

Scheduling software makes it possible to increase the number of patients you serve, frees up your team for other tasks, and, as a result, boost your profit margin.  It also improves your customer service performance.  One study reveals that 31 percent of patients would seriously consider switching dentists if the other provider offered online appointment booking.

 Integrate online booking into your dental practice operation and watch your appointments significantly increase.

 2)     Know Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Prior to implementing management changes, you and your entire team need to know what differentiates your dentist office from the competition – or your Unique Selling Proposition.  The USP is also known as the unique value proposition.

Your USP is a differential factor that enables your dental practice to distinguish itself from other dental businesses. It tells consumers why they should opt for your dental services over others, even if they cost more. Your USP plays to your strengths and should be based on what makes your brand or services uniquely valuable to your patients.

The USP that you define for your dental business will serve as a guiding force as you develop an effective management strategy.

3)     Dentists Should Be Leaders in Their Practices

Being a dentist should mean you serve as a leader for your team as you offer a clear and inspired vision for your practice. As a dentist, your leadership duties include creating a clear vision, delegating responsibilities, holding your team accountable, and fostering creativity that leads to sound management decisions predicated on growth for your business.

In order to effectively manage your dental practice, make sure you seek resources to equip yourself to become a strong leader. Be in the mode of constantly learning – both about dentistry and business management.

4)     Develop a Strong Dental Practice Culture

Culture is defined by the character and personality of your workplace. It encapsulates your business values, traditions, interactions and attitudes.  Culture also influences how your team works together and the experience you provide to patients.

If you have a positive culture at your dental practice, you are able to boost your productivity, retain high-quality employees, and keep patients from leaving. It will also enable you to potentially improve your bottom line.

And while everyone at your office can affect the culture at your practice, you, as the dentist, should be most responsible for setting the tone and atmosphere of your office. Make sure your culture coincides with your unique selling proposition and your management goals.

 5)     Invest in Your Dental Practice Team

As the leader of your team, make it a priority to invest in your team – everyone from hygienists, dental assistants, to administrative teams. Treat your team members as valuable assets to your business, not liabilities.

 One way to do this is by providing professional development opportunities for your team members. This paves the way for each person on your team to better themselves and excel at their jobs. As they evolve in their skills, they can also take on new duties and functions. This strategy helps make it possible for your dental practice to grow and thrive in ways that may seem unexpected.

Dentists should also teach their team the culture and train accordingly. Collaborate with them to develop the values of your practice and establish clear and achievable expectations. This way everyone has buy-in and is invested in your dental business becoming a successful enterprise.

 6)     Focus on Upgrading Communication with Patients

In the twenty-first century, communication is all about convenience and speed. Your patients want short and simple messaging to keep up with their fast-paced, time-starved lives. That means your dentist office should add texting as a form of appointment reminders. Don’t rely so much on reminder phone calls or mailers, as people have hectic lives and don’t have the time for these modes of communication.

 Integrating text messaging into your patient communication strategy will lead to improved customer satisfaction and could play a role in growing your business. This more advanced style of communication also creates a more efficient scheduling system for your practice, as you can move quicker on patient cancellations and re-fill those valuable appointment spots.

 7)     Control Inventory Costs

Dentistry is one of the most inventory-intense professions. We understand that there are many items, and lots of equipment and supplies required in a dentist office. But consider this:  keeping track of your inventory is one of the most crucial factors in helping you operate a profitable dental practice.

In order to run a lean operation and be positioned for growth, your dental practice should keep inventory costs below 6 percent of your gross revenue.

You could effectively control your inventory expenses with an inventory management system that gives you metrics, and control over the following inventory aspects:  minimum/maximum levels, expiration dates, tracking returns and promised free goods, as well as equipment.

Enjoy being in the advantageous position of being able to track the availability of equipment and cash flow. Managing your business inventory could significantly reduce your expenses and create new revenue streams for your dental practice. When you have effective inventory management, you are able to prevent oversupply and undersupply, which directly impact your overhead costs, practice profit, and stress levels. 

Drilldown Solution Can Help Your Dental Practice Optimize Profits

At Drilldown Solution, we are all about helping dentists continue to own their practices and showing them how oral health and profit are paired together for the betterment of both dentists and their patients’ health.

Drilldown Solution offers a full suite of financial services that includes bookkeeping, accounting, and tax preparation. We have the expert team to help any dental business thrive, even under the current COVID-19 pandemic circumstances. We accomplish this with a three-part system of patient-experience excellence, financial focused operations, and accountability.

Our goal at Drilldown Solution is to put your dental business in the best financial position possible, utilizing proactive processes and personal care!

Note: The material and contents provided in this article are informative in nature only. It is not intended to be advice and you should not act specifically on the basis of this information alone. If expert assistance is required, professional advice should be obtained.

Ed Gabriel, CPA is President of DrillDown Solution and a graduate of Brigham Young University. His clients benefit from over 40 years of experience in maximizing profits, minimizing taxes and putting them in the best financial position possible.