The dental industry is booming across the globe, as this is an essential service that everyone needs, and there’s no denying that quality dentistry is highly sought-after nowadays. If you are an aspiring dentist or if you have already started building your career in this field, you might be dabbling with the idea of starting your own dental practice.
Starting your own business in 2021 is a great idea, and of course, cutting out the middleman to become your own boss is how you can truly take your professional life to the next level. That said, we can’t pretend that long-term success in this industry comes easy.
Dentistry is highly competitive, and the amount of investment capital you need to put forward can sometimes deter even the most passionate dentists from starting their own practice. Nevertheless, you can set yourself up for success if you create a smart business plan and plan your finances carefully. Here’s how you can do just that.
1. Research and Find Financing Options
First and foremost, you need to secure a decent capital investment for your new practice, which is not going to be small by any means. Starting a dental practice means buying or renting a space, investing in professional staff and their paychecks, and of course, procuring all the equipment you need to run an efficient and successful operation.
Some of these will be one-off expenses, but many will be recurring expenses for all the different equipment, materials, and resources that are perishable. To finance your dental practice, the best step to take is to take out a business loan. Why? Because business loans allow you to retain full ownership of your practice without answering to anyone.
You can set up a decent repayment plan with minimal interest that will work in your favor and allow you to pay off your loan in a reasonable timeframe.
2. Tend to Meticulous Financial Forecasting
To get a loan for your dental practice and to even start thinking about making this grand step, you have to tend to detailed financial forecasting. There are many factors that will go into your financial forecasts, including the location of your practice, the services you provide and whether or not these are in high demand, your target demographic and its financial capabilities, and more.
While you’re researching all these variables, you can start devising a price range for your services that will allow you to meet your financial objectives while staying competitive in the local market. When you have a price list and a rough idea of the number of patients you can expect on a daily basis, you can create a more detailed financial forecast. Keep in mind that your own income might become a bit irregular until the practice starts taking off, so that’s something to factor into your plan as well.
3. Invest in the Most Cost-Effective Equipment
Decorating and equipping your dental practice is the most cumbersome expense you’ll have to overcome when starting your own business in this lucrative but competitive field. Needless to say, it’s important to do your research and find a reliable dental equipment provider where you will be able to procure all the necessary equipment to provide a stellar service to your patients, but without breaking the bank. The equipment you choose should be of top-level quality, but it should also come at a reasonable price.
When it comes to decorating the space, you can always find cheaper deals online and special promotions, but you can also look for used sofas, chairs, desks, and other décor elements that are in near-perfect condition. This is a good way to save money initially and reallocate resources to more important expenses and investments.
4. Determine Your Operating Budget
Of course, it’s not just about the investment budget or how you’re going to survive the first year, it’s also about building a robust operating budget that will make you profitable in the long run. When you’re tasked with managing your finances amidst a pandemic, you have to stay on top of the latest trends and monitor the fluctuation of the market.
Make sure to have all your operating expenses listed out, such as your payroll expenses, cleaning and upkeep, perishables and equipment procurement for the year, and all other expenses that you need to tend to every month. This will give you an estimate of the kind of cash flow you need to keep the practice running smoothly. And don’t forget about software for dental offices. Depending on the option you’re choosing, you can go from affordable to really expensive if you don’t pay attention to the options on the market.
5. Plan for Innovation and Expansion
And finally, when you’re taking the steps to start your own dental business, you need to keep your eyes set on the future. Don’t just consider what you have to invest in right now, but consider what you will need to invest in to keep growing over the long term.
Plan for innovation and better equipment down the road, plan for more staff and specialists to expand your range of services, and consider training and education as an investment into long-term business growth and success.
Starting a dental practice is one of the best ways to build financial independence and take your career forward. However, in order to be successful, make sure to take the necessary financial steps that will allow you to succeed in a safe and efficient way with minimal risk.