Dentistry is an interesting yet intimidating venture. There are several practice-related concerns that a professional has to deal with when he/she undertakes their own dental practice. One of the most critical concerns amongst the many is obtaining and managing finances.
Dentistry being a seasonal business cannot be relied on blindly. There are several accounting challenges dentists go through day in and day out. Some of these are paying off debt for loans taken to start the practice, accounting for procedures that are not fully compensated by the insurance companies of patients, purchasing expensive equipment, employee error or theft and of course, low patient inflow.
With all these challenges, sustaining your career as a dentist might become uneconomical and inconvenient.
Fret not; with the right tips at hand, you can tackle the challenges and adapt to the situations to attain success in your work area.
Below have been enlisted 7 best business and financial tips that can keep them afloat and help them grow in their profession.
1] Create a budget
Creating a budget is essential to ensure you don’t overspend. When it comes to money, you need to have a plan to ensure it is being spent appropriately. Abrupt decisions with money never work out well. When you create a budget, you can plan everything about your practice in accordance with it. This allows you to ensure financial security, which can, in turn, result in saving for the future. It also facilitates easy tracking of expenditure and income.
2] Know your unique selling proposition
A unique selling proposition has the potential to set you apart from the competition and drive more patients to your service. To determine your unique selling proposition, you need to evaluate what the demographic in your locality is looking for and tailor your service based on their needs. Contemplate how you can meet these demands and deliver the expected service. This will make your service more valuable and desirable for the target audience even if it is highly-priced. Therefore, identify your unique selling proposition and work on it.
3] Include dental membership plans
Financial flexibility is something that everyone is looking for. You can offer in house dental plans to the patient base. It is not only beneficial for you but also for your patients. These plans require patients to pay an annual or monthly fee and then avail of preventive care services and discounts by paying the service directly. They are highly attractive to uninsured patients. For a dentist, they will become a source of recurring income, increase patient loyalty and hence, visits and referrals.
4] Control inventory costs
If you buy things that you do not need, you will soon have to sell things you need. Dentistry is an inventory-intensive profession. You undoubtedly require supplies, equipment and other items for efficient functioning but you need to draw a line between essential and non-essential to avoid squandering funds. It is recommended that you spend only 6 percent of your gross income on inventory to have a profitable business.
5] Start a savings plan
A savings plan lays down a foundation to manage finances rightly. Saving is one of the initial stages to manage your finances. Formulate a saving plan for each month. Although the allocation of funds might not be easy with expenditure, make it a habit to save. Ideally, you should save 10 per cent of your income each month but you can modify this according to your peculiar situation.
6] Engage in investing
No matter how excellent your services are, you can never really deny the possibility of days without any patient coming in. Dental issues are infrequent and often overlooked, which makes dentistry seasonal. Therefore, even though dentistry is your primary source of income, it is recommended that you should not depend on one single source. In case the patient inflow goes down significantly for a month, you must have the required funds to suffice the needs of you and your family. So, avoid unnecessary cash outflow and make attempts to invest wisely. Diversify your income and ensure your needs are met regardless of the work condition each month.
7] Do not under-price your services
For others to value your services, you first need to do so. When determining how much to charge for their services; many dentists are found to be in a dilemma. What price should you ask for such that it doesn’t go overboard and also doesn’t put you under a financial strain? Price is what patients pay for your service; however, you need to derive value out of every patient. For this reason, if you provide top-notch service, do not hesitate to charge accordingly.
Lastly; think twice before jumping into any decision. You will make some errors along the way but do not give up and learn from your mistakes.
No matter how efficient you are or how high the quality of your service is; if it doesn’t pay you enough to cover your lifestyle needs, it is not worth it. So, follow these tips for your business and keep away from the financial challenges!