Content Dam Diq Online Articles 2015 07 Wise Up Wed 1

Wise-up Wednesday from Zane Benefits: How to face these top 3 business challenges head on

July 8, 2015
Small dental practices face unique business challenges. The top three HR challenges and how to face them head on.

From constant demands on the dentist’s time to strategically juggling revenue and expenditures, owning a small dental practice comes with its share of challenges. In this week’s Wise-up Wednesday, we’ll discuss the top three business challenges faced by dental practice owners and how to face these challenges head on.

Challenge #1 — Healthcare costs For most small and medium sized dental practices, group health insurance coverage is out of reach because of rising costs and restrictive eligibility requirements. Following the passage of the Affordable Care Act, however, individuals now have an unprecedented number of options for health insurance that all meet a minimum standard of quality and coverage. This means dental practices and employees have more health insurance options than they used to. Employees can now purchase health insurance through their employer’s group plan, or purchase health insurance on their own and receive reimbursement from the dental practice.

To face this challenge head on, explore affordable health benefits options that provide employees access to quality health insurance.

Challenge #2 — Recruiting and retaining quality staff
Recruiting and retaining top employees is another major concern that faces small dental practices. With the preferences of the workforce becoming more diverse and dynamic, employers are in need of a more personalized approach to retain their dental staff.

When it comes to hiring, a common challenge for small dental practices is trying to decide between offering high wages for more competitive prospects, or offering low wages for a lower, but more secure, skill set. Dental practices shouldn’t feel like they’re at a disadvantage when recruiting new employees.

To face this challenge head on, small dental practices can competitively recruit employees by using employee referrals, adding a career site to their webpage, advertising on online job boards, recruiting interns, and using social media.

A thoughtful retention program can also give a practice an edge to keep top-performing staff. Employee retention strategies can include creating a high-feedback environment, strategically customizing benefits, and boosting employee morale.

Challenge #3 — Attracting new patients
Finding new patients presents more of a challenge to small dental practices than large facilities. With limited budgets, it’s difficult to compete with larger facilities' advertising and marketing strategies.

To face this challenge head on, consider cost-effective online marketing strategies and referral programs. For example, evaluate how to use online marketing, search engine optimization, email marketing, and social media. Additionally, make word-of-mouth referrals from current patients and doctor’s offices easy by starting a referral program and building relationships with other medical practices.

Small dental practices face unique business challenges that include health care costs, recruiting and retaining top employees, and attracting new patients. Owners can face these challenges head on by evaluating low-cost health benefits, thoughtfully implementing recruiting and retention strategies, and using online strategies to attract new patients.

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Wise-up Wednesday is presented bi-monthly from the experts at Zane Benefits. One Wednesday a month features Human Resource issues, and the other Wednesday discusses health benefits.For more HR strategies and tips, download Zane Benefits’ complimentary guide, “The Dental Practice's Guide to HR.”