Content Dam Diq Online Articles 2015 01 Wise Up Wednesday 1

Wise-up Wednesday from Zane Benefits: Business basics for starting your own dental practice

Feb. 11, 2015
Want to start your own dental practice? No need to be intimidated. Here are nine basic steps to start you on the road to fulfilling your dream. Follow them closely and you will succeed.
You’ve spent a lot of time and energy to become a dentist — so what’s your next step? Open a dental practice, of course! Naturally, you have a lot of questions regarding what you should be doing in order to hit the ground running. So here’s a quick guide with nine business basics to get you started on the road to fulfilling your dream.

In order to get the most out of this guide, grab a pen and paper and write down your ideas, thoughts, and questions. You’ll be glad you did.


Business Basic 1: Prepare yourself
As a dentist, you’ve honed the skill of preparation. So get ready to prepare yourself for this next amazing step. How? Ask yourself, “Am I ready to take this step and open a practice of my own?” If your answer yes, you’re already off to a good start. You must remember that, while owning your own practice is extremely rewarding, it does require time and energy. You need to be committed and ready to take on whatever comes your way. If you have the desire to succeed, nothing can stop you.

Business Basic 2: Get funding
With the desire to succeed, you’re ready to start laying the foundation of your business through funding. Explore your options; you’ll have quite a few. Find out your estimated start-up costs, and go to a financial institution to learn the final numbers for a loan. Remember, you may have to raise a portion before an institution will grant you a business loan. For this reason, any amount you can raise before you apply for a loan will help your case for funding. You can ask family, friends, and even potential investors.

Business Basic 3: Make sure you’ve got your licensing This is an important step to complete before opening your practice. Apply for the necessary licenses through your state’s board of dentistry. The requirements are a Doctorate of Dental Surgery or a Doctorate of Dental Medicine, and proof of participation in a postgraduate residency program. Do not put this off until the last minute. The earlier you get your licensing, the better.

Business Basic 4: Find the place
Once you have your funding and licensing, you’re ready to find the place. Keep in mind that this is your first practice, so getting something too big or too small can hinder your ability to be successful. Think about the perfect size building you want, the perfect location, and whether you want to build or buy space in an existing building.

Business Basic 5: Don’t skimp on equipment
With your location and building chosen, you’ll need equipment. Remember this: If you buy cheap or heavily used equipment, you may set yourself up for potential problems. Don’t skimp on equipment. Find high-quality, gently used equipment, in a brand with a good reputation. This will save you a lot of headaches in the future.

Business Basic 6: Decide on health benefits
Before you hire your team, check out health benefit options (i.e., a Health Reimbursement Plan or group health insurance) and decide what you want to offer. Why? If you offer amazing health benefits, you can recruit the best employees and keep them around a long time. Offer affordable health benefits that save money for both you and your employees.

Business Basic 7: Hire the right team
This is the exciting part. You get to hire your dream team! With a great location ready to go, amazing health benefits, and the desire to succeed, there’s nothing that can stop you from becoming the best dentist around. When you find someone who is a good fit and wants to be the best, hire them quickly. This will ensure they aren’t snatched up by another dental practice. When a candidate impresses you, bring that person on board.

Business Basic 8: Market right
You have the potential to reach many potential clients through your marketing. Though you’ll have little time to market, use your new team to help out. How? Through social media. Make sure everyone is actively participating in social media posts and blogs about your business to get your name out there.

Business Basic 9: Stand out in the crowd
Lastly, what do you have that makes your practice different from the rest? Ask yourself this, and come up with an answer. Don’t be scared to do something no other practice in town is doing — it’ll set you apart from the rest and patients will love it.

Opening your own practice may be a lot of hard work, but it will be the most rewarding way to put your years of difficult dental school to good use. Hopefully you took good notes with your ideas, thoughts, and questions while reading this quick guide about business basics for dentists. Your notes will serve as a way for you to conquer anything that comes your way as you blaze the trail to start your own successful practice.

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Wise-up Wednesday is presented bimonthly from the experts at Zane Benefits. One Wednesday a month features Human Resource issues, and the other Wednesday discusses health benefits. Want more HR and business development tips for your dental practice? Download the free guide “The Dental Practice's Guide to Individual Health Insurance Reimbursement.”