Capital Ideas: Your Grand Opening

The grand opening of your dental practice has arrived after months of planning, meetings, negotiations, discussions, choices, disappointments, alternatives, sleepless nights, indigestion, and doubts.

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The grand opening of your dental practice has arrived after months of planning, meetings, negotiations, discussions, choices, disappointments, alternatives, sleepless nights, indigestion, and doubts.

This is the first opportunity for others to see you and your office. It is time to showcase your thoughts and attitudes.

  1. You chose a time that doesn’t conflict with dental society meetings or other major events.
  2. You invited your colleagues, dental equipment and supply vendors, attorney, accountant, and bankers who have been integral in your practice set up.
  3. You displayed your business cards and brochures for guests to take to use their offices or give to their friends.
  4. You even displayed some photos of the work you will perform in each room and example X-ray images showing future patient care on computer screens.
  5. You staged the office so that guests might walk easily through the entire office.
  6. You placed the food and drinks to direct the flow of people.
  7. You considered the lighting so that it shows off the office well.
  8. You minimized guests’ access to patient files.
  9. You chose the floor plan. Your colleagues want to see how it flows. Is it efficient use of space? Does it address all of your needs and those of your patients? How many operatories do you have? How many are equipped? How is all the space balanced among public areas vs. front office and clinical space?
  10. You chose the equipment and furniture. Everyone wants to see if it’s comfortable and if it functions well in the space. Does it meet your needs? Your referring dentists, physicians, and colleagues will remember the service ability of these capital items and the overall flow of your office. They want to see how you designed your practice space. You made so many decisions, and they want to see how you made them all. They might consider what they would have done in your space. Everyone’s personality is different, and each person wants to see how yours is reflected. Some of them reflect back to when they first started, and it brings on some emotions.
  11. You hired the employees. How do they relate to the guests? How do they relate to the internal office set up? Do they relay the confidence and care that you want? This is an opportunity to see individual interaction with your practice potential without the pressure of procedures. Employees can direct guests to the rooms and answer questions about equipment, office procedures, hours, etc.
  12. Your guests feel welcome.
  13. You considered so many things, and now you’re able to enjoy it.

    The opening day is the final planning point in creating your practice. It is how you say “hello” to the community and your staff. This event is the first impression - the lasting impression - of your practice. It is also the least costly because it requires only you, your staff, a little nibble, your excitement, and your friendship. Here’s to you!


    Darla M. Pilgrim, EA
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    Pilgrim is a principal in Gray♦Pilgrim and Associates, LLC in Chambersburg, Pa. The firm specializes in tax- and management-consulting services for health-care professionals. Reach her at (717) 263-8713 or darla@gpallc.net. Graham is the founder and owner of Joyce A. Graham, CPA. Inc. in Woodmere, Ohio. She has handled the accounting and consultation of health-care practices for more than 25 years. Reach her at (216) 591-1507 or shetax@yahoo.com.


    Joyce Graham, CPA
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