Owning Multiple Dental Practices: 5 Key tips

Owning multiple dental practices is a rewarding, challenging, and time-consuming endeavor. You can choose your workload and make a dent in the world by owning more than one dental practice.

If you want to purchase your second or third dental practice, this blog post will give you five key tips for owning numerous dental practices.

1. Network Before You Buy

While it might seem obvious to some, you should network with other dental practice owners before buying a dental practice, which includes buying your second or third practice. Use your network to find out who your competitors are in the market and where you can find the best deals on dental practices. 

You will want to discuss your challenges as a single practice owner and the best strategies for handling those challenges. It would help if you also discussed the positives and negatives of expanding your business.

2. Choose Your Target Audience

To give yourself the best chance of success, you want to ensure that you understand your target audience. What are their pain points? How are they currently solving those pain points? What makes them different from other target audiences? You want to ensure that your target audience is large enough to support your business.

You also want to ensure they are open to receiving your marketing messages. You can use marketing tools like surveys and polls to gauge the public’s opinion on industry topics and marketing strategies.

3. Be Proactive in Marketing

If expanding your business intending to grow your revenue, you must be proactive in marketing your dental practice. You must be targeting the right people with the right message. You can also use data like the target audience you have chosen and the research you have done on their pain points to make informed marketing decisions.

4. Organizational Structure is Key

One of the challenges of owning multiple dental practices is to manage employees and create a smooth organizational structure. The larger your business becomes, the more critical it is to have a solid structure. 

An organizational structure will allow you to make better business decisions, hire the right people, and efficiently train new employees to fill positions as they become necessary. Businesses use many different organizational structures.

5. Hire the Right People

The employees you bring into your business are important for your success. Whether you own one or multiple practices, hiring the right people is critical to growing any business. You want to ensure that you hire competent people and an excellent cultural fit. You also want to hire people who can handle their workload without constant supervision.

Closing Out: Owning Multiple Dental Practices

If you are the owner of a single practice, looking to buy your second practice, follow these tips and do your due diligence before committing to buy.

We hope these five key tips for owning multiple dental practices help you in your journey.
Fortune Northeast helps dentists grow their business. For more great tips, be sure to read our blog.

How to Improve Patient Experience in Dental Office

Affordability, quality care, and convenient hours are important to your modern dental patients to build lasting patient loyalty and differentiate your dental practice, by providing a WOW dental patient experience will ultimately help grow your dental practice

Read below for some great ideas on how you can improve the patient experience in your dental office.

Refresh Your Reception Area

Updating and maintaining your waiting room lets your dental patients know you care about their experience. You can do this by putting flat TV screens, keeping the reception area clean, ensuring that it looks impeccable, and putting the most recent reading materials. This creates a welcoming atmosphere for many patients. An effective way to look for improvements is to walk into your practice as if you are a patient. What do you notice? What could be better?

Provide Free Wi-Fi

These days, most people in the reception area use their phones to browse the internet, process their email, or go on social media. You can add an extra element of comfort and convenience by offering reliable Wi-Fi. This also enables dental patients to watch their favorite sports or TV shows while waiting for the appointment. Free, reliable Wi-Fi helps in boosting their dental experience.

Guide Patients to Your Office

An often overlooked tip for a better dental patient experience is to guide your patients to your office. If your dental office is located in a building with other offices, it may seem difficult to locate where your office is and how to get there. You can use clear signage to help your patients easily locate your office. You can also clearly communicate your location on your website, Google Maps, and social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

Create a Relaxing Environment to Ease Patient Anxiety

Going to the dentist can make some patients feel uneasy and anxious. To deal with this issue, you must provide a comfortable environment for your patients. Playing music that improves moods, offering soothing refreshments, and providing cozy seats are fantastic strategies for improving your patients’ dental experience.

Manage Wait Times

When patients wait for a longer duration, they get tired and bored. To ensure they are comfortable, you must ensure that your front desk staff manages wait times effectively. Wait times can be managed by: providing entertainment options and looking for ways to improve dental schedule practices.

Improve Technology

Patients want practices to use the latest technologies. Among the technologies believed to have improved dental patient care are computer-aided designs (CAD), cone beam computed tomography (CBCT), and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM). You must ensure that you incorporate these technologies if it’s worth it.

Ensure Your Website is User-Friendly

The quality of your websites can make a huge difference in patient experience. A functional website can help with service information, booking appointments, and customer discovery. An online scheduling tool is a great way to make your site user-friendly. Additionally, dentists using SEO can bring new users to the website through organic search.

Helping Patients Take Better Care of Themselves

Increasing patient engagement by encouraging them to keep healthy habits and avoid problems is part of your job as a dentist. You can do this by providing reminders and offering digital portals and resources as well.

Use These Tips for Better Dental Patient Experience

To ensure patients stay with you long-term and refer other patients, you must provide a WOW experience to your patients. Discussed above are among the many ways of how to improve patient experience in your dental office.
Fortune Northeast provides dental practice management coaching for New England and the Northeast dental offices. To learn more about how we can help your practice, contact us here.

starting a dental practice checklist

How to Start a Dental Practice (Complete Checklist)

Starting a new dental practice is similar to starting a new business in any other industry. There are many activities involved before your dental practice can be functional; you have to make some decisions to ensure that your practice will thrive once it begins operations. The following timeline can offer helpful insight into the processes involved.

Step 1: Budgeting, Financing, and Planning

The next part of the checklist to start a dental practice is finding or deciding on a source of capital.

  1. Come up with a well-detailed business plan.
  2. Drawing up a budget and outlining the sources of significant expenditure.
  3. Review best financing options for your dental practice
  4. Secure a loan

Step 2: Site Selection

The next step in the checklist is to decide on the location for your practice. 

  1. Scouting various feasible locations where you think your practice will thrive. 
  2. Surveying the feasibility of your top location picks. 
  3. Deciding on the location for your practice.
  4. Have your lawyers and financial advisers look at your preferred location’s lease or purchase agreement.
  5. Purchase or obtain the leases for your practice’s location

Step 3: Space Design

Now comes the time to start designing your space. This is the point of the checklist when you start thinking about the vision of your dental practice office and its design.

  1. Decide on what kind of office layout will suit the needs of your practice.
  2. Finalize the interior and exterior designs of the offices.
  3. Hire trusted contractors 

Step 4: Construction

Next on our checklist is construction work. When starting a dental practice, you’ll want to hire a team to complete this as quickly as possible.

  1. Get estimates of the work to be done by your contractor.
  2. Pick a contractor for the construction or remodeling to begin.

Step 5: Loans & Funding

The next part of the checklist to start a dental practice is to secure a loan. Here’s what to know about the loan process.

  1. Loan documents need to be endorsed before signing the lease so you can write a deposit check. 
  2. Review the hard versus soft cost restrictions to ensure that the “Conditions of Lending” are quickly satisfied.

Step 6: Insurance

Having the proper insurance when starting your dental business can be very helpful. Here are some steps to ensure you have the right insurance for your practice.

  1. Decide what coverage is needed for your dental business and staff, including workers’ compensation, business insurance, and liability insurance.
  2. Acquire insurance for your practice.

Step 7: Equipment & Software

Dentists need reliable equipment and software to make sure their practice runs smoothly. This includes x-ray equipment, sterilization equipment, computers, and much more.

  1. Create a list of the equipment you’ll need to run your practice successfully.
  2. Get the estimates of the equipment needed.
  3. Purchase the equipment needed to run the practice smoothly.
  4. Review the software systems that your practice will need.
  5. Decide on software for recordkeeping, business management, and customer relationship management.
  6. Put together your fee schedule and payment policies.

Step 8: Marketing

With a great marketing plan, you’ll be able to bring in new patients to your practice. This will help you grow your dental practice long-term.

  1. Create a marketing strategy to follow. 
  2. Employ a marketing firm (or multiple firms) responsible for marketing your practice and following your strategy.
  3. Create a website, social media channels, and review sites like Yelp, Google My Business, and other directories.

Step 9: Hire a Team

The next step in the dental practice start-up checklist is to hire a team. You will want to hire and recruit a dependable team that you can count on. Here are the steps to follow to hiring your dental team:

  1. Review the information of the personnel that the practice will need.
  2. Create job descriptions and expectations for positions.
  3. Conduct interviews for staff.
  4. Hire employees.
  5. Have the right HR system in place moving forward.
  6. Train your staff prior to launch.

Step 10: Opening Your Practice

Finally, it’s time to open your practice! Here are a few final things on the checklist to finalize before your grand opening. 

  1. Put together your fee schedule and payment policies.
  2. Set your opening date.
  3. Promote your grand opening on social media and through press releases, local news outlets, etc.
  4. Grand opening event for members of the local community.

Closing Out

Starting a dental practice is not easy since you’ll have many decisions. We hope this dental practice start-up checklist will be beneficial during the entire process, from the business plan to the grand opening and beyond.

Our dental practice management coaches are here to help you every step of the way for those starting a dental practice. Learn more.

successful dentists

How to Become a Successful Dentist

Becoming a successful dentist is not as easy as you might think. Dentists need to have more than just experience to be successful. 

At Fortune Northeast, we’ve worked with hundreds of dentists to provide dental practice management coaching to dentists in New England, so we know a thing or two about success. With that said, this article outlines qualities and habits that will help you become a dentist more quickly.

8 Qualities & Habits Of A Successful Dentist

Here are eight excellent qualities and habits that successful dentists practice daily. 

1. Knowledge

One of the most critical and apparent qualities a dentist must have is knowledge. Dentistry is highly complex, and an aspiring dentist must have excellent knowledge of all specialties within dentistry to be considered a good dentist. Just knowing, however, is not enough. Being a good doctor or dental professional requires more than just knowing about all the dental procedures and treatments. 

Knowing what processes are done in each area of dentistry is only one aspect of becoming a successful dentist. There needs to be more to it. Being a successful dentist requires more than just knowing all the procedures and treatments. The essential quality of knowledge within dentistry is understanding all of the dental profession’s needs.

2. Connections

Connections are an essential part of being a successful dentist. As a dentist, you must be able to connect with your patients and find ways to relate with them. Make sure that you take the time to get to know your patients as individuals and not just as clients by asking personal questions and adding some personal touches to the dental process. 

Connections will help you build relationships with patients, and they’ll feel comfortable in your presence, thus ensuring they return for their checkups. Becoming a successful dentist requires that you be able to connect with people.

3. Leadership

A great leader is a core quality of becoming a successful dentist. Your staff and patients will look to you as a leader. If you want to become a successful dentist, you must have the leadership skills to communicate clearly and effectively by inspiring others around you.

4. Communication

The foundation of success within dentistry is communication. The ability to communicate effectively with patients, staff, and other dental professionals is an essential quality you must possess to become a successful dentist. The bottom line is, that if you want to be a successful dentist, you must focus on communication skills.

5. Resilience

Being resilient means having the ability to handle whatever happens unexpectedly in life. It means having the ability to keep moving forward despite all of your challenges. Successful dentists require handling the unexpected and being aware of the situation.

6. Commitment

It takes commitment to become a successful dentist. You must be willing to take the necessary steps toward becoming a dentist. To become a successful dentist, you must be ready to commit yourself fully to getting through the steps needed to achieve your career goals.

7. Cooperation

In today’s society, cooperation is an essential key ingredient for success. Successful dentists require cooperation among staff and patients. At the same time, it takes a cooperative, confident attitude that everyone is willing to collaborate so that they can meet their goals together.

8. Work Ethic

Your work ethic is the way you behave at work, and it will determine whether or not you are successful. Having a good work ethic means that you are dedicated to your job and your career. A great work ethic means that you have the attitude to get things done every day, even if it means working hard during and after regular business hours.

Become a More Successful Dentist

At Fortune Northeast, we provide various coaching services to help dentists succeed. This includes dental business coaching and financial planning. Learn more about what we offer.

dental practice online reputation

Online Reputation for Dentists

Your online reputation is essential for the success of your dental practice. These days, people will read reviews and information online before selecting a new dentist. As a result, dental practices should adjust to this and be in control of their online image and perception in the eyes of their patients.

Whether you are starting a new dental practice or have owned a dental practice for years, your online image can improve continuously. Here’s how dentists can take advantage of their excellent reputation and avoid the pitfalls of a bad reputation.

What is Online Reputation Management for Dentists?

Online reputation management (ORM) is the process of controlling or influencing your perception of a business or person. Online reputation management can help improve your online image and presence with customers and prospective customers for dental practices.

Online reputation can include proactive strategies like monitoring brand mentions and getting clients to leave reviews and testimonials, as well as reactive strategies like responding to bad reviews or handling a crisis.

Your reputation is important, and the amount of time actually needed to improve the reputation of a brand is worth it.

Tips For Dentists to Improve Online Reputation

Here are seven tips on how dental practices can strive to improve their online reputation.

Monitor your Reputation Online 

There are so many websites these days where people can leave reviews. This includes Facebook, Yelp, and Google My Business, among others. Be sure to check these directory listings and ensure the information listed is accurate. If or when a negative review or press is posted on a directory site or news publication, you can catch it quickly and take action.

Respond to Negative Reviews

Negative reviews can happen. When they do, make sure to respond to the review kindly and in a timely manner. Responding to negative reviews shows you care and want to improve as a practice. Leaving negative reviews unresponded looks unprofessional, and will hurt your reputation even more than the negative review itself.

Get Positive Reviews Online

Encourage your customers to leave a positive review if they had a great experience. Getting 5-star reviews can not only help boost your reputation and even has SEO implications, with Google seeing you as a more trusted company. 

Create and Promote Content

Information that people find helpful or valuable can help you further engage with your customers. Investing in content marketing is a significant opportunity to create a more favorable reputation online.

Be Active on Social Media 

Social media can be an important part of your online reputation. It’s a great way to reach your customers and promote yourself in a positive manner. Consider running ads on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to better reach your customers in the local community.

Give Back to the Community

A great way to boost your reputation is to give back to the community! Consider a fundraiser for a charity, have employees volunteer their time, or donate your services to those in need. People will support you when you promote it online, whatever campaign you decide.

Ready to Boost Your Reputation?

You could never have too good of a reputation. With the number of searches being done online, having a positive reputation could be one of the most significant assets for dental practices to grow and acquire new customers in the community they serve.

Fortune Northeast provides dental practice management consulting to dentists in New England and New York. Learn more about what we can do for you and how we can help.

Best Ways to Get New Dental Patients

It’s not always easy to get new patients to your dental practice. Dentists need new clients just as much as any other business. Whether you’re thinking about opening a new dental practice or looking to make more of an effort to grow the number of patients for your existing clinic, it’s essential to know what strategies are out there to help get you some new patients.

Here are the best ways to get new dental patients to your dental practice:

Reviews

Posting personal reviews about how great your dental practice makes it seem like you’re proud of your work, and the site visitors should see that as a sign that the office must be excellent.

Testimonials

It works particularly well if you have an excellent support staff who can offer valuable opinions on particular products or services that they’ve used, like a dental chair or toothpaste.

Be as Flexible with Payment as Possible

Offer patients payment plans if they’re paying out of pocket, so they don’t stress about how to pay their bills and accept credit cards as a way of payment.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Patient email/text reminders

Many different sites offer incentives for the visitors to email or text the dentist giving out information about their needs for the time being. You can also offer free trials and discounts up to a certain point.

Patient referral program

You set up a plan to give customers free treatment to anyone who refers someone with new insurance to your practice. You can ask for referrals in many ways, such as offering a special discount if the referred person stays on their insurance for 90 days after their first visit to get their brackets removed.

24/7 Online Appointment Scheduling

Some offices will offer online appointment scheduling, which lets the clients set up their appointments. You can even automatically send them a reminder before the meeting.

Offer Teledentistry

Offer Teledentistry if you’re internet-savvy as an option for your patients, including access to live webcam consultations or even sending a text with a link to download content that they can refer to while they’re at work.

Sponsor local events in your community

To reach out more to your community, you can set up a program where you give financial incentives to people that go and volunteer. You can donate raffle tickets with different prizes like gift cards to win a free treatment.

Closing Out

You don’t have to do everything on the list, but you should use the ones that work best. Don’t be afraid to find out new best ways to get new dental patients and experiment with what works best for your practice.

Buying a Dental Practice: Complete Checklist

Purchasing your dental practice can be challenging and exciting, especially if you buy it for the first time. For the acquisition to be complete and successful, you need to put many things and parts together. You need to know a lot about the dental practice before you decide to buy it. 

Many things are involved in the buying process, and you need to be familiar with them. If you are planning on buying a practice, we have a checklist to follow that guides you in the process. Learn how to buy a dental practice with the checklist below.

What is Due Diligence?

When buying a dental practice, due diligence is the process of evaluating and investigating financial, legal, and operational aspects of the practice.

Performing due diligence is a critical part of buying a dental practice. It confirms whether your expectations align with the asking price of the dental practice. Without due diligence, you increase your risk during the buying process. Unlike other business entities with inventory and tangible assets, a dental practice is unique. When considering buying a dental practice, here’s what you should evaluate:

  • Income – this is based on the practice’s cash flow. Practices are priced based on their net cash income.
  • Assets – this includes new equipment and technology owned.
  • Staff – don’t forget to factor in the current staff, including office managers, dental hygienists, and billing.
  • Name and contact info – this not only includes business info, but also your website, social media, and other marketing assets.

Your Checklist for Buying a Dental Practice

Here’s what your checklist should include when buying a dental practice:

Hire a dental consultant

One of the best professional and financial decisions you can make is buying a practice; you need someone to evaluate everything before you make the purchase. You might not know how to buy a dental practice and what to check, especially if it’s your first time doing this. Hire a well-versed dental consultant in dental law, accounting, and business transitions. These professionals will assess everything about that dental practice, and if they find anything wrong, they will inform you. The consultants will see you through and keep you and your seller on track and ensure that you follow all legal and financial regulations.

Determine your budget or your capital

It is essential to include this on your checklist for buying a dental practice. You need to know whether you have enough capital or you will need to take a loan for you to purchase the practice. If you don’t have enough capital, you need to know which bank will lend you that money. Since you already have a consultant to handle accounting, you will ensure that he gets you in touch with various banks where you can get a loan for your dental practice. You need to start the application immediately.

Visit the Practice

Physically visiting the practice can help you get a first-hand look at the business. Here’s what to take note of

  • The building and office – make sure you take a look at the conditions, the layout, and whether any construction needs to be made.
  • Current staff – is the staff appropriate staffed as it is?
  • Patients – how happy do patients seem with the service? You can notice this through customer interactions.

Investigate the financial state of the dental practice

Do not leave this consideration out of your checklist for buying a dental practice. You ensure that you get to know about the financial state of the practice before purchasing it. Through the help of a consultant, you will be able to know about the cash flow of the practice and obtain all their financial details. Some of the financial details you should include:

  • Their current balance sheet.
  • Previous month’s cash flow (profit and loss).
  • Employees’ salaries.
  • Retirement and payroll taxes.
  • Three-year income return tax.

In addition to financials, it’s essential to get data on customers. Request data on the number of patients over the past 24 months to see a trend in business.

Negotiate

Seeking professional advice is critical. When an offer is made, investigate whether it is a good investment to buy the practice. Review the financial details listed above to see whether they match the asking price.

The dental practice purchase agreement review by the lawyer

The purchase agreement can be confusing as it contains all the terms of the purchase and that you have agreed with each one of them. The seller’s attorney can represent you with it, or the seller can give it to you. Once you get the contract, take time and go through every detail. It is better when you do it with your lawyer such that if you don’t understand anything, he will explain it to you.

In Closing: Buying a Dental Practice

After doing your due diligence and checking off the things mentioned above, and you decide on a price with the seller, you can sign the agreement and close the purchase of the dental practice.

SEO for Dentists: What Practices Should Know

Every dental practice is looking to get more patients in the door. If you’re looking to grow your dental practice, one way to do that is through SEO.

Many people may think SEO is complex, and rightfully so, with the number of factors that goes into Google’s ranking algorithm, which determines which website appears first in searches online. In reality, SEO can be simplified for dentists to take advantage of. In this article, you’ll learn what SEO is, why it’s important for dentists, and how to leverage SEO with strategies and best practices.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization. It is the process of improving the quality of the website in an effort to increase visibility and traffic by appearing higher in search engines like Google and Bing. For example, if someone were to search “dentist in Boston” on Google, your website is more likely to appear higher in a Google search, and users are more likely to click on it. With SEO, you do not pay to be listed in a Google search, as you would with Google advertising.

The main element of SEO is to use keywords on your website. Keywords used on your website should reflect what people are searching for to find your practice in search engines like Google. We will review the process of how to use SEO for your website.

Why invest in SEO?

Dental practices will reap the many benefits of investing time or money in SEO.

  • Build trust among your online audience
  • Organic search is (usually) the primary source of web traffic
  • Get more online bookings scheduled
  • Get more phone calls to your dental office
  • Don’t miss out! SEO can be competitive, and there are likely several dentists in your area that are also investing in SEO

Best SEO Tactics for Dentists

At this point, you may be thinking, what can I do to leverage SEO for my website? Here are some bullet-proof best practices for dental practices to use SEO:

On-Site SEO

Part of Google’s algorithm is on-site SEO, which involves using keywords and writing great content. Keywords used on your web pages should reflect what people are searching for online.

On-Site Strategies

  • Homepage – if you are a single-location practice, your homepage should be optimized for “dentist in {city/town}
  • Location pages – if you are a multi-location dental practice, you should consider having separate pages for each location. The pages should provide all the information a user needs for that location, including a map, address, phone number, and even staff.
  • Service pages – how many different services does your dental practice offer? Consider creating separate pages for each service offered. For instance, emergency dentistry, tooth extractions, dental crowns, implants, and root canals, to name a few.
  • Blog – a dental practice should also launch a blog! Google loves fresh content, and writing new blog posts is a great way to increase traffic to your website.

Off-site SEO

Off-site SEO is activities that occur outside your website that Google uses in its ranking algorithm. The biggest factor for off-site SEO is the number of websites that link back to your website. For Dentists, here are a few off-site SEO strategies.

Off-Site Strategies

  • Blogging – in addition to getting more traffic, blog articles with quality content can earn links and mentions from other websites and businesses.
  • Local directories – fill out directories online! This will get your business mentioned online and get a link pointed to your website.
  • Local press – reach out to local press for any business happenings! This could events, new hires, and more.
  • Google My Business – GMB is a useful directory because many people will use Google Maps. Be sure to fill out your profile completely, and get glowing 5-star reviews from patients.

Closing Out

Though we covered the basics of SEO in this post, we highly recommend hiring an SEO agency, consultant, or expert. The information in this article is only the tip of the iceberg, and having an SEO expert will help you improve your organic search over time. They can also help you avoid penalties from Google.

Finally, it’s important to know that SEO takes time to see results. If you do not see results in the first few months, remain patient.

Have any questions? Fortune Northeast is here to help. Our coaches provide dental marketing consulting to implement strategies that will grow your practice.