A large portion of both new and established dental practices have had to close their doors because they weren’t profitable. This is a growing issue for a number of new dentists entering the field, but it can be avoided. In many cases, failures are because of mismanagement or not understanding the business aspect very well. In others, it has to do with specific decisions which are often made to cut costs. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why dental practices end up failing.
Lack of Marketing Creativity
One of the biggest reasons why dental practices can’t grow their clientele is because they are rigid in their marketing methods. Some may have been around for a while and still try to use methods that worked for them years ago. While things like print marketing and other forms of traditional media should not be ignored, you also have to look at other techniques that could end up being more efficient and more cost-effective.
One of the things you should do is increase your local visibility. This is done by claiming your Google Business listing and making sure that your contact information (name, address, phone number) is consistent wherever you have posted it online. Next, you will need to do some outreach effort to get people through your doors.
At this point, you can decide to buy leads from a third party or gather them yourself. Try to sweeten the deal by offering a discount or a free service. Offer the best service you can and encourage people to review. One of the best ways to gather high-quality leads is to create a squeeze page with your offer and advertise it on social media. Facebook in particular is great as it allows you to narrow down your campaign to exact geographical locations, demographics, interests, and more.
Not Hiring a Lawyer
You need to hire a lawyer for your practice from the very beginning, as they might save you a lot of trouble that could end up sinking your business. Hiring a lawyer will first ensure that you are compliant with tax and employment law in your area. This is especially important in areas with complex regulations like Texas, so if you’re there, we would suggest that you contact a dental lawyer in Texas who will be able to help you navigate through those legal waters.
A lawyer will also be very important when trying to sign the terms of a lease or bring someone in. Partner disputes are another major reason why practices fail. Many are also reluctant to bring a partner in but don’t realize the benefits. A lawyer will be able to look over it and see if it would be a good option for you. One dispute with one of your employees could be enough for you to have to close your clinic, so work with a lawyer first to make sure that you draw up solid employment and partnership contracts and keep issues to a minimum.
Poor Employment Practices
Another common reason why so many dental practices fail is that they don’t have a consistent hiring strategy. They might post one-size-fits-all postings on popular job boards hoping they will stick. The issue is that they often end up attracting people who are unfocused and didn’t necessarily want to work in that line of business. This is why you will need to look at specialized job boards if you want to get the cream of the crop. You also want to make sure that anyone you hire understands and fits your clinic’s culture.
You need to look at your clientele and make sure that the people you hire know exactly what to expect. This should be apparent by the job listings. You should also spend a lot of time pre-screening employees before you call them in for an interview. We would also suggest that you outsource your HR if you are handling most of the HR work yourself.
Not Treating Existing Customers Well Enough
Another common mistake dental practices make, is taking their clientele for granted. They could end up being your largest source of revenue through both their business and the people they refer to you. So, make sure that you treat them right and follow up with special offers whenever you get the chance.
These are some of the most common reasons why dental clinics end up failing. If you have noticed that you are committing some of these mistakes, it’s not too late to turn things around.