Monday, October 5, 2009

Make Your Dental Practice More Profitable


In these trying economic times, dental practices also feel the sting of reduced consumer spending. Your dental office must be profitable in order to survive – but turning a profit is harder than ever. For this reason, keeping abreast of dental trends is critical to your office’s viability.

  • Opportunity lies in new revenue streams. Even your most loyal clients may be delaying dental care as they tighten their budget. You can expand your offerings with a conscious focus on the market segment who can afford treatment. You cannot reasonably ask your patients to come in for check-ups every two months (wouldn’t that be nice), but you can appeal to their desire for self improvement. Cosmetic dentistry offers everything from whitening to veneers and even smoking cessation programs. These services have a high profit margin and help to expand your market reach. Incidentally, cosmetic procedures generate more buzz than general dental care, thus creating a free yet invaluable residual marketing campaign.

  • Reduce Your Dental Office’s Costs. There is no better time to reexamine your expenses because the internet makes it so easy. What are you paying for supplies? Lever technology and get your medical supplies wholesale online. Finding the right disposable product provider cuts out the retail middle man and can make all the difference to your profitability.

  • Appeal to Potential Patients Online. You aren’t the only one benefiting from the Internet. Consumers use the Internet to research dental experiences, service costs, and demystify procedures. Don’t bury your head in the sand. If you don’t have a website (what?!), get one. If you do, make sure your site is a user-friendly tool for information. Include a blog that covers dental news. Become an authority on the topic (you are – why not let people know it.) Heck, get a Facebook account if you want. Bottom line: make sure your patients and prospects can find your business online.

  • Alleviating dentist anxiety. Remember Little Shop of Horrors? The human villain was a dentist. Fair? Not really. Accurate public sentiment? Probably. For a culture that places a high value on healthy teeth, we are really afraid of the dentist. Countering this fear can significantly increase client loyalty. So, make your office more spa-like with calming décor, music, and videos. Things should feel clean, not institutional. Offer sedation when appropriate. And don’t underestimate the value of a congenial staff. While we’re at it, you should probably make sure your bed-side manner is strong as well. Every touch point needs to reassure your patient that this is going to be a good experience.

While the present market offers real challenges, with the right information, you can really make your dental practice a stronger, more profitable business.

About the Author: Kerry Perissi is the Founder & Vice President of MEDNET Direct, a leading supplier of disposable medical supplies for the medical and veterinary industries, including top quality puppy pads designed as a training aid for puppy housebreaking. With over 10 million puppy training pads sold, MEDNET Direct makes medical grade pads affordable for veterinary and home use.

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