Anything that informs your ability to optimized results within the limits of the resources you have available.
This article is written for the dentist just bought a practice, just started a practice from scratch, or has been running a practice for a while and wants to get more out of their investments in marketing and business development.
I asserted in a previous article that a comprehensive dental business plan would have the following three elements:
- Internal Marketing: Operations and Patient Engagement
- External : Online Presence and Engagement
- : Offline Presence and Engagement
These three functions work with each other to optimize the growth of your practice. When any one area is not functioning properly, the return you achieve on the investment in the other areas is not as high, and may be nonexistent all together. As a result, you don’t grow nearly as much as you should.
The question is, for each of the three areas, what inputs are required in order to create the plan?
I submit that in order for you to create a business plan for your dental practice, you have to gather and document information about:
- You and your practice
- Your goals and objectives
- The resouces you have available
- The areas you serve
- The people you want to attract
- The competition you face
- The performance metrics you will use to keep you on track
You and Your Practice
When you have clearly defined who you are as a person, as well a professional, you are better equiped to determine:
- Why you are going into practice for yourself
- What you want to achieve from your practice of dentistry
- What type of dentistry you want to practice
- How much or in what way you want to grow your practice
All of the above informs the goals and objectives you are going to set for your practice, and the time and money you will commit to achieving them.
Goals and Objectives
I am out there, going to conferences, talking to dentists, mingling with my peers. What strikes me as tragic is all the snake oil sales people out there trying to convince you that their tool or tactic is the holy grail.
You are sold by the promise of the quick fix for a penny. Or, even worse, you are taken in by the grandiose promise that requires you to invest all your money into the basket of the narcissist who is making the promise that will never be delivered.
Or, I see the dentist who knows better. The dentist who invests early in their career to develop the right systems and procedures, who spends a little money on a website that doesn’t look like every other dentist in the world and the dentist who get’s out of the office, engages the community or places a well crafted advertisement in the local paper.
These dentists always smile. They seem relaxed. They never lament about how much their staff drives them crazy. Their staff loves them. They don’t leave the practice.
Their patients love them. Their patients tell ther people about how much they love their dentist.
They make a decent profit but more than that, they love their life.
This type of dentist is the type of dentist who people want to be around. They grow because they understand the principles of business development, and make the necessary investments to comply with each and every one.
This is the type of dentist you want to be and the type of dentist we want to work with.