After spending approximately five to six years in the university studying to become a dentist, now is finally the time for you to set up your very own clinic. Setting up one is not an easy feat, as it involves a lot of hard work, and a hefty sum of money, too. Before you go full blast into setting up your dental clinic, here are some of the things you have to consider first:
Your clinical skills
Setting up your very own Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in Irvine, CA, for example, will not only be dependent on the lessons that you have learned from your books in the university. When setting up your private practice, it is crucial that you have at least mastered or honed your clinical skills. Remember that you will be running your clinic yourself, and will be handling your people, without the supervision of a more senior dentist, so you have to be sure that you know what to do. Do a refresher on the following basics:
- Tooth and gum care, such as cleaning
- Procedures such as installation of appliance, retainers, and braces
- Root canals
- Esthetic cosmetic procedures such as whitening and implants
As a newbie, it is but natural that you will have to build rapport in your playing field. Some patients already have their go-to dentists, while there are also those who prefer dentists who have way more experience than a fresh one like you. With this scenario, it is vital that you market and advertise yourself and your practice. Here are some advertising channels that you can utilize:
- Word of mouth
- Local television and radio
- Flyers and print ads in hospitals, schools, and offices
- Social media
Your well-defined business plan
When you start your own clinic, it is still a business in the nature of practice of a profession. This fact does not free you from making a business plan. Remember that you will still have expenses to pay for such as monthly payments on your equipment, rent, salaries of assistants and other staff, other utilities, and acquisition of dental products.
A definite business plan will help you stay in the industry, such that you will not face any possible closure early on just because you mishandled your business. With a business plan, you have a document to fall back on when you regularly check if your goals and financial aspects are still on track.
Your budget and financial investment
Setting up your own dental office will be expensive; there is no sugarcoating it. You have to be prepared with the expenses, be it through savings that you may have accumulated, money that you can borrow from your family, or a business loan that you will undertake.
To make sure that you make the most out of whatever amount you put out as capital, invest wisely. Spend little on the interior and the design, and focus more on the quality of your equipment, apparatus and other dental products. Your patients are more concerned about these than the architectural design of your clinic.
Your chosen location
A dental clinic is still a business; therefore it is vital that you choose a location wisely. If possible, select a location that is widely and easily accessible by your target market, and meet the following characteristics:
- Close to the central business district, schools or hospital
- Accessible by public or private transportation
- Has ample parking space
Your patients will always want to have comfort as well when they visit your clinic, and it will be very unpleasant for them to have to make five turns around the block before they can finally find a parking space.
Your patience and character
You will earn a lot like a dentist, that fact is for sure. But do not expect to have significant earnings in the first year after opening your clinic. During this time you will be spending so much more from your earnings, while on the second year, you will likely begin to break even as you start paying off your capital. It is only on the third to the fourth year that you will start to enjoy an income, provided that you stick to your business plans.
Your character and your overall patience are fundamental. To succeed and to compete against the other dentists in your area, you need to have integrity and determination to do an excellent job and to serve your patients as well.
A career as a dentist always seems like a good idea, as this is one that is almost always in demand. People are already conscious about getting their regular semi-annual check-up; hence, this fact helps ensure that you will have a steady following of patients. These tips can help you much as you take on the challenge of opening up your own dentist’s office so that you can leave little to no room for errors at all. Remember that you will be dealing with people’s teeth, which also involves their health, so you cannot compromise quality service over anything else.