Dentists often find it difficult to maintain steady growth in their clinics. The need for expansion is vital to most practices, but the expenses of becoming bigger can be greater than the benefits. To grow your footprint successfully, you will have to implement some critical steps that enable you to expand faster and ensure that the performance of your services does not suffer.
Here are the steps you have to follow to expand your dental clinic successfully.
1. Develop a business plan for growth
The first thing that you need to do is create a business plan for expansion. Your plan will be based on the data collected from market surveys, demographics, etc. It can be used to decide the ideal location for expansion. The information that you gather can be fed into an online map through Google Maps or MapQuest. Those unfamiliar with maps can use mapping software like “Gps Visualizer” to create their business plan map.
The market analysis needs to contain relevant data on how the region is faring, the number of people affected by your expansion, and how the plan will influence the area. The section on demographics should contain information on age, gender, family size, education levels, etc. It is essential to consider population trends as you look forward to a decade or two.
The business plan for growth should also contain a financial budget and a comprehensive plan Marketing for Dental services, which will guide you on how to expand your practice.
2. Understand the local market dynamics
For your plan to be successful, you must focus on increasing your customer base and retaining existing clients. Understanding the region’s demographics will help you determine which markets offer the best opportunity to increase your clientele.
You should also pay attention to the local economic conditions as they will significantly impact your business. For instance, if most of your clients come from an upper-middle-class background and the region is going through a recessionary phase, you may consider offering discounts for new customers to attract a broader customer base.
3. Identify the ideal location for expansion
There may be several factors that you need to consider when looking for the ideal location of your clinic, such as the general availability of healthcare services in the area and whether patients will consider traveling to your facility.
Distance from other medical facilities because competition among similar businesses is beneficial only if there is enough demand for them to exist side by side. If there isn’t much demand, it will create problems because not everyone can afford multiple visits.
Consider identifying locations where vertical growth is desired, and space availability allows vertical growth without interference or outside costs. Also, ensure the availability of utilities like electricity and water, which are necessary for day-to-day business operations.
The most suitable location for your practice would depend on the services that you offer. For instance, if you are looking to expand your orthodontic services, it is essential to have a facility within a few kilometers from where most of your patients reside. It is also essential for such facilities to be frequented by other health care practitioners so that dental assistants and secretaries can quickly access other medical professionals if necessary.
4. Access financing options
The optimum way of funding the expansion of a dental clinic is through equity, but this may not be possible sometimes due to market conditions or restrictions placed by state laws on how much an individual can invest in a single company at a given time. In such cases, one can resort to financing through loans. Several funding agencies offer special schemes for dental practices, so you should check with your bank or search online for options available in the area.
Alternatively, you may also choose to raise funds by approaching charitable organizations or applying for grants from private foundations.
5. Appoint a marketing team
For the business plan to work successfully, it must include marketing research and planning and strategy implementation. This is because the primary purposes of any business include raising awareness about their products and building brand loyalty among customers.
Your marketing plan will comprise traditional advertising techniques like billboards and television ads along with micro-marketing techniques like email campaigns, telemarketing, etc. You will need to appoint a team of experienced professionals who can plan and implement marketing strategies.
In conclusion, planning for your dental practice is essential since it will help you make the right decisions for selecting products and services. It will also help determine how many employees are required for the efficient functioning of the business, in which location expansion should take place, where funds for expansion must be sourced from, etc.