5 pitfalls to avoid in your dental practice

Learning from your mistakes is part of running a successful business. But wouldn’t it be a whole lot easier to just learn from the mistakes of others, instead?

In this post, we’ll cover 5 common dental practice pitfalls and make suggestions on what you can do to avoid them.

1.  Purchasing a practice without enough due diligence

Buying an existing dental practice is a great way to hit the ground running and alleviate some of the stress associated with starting from scratch. But the process is far from foolproof and skipping a step during the research process can lead to overlooking key information.

  • Failing to fully understand a practice’s profit statements. If your accountant is unfamiliar with the normal expenses of a dental practice, it’s possible to overestimate current profit levels.
  • Misunderstanding dentist utilization. If your management style varies from the preceding owner, it’s possible that you’ll be unable to hit the same production numbers.
  • Presuming 100% patient retention. When a dental practice is sold, some patients may choose to leave.
  • Failing to accurately review patient files. Not all patient files represent active patients and the average annual billing per patient is just as valuable a data point as the number of patients.

2.  Waiting too long to let a disgruntled employee leave

Letting employees go is hard. But what’s even more difficult is managing a dental practice with low morale. If one team member isn’t pulling their weight, this puts undue stress on the rest of the staff.

3. Disregarding the competition

It’s a good idea to keep a keen eye on what other practices are doing within your area. Ask yourself: “What is my competitive advantage?” If you can’t find one, you may need to make changes. One way or another, your practice needs to stand out.

4. Being too flexible with accounts receivables

Flexible payment options and in-house financing are smart moves for your dental practice but being too loose can lead to a cash flow problem. Make sure your billing department flags patients who are having trouble keeping up with their payments as soon as the problem starts.

5. Not asking for online reviews

Research shows that 91% of people read online reviews. 84% say their buying decisions are affected by the reviews they read. Online reviews matter when trying to boost your internet presence. Ask your patients nicely to fill one out and make the process as simple as possible by offering a tablet or emailing them a link.