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Opening an additional office

You may be considering opening an additional location to generate greater earnings for your practice. If you have considered expanding your business in this way, here are some tips to keep in mind.

Buy vs. build

As with opening your first office, you can either build from scratch or purchase an existing practice. Both avenues come with pros and cons.

In the acquisition model, you’ll be taking over the physical location, equipment, an established patient base, trained staff, healthy cashflow and local reputation. The downside is that the staff that work there may not be keen to change the way they do things.

Starting from scratch gives you the freedom to purchase the equipment you want, hire the people you like, and build the practice the way you envision. However, this freedom can come with a hefty price tag. The lead time between opening an office and bringing in enough revenue to cover payroll, overhead and loan payments can be challenging.

An important first step

The first step to opening a second location is to make sure your first location is running efficiently. You don’t want to copy a business model that’s not working to its full potential. Once your first office is operating efficiently, you can implement the same systems into your second location.

Managing multiple locations

Managing two, or more, offices is more difficult than just one. When you’re working in a practice every day, it’s easier to spot problems before they arise, monitor employees and ensure your instructions are followed. When you have more than one location you may need to rely more on operational systems to keep the ship sailing smoothly. It’s a good idea to hire a manager who believes in your vision and can help make your second practice run similarly to the first.

Professional help

A second location that goes sour can be a big problem. It may be worth consider hiring a consultant who has either been in your shoes before, or has a proven track record of helping other dentists successfully open and run multiple locations.