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Three overhead cost cutting tips

A 2021 Dental Buyer Advocates study found that the median overhead percentage for American practices was 61.9%, nearly double the generally accepted 35% maximum for businesses in general. While the 35% target may not be applicable to our industry, the numbers do indicate a need for practice owners to keep overhead costs in mind.

1. Evaluate staff expenses

Staff wages (and all the associated costs including worker’s comp, payroll taxes, medical insurance, etc.) are typically one of the largest costs for a dental practice. Keeping an eye on employee salaries does not mean trying to pay your team as little as possible. It means you hire the right people at the right wage to get the most productivity and performance for your money. It also means continually investing in training, CE and other tools that help your team be even more efficient and effective.

2. Be open to new options for lab expenditures

A lab that does great work and provides high value may raise their prices over time. If you’re happy with the lab’s service, searching for an alternative can seem difficult. Lowering lab fees could be as simple as calling your current provider and negotiating a better price. Other ideas include switching to a larger lab or investing in new equipment to do more lab work in-house.

3. Set a budget for new equipment

You need to complete a full cost-benefit analysis for every piece of equipment you buy. Buying new equipment is important for enhancing patient care. The more mindful you are about where you invest those upgrade dollars, the less your equipment spend will negatively impact overhead.

You cannot assess how your overhead costs are doing if you don’t regularly review your numbers. Regular reviews are essential to determine a baseline and to set a realistic goal for your practice in the future.