7 things to consider when opening your first practice – New Dentist Blog

Editor’s Note: This is the 12th article in a series exploring the business aspects of the dental profession, from starting a practice and marketing to hiring and finance.

Decided to do a start-up? Here are a few tips that might make you a little more successful in this venture:

Photo of dr.  Deshpande

dr. Deshpande

1. A thorough demographic analysis. While I’ve seen extremely successful startup practices in unfavorable dentist-to-patient ratios, for the most part you need a ratio of at least 1:3000 to support your startup dream. Starting a practice in a highly competitive field can make life difficult for you.

2. Finding a location that is easily accessible, offers sufficient parking for your patients and staff and that attracts as many eyes as possible in a day is essential. If you find a location at an intersection with a traffic light where at least 20,000 cars are passing, there’s nothing to worry about. However, be wary of those locations; they are hard to find in urban markets and are usually bought by giant retail spaces. Finding a good tenant representative to help you discover spaces and negotiate on your behalf will serve you well in this case.

3. Some banks can lend up to $550,000 for general dentistry startups. Specialists can get a little more out of a bank. Some new dentists will not be able to find a bank to fully fund them, especially if they are recent graduates. Many of you may need to consider getting a traditional SBA loan to fund your startup dream. Consider having a financial mentor to help you understand which route makes the most sense for you.

4. It can be helpful to support yourself with a busy part-time relationship while running your startup. It helps reduce the financial pressure while also giving you the income to put into your startup for marketing.

5. Surrounding yourself with other dentists who can help you with this is vital. One of my favorite sources is the Facebook group called “the making of a dental startup,” started by a podcaster with a show of the same name. There is one group exclusively for dentists and another with company representatives. The group of dentists has honest discussions, references from companies to work with, lots of advice and people who want you to learn from their mistakes. Sometimes I find myself spending hours perusing a single topic.

6. Podcasts to listen to? Service Dentistry Rate, Startup Creation, and the Dental Marketer are all great places to listen to a variety of startup experiences.

7. Finally, be sure to surround yourself with mentors, coaches, friends, and confidants. Doing a startup can be a very overwhelming and lonely journey. You will often feel like the weight of the world is resting on your little dental shoulders – after all, you never went to school to learn the business side of dentistry. You went to school to learn clinical dentistry and make an impact on your community. It is important to remember that there are many people who have done this for you and got it right. Dealing with the right people will help you achieve your goals faster. The journey becomes easier. Find your tribe!

Best! On to a great 2022!

dr. Sampada Deshpande is a general dentist based in San Francisco. Sampada, a foreign-trained dentist from India, received her DDS from the University of Washington in 2018 and is a UW-LEND Fellow for 2020-2021. In addition to clinical dentistry, she enjoys teaching at the New Dentist Business Club and improving access to healthcare technology through her involvement in Samsotech† You can reach her directly at: @dr.deshpande on Instagram or visit her website www.sampadadeshpandedds.com For more information.

Editor’s Note: We know that finding the right exercise can be overwhelming and time-consuming. That’s why the ADA has created ADA Practice Transitions (ADAPT), a service that matches you with practices that fit your practice approach and lifestyle. We provide tailored tools to ensure you are confident in your decisions and an ADA advisor supports you every step of the way. More information on ADpracticeTransitions.com

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