When you’re fresh out of dental school, a thriving practice of your own might be your ultimate goal. But after years of running a successful business, you may start to wonder what’s next? Here are five tell-tale signs that your dental practice is ready to expand.
- A higher frequency in hectic workdays. Have you noticed that your schedule is overbooked more often lately? Are your appointments back-to-back with barely any downtime? A busy practice is a positive sign, but if you start to get too overloaded, you, your patients and your staff will start to feel the effects.
- An inability to accommodate patients. One of the worst things you can say to a new patient is that your first available appointment is months away. If you are turning away business or can’t work with your existing patients to find appointment times that are convenient for them, it might be time to expand in order to fill these needs. Solutions to an overcrowded schedule include a larger location, additional doctors, or a satellite location.
- An exhausted staff. If you notice that most of your team is feeling stressed or overworked, it might be an indicator that you need more resources. Maybe it’s time to hire more help. If you don’t know where to start, I recommend consulting with your employees. They will be able to give you feedback on where they feel that they could use some extra help. After speaking with your team and assessing the situation yourself, see if you can write out a job description. If there’s enough work there for another employee, then it’s time to start recruiting!
- Clients who come from all over. If people see the value in your services, they will often travel further to obtain them. Although, this doesn’t mean they should have to! If you notice that many of your patients drive a long way for their appointments, it might be time to open another office. Do you have a lot of clients coming to see you from the same area? Is that area in need of a quality dental office? A little research can go a long way in picking a great spot for your practice’s next location.
- Frequent referrals. Not every dentist specializes in everything. More patients means a larger variety of issues that need to be resolved with care. If you find that you are constantly referring your patients to other specialists, it might be time to consider bringing a specialist in-house. With multiple specialties under one roof, you have the opportunity to significantly improve treatment outcomes. Rather than working separately in independent practices, doctors can easily collaborate on the best options for each patient.
If any of the above sound like your practice, then it might be time to expand and improve! To learn more about running a modern dental practice, pick up a copy of my book, The Big Smile. You can also keep up with me on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.