Do you want to expand your new practice and increase revenue? Good news: these tips make dental practice growth a cinch
Getting a dental practice up and running is a challenge. If you worked for someone else before starting your own practice, you might have a good amount of patients to start with. But gaining new patients and sustaining dental practice growth takes a different strategy.
Growth isn’t as simple as increasing your marketing efforts. It starts with your practice management. Making small changes in daily workflows and adding targeted marketing makes dental practice growth easier to attain.
Our 8 best dental practice growth tips for up-and-coming dentists
1. Develop a strategy for scheduling appointments
Implementing a scheduling strategy is one of the first steps to running a more efficient dental practice. As a dentist, time efficiency equals more production and, in turn, more revenue.
You have to place extra importance on how you are planning out your days and weeks. If you create a workflow that maximizes time for “high profit” procedures, then you’ll be in a better spot for growing your revenues.
2. Create a referral program with strong incentives
Get your patients to network for you. New practices need to think creatively to increase their patient base.
Give your current patients a strong incentive to recommend your practice to friends, family, and co-workers. Think like a marketer: what incentives would your patients find valuable?
A few examples:
- Free cleanings, discounted whitenings, or electronic toothbrush giveaways
- A points system for each referral with rewards
3. Utilize SEO for your local audience
Make sure people can find your practice in online searches. Your local search engine optimization (SEO) needs to be working on all cylinders. If you haven’t already, make sure you’ve done the following to improve your Google rankings:
- Include your business in local online directories.
- Place your practice’s name, address, and phone number on every available platform.
- Claim your practice on Google Maps.
4. Streamline tasks with practice management software
Think about all the different front-end and back-end procedures that make up a typical week:
- Payroll services
- Treatment planning
- Appointment scheduling
- Payment invoicing
- Insurance management
This list goes on, but wouldn’t it be easier to manage all of it in one place? That’s why using a practice management software is so useful—it brings efficiency to the next level. With less time spent management, have you more room to focus on dental practice growth.
5. Add vanity procedures to your offerings
You’ve heard before that increasing your dental offerings provides more revenue. But think about which procedures make the profit and marketing sense.
Vanity procedures, like teeth whitening, are emotional purchases. Patients don’t need the work—they want it. And since they’re feeling better about themselves in the mirror, it’s easier to ask for reviews and testimonials to talk about the results.
Which person do you think would most likely talk about your services: the one who received a successful root canal or the one who got their teeth whitened?
6. Encourage patients to evaluate you on review sites
If you want to bring in more patients, you have to prove that you’re better than the rest. Online reviews provide excellent marketing leverage. People trust the opinions of other people. Just remember – if you want to grow your ratings, you have to ask for them!
- Send out follow-up emails to ask patients to rate their experience with the procedure.
- Promote those reviews on your website.
- Always include a hyperlink in your follow-up emails linking to Yelp and other review sites.
7. Remind your patients about appointments
Getting your patients through the door is not easy as it seems. You have to remember that dental appointments are not always the most important things in a person’s life. They focus on other tasks, double book their schedules, and re-schedule over and over.
Take measures to remind your patients about upcoming appointments. Text messages work, but make sure you receive permission before sending anything. Ask them to respond with “Yes” or “No” for confirmation. That way you can call them to re-schedule if necessary.
8. Promote video testimonials
Receiving a stellar review online is one thing—having a patient recommend your practice on video is a whole new level.
Video testimonials are powerful marketing tools. And they’re versatile. You can promote them on your website and create paid-for advertising (like commercials). Target your superstar referrers and happy patients who have reviewed you positively in the past.
Dental practice growth is all about efficiency, time management, and smart marketing
So your practice is up and running now, but you still have a lot of room to improve. Especially when it comes to gaining new clients and increasing your production and revenue. Our best advice is to think small: what are the daily changes you can make? Start with re-configuring your schedule and filling in all the “lost time.” Then, use these tips throughout the year to slowly (but surely) growth into an established practice.
What’s your opinion? Do you have any ideas for dental practice growth? Share your thoughts!