According to a report published by IBIS World in 2017, the size of the dental market in the UK was £6.7bn, with a growth projection of 1.1% over the following five years. This means that the time is right to grow a dental practice. If you get it right, you can take advantage of the growing UK population, which is leading to a growing demand for dental health services.
In order to grow a dental practice, you need to have a good understanding of the methods that you need to use. Making the right use of these methods is essential, if you want your dental practice to expand and thrive.
Maintain a high performing team
When you set up your dental practice, you put a team in place that you could trust. It’s important to retain this team if you want to grow your dental practice successfully. This means that you have to consider several factors.
Making sure the working environment is a positive one.
A working environment that is less than positive environment will deter people from wanting to remain working at your practice. Make sure that everyone is aware of the vision of the practice and working towards it. You should also make sure that members of your team have access to the training and technology that they need.
Encouraging good performance.
You cannot grow a dental practice without having a high performing team in place. This is why it’s so important to make use of key performance indicators, SMART objectives and an effective appraisal system that includes an emphasis on personal development.
Making sure that communication works.
Effective communication is central to the success and growth of any dental practice. This may sound easy, but communication can become confused and messy if you let it. Make use of tools such as a communications strategy, an Intranet system and weekly team meetings, to help make sure that this does not happen.
All of these factors can help you to keep your high performing team in place.
Attracting new patients is not enough to grow a dental practice; you need to make sure that they are retained. There are several things that you need to do, in order to make sure that this happens.
- Make a good first impression that includes maintaining a welcoming but tidy waiting room and making sure that reception staff are friendly as well as efficient.
- Engage with your patients. No-one expects you, or the associates who work at your practice, to be best friends with patients. However, you do need to engage with them. Few patients will return to a dentist who is unapproachable and distant.
- Remind patients in a friendly manner. We all lead busy lives, and it’s easy to forget things like dental check-ups. Keep your patients engaged by sending them friendly reminders, but do not harass them with constant contact.
- Monitor the retention of patients. In order to understand how your patient retention efforts are working, you need to monitor their effectiveness. If you do not do this, you cannot hope to grow your dental practice successfully.
Optimising marketing efforts
You can have an exceptional dental practice, but it’s not going to grow and flourish if you do not market it effectively. Optimised marketing is essential to the growth of any business. It’s important that you emphasise the benefits that people can get from choosing your dental surgery, rather than simply concentrating on the brand itself. It’s these benefits that will attract people to your practice and make it easier for you to retain their loyalty.
When you are marketing your dental practice, do not forget to make full use of social media. This is where large numbers of potential patients spend time, and it’s the perfect place for you to reach them and communicate with them. You can also choose to pay for social media advertising, as well as other advertising options, such as PPC.
Your website should be central to your marketing efforts. You need to make sure that the content is fresh, interesting and well-written. You also need to ensure that your website is easy to navigate, by remembering to use relevant headings and menus. Do not forget to optimise your website for mobile, as more people use mobile devices to access the Internet than use desktops or laptops.
Anyone who wants to grow a dental practice, to take advantage of the demand, needs to make sure they have a high performing team in place, that they retain patients and that they optimise their marketing efforts.