In dentistry, we can no longer overlook, deny, or be complacent that we will sustain or survive these tough times. Respond by focusing on the things you can control, using these five key strategies:

 

Increase the longevity (loyalty) of your existing patients

  • Sixty-eight percent of patients leave your practice because of “indifference.” Make sure you are building a strong, memorable relationship with them using your dental team to build trust.

 

Sustain your growth through new patients

  • The number one reason a practice acquires new patients is from internal referral. Everyone on the dental team should be asking daily for referrals.

 

Increase the variety of procedures you deliver

  • Invest in technology for the greatest increase of case-acceptance at your practice. 85% of adult education is visual, and once a patient believes oral health is part of their overall wellness, they will find a way to maintain their health. A USA Today study showed that 73% of baby boomer women said they would continue to find a way to buy what they wanted regardless of their economic status. Show them how dentistry is the choice for them.

 

Increase the frequency of patient visits

  • Make sure your recall system is finely tuned, with weekly reactivation efforts, to ensure patients are honouring their hygiene interval. Their oral health does not stop needing attention because of the economy.

 

Analyze and know your break-even point (BEP)

  • Know exactly the amount you need to collect each month to cover the five categories of “fixed” costs, the eight categories of your “variable” costs, and the amount you need to draw and/or have leftover to maintain your lifestyle. Don’t cut an expense before you know why you are cutting it. That is reactive, not responsive.

In summary, you don’t have to be one of the statistics of the world recession if you take time to respond in a positive manner, focus on what is important, and, as a dental team, act now. The hardest hit dental practices are the ones that have been successful by accident.

 

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