The Essence of Expansion
A dental practice, at its core, is still a business that aims to thrive and grow, then eventually expand to increase its earning capacity and also to reach more customers. Even for dental offices that don’t necessarily ‘aim’ for huge profit but to promote better dental health and provide affordable and accessible dental treatment, the concept of expansion is still essential to serve more people. But regardless of your dental office’s motivations, it’s clear that expansion entails a lot of time, money, effort, and planning to pull off properly.
One of the worst, or at least riskiest, business decisions your dental office can make is expanding too early. You’ll end up having a significantly bigger overhead cost that your operations may not cover, or end up compromising the quality of work or even going bankrupt — or ‘growing into bankruptcy,’ as they call it.
So, before you start looking for suppliers for dental equipment/tools or industry-trusted contractors specializing in medical construction in Utah, you need to pay attention to sure signs and indicators which suggest that your dental office is ready to expand
#1 You Consistently Earn (More than) Enough to Cover Overhead
The keywords here are ‘consistent’ and ‘enough.’ To expand with minimal risk, you must take your time and ensure that whatever your dental practice earns is consistent and is sufficient to cover all operational and non-operational expenses (your overhead). In other words, your practice should be financially stable before you even start to consider the notion of expanding. And also if your dental practice aims for cheap and accessible dental treatment, you still need to earn enough to break even or have some profit that you can use for all your expansion expenses.
#2 You Have Both Regular and New Patients Coming In
In connection with the first sign, you’ll want to review your records to confirm that you already have an established ‘customer base’ in terms of regular patients that come in to undergo routine dental checkups and/or procedures. However, it’s also just as important to ascertain if you have a steady flow of new patients coming in, as well as this means that your dental practice’s ‘brand’ is more or less attracting more potential patients. And on a related note, you should also check if your new patients are referrals from your current (and undoubtedly satisfied) patients.
#3 Your Appointment Schedule is Optimized Yet Always Filled Out
Another sure sign that you ‘need’ to expand is if your current dental practice’s capacity can barely accommodate any more patients. However, you do need to make sure that your appointment schedule isn’t only filled out due to poor scheduling or other issues — you need to have a handle on your scheduling already, and you’re confident enough to say that it’s optimized. So, if your dental practice’s waiting room is almost always filled with patients and your schedule’s stacked for weeks, it’s safe to say that expanding is a viable option.
Expansion is arguably one of the riskiest decisions any business, such as your dental practice, can make, so it’s imperative that ‘check the pulse’ of your dental practice first before finally deciding that it’s time to expand. And as a parting note, you should remember that you’ll only be able to see these signs when you’re ready to see them.