It takes courage to start a business. After all, the definition of an entrepreneur is, “A person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.”

If you’re reading this, you likely resonate with that definition as an aspiring practice owner. Knowing the risks involved with starting up a dental practice, you want to make sure you launch your business the right way. It’s so important to set yourself up for success right off the bat. Your initial steps can make or break your startup, and they need to be taken very deliberately. 

One Phase at a Time

The evolution of a dental practice can be grouped into two categories: pre-startup and post-startup.

The pre-startup stage includes the more technical aspects of setting up your business, such as finding office space, getting insurance, and securing equipment. The post-startup stage is about how to attract clients to your practice. This includes marketing efforts such as developing a social media strategy or creating content for your website.

So, let’s dive in. We’ll be focusing on a few important stepping stones amidst both phases in the evolution of your soon-to-be-amazing dental practice.

Find the right mentor.

Before you even think about starting your practice, you should get acquainted with someone who has already proved they can run a business. Every entrepreneur can forgo tons of trial and error and save themselves from a lot of hurting by learning from the mistakes of a mentor. 

So, before you scope out a location and start learning things on your own, find the right mentor. It can be someone in your family, a friend, or even a business leader you follow on social media. Study them thoroughly. If possible, see if they’ll let you sit in their shadow for 90 days, 6-12 months, or however long you can. That’s a great way to get insight into how they run their business. 

How do they interact with folks, from potential clients to potential business partners? What about marketing, handling conflicts amongst team members, etc.? This will save you the time of reading thousands of business books. That’s not to mention you’ll have the privilege of asking your own questions and really picking their brain for valuable insight.

Get Equipped

With so many demands on dental practices, it can be hard to keep everything running organized and efficiently. Practice systems and processes need to be stored in a secure, central location where everyone can easily find them. Equipping yourself with the right practice management software can help fix that. 

Our teams need support and direction. We need to make sure tasks are being performed. Being the best leaders we can be will only go so far. We also need to go about equipping our teams with the right training and, even more importantly, we need to give them all the help they can get by providing them with the right tools. 

We’re a big fan of using our partner, Mango Voice's, VoIP dental phones. Their phone system will help you create many efficiencies in your practice. With so many conveniences built in plus countless integrations, your practice operations will start out highly efficient.

Let the Word Out

Marketing is a crucial part of any business, but it's especially important in the early days. Without a steady stream of patients checking out your new practice, you might never show up on the radar. There’s no way to grow without getting people in your chair and impressed with your services enough to send their family and friends your way.

It is important to know that 90% of all people do not make a purchase until someone they know has recommended a product or service. It is also important to remember that word of mouth marketing is the most effective form of marketing, with 60% saying it has an effect on their buying habits.

There are likely more than a handful of dental practices fighting for patients' attention in your area. With the right marketing strategy, you can promote your practice well enough to persuade people to choose you over the practice down the street.

Shoot For The Stars!

Between finding the right mentor, equipping yourself and your team with the right tools, and marketing your practice, you have the potential to achieve your vision. It’s important not to rush anything and take it all in stride. Businesses don’t boom to success overnight. It’s all about being calculating and planning ahead.

Groups like the Trapped in an OP Facebook group exist to help dental entrepreneurs and dental professionals alike. If you’re interested in getting encouragement and support from other dental professionals, then join today!