Dental Technology Showcase offers some business advice to help dental laboratories to survive and thrive
Establishing a dental business is only half the battle in what has become a competitive profession. Maintaining success in the long term requires a lot of hard work, clever thinking and fresh ideas, so utilising opportunities to help you implement all this is crucial. This is easier said than done.
It’s useful to plan ahead so allocate time and resource to working on the business as well as in it. Whether you decide to dedicate a morning a week or a day a month, you’ll need this time to analyse your current business performance and ensure it continues to grow in the right direction. Here are a few key things to think about:
What are your USPs?
Your unique selling points (USPs) are what set you apart from other dental labs and these will be the focus of your marketing material. It’s necessary to consider what your business is known for, what its reputation is focused on and how you can further build on this or adapt it if required. Do you offer services not available from other labs in the area? Do you employ cutting-edge technologies that produce restorations of unmatched quality? Do you go the extra mile in order to offer an outstanding service to your clients? Whatever you do differently, identifying exactly what it is and maximising on it is important.
How do you compare?
Doing market research on a fairly regular basis is necessary to understand how you compare. This might involve checking services and prices offered by competitors, or gaining inspiration from labs in other parts of the country who might be doing something you can incorporate within your own business. Knowing where you add value to your clients relative to other dental labs will help to demonstrate where you stand and may guide changes or expansion in the future.
How efficient are you?
This is not simply about reducing costs – although this might be possible with careful selection of products, bulk ordering or making use of special offers and packages from suppliers. It is also about streamlining processes to ensure an efficient workflow without any compromise on the quality. Could the lab be reorganised to make it easier and quicker for the team to work in? Perhaps your delivery process could be updated to reduce inefficiencies or online platforms could be better utilised to when liaising about cases with dentists. There are always ways of improving the daily running of your lab, and small changes can have the greatest impact.
Can your team meet demand?
Frequently checking that your technicians have the knowledge and skills they need to consistently deliver first-rate products is vital. If new technologies or materials are introduced, for example, the team may need training.
Any support you can provide with their on-going CPD will also be appreciated and will help to ensure a happy and productive workforce. If you wish to expand your business, bringing in people with new expertise and fresh ideas can refresh the business and broadening your services.
How wide is your network?
Dental technology can be a fairly isolating profession, with most technicians and lab owners remaining within the confines of the laboratory on a daily basis. This can make it difficult to meet new people and develop professional connections. Engaging with the wider dental community can help you build relationships with professionals who can provide valuable support – providing ideas and guidance on enhancing the business, as well as potential future team members.
Attending educational events and conferences is a great way of engaging with the dental community and enabling you to work on all of the above. The Dental Technology Showcase (DTS) remains the premier dental lab event of the year and offers the perfect opportunity to interact with professionals from across the country.
You can gain a wealth of information, industry updates, regulation advice and business inspiration throughout the packed two-day lecture programme. You and your entire team can also learn from some of the biggest names in the field, developing skills and discovering new technologies while gaining hours of relevant, enhanced CPD.
For every lab owner looking to build their business and ensure success well into the future, there are several easy steps to take. Once you can distinguish yourself from other laboratories, ensure efficient workflows and create an effective network, your business will be ready to thrive.
DTS 2019 will be held on Friday 17 and Saturday 18 May at the NEC in Birmingham, co-located with the British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show.
T: 020 7348 5270 E: [email protected] W: www.the-dts.co.uk