five things preventing dental practice growthSandeep Kumar gives five simple areas that are preventing dental practice growth.

The latest statistics from NASDAL have reported that dental practitioners have increased their profit by an average of 3% over the last year alone.

However, despite this positive upward trend, there are still a number of practices that continue to struggle with dental practice growth. Indeed, they’re battling dwindling patient numbers and a lack of new patient enquiries.

With extensive experience in driving dental practice growth, I not only understand the fundamental challenges endured by practice owners, but have also developed proven strategies to help dental practitioners overcome them.

High staff turnover

In any business, a high turnover of staff spells trouble. Aside from consistently losing funds in recruitment fees, above all a revolving door suggests internal issues with the running of any business. Therefore this results in negativity amongst company stakeholders.

In the dental industry, a high staff turnover is likely to create ill-feeling amongst patients. In some cases this can result in a reduction of patient numbers. Patients attached to a particular team member are likely to follow them as they move to an alternative practice.

If your practice suffers with a high turnover of staff, have accountability. Take time to consider ‘why’ you keep losing employees. From the initial recruitment process through to company culture. There are many factors to consider in attracting and retaining the right talent. Ultimately, those who understand how fundamental curating and supporting the right team is to the continued growth and success of their practice, are those far more likely to have a higher staff retention rate.

Lack of marketing strategy for dental practice growth

I frequently meet with dental practitioners who are struggling to drive dental practice growth. Following many years’ experience, it is clear that this is due to one common factor. A lack of a clear and consistent marketing strategy.

Being inconsistent with your marketing messages will limit clarity and quell your potential to stand-out amongst the competition.

When you commence any marketing activity, it’s important to remember that you generate the best results when you follow a consistent approach. The dental practices that have a monthly marketing budget, and a clear plan of action to reach and engage with potential and existing patients through a host of channels, are those likely to experience consistent growth and resulting success.

Lack of a patient journey

Too many businesses focus on driving new sales without having an effective strategy to retain patients for the long term.

In building my own clinic and supporting the growth of others, I established an effective digital patient journey. The journey comprised of a unique lead generation and nurturing process. It attracted and retained a consistent flow of patients.

A key part of this process was creating and implementing the right messages through marketing activity to ensure we only attracted relevant patients. This was and continues to be supported with a proactive patient onboarding process, positive and consistent patient communication. This establishes trust in our professional capability from the outset.

Ineffective operational systems

Do you know how much time, cost and resource is spent on specific areas of your business? Do you regularly analyse your margin to ensure your patients are receiving the best possible treatment, whilst remaining profitable?

Implementing effective operating systems to support the smooth running of your business will not only improve staff efficiencies, through tools like digital reporting, but will also enable you to identify the problem areas of your business that are preventing growth.

There is a host of digital, cloud-based tools available to support practice operations. Therefore take the time to find the right one for you. Furthermore, ensure you provide staff training to enable buy-in from the outset.

Undefined USPs

If you can’t communicate why your dental practice offers something different, then how do you expect a patient to know?

The dental practice that takes the time to understand and clearly showcase both their industry niche and treatment unique selling points (USPs) are those able to attract and retain the right patients. This drives consistent and long-term growth.