How to grow your dental practice

When you’re trying to grow your dental practice, the truth is this: it takes effort to develop a thriving practice. While most dentists think there are no easy ways to build a profitable practice quickly, they are wrong. Here are our top tips to grow your practice in less than three years:

To grow your dental practice, you must spend money to make money.

This old cliché is absolutely true: you must invest in making a profit. If you don’t invest in marketing your practice, you can’t consistently grow your dental peractice. How much you should be spending on marketing depends on your practice, but here is a guideline: when building your practice, spend up to 25 per cent of your monthly income on marketing and advertising. Once you have achieved a comfortable level of weekly intake, you can reduce your marketing investment to 10 per cent. 

If that sounds like a lot to spend on marketing, remember this phrase: “It is not what you spend, but what you make on what you spend.” Why wouldn’t you spend a rand if you knew you were going to make three back?

It’s important to note that you should never stop marketing your practice. In the marketing world, it’s a well-known fact that most people only commit to a practice after the 5th contact (these include ads) so keeping a consistent web presence will help create consistent new business.

Carefully choose the business you want, to grow your dental practice.

Marketing is best when it is specific and targeted, so aim to tell potential patients precisely what kind of business you want.

Since patients often relate to descriptions of the symptoms or problems they have and not to the diagnosis, use their words to describe their symptom – and be specific. For example, if you want periodontal patients, your marketing efforts should tell prospective patients about the symptoms of periodontal disease in words patients would use, and they will respond. Be sure to check out the HPCSA guidelines so that you remain compliant.

Start by analyzing your practice. Ask yourself two questions:

  • What do I have the capacity to do?
  • What do I love doing?

Master the media mix, message and the movement

Understanding and mastering “The Three Ms” will put you on a track to success:

Media Mix: It takes a marketing recipe to grow your dental practice. Don’t let agencies talk you into spending all your money in one place. Diversify into digital, social media, events and seminars, direct mail, or internal referral programs.

If you only can do two things, try a digital marketing programme and a referral programme. Do both well, and you will grow your business. Avily offers both of these services so be sure to ask us how they can work for you.

Message: Keep your marketing messages specific so a prospective patient can relate.

Movement: Make sure prospective patients have a clearly defined path to get an appointment. This may be a contact number or a website address that leads to a contact form. Make it as easy as possible for a patient to contact you.

Manage your reputation

Nowadays, no one will come to your practice without investigating you online first. It is so important to manage your reputation by reducing your negative ratings and growing your positive ones.

Avily has a state of the art reputation management service so contact us if you need some help generating the reviews you want.

Measure and report all key metrics

It is true that “what is measured grows; what is measured and reported grows exponentially.” In fact, in addition to measuring, make sure your entire marketing team knows the targets they are expected to reach each week, month, and quarter.

Finally, if you do these six things, just a couple of hours per week, you can grow your dental practice exponentially. Your practice will be more profitable and fulfilling because you will be bringing in the kind of business you want.