Is your practice growing or declining? 75% of practices have experienced declines since the last recession. That’s a pretty scary number. There are two reasons for wanting to increase the value of your practice: either you’re thinking of selling it or you want to upgrade your current practice to the next level. In either case, if increasing your practice’s value is the goal, then there are few questions you need to ask and some steps you need to take to move the needle upwards.
1. What’s the status of your reputation?
If you Googled your own business, what would you learn? Does your online presence reflect a positive image and experience through testimonials and online reviews? Do you even have an online presence? More and more customers are relying on the internet to give them an “honest” perspective of the patient experience. Having an up to date website and taking an active role in managing online reviews may mean the difference between a trickle of new patients and a deluge.
2. What’s the state of your referrals?
What do your patients say about you to their friends and family? Would they / do they refer you? What do you do to ensure that they do? There are a couple of things to keep in mind:
- a) Don’t ‘set it and forget it’. Make sure someone is reviewing your marketing referral tactics on an ongoing basis.
- b) Don’t forget to track your referral partners. Do you have a method of tracking which partners are the most effective? Make sure you have a system in place, preferably electronically to save time and the hassle of paper.
3. Is your practice well-managed?
Is your practice run efficiently? Is there an effective level of productivity? Do you feel your team communicates well? If the answer to these questions is anything other than a resounding yes, you should consider how to improve your situation before moving forward with other plans. If you’re selling, no one wants to buy what they may perceive as a mismanaged business. If you’re trying to take your practice up a notch, better to fix the existing issues before adding to your stress of expanding your business.
4. Are your facilities up-to-date?
The fact of the matter is that patient dental fees are the same across the board. So a patient will pay the same price for dental work done at an out-dated, shabby looking office as they would at a sleek, sophisticated and modern facility. Objectively which option would you take – particularly if you’re a new patient and you have no previous experience with the dentist or staff?
An office renovation can mean so many things, from the design and layout of the reception, patient rooms or even the bathroom. Things to consider when planning an office makeover:
- What will make your practice look great, visually? Contemporary design, stylish décor, quality furnishings
- What features can you incorporate to stand out? Children’s play area, televisions, Wi-Fi
5. Have you got the latest equipment?
New equipment is obviously a significant investment. New devices can make the difference of being perceived outdated as well as bring in new upsell opportunities for existing clients. But having state-of-the-art equipment is an investment in your business. As you assess your existing equipment, here are some questions to ask before purchasing new machines:
- Does it integrate well with your current service offering?
- Does it require staff training?
- What is the estimated return on investment?
6. Is your management system up to date?
In an increasingly digital world, if you’re not already a paperless practice, it’s time to make the switch. Not only does it increase the value of your practice, imagine the space you’ll free up getting rid of all those hard-copy files!
By answering these questions and creating a plan of action you can increase the value of your practice, whatever your reason for doing so. If you need assistance or advice for updating your dental practice, contact us. We’d be happy to help.