Happy New Year! As we enter into 2021, our natural inclination is to reflect on the past 12 months. And this time around, that’s an … interesting endeavor. 2020 was certainly a year of unprecedented (everyone’s new favorite word) challenges and trials, but one that also inspired – or maybe we should say, demanded – flexibility and innovation. With all the challenges of the past year, the health of your dental practice – its perception in the community, its team members, its resources, and its finances – is probably on your mind.
We’ve put together a list of a few things you could be doing to give your practice the best start at a 2021 of growth and positive evolution.
Tip One:Schedule a January meeting dedicated to establishing goals and brainstorming marketing ideas for the new year.
It’s so important to communicate your intentions for the practice to your entire team. After all, they are a key part of helping you execute those visions. Here are some good questions to ask to help get you started:
- Would you like to take on more patients? If so, how many?
- Are there specific patient demographics that we’re missing?
- Are you happy with where your revenue is?
- Do you think you could benefit from hiring new team members?
- What process changes might you like to implement?
Once you’ve considered these questions and others like them, put your answers into concrete goals and use the Big January Meeting to figure out how they can be accomplished. This is where the brainstorming comes in. Your team will likely have some great ideas – marketing and otherwise – to offer up. And then you can all make a plan!
Let’s say you do want to take on more patients...say, 500 more. Obviously, that means a marketing push. If you’re looking to tap into specific demographics, make sure the approach is hyper-targeted–maybe recent retirees or young professional women. If you’re wanting to build more revenue, think about a dual approach that brings in more patients but also reduces your operating costs. Let’s also say that your Office Manager has suggested hiring a support person, which might be what your practice needs to evolve and grow. Get the hunt going! And process changes can make everything work more efficiently, which is beneficial no matter which other goals you’re focused on.
Tip Two:Ask each member of your team to submit one suggestion for a new initiative or way of doing things.
Ensure that all team members are heard by requesting input from each and every person.
You hired them carefully for their expertise, and they are intimately involved in processes and patient pain points that you might not see up close. Also, many of them are probably thinking like you are — how can we do better this year?
And this shouldn’t be limited to just that team member’s focus area — a hygienist might have a fantastic marketing idea, and your Insurance Coordinator may come up with a game-changing intake process. If they’re providing a different perspective on how the business is run, you should welcome it.
Use all of this to your practice’s advantage, and you’ll continue to build on your relationship with your team members at the same time. Happy team = happy practice = happy patients!
Tip Three:Check in on all of your licenses and continuing education requirements.
This is a big one. What better way to start off on the right foot than to ensure that licenses are in order for both you and each member of your team that they apply to?
If any of you will need to take courses in 2021, scheduling them now will save you tons of time and avoid the possibility of you forgetting. If you have someone on your team who typically keeps track of this, just touch base with them and express your desire to put everything on a calendar and get the ball rolling on courses well in advance of any license lapses.
Tip Four:Establish a dental membership plan.
This is our thing, so you knew it was coming, right? ;) We just really are passionate about it, and here’s why:
Tips 1 through 3 are helpful in keeping your practice organized and efficient throughout the coming year. But if you’re looking for a real game changer; a fresh way of improving patient care; an adjustment that will enable your practice to be its best ever—you should implement a dental membership program.
Remember how you wanted to bring in 500 more patients and your office manager requested more help? Well, you could add tasks to your team’s already-full plate and hire someone new, or you could look at things from an outside-the-box viewpoint.
Dental membership plans are the ultimate solution to both problems … and dozens of other ones, too.
In-house plans draw in new patients because they present the increasing number of uninsured patients with an affordable way to pay for dental care. And trust us, that figure really is growing, especially in light of COVID-19. According to Journal of Dental Research, an estimated 16 million individuals in the United States have lost their employer-sponsored dental insurance in 2020, so rest assured you’ll be seeing more uninsured patients in 2021.
They also save your team time—the more patients on your membership plan, the less back and forth with insurance companies, AND the automated payments mean your team won’t have to hound those same patients for payments.
Dental membership plans offer preventive care as part of a package in which your patients pay a monthly or annual fee. That payment is separate from visits, so even if they don’t make it to an appointment, you get paid—hello, financial future.
The discounts you can offer on restorative treatments also encourage patients to approve more cases, so case acceptance goes way up.
And guess what? It might only take you about 15 minutes to start one. Yes, really.
Learn more about it, or reach out to us at email@example.com.
And then, get to work! We hope these thought processes, tips, and techniques will help you to start 2021 off in a positive and productive way. Putting the best foot forward, on the part of you and your team, doesn’t have to be excessively complicated. It does take hard work, but the path is clear. Go forth and prosper!