Like every other type of business, starting an orthodontist practice requires careful planning. It can be intimidating if you’re not sure where to start. This guide will show you the essential things to know before opening an orthodontist practice:
1. Secure the Necessary Qualifications
Before starting your business endeavor, you need to have all your qualifications in place. First, you must have a qualified orthodontist. If you are an orthodontist looking at starting your own practice, ask yourself if you’re willing to work as a professional and run the daily operations within the practice. Generally, it’s advisable to gain some experience working for an established practice before starting your own to ensure you’re emotionally, mentally, and financially prepared for it.
Next, start with the paperwork to ensure you’re legally backed for your orthodontist practice. Depending on your location, the license requirement may differ. You may be required to purchase bond insurance before applying for your orthodontist business license. After securing the required license and registration, you’ll need to file for your business’s tax ID. The process of getting your paperwork could take months. So, it’s important to give yourself enough time for it.
2. Pick Your Location Wisely
Location matters for every business, especially one that requires you to see your clients physically. For your orthodontist practice to be profitable, you’ll need to establish your business in a location with an existing need for your services.
If you decide to set up in a place where there are already practicing orthodontists, you must prepare for the competition that lies ahead. Try to identify unique selling points that will distinguish you from the competition. On the flip side, if there are no orthodontists where you intend to set up, find out why.
You could carry out market research to know if there’s a lack of demand for orthodontic services to maintain your practice’s stability. If you decide to establish your orthodontic practice in such an area, you could use the results from your market research to guide your future marketing efforts. You could educate your targets about the need for orthodontic care through marketing.
3. Plan To Market Your Practice
Every business owner knows they cannot thrive without customers. That’s why many brands invest so much money in advertising. It’s important that you put actionable plans in place to ensure that word about your orthodontic practice gets to your target clients. One way you can achieve this is through digital marketing. Digital marketing is important because it can give your orthodontic practice a competitive advantage and establish you as an authority in the field.
First, you’ll need to create a well-designed website for your practice and ensure that it is mobile-friendly. A mobile-friendly website can boost user experience and enable your target audience to find you easily. Also, use content marketing to offer value to your patients through interactive and engaging content. You can hire an orthodontic SEO expert to help ensure that your website ranks top when internet users search for orthodontic SEO keywords.
4. Draw a Realistic Budget
Setting up an orthodontic clinic can be capital intensive. That’s why you should draw a realistic budget beforehand to give you a picture of the financial requirements for your business. It will also help you ensure that the money you make after opening your business equals or exceeds your expenses. That way you can forecast your profitability and align your orthodontic practice to hit both long-term and short-term business goals.
One essential component to include in your budget is your payroll expenses. It should factor in the salaries of your staff, training costs, benefits, employee incentives, and workplace insurance. You should also consider the cost of equipment, specialized supplies, marketing, and your building.
Whether you own the building you practice in or rent it, you should include the maintenance costs, taxes, insurance, and any essential repairs in your budget. You could even create a budget for miscellaneous expenses like sudden repairs that could pop up during the year. That way, you wouldn’t find yourself spending money meant for other purposes on such unexpected events. Either way, you won’t be losing since you still get to keep the money if the need for it doesn’t arise.
5. Network With Other Professionals
Networking is crucial for your orthodontic practice because it allows you to become influential in your field and grow your professional reputation. Also, you get to know what other orthodontists are doing and discover new ways to improve your own offerings and stay on top of your game.
You’ll also gain valuable insights from other professionals in the industry who have gone ahead of you and get practical tips, encouragement, and support throughout your orthodontic career. So, try to attend professional events and conferences in your specialty and other related areas like dentistry, and look out for opportunities to connect with people and find mentors.