I’m grateful for you today as you are here reading this seventh of nine blog posts in my series, The Business of Owning a Dental Practice. I’ve been sharing a new blog post each week here on my website (blog tab).
Today’s topic is ‘More New Patients.’ Every practice out there is always working on their New Patient numbers. It’s a given, there will always be the need for more new patients. I’m going to address this topic from a Profitability perspective.
I believe it’s important to have a specific target number for new patients. This will depend on the size of your practice and the number of providers. If you are in rapid growth mode, you may be hiring more providers as you increase the new patient numbers. You must know what you and your team can handle without any service failures.
One of the biggest issues I see with a practice in hyper focused rapid growth is the sudden increase in expenses. Hiring team members, increased supplies, lab, marketing, and more can get out of hand quickly. Dentists may find themselves managing more people and running around like crazy with all the rapid increase in new patient numbers yet find themselves not keeping much more of the money that flows through the practice.
For sure the top line or income has increased but the profits have not increased proportionately or as they had envisioned. I want you to think about what it takes for your business to accept a new patient into your practice. Assuming this patient stays in your practice for continued dental care on a regular basis, you will need man power to take care of them.
Of course, there will be some attrition with patient numbers but for most dentists their total number of patients continues to increase. You have to think about taking care of the existing patients along with all the new patients you are attracting and desiring. What will your expenses be? How much cash flow will you have? When will you see the true profits increase?
I’m all for the growth of a dental practice but I’d like to suggest that growth is measured by Profits and not necessarily by the number of New Patients. Certainly, these numbers can go hand in hand but they don’t have to. It depends.
What are your goals? How do those goals fit with your lifestyle and the time you want available for those you love? What about your stress level? How will the practice you are growing support who you are as a person? Do you want deeper relationships with your patients and your team? How will you have the time for this and still be profitable?
I know I’m giving you a lot of questions and a lot to think about. Before you jump headfirst into thinking you just need more new patients, why not consider the cost both financially and emotionally? There’s always a cost associated with growth – so there must also be a payoff. That payoff is either time or money to give you the Freedom you are likely seeking.
If you're interested in finding that freedom by using the Profit First, reach out to me. I'd love to chat. Use the 'Let's Talk' button at the top of this blog website to choose a time that works for you.