Five Traits of Failed Dental Start Ups

The Dental Business Guide Podcast Episode | 24th February 2021
Arun Mehra & Chris O’Shea

Learning from Failure: 5 Common Traits of Failed Dental Start-Ups in the UK

Starting a dental practice can be exciting and rewarding, but it comes with challenges. Unfortunately, not all dental start-ups in the UK succeed. However, understanding why they fail can be useful for aspiring dental entrepreneurs. In this blog, we will explore five common characteristics that often lead to the failure of dental start-ups. By learning from these mistakes, you can improve your chances of building a successful dental practice in the UK and navigate the competitive landscape better. So, let’s dive in and uncover the key lessons we can gather from failed dental start-ups.

Lack of Market Research and Analysis

One common reason why dental start-ups fail in the UK is because they don’t do enough market research and analysis. Many entrepreneurs underestimate the importance of understanding the market before starting their business. Without proper research, it’s hard to know who their target customers are, what services are in demand, and how to stand out from competitors.

Market research gives valuable insights into the business environment, such as the competition, trends, and customer preferences. By investing time and resources in market analysis, dental start-ups can learn a lot about what the market needs and tailor their services accordingly.

Not doing market research can lead to several negative effects. For example, a dental start-up may struggle to attract patients if they don’t identify the gaps in the market or develop unique selling points. Not knowing about the competition can result in setting inadequate prices or failing to differentiate from other established practices. Moreover, without market analysis, start-ups may fail to recognize potential challenges or adapt to changing market dynamics. For instance, not recognizing emerging trends or changes in customer behaviour can lead to an outdated business model or the inability to meet growing patient needs.

To avoid this common mistake, dental start-ups should make market research and analysis a vital part of their business strategy. This includes conducting thorough market research, analysing industry data, and staying updated with industry trends. By understanding their target market, offering innovative solutions, and making well-informed business decisions, start-ups can position themselves for success.

Action plan

Insufficient market research and analysis is a common pitfall for dental start-ups in the UK, often resulting in challenges in attracting patients and standing out from competitors. Without understanding customer preferences, competition, and industry trends, start-ups struggle to identify market gaps and make informed business decisions. Prioritizing thorough market research helps align services with market needs and positions start-ups for success by staying ahead of industry trends.

Inadequate Financial Planning and Management

One common reason why dental start-ups fail in the UK is because they don’t plan and manage their finances properly. Many dental entrepreneurs underestimate the importance of careful financial planning and fail to allocate enough resources to their practice. This lack of foresight and understanding can lead to various financial challenges, ultimately causing the start-up to fail.

A key mistake made by failed dental start-ups is not conducting thorough market research and analysis. Without a clear understanding of the target market and the financial aspects of running a dental practice, entrepreneurs often make uninformed financial decisions. This can result in a mismatch between the revenue generated and the expenses incurred, leading to financial instability and potential debt.

Inadequate financial management practices like poor budgeting, ineffective cash flow management, and insufficient financial forecasting can worsen the financial challenges faced by dental start-ups. Entrepreneurs may overspend or allocate resources inefficiently without a clear and realistic budget, making it difficult to cover essential expenses or invest in necessary technology and equipment. Similarly, mismanaging cash flow can make it hard to meet financial obligations, impacting day-to-day operations and hindering growth.

Furthermore, not having proper controls and accounting systems in place can hinder the ability to monitor and manage the financial health of the start-up effectively. Without timely and accurate financial reporting, entrepreneurs may not be aware of potential problems or opportunities, making it difficult to make informed decisions and take corrective actions.

To avoid these pitfalls, dental entrepreneurs must prioritise financial planning and management from the beginning. This includes conducting thorough market research, developing a realistic budget, implementing effective cash flow management techniques, and establishing robust financial controls. Seeking guidance from industry experts, such as dental specialists or financial advisors, can also provide valuable insights and support in navigating the complexities of financial management.

Recognizing the importance of adequate financial planning and management can improve the chances of long-term success for dental start-ups. Proactively addressing financial challenges and implementing sound financial practices can help these businesses thrive in a competitive industry and contribute to the overall growth and development of the dental profession in the UK.

Action Plan

Inadequate financial planning and management are common reasons for dental start-up failures in the UK. Entrepreneurs often underestimate the importance of careful financial planning, leading to challenges in covering expenses and achieving profitability. Without thorough market research, start-ups may make uninformed financial decisions, resulting in mismatches between revenue and expenses. Poor budgeting, cash flow management, and accounting practices exacerbate financial challenges, hindering growth and sustainability. To avoid failure, dental entrepreneurs must prioritize financial planning, conduct thorough market research, develop realistic budgets, and implement effective financial management techniques with the guidance of industry experts.

Weak Marketing and Branding Strategies

One common reason why dental start-ups fail in the UK is because they have weak marketing and branding strategies. While having skilled dentists and a great team is important, it’s equally crucial to effectively market and brand your start-up. Without a good marketing plan, your dental practice may struggle to attract new patients and build a good reputation in the industry.

A common mistake is not investing enough time and resources in developing a comprehensive marketing plan. This involves identifying your target audience, understanding their needs and preferences, and creating a compelling brand message that captures their interest. Simply having a website and some basic online posts is not enough – you need to stand out from competitors and create a unique identity.

Another mistake is neglecting to use digital marketing channels effectively. Having a strong online presence is essential in today’s digital age. This includes using online advertising to reach a broader audience, engaging with patients through social media, and having a user-friendly website optimised for search engines. Ignoring these digital marketing channels can seriously limit your visibility and growth potential.

Consistency in branding is also crucial. Your branding should be consistent across all touchpoints, from your logo and web design to your signage and promotional materials. Inconsistency can lead to confusion among potential patients and make it difficult for them to trust your brand.

Furthermore, not tracking and measuring the effectiveness of marketing efforts is a common mistake. Without analysing data and metrics, it’s challenging to determine which strategies are working and where improvements can be made. Implementing tools like Google Analytics and conducting regular marketing audits can help make data-driven decisions.

Lastly, failing to keep up with the latest marketing trends and strategies can hinder your success. The dental industry is always evolving, so it’s essential to stay updated on new marketing techniques that can give you a competitive edge.

By avoiding these common mistakes and implementing strong marketing and branding strategies, you can position your dental start-up for success, attract a loyal patient base, and set yourself apart from failed dental start-ups in the UK.

Action Plan

Weak marketing and branding strategies hinder the success of dental start-ups in the UK. Neglecting to invest in comprehensive marketing plans tailored to the target audience limits visibility and growth. Failure to utilize digital channels effectively, such as online advertising and social media engagement, restricts outreach potential. Inconsistency in branding and a lack of tracking and measurement impede trust-building and informed decision-making. Remaining updated on marketing trends is crucial for staying competitive in the evolving dental industry. By addressing these shortcomings and implementing strong marketing strategies, dental start-ups can attract patients, differentiate themselves, and avoid failure.

Poor Patient Experience and Customer Service

One common reason why dental start-ups fail in the UK is because they don’t provide good patient care and customer service. While offering quality dental treatment is important, it’s equally crucial to ensure that patients have a positive experience throughout their interactions with the practice. Failed dental start-ups often overlook the importance of customer service and fail to prioritise the needs and comfort of their patients. Unhappy patients are less likely to come back or recommend the practice to others.

One aspect of poor customer service is significant delays. Patients value their time and don’t appreciate waiting for long periods before receiving treatment. A dental start-up that doesn’t manage appointments efficiently and minimises waiting times can quickly lose patients to competitors who prioritise reliability and efficiency.

Unfriendly staff is another factor in poor patient experiences. Patients expect to be greeted warmly and attentively from the moment they enter the practice. Staff members who lack interpersonal skills or training to effectively respond to patient inquiries and concerns could lead to a failed dental start-up. This can create an unpleasant atmosphere and make patients feel uncomfortable, leading to a negative perception of the practice overall.

Additionally, poor patient experiences can be exacerbated by inadequate communication. In any healthcare setting, timely and clear communication is crucial, and dental practices are no exception. Patients may feel confused and frustrated if a dental start-up fails to effectively communicate treatment plans, costs, and post-operative instructions.

Moreover, an absence of personalised care can also contribute to an unsatisfactory patient experience. Patients want to feel like their individual needs are being recognized and addressed. A dental start-up that treats patients as just another number or fails to tailor treatments to their specific needs may struggle to retain loyal patients.

In conclusion, providing a positive patient experience and excellent customer service is essential for the success of a dental start-up. By focusing on efficient appointment management, training staff in communication skills, improving communication, and delivering personalised care, dental practices can create a positive environment that fosters patient satisfaction and loyalty.

We hope you found our blog entry about the common reasons why dental start-ups fail in the UK informative and helpful. Learning from the mistakes of others is an important way to ensure the success of your own dental practice. By understanding these common pitfalls, you can take proactive steps to avoid them and position yourself well. Remember, building a successful dental practice takes time, effort, and careful planning. If you have any questions or need further guidance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Your dental website can be a powerful tool in attracting new patients and growing your practice, so make sure to make the most of it.

Action Plan

Poor patient experience and customer service contribute to the failure of dental start-ups in the UK. Delays in appointments, unfriendly staff, inadequate communication, and a lack of personalized care can lead to dissatisfied patients and hinder practice success. Efficient appointment management, staff training, clear communication, and personalized care are essential for fostering patient satisfaction and loyalty. By prioritizing patient experience and customer service, dental start-ups can improve their chances of success and stand out in a competitive market.

Starting a Dental Practice: Get Started

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7 Legal Pitfalls to Avoid when Buying a Dental Practice

The Dental Business Guide Podcast Episode | February 16th
Arun Mehra and Kate Ford

Arun Mehra: Hello there now welcome back to the dental business guide podcast and today I’m joined by Kate Ford from Rudlings Wakelam Solicitors. Hi, Kate, how are you?

Kate Ford: Hi, I’m not too bad yourself?

Arun Mehra: Yeah. Good, good. Thanks. Now, Kate, what’s your background? What’s your experience.

Kate Ford: I’ve been a qualified solicitor for just under two years now. And I am originally from Liverpool but moved down to Norfolk a few years ago. And I’ve been with Rudlings for the past few years, where we’re quite an experienced firm when it comes to dental practices, or other health care transactions such as vets or doctors.

But I think dental is one of our biggest areas. And so we’re kind of fully equipped when it comes to all the various bespoke bits and bobs that arise when it comes to selling and purchasing dental practices.

Arun Mehra: All the nuances that I’ll I’m very well aware of indeed. So today, I’ve got a bunch of questions I want to ask you, for any listeners out there who are potentially buying a practice, whether it’s mixed, NHS or private. So I know one of the most popular questions we get all the time is: what is due diligence and why is it so important?

Due Diligence

Kate Ford: Yeah, so due diligence is just simply a term which is used to describe the gathering of information for a prospective buyer. It is basically one of the most important stages really, so that the buyer can decide if they most definitely do want to progress with the sale.

Due diligence is an aspect which requires a lot of patience and scrutiny. But essentially the better the due diligence stage is, the better equipped the buyer is. Without an investigation, the buyer would only be able to judge the practice on its face value, but also not be able to identify any potential issues or concerns which they hadn’t previously been aware of.

I always compared it to if you are buying a residential home, you wouldn’t proceed without looking into the title documents or the property searches. And it’s basically the same when you’re buying a practice. Due diligence is an exercise which allows the buyer to address issues or misconceptions or any worries that you may have.

Because a seller and the agents, they can paint quite a deceiving picture about a practice. Whereas, there could actually be some major elements both practically or from a legal point of view, which the buyer is essentially going to take on the responsibility for.

Arun Mehra: Totally, I kind of concur with that. I’ve been dealing with practice sales for many years. And as you mentioned, houses and house due diligence is relatively straightforward. But when you’re looking at business there’s so many aspects – it’s staffing, its contracts that you’ve signed up to, it’s legal, it’s so many things that can be there.

So you cannot not do a good thorough job. If you don’t do the due diligence, you really need to get the due diligence right and have the right solicitors and the right team to help you do this.

Kate Ford: Exactly. And as you said, there’s so many different aspects. Particularly when you’re purchasing, say, a large practice or a group of practices, you’ll usually have multiple legal departments involved. So you’ll have your employment solicitors, you’ll have your property solicitors, you’ll have the commercial solicitors because there’s just so much that forms a business that it’s hard to overlook it. It can be quite an error if a buyer doesn’t, because they’re essentially taking on the financial implications and they’re taking all the risks on it.

Action Point

Conduct thorough due diligence when buying a dental practice to uncover any potential issues and assess the practice’s true value, ensuring a sound investment.

Contact us to find out more

Transferring an NHS Contract

Arun Mehra: Okay, so now, I’m a buyer, I have the due diligence done, and I’m buying an NHS practice. What are the most important things to consider when transferring the NHS contract over to me?

Kate Ford: Well, so the first thing to look at is whether the NHS contract is a GDS or a PDS contract, because that can seriously affect the time scale of the transaction.

So GDS contracts, you always hope to find because they’re usually a lot simpler and straightforward. Usually, the LAT requires three months to transfer a PDS contract. And if you haven’t taken that into account when you’re working out your timeline for the transaction, if you get to a point of completion and you haven’t notified the LAT that you’re transferring a PDS contract, then there’s an extra three months that you’ve got to add on to everything.

Whereas with GDS, it’s a lot more shorter and more straightforward. However, when you’re transferring a GDS contracts, there are some elements which buyers would probably not be aware of, in that there’s a specific route which you’ll take which is called ‘the partnership route’.

So the NHS aren’t informed that a seller is actually physically selling their practice. But instead, the seller and the buyer enter into a partnership. And so on completion, the seller and the buyer, they execute a partnership agreement. And then usually after a period of time, which is around a few months, the seller then retires from the partnership. And then the contract is transferred essentially into the sole name or the sole names of the buyer or buyers.

And the NHS, using this route, they only usually require a month’s notice to affect the change to the partnership. But, and typically when you have engaged solicitors, the solicitors are responsible for serving that notice, because we can line it up with the hopeful completion date. Because NHS are usually quite particular, they want the notice within 28 days off the first of the month. So it’s usually important to instruct a solicitor who’s familiar with, not only the notice periods, but the particular days that NHS want notices served.

Arun Mehra: Okay. So, in a nutshell, there is a process that has to be followed. And it’s important in my experience, that you have solicitors that understand the NHS nuances and contracts, because otherwise, it could take significantly longer if you don’t have that experience in your team correct?

Kate Ford: Yeah, definitely. And the NHS they have a kind of standard partnership agreement. Not a template, but they look for certain provisions, in which if you just have a buyer and a seller acting for themselves, and they don’t have a properly drafted partnership agreement, it’ll get rejected, which adds on just even further delay.

So as you say, it’s always very important to instruct a solicitor who is familiar with what the NHS are wanting. But bearing that in mind, if you’re purchasing an incorporated practice, then you don’t need to do any of that. And it’s just the case of purchasing their shares. Because essentially, the corporate body that’s party to the NHS contract, they don’t change at all. It’s just the owners of the corporate body.

And, of course, the NHS will need to know that there’s been a change of control of the limited company, but it’s a lot easier and a lot more straightforward to simply inform the NHS that the shareholders are changing, as opposed to a whole new partnership agreement drafted.

Action Point

For transferring an NHS contract, understand the type of contract (GDS or PDS) and the associated timescales. Consider the partnership route for GDS contracts to facilitate the transfer. Ensure proper notice is given to the NHS, adhering to their specific requirements and timelines. For incorporated practices, the process involves notifying the NHS of a change in company control, which is straightforward. Engage a solicitor experienced with NHS contracts to navigate the process efficiently.

What Happens to the Staff?

Arun Mehra: Okay, cool. So now when I’m buying a practice on a question I always get from so many people is – I’ve got staff that I’m going to be taking on, do they all transfer automatically to me? Or can I move some staff on? What do what happens is this situation?

Kate Ford: Yeah, so I think employees and the employment obligations are often overlooked, because usually a practice will only have a small number of employees and you think, ‘Oh, I can just let them go and bring in my own employees. And it won’t be an issue.’ But there’s actually quite an important regulation which applies to this situation, which is called TUPE. And the TUPE regulations basically apply whenever there’s a transfer of an undertaking. So the sale of a business, therefore, applies under TUPE.

And so whenever a buyer is taking on a practice, all of the employees who are on payroll at the time of completion will transfer to the buyer. And it’s very important that the buyers are aware of the terms of each employee’s contract, if you will. And it’s important that they know that there are limitations to how they can firstly change any of these terms, and whether they can dismiss any of these employees. Because it may be the case that they don’t want to take on so many employees.

But if you dismiss one after completion, you’re making yourself very vulnerable to breaching the TUPE regulations. There’s also obligations on the sellers that they must consult with the employees and they must inform the buyer of all of the various details and all of the various terms concerning all of the employees. And it’s a situation where a lot of buyers get themselves into trouble because they don’t realise that after completion, they can’t change the terms of the under which the employees that have transferred over.

So it is very, very important that where there are employees involved, either solicitors or even HR advisors, they can guide buyers into how to negotiate TUPE regulations. Because annoyingly, they are a bit of a minefield, there are various obligations for various parties. And these obligations change depending on how big the practice is and how many employees there are. So, if there’s over 10 employees, the seller and the buyer have to do one certain thing. If there’s over 20, they have to do a different thing.

So it is definitely important just to, even if you you don’t want the solicitor to act for you for the entire transaction, but just at the outset to assess the employee’s situation, and just to confirm what your obligations will be, both before and after completion of the purchase.

Action Point

When buying a dental practice, all existing staff automatically transfer to the new owner under TUPE regulations, preserving their employment terms. Buyers and sellers must comply with specific obligations, including informing and consulting with employees about the transfer. Altering employment terms or dismissing transferred employees without just cause can violate TUPE regulations. It’s important for buyers to be aware of their responsibilities and possibly consult with legal or HR advisors for guidance.

Indemnity and Warranties

Arun Mehra: Okay, fantastic. That’s very useful. So now in terms of when you get the sale and purchase agreement, I’ve seen so many in my time, there are lots of clauses in there and the ones that always stand out, the indemnity and warranties. What are they and why are they so important?

Kate Ford: Well, warranties and indemnities are essentially just a means of reallocating risk between the seller and the buyer. They’re also a really useful way of ascertaining important information and disclosures, which may not have been obvious from the due diligence process.

But warranties are essentially a number of statements about the business which confirm its position. And this can basically include matters like there haven’t been any litigation issues in the last two years, or the seller hasn’t dismissed any employees in the last year. If any statements are untrue, the seller can make disclosures against them, informing the buyer of any breaches of the warranties, and this will be put into a disclosure letter. Should the seller failed to disclose a particular breach of a warranty, then the buyer can issue a claim for this breach if they’ve suffered a loss.

So if there’s a statement, which says that the seller hasn’t dismissed any employees in the last year and they have done, and this particular employee issues a claim for unfair dismissal, after completion, the buyer is essentially responsible for that claim. And so any losses that they suffer, any damages they suffer, they can pursue the seller. Because you can say ‘you didn’t inform me of this properly, and you’ve breached a warranty’.

So it’s very important that when drafting the purchase agreement, that from a seller’s perspective, they’ll want as few as warranties as possible. And they’ll want to make sure that they disclose as much information as possible. And the buyer will want to make sure that there are more warranties in there because there are more elements that could be covered.

Now, indemnities are very similar. They, in principle, have the same meaning, but they offer an element of protection for the buyer. Usually warranties are general sweeping statements like ‘there have been no litigation matters in the last two years’, whereas indemnities cover specific issues. So say, for example, we take the employee that was dismissed before completion, they issued a claim, the buyer would want an indemnity to deal with that specific tribunal claim, in which the seller would make sure that the buyer is compensated pound for pound for that specific tribunal matter.

And essentially, we as lawyers, we consider indemnities blank checks. So when you’re acting for a seller, you don’t want any indemnities, you want to avoid them all. Because it could be quite costly for the seller. But for a buyer, if there are any significant, specific issues, you want to make sure that they are all covered in the indemnity to make sure that your client is covered, if they do incur a risk to the most amount as possible.

Action Points

Warranties and indemnities reallocate risk in business transactions. Warranties are statements on the business’s condition, with sellers required to disclose any inaccuracies. Indemnities provide specific protection, compensating buyers for certain losses. Sellers aim to limit these clauses to reduce potential costs, while buyers seek them for protection against future liabilities.

Contact us to find out more

Defective Work

Arun Mehra: Okay. Very helpful. So now if I’m a buyer, or even a seller, there’s always gonna be work that hasn’t been finished or completed and how is that apportioned? And also what happens in respect of defective work as well? Is there a claim that could be made against those? Or does it come under warranties or indemnities again?

Kate Ford: Yes. So one unusual thing about a dental transaction is that there’s usually quite a substantial section of the purchase agreement which deals with apportionments. And for some reason with other businesses, there isn’t so much of a focus. But with dental work, as you know, dentists will sometimes you have advanced payments, sometimes you’ll have a lot of uncompleted work that will be going on at the time of completion. And there’ll be customers or patients who aren’t happy with treatment that they received before completion, but now the buyer is responsible for them.

And the main way to deal with it will be through the purchase agreement and the negotiation process. So essentially, the buyers and the sellers will have to come to an agreement of how to deal with each matter individually. So for example, advance payments, you’ll have to assess whether all advance payments will stay with the seller, or if they’re going to be to the buyer wholly or if they’re going to be split 50/50. There isn’t a set format, it’s just more kind of who wins the negotiations.

Usually you find that work that’s already been started but hasn’t yet been paid for, if all of the works been completed, and none of the fees have been paid, all of those fees will be apportioned to the seller. And essentially, the buyer pays the seller after completion for those specific bits of work. Whereas, if there’s part of the work has been done, but part hasn’t been done, there’ll be a percentage split once the payments been received.

You also have to think of apportionment of monthly BSA payments. Typically, they’re split on a day rate. So if completion falls on the 15th of the month, then they’ll be split to 15 days and 15 days. You have to think about underperformance of targets. At the moment with COVID, obviously the NHS have changed their targets. But if before completion, your due diligence has shown that there will likely be an underperformance because of the seller, quite often there’s a retention which is included in the purchase agreement.

So the buyer gets to hold on an additional piece of money which the seller pays. And if there is, in fact, an underperformance the buyer can keep that money. But if in fact, the buyers work fairly hard, they only keep a proportion of that money and they pay back the remainder to the seller. So it’s all things which there isn’t a set format for that this is how it will work. But it’s more negotiations. And so it’s good to get an an experienced solicitor, who’s familiar with all of these bespoke things that dental practices incur, and who knows how to properly negotiate them.

Action Points

In dental transactions, handling unfinished or defective work involves negotiating terms within the purchase agreement. Buyers and sellers must agree on how to apportion costs for advanced payments, incomplete work, and underperformance issues. This often includes dividing advance payments, allocating fees for partially completed work, and considering underperformance retentions. The process is highly negotiated, with no set format, emphasizing the need for experienced legal guidance to navigate these unique aspects effectively.

Reviewing the Property

Arun Mehra: Okay. All right. And then the last couple of questions here, Kate. Properties are always a large part of the transaction quite often, whether it’s a freehold or whether it’s a leasehold. What are the top tips in terms of reviewing the property carefully?

Kate Ford: Yes, so obviously, when you come to purchase a practice, it’s always good to assess whether you want to purchase the freehold or just take out a leasehold. It may be the case that you don’t have any choice in the matter. But both freehold and leasehold give you pros and cons depending on your personal situation.

Obviously, freehold you have a lot more autonomy in relation to how the property is dealt with. But leasehold, you’re only obligated to hold that property for a fixed period of time. And little things like if there’s an issue with the roof, generally the landlord’s responsible for it. Whereas, if you own it, it’s your responsibility.

And so this is where due diligence again comes back into it. It’s just so important to to know exactly what you’re taking on a property is such a large asset, it’s usually the largest asset of a dental practice. If you own it outright and something goes wrong, that’s a substantial bill that you’re going to have to fit.

And if it’s a lease holder, however, you won’t be responsible for the major repairs. But if you breach the lease, you could be in breach. And so it’s always just best to, if you’re purchasing a property, double check over the title deeds. Because there may be rights which your neighbor has a right of access over, which you may not be familiar with. And the practice owner may not be familiar with. But there’s this right there. And if you stop a neighbor using that particular right of access, then you could have a serious financial liability on your hands.

Similarly, there may be covenants which the property is bound by. And if you breach that covenant, the person who benefits from that could then again issue you for breach of Covenant, and you’d be faced with a significant financial responsibility.

There are also property searches, which are a really useful way of not only knowing more about your property, but the surrounding area. And there are a lot of searches that we can undertake, where it will show you all the nearby commercial property. So it may be other dentists or GPS, or shops, which may affect how you want to carry out your business.

So it isn’t just whether your property is connected to mains drainage, but also other things like, there’s a development proposed on a couple streets over which may mean more patients, which could really benefit your business. Or it could be that around the corner there’s a very large dental practice, which you may think well actually ‘I don’t want to be competing with them, I’m not going to proceed’. So it may look like a great property on the face of it. Or it may look like a bad property on the face of it. But having these property searches and doing a full review of the title documents can really make or break your business.

Action Plan

When reviewing property for a dental practice transaction, consider the type of ownership (freehold vs. leasehold) and its implications for autonomy and responsibility. Conduct thorough due diligence to understand property rights, covenants, and potential liabilities. Review title deeds and undertake property searches to gain insights into the property and surrounding area, including commercial competitors and potential developments that could impact your business. This comprehensive approach ensures informed decisions and can significantly influence the success of your dental practice.

Buying the Practice You Work In

Arun Mehra: All right, cool. And then I suppose one of the things that I see all the time is that there are a lot of buyers out there who are actually working in the practice that they intend to end up buying. So do they have to go through this whole process as well? What would you recommend?

Kate Ford: Yep. So as you say, it happens so often that an associate will come into a position where they can either purchase the practice outright, or quite often will be able to buy into a practice. And there’s this misconception that because I work for a practice, either as an employee or self-employed contractor, that because I work for them, I don’t actually need to carry out any reviews, I don’t need to go through this long arduous due diligence process or going through the negotiations with the purchase agreement.

But often, there’ll be elements of a business where the practice owner doesn’t want to disclose it to all of its employees and all of its contractors. For example, litigation matters, as an employee myself, if my employer has a litigation matter, or an employee unemployment matter, often, they’re obligated not to disclose that information to other employees or other contractors, because it doesn’t involve me.

And going back to the property as well, there’ll be property elements, which I myself am not party to, until I do those reviews, or ask the seller to provide me that information. When you’re buying a practice, you want to make sure that you pay the market value for it. And without doing a full review, you won’t actually know if the practice is trading well, or if it’s trading really well.

So doing the due diligence process and doing the negotiations process, you know exactly what you’re buying into, or what you’re purchasing. You know how the business is doing and how it’s trading, so that you can project what your profits are going to be once you own it. And you can also just make sure that you’re entering into this deal on the best terms that you want to be party to. It is just so important.

As we said earlier, there are so many elements that make up a business. It isn’t just a property where you purchase bricks and mortar, you’re buying employment contracts, you’re buying supply and maintenance contracts, you’re buying stock, you may buying vehicles. There are so many elements, which can so easily be overlooked when you’re already part of a business. But there are too many things which, firstly, you legally can’t be aware of. But practically you can’t be aware of every single element as an employee. So it is most definitely just to, even if you do it yourself just to have a thorough review of what you’re buying into.

Action Plan

Even if you’re an associate or employee planning to buy the dental practice you work in, it’s crucial to undergo the full due diligence and negotiation process. This ensures you understand all aspects of the business, including hidden liabilities or potential issues not visible to employees or contractors, such as litigation matters or property issues. Thorough review helps ascertain the practice’s true value, trading status, and future profitability, allowing you to enter the transaction informed and on favorable terms.

Contact us to find out more

Arun Mehra: Okay, well, that’s been really, really helpful, Kate. We’ve gone through seven major kind of pitfalls that people hit sometimes when they’re buying a practice. Any the last comments to people when buying a dental practice, from a legal perspective?

Kate Ford: I think from a legal perspective, you know, obviously legal fees can be quite overwhelming. But even if you don’t want to engage a solicitor for all of the transaction, there are certain parts like the due diligence, or the purchase agreement, where it’s just best to have a legal person look over it for you.

So even if you’re quite confident that you can do a lot of it yourself, I would advise just to get a legal person glance over over the transaction, because there may have been things which you’ve missed or haven’t realised. And so yeah, it is always just worth speaking with a legal professional to make sure that it is as you’re hoping to buy.

Arun Mehra: Okay, fantastic. Well, thank you very much today for your inputs. Okay, and been really helpful. I think the seven legal factors that people should be looking out for when they’re buying a practice are essential. And I think as deals get more complicated, I think these issues are just getting more and more important. So there you go. That’s Kate, from Rudlings Wakelam, and if you’re looking for business tips, check out our next podcast on the dental business guide. Thanks, Kate.

Buying a Dental Practice: Get Started

When buying a dental practice (especially if it’s for the first time), you need the competent hands of qualified professionals. Not only have we been helping the UK’s dentists to buy, start and sell dental practices for over 20 years, we are dental practice owners ourselves! We know what it takes to buy the right dental practice, we can help you find it, buy it and get it up and running.

Book a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our team at a time that suits you (including evenings). We’ll call you back and have a chat about how we can help buy your dream practice.

With Samera Business Advisors you can rest easy knowing that your investment is secure and your future is brighter. Contact us today so we can help plan for your tomorrow.

Learn More: Buying a Dental Practice

For more information please check out the articles and webinars in the buying a dental practice section of our Learning Centre like the Guide to Buying a Dental Practice.

Make sure you never miss any of our articles, webinars, videos or events by following us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.

Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid When Running a Dental Practice

Running a dental practice, like any business, is like trying to keep several plates spinning at once. You need to be a mixture of dentist, manager and business owner. We’ve been running our own dental practices for over 20 years and we know the mistakes you need to avoid to make it successful. Let’s dive into ten important areas where things can go wrong and figure out how to handle them .

Hiring Cheap vs Hiring Right

Navigating the world of managing a dental practice can be tricky, especially when it comes to building a skilled and reliable team. While keeping costs low is important, hiring people just because they’re cheap can lead to big problems. Let’s explore why hiring the right way is crucial and how to tackle this aspect of dental practice management.

The Pitfalls of Going for Cheap Hires

It might seem like a good idea to hire people who ask for lower salaries to save money. However, this approach can cause serious issues, like a potential drop in the quality of patient care, less teamwork, and overall hindrance to the growth of your practice.

Instead of only thinking about costs, you need to focus on the long-term benefits of investing in skilled individuals. A talented team not only adds to the clinical excellence of your practice but also contributes to its overall success and lasting power.

Strategies for Hiring Right

  • Clearly Define Hiring Criteria: Spell out clear criteria for the roles you want to fill. Identify the essential qualifications, skills, and qualities that align with your practice’s values and goals.
  • Thorough Hiring Process: Take the time to run a thorough hiring process. This includes creating detailed job descriptions, reviewing resumes, conducting in-depth interviews, and checking references. Quick decisions can lead to hiring mistakes.
  • Consider Cultural Fit: While technical skills matter, don’t forget about cultural fit. A team that aligns with your practice’s values creates a positive work environment and enhances patient care.
  • Competitive Compensation: Avoid the pitfalls of hiring cheaply by ensuring your compensation packages are competitive in the industry. This not only attracts top talent but also retains valuable team members.
  • Invest in Education: Allocate resources for ongoing training and professional development. This not only enhances your team’s skills but also shows your commitment to their growth, fostering loyalty and job satisfaction.
  • Use Networking and References: Tap into professional networks and seek references when hiring. Recommendations from trusted colleagues can provide valuable insights into potential candidates’ abilities and work ethic.

Benefits of Hiring Right

  • Improved Patient Satisfaction: A team with the right skills leads to a higher standard of patient care, resulting in increased satisfaction and positive feedback. This can be especially true when it comes to front-of-house staff. 
  • Increased Practice Efficiency: Skilled and experienced staff contribute to the smooth operation of the practice, reducing the likelihood of errors and setbacks.
  • Positive Work Environment: A team that works well together and includes qualified members creates a positive work environment, boosting morale and productivity.
  • Long-term Practice Growth: Investing in the right team sets the foundation for long-term practice growth and success.

Read our article on Building a Dental Team.

Blindly Trusting Partners and Suppliers

Trust is the foundation of a successful partnership. This is especially true when it comes to your suppliers and contractors like builders, maintenance and architects. However, blindly trusting professionals without careful consideration can lead to unexpected problems.

The Risks of Blindly Trusting

While trust is crucial for good professional relationships, blindly trusting can expose your dental practice to various risks, including poor work quality, budget overruns, and project delays. Putting your practice’s foundation in the hands of the first expert without thorough consideration could have consequences affecting both your financial stability and patient care.

Navigating Professional Relationships

  • Conduct Thorough Research: Before committing to any professional service, conduct extensive research on potential architects and builders. Explore their history, reviews, and past projects to assess their competence and reliability.
  • Seek Recommendations: Harness the power of recommendations from trusted colleagues, industry associations, and online platforms. Learning about others’ experiences can provide valuable insights into the excellent skills and capabilities of the professionals you are considering.
  • Request and Verify References: Ask for references from prospective architects or builders and take the time to verify them. Interviewing past clients can give you a clear picture of their performance, reliability, and adherence to timelines.
  • Detailed Contractual Agreements: Develop detailed and comprehensive contractual agreements. Clearly outline project scopes, schedules, financial considerations, and expectations. A well-structured contract minimizes the risk of misunderstandings and disputes down the line.
  • Multiple Bids and Quotes: Don’t settle for the first offer that comes your way. Request multiple bids and quotes to ensure you are getting fair pricing and a comprehensive understanding of the services offered.
  • Visit Completed Projects: Whenever possible, visit projects completed by the professionals you are considering. This firsthand observation can provide a clear sense of their work quality and attention to detail.

Benefits of Strategic Trust-Building

  • Quality Craftsmanship: Building trust through careful selection ensures that you engage professionals committed to delivering high-quality craftsmanship aligned with the standards of your dental practice.
  • Timely Project Completion: Professionals with a proven track record are more likely to adhere to project timelines, preventing disruptions to your practice’s daily operations.
  • Financial Confidence: Fully screened professionals are less likely to surprise you with unexpected costs, providing financial confidence throughout the project.
  • Enhanced Patient Experience: A high-quality project contributes to a positive patient experience. Minimizing disruptions and maintaining a professional environment can positively impact patient perceptions.

Find out more about our Dental Buying Group to make sure you get the right suppliers and partners.


Did You Know?

  1. Patient Retention vs. Acquisition Costs: It is more cost-effective to retain an existing patient than to acquire a new one, with retention being up to five times less expensive than acquisition. This emphasizes the need for effective patient retention strategies that engage current patients while maintaining high standards of dental care​​.
    Source: Yapi
  2. Impact of Online Reviews: The average dental practice retains only 41% of new patients, and positive personal recommendations are the top reason patients choose one practice over another. This highlights the importance of word-of-mouth referrals and managing online reviews to enhance the practice’s reputation and patient retention​​.
    Source: Doctor Logic
  3. Dental Billing Errors and Costs: Patient acquisition can cost up to 25 times more than patient retention. Additionally, research shows that the average attrition rate in dentistry is 17%, indicating that focusing on patient retention can significantly impact a practice’s bottom line and efficiency​​.
    Source: Oral Health Group

Personality vs. Package

It’s crucial to build a team that not only has the right clinical skills but also works well together. Relying solely on personal qualities when hiring associates, nurses and front-of-house staff can lead to problems, even though a positive personality can improve the workplace. It’s essential you consider the whole package — skills, qualifications, and compatibility with the team — when making hiring decisions for a well-rounded and successful dental practice.

The Pitfalls of Personality-Driven Hiring

While having a positive and friendly personality is an asset, depending only on this quality during the hiring process may overlook essential factors for a successful dental practice. Hiring associates based mainly on personal qualities could result in a mismatch of skills, inadequate qualifications, and potential disruptions to the team’s collaboration.

Balancing Personality and Proficiency

  • Define Comprehensive Hiring Standards: Establish clear hiring standards that include the candidate’s personality, skills, qualifications, and compatibility with the team. Clearly outline the essential traits needed for success in the specific role.
  • Structured Screening: Plan a structured screening that evaluates both technical capabilities and interpersonal skills. Include scenario-based questions to assess how well the candidate can handle real-world problems in a dental practice setting.
  • Assessment of Skills and Qualifications: Give priority to evaluating a candidate’s qualifications and skills. Assess their education, training, and experience to ensure they have the necessary expertise to contribute positively to the clinical aspects of the practice.
  • Team Compatibility Assessment: Consider how well a candidate fits into the existing team dynamics. Evaluate their ability to collaborate, communicate, and contribute positively to the workplace. Team compatibility is crucial for maintaining a strong and pleasant practice culture.
  • Reference Checks: Verify the candidate’s past performance, work ethic, and collaborative ability through thorough reference checks. Insights from past colleagues or supervisors can provide valuable perspectives on the candidate’s overall package.

Benefits of Holistic Hiring

  • Enhanced Clinical Capability: Prioritizing skills and qualifications ensures that your team has the clinical expertise necessary to deliver top-notch patient care.
  • Efficient Team Dynamics: Considering team compatibility contributes to the creation of a workplace where team members collaborate seamlessly, improving overall practice efficiency.
  • Reduced Attrition: A comprehensive approach to hiring reduces the likelihood of mismatches between the candidate and the practice, ultimately lowering turnover rates and promoting team loyalty.
  • Positive Patient Connections: A well-rounded team, combining technical expertise and positive interpersonal skills, contributes to a positive patient experience, fostering patient loyalty and satisfaction.

Associates and Employment Tribunals

It’s crucial to understand and follow the details of employment classifications to avoid legal troubles. Failing to distinguish between associates and employees can lead to potential problems, especially ones that could end up in court. Let’s explore the importance of recognizing each team member’s specific status and following employment rules to ensure a legally sound and friendly dental practice environment.

The Complications of Getting it Wrong

Associates and employees have different legal positions with responsibilities, and not recognizing these differences can lead to serious consequences. Misclassifying team members can result in disputes about qualifications, benefits, and potential legal actions that might end up in court.

Navigating Employment Classifications

  • Understand Legal Distinctions: Learn about the legal differences between associates and employees. While employees have specific rights, entitlements, and legal protections, associates often work as independent contractors.
  • Review Employment Agreements: Clearly define the terms of engagement in employment contracts. Specify the nature of the relationship, whether it’s that of an associate or an employee, along with specific rights, responsibilities, and benefits.
  • Consult Legal Experts: Seek guidance from legal experts specializing in employment law or dental practice management. A legal expert can help you navigate the complexities of employment classifications, ensuring compliance with regulations.
  • Update Contracts Regularly: Keep employment contracts up to date to reflect any changes in the working relationship. This is crucial to adapt to evolving legal requirements and prevent potential mistakes.
  • Communicate Clearly: Be open and honest with team members about their employment status. Explain expectations, responsibilities, and any anticipated changes in their status to avoid confusion or dissatisfaction.

Benefits of Legal Compliance

  • Prevention of Legal Disputes: Recognizing and adhering to legal distinctions prevents disputes about qualifications, benefits, and working conditions, reducing the likelihood of legal actions and court battles.
  • Employee Satisfaction: Clear communication and adherence to employment rules contribute to employee satisfaction, fostering a positive workplace and reducing turnover rates.
  • Upholding Practice Reputation: A legally compliant dental practice builds a positive reputation, both within the community and among patients. This can positively impact the practice’s standing locally.
  • Economic Stability: Avoiding legal disputes and court battles contributes to economic stability by preventing unexpected legal expenses and potential compensation payouts.

Read our article on Leadership Tips for Dentists.

Diversify Workload Distribution

How tasks are assigned among team members plays a crucial role in maintaining efficiency and preventing burnout. Making the mistake of concentrating all tasks in one place—unevenly assigning responsibilities—can lead to a host of problems affecting both your team’s well-being and the overall effectiveness of the practice. Let’s look at the importance of optimizing task distribution to create a fair and productive workplace.

The Pitfalls of Uneven Tasks

Unevenly assigning tasks, whether unintentionally or due to certain team members carrying most of the load, can result in setbacks, lowered morale, and increased burnout. It may lead to reduced job satisfaction, hindering the overall effectiveness of your dental practice.

Strategies for Task Optimization

  • Assess Individual Strengths: Understand the strengths and skills of each team member. Evaluate their abilities, experience, and preferences to align tasks with their resources, promoting efficiency and job satisfaction.
  • Regularly Review Tasks: Periodically review the task distribution among team members. Ensure that no one is consistently overloaded while others have lighter workloads. Regular assessments allow for adjustments as needed.
  • Encourage Open Communication: Create an open and communicative environment where team members feel comfortable discussing their tasks. Encouraging feedback ensures a collaborative approach to managing workloads, addressing concerns proactively.
  • Cross-Training Opportunities: Provide cross-training opportunities to team members to expand their skill sets. This not only prevents your team from relying too heavily on a few individuals but also makes them more adaptable.
  • Implement Efficient Scheduling: Promote efficient scheduling practices that evenly distribute patient appointments and tasks throughout the week. Avoid creating peaks and valleys in workload that can lead to stress and setbacks.

Benefits of Task Optimization

  • Increased Efficiency: Distributing workloads diversely contributes to overall practice efficiency by preventing bottlenecks and ensuring a steady flow of tasks.
  • Prevention of Burnout: Evenly dispersing tasks prevents burnout by avoiding the fatigue and stress associated with consistently heavy workloads.
  • Improved Job Satisfaction: Team members who feel that their tasks are fair and balanced are likely to experience higher job satisfaction, fostering a positive work culture.
  • Optimized Use of Resources: Utilizing the unique strengths of each team member enhances resource utilization, leading to a more efficient and effective dental practice.

Rushed Recruitment Practices

Hiring new team members is a critical step that can significantly impact the success and unity of the team. Rushed recruitment, driven by the urgency to quickly fill positions, can lead to hiring individuals who may not align with the values and goals of the practice. 

The Pitfalls of Rushed Hiring

When the recruitment process is hurried, there’s a risk of hiring individuals who lack the necessary skills, cultural fit, or long-term commitment to effectively contribute to the success of the dental practice. This rushed approach can result in increased turnover, decreased camaraderie, and potential disruptions to patient care.

Strategies for Comprehensive Recruitment

  • Clearly Define Hiring Needs: Clearly articulate the specific requirements and qualifications for the position before starting the recruitment process. Outline the skills, qualifications, and attributes essential for success in the role.
  • Develop Detailed Job Descriptions: Create detailed job descriptions that outline the responsibilities of the position and provide insights into the practice’s culture, values, and expectations. This attracts candidates who resonate with the overall ethos of the practice.
  • Implement an Organized Screening: Establish a well-organized interview process that assesses the candidate’s compatibility with the values of the practice as well as their technical skills. Use behavioural and situational questions to gain insights into their independent direction and problem-solving abilities.
  • Use Multiple Assessment Tools: Go beyond traditional interviews by incorporating other assessment tools like skills assessments, situational judgment tests, and personality evaluations. This multi-layered approach provides a more comprehensive understanding of the candidate’s suitability.
  • Thoroughly Examine References: Conduct thorough reference checks with former employers or coworkers to learn more about the candidate’s work ethic, interpersonal skills, and overall performance in previous roles.
  • Be Patient and Specific: Resist the temptation to rush the recruitment process. Be patient and specific, waiting for candidates who not only meet the technical requirements but also align with the culture and values of the dental practice.

The Benefits of Thorough Hiring

  • Enhanced Team Cohesion: Thorough recruitment ensures that new team members align with the existing team’s values and work closely towards shared goals, fostering a positive workplace.
  • Reduced Attrition: Carefully selecting candidates who are a good fit for the practice can save time and resources associated with frequent recruitment.
  • Increased Job Satisfaction: Team members who align with the practice’s values are likely to experience higher job satisfaction, contributing to overall morale and productivity.
  • Consistent Patient Experience: Patients’ confidence in the dental team is strengthened when they are hired by individuals who share the practice’s core values.

Avoid Team Dependency

The success of a practice is closely tied to the strength and diversity of its team. Relying too much on a few key team members can pose significant risks to the practice’s stability and adaptability. Avoiding team dependence and instead building a well-rounded team with diverse skills and qualities ensures flexibility in the face of unexpected challenges.

The Pitfalls of Depending Too Much on a Few

Heavily depending on a few key team members, while seeming efficient in the short term, can lead to vulnerabilities when these individuals are unavailable or encounter unexpected challenges. Team dependence poses risks to continuity, efficiency, and the overall adaptability of the practice.

Strategies to Avoid Team Dependence

  • Identify Key Skills and Roles: Clearly identify the essential skills and roles necessary for the smooth operation of the practice. Ensure that no single team member possesses exclusive knowledge or skills critical to essential functions.
  • Cross-Train Team Members: Implement cross-training programs to enhance the skill set of team members. This ensures that multiple individuals are proficient in key areas, reducing reliance on specific individuals.
  • Encourage Knowledge Sharing: Cultivate a culture of knowledge sharing within the team. Encourage team members to share their expertise, insights, and best practices, promoting a collaborative environment.
  • Establish Clear Protocols and Procedures: Develop clear protocols and procedures for key tasks and responsibilities. This documentation ensures that tasks can be seamlessly assigned or taken over by other team members in case of absence or unforeseen circumstances.
  • Regular Team Meetings: Conduct regular team meetings to discuss ongoing projects, challenges, and opportunities. This improves communication and ensures that all team members are aware of current initiatives and responsibilities.
  • Foster Leadership Development: Promote the development of leadership skills among team members. Cultivate a team culture where individuals are empowered to take on leadership roles when needed, distributing decision-making responsibilities.

Benefits of Avoiding Team Dependence

  • Continuity of Operations: Even when certain team members are unavailable, practice operations can continue to run smoothly due to the diversification of skills and responsibilities.
  • Enhanced Adaptability: A well-rounded team with diverse skills is more adaptable to changes, challenges, and unexpected events that may impact day-to-day operations.
  • Reduced Vulnerability: By avoiding team dependence, the practice becomes less vulnerable to disruptions caused by vacations, sick leaves, or unexpected departures of key team members.
  • Improved Team Morale: An equitable distribution of responsibilities and acknowledgment of each team member’s contribution enhances team morale and fosters a positive workplace.

Not Keeping an Eye on the Finances

Keeping an eye on finances is crucial for long-term success and sustainability. Ignoring careful financial management, especially in the early stages of the practice, can strain resources and hinder the achievement of practice goals. Being mindful of spending, creating realistic budgets, and avoiding unnecessary expenses helps to ensure financial security.

The Pitfalls of Ignoring Financial Prudence

Overlooking the financials can lead to overspending, budget overruns, and financial strain, especially in the developmental stages of a dental practice. This oversight may compromise the practice’s ability to grow strategically, invest in essential resources, and withstand unforeseen financial challenges.

Financial Prudence Strategies

  • Create a Realistic Budget: Develop a comprehensive and realistic budget that covers all aspects of your dental practice, including equipment, staffing, marketing, and other expenses. Ensure that your budget aligns with your practice’s short-term and long-term goals.
  • Regularly Monitor Financial Performance: Establish regular financial analysis and monitoring. Track income, expenses, and key performance indicators to identify trends and areas where adjustments may be necessary.
  • Prioritize Essential Expenditures: Prioritize essential expenditures that directly contribute to the quality of patient care and the efficiency of practice operations. Invest wisely in equipment, technology, and training that enhance the overall patient experience.
  • Avoid Impulse Buys: Resist the temptation of impulse purchases. Evaluate the necessity and long-term value of any investment before committing financial resources, ensuring that each expense aligns with your practice’s objectives.
  • Negotiate Vendor Agreements: Negotiate vendor agreements to secure favourable terms and pricing for essential supplies and services. Regularly review contracts to identify potential cost-saving opportunities.
  • Prepare for Emergencies: Include a contingency fund in your budget for emergencies or unforeseen costs. Planning for contingencies provides a financial safety net and mitigates the impact of unexpected challenges.

Benefits of Financial Prudence

  • Positioning for Financial Stability: Implementing financial prudence ensures a stable and secure financial position for your dental practice, allowing for strategic planning and growth.
  • Sustainable Growth: Careful financial management supports sustainable growth, enabling your practice to invest in essential resources and seize critical opportunities as they arise.
  • Reduced Financial Stress: By avoiding unnecessary expenses and adhering to a well-planned budget, you reduce financial stress and create a more resilient practice.
  • Boost in Profitability: Minimizing unnecessary expenditures and optimizing resource allocation efficiency, financial prudence contributes to improved profitability.

Check out our articles and webinars on finance for dentists.

Not Seeking Professional Advice

Getting expert advice is essential to run your practice. If a practice doesn’t realize how crucial it is to seek guidance, especially in legal and financial matters, it might end up facing problems that could have been avoided. A great dentist isn’t necessarily a great business owner, so it’s crucial you get the advice of those who are.

The Pitfall of Underestimating Professional Guidance

Underestimating the need for professional advice in legal and financial matters might lead to non-compliance with rules, legal disputes, financial mismanagement, and missed opportunities for strategic growth. Ignoring expert guidance can disrupt the overall success and sustainability of a dental practice.

Approaches for Seeking Professional Counsel

  • Establish an Expert Network: Identify and connect with professionals specializing in dental practice management, including legal advisors, accountants, and financial experts. Build a network of experts who understand the specific challenges and regulations of the dental industry.
  • Regular Consultations: Schedule regular consultations with legal and financial experts to review the operational and financial aspects of your practice. This proactive approach allows you to address issues before they escalate.
  • Compliance Audits: Conduct compliance audits with the assistance of legal experts to ensure that your practice adheres to industry standards, ethical norms, and legal requirements. Identify and rectify any potential compliance gaps.
  • Financial Planning and Strategy: Collaborate with financial advisors to develop a comprehensive financial plan and strategy for your dental practice. This includes budgeting, tax planning, investment strategies, and long-term financial goals.
  • Stay Informed on Industry Changes: Legal and financial landscapes evolve, and staying informed is crucial. Rely on the expertise of professionals to keep you updated on industry changes, new regulations, and best practices that may impact your practice.
  • Address Legal Issues Promptly: Utilize the advice of legal professionals to address legal issues as soon as they arise. Delaying or mishandling legal issues can lead to more significant challenges and financial implications.

Benefits of Seeking Professional Advice

  • Risk Mitigation: Professional advice identifies and mitigates potential risks, ensuring that your dental practice operates within legal and regulatory boundaries.
  • Financial Stability: Financial experts contribute to the stability of your practice by providing sound financial advice, helping you make informed decisions aligned with your business goals.
  • Legal Compliance: Legal professionals ensure that your practice complies with industry standards, preventing legal issues and safeguarding your reputation.
  • Strategic Insights: With the assistance of expert guidance, you can overcome obstacles and capitalize on favourable market conditions, opening doors to strategic growth opportunities.

Book a free consultation with us to find out how we and our partners can help.

Not Embracing Technology and Marketing:

Using technology and adopting effective marketing strategies are crucial for staying competitive and enhancing online visibility. Neglecting technological advancements and marketing efforts can result in missed opportunities for practice growth and patient engagement. This section explores the importance of embracing technology, regularly updating your website, and considering early implementation of Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising to propel your dental practice into the digital age.

The Risks of Ignoring Technology

A dental practice may stagnate if it doesn’t embrace technology and leverage the potential of digital marketing. In today’s digital era, patients often seek information online, and a lack of technological integration can lead to reduced visibility, patient engagement, and competitiveness.

Strategies for Marketing and Technology Integration

  • Regular Website Updates: Ensure your practice’s website is regularly updated to reflect current information, services, and any advancements in technology or treatments. An informative and user-friendly website is crucial for attracting and retaining patients.
  • Implement Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising: Consider the early adoption of PPC advertising to boost your practice’s online visibility. Well-executed PPC campaigns can increase website traffic, attract new patients, and provide measurable results.
  • Adopt Electronic Health Records (EHR): Embrace Electronic Health Records (EHR) systems for efficient patient management, streamlined workflows, and enhanced communication within your practice. EHR systems contribute to improved patient care and operational efficiency.
  • Leverage Telehealth Solutions: Explore telehealth solutions to offer virtual consultations, follow-ups, and patient education. Telehealth can be a valuable addition to your practice’s service offerings, making it easier for patients to access healthcare remotely.
  • Utilize Social Media Marketing: Social media platforms provide a robust channel for patient communication and community building. Social media marketing is an effective way to connect with your audience, share valuable content, and showcase your practice’s expertise.
  • Implement Online Appointment Scheduling: Online appointment scheduling can simplify the scheduling process for your practice and make it more convenient for patients. This technology can enhance patient satisfaction and practice efficiency.

Benefits of Embracing Innovation and Marketing

  • Enhanced Online Visibility: Regular website updates and digital marketing efforts contribute to improved online visibility, attracting potential patients and retaining existing ones.
  • Competitive Advantage: Embracing technology gives your practice a competitive edge by staying up to date with industry trends, demonstrating innovation, and meeting the expectations of tech-savvy patients.
  • Improved Patient Engagement: Technological advancements, such as telehealth and online scheduling, increase patient engagement by providing accessible and user-friendly healthcare options.
  • Measurable Marketing ROI: PPC advertising offers measurable return on investment, allowing you to track the success of your marketing campaigns and make data-driven decisions.

In conclusion, successfully managing a dental practice requires a strategic and holistic approach. By avoiding these common mistakes and adopting best practices, you can cultivate a thriving and resilient dental practice that provides excellent patient care and stands the test of time.

Check out our articles and webinars on digital marketing for dentists.

Grow Your Dental Practice with Samera

Join the Samera Alliance buying group today for free to save money on your consumables and assets, increase your profits and grow your dental practice.

You’ll get access to exclusive discounts on the consumables, products and equipment you need to build and grow your dental practice. You’ll also get exclusive discounts from our Alliance Partners, covering everything from HR, IT and legal services to utilities, compliance and dental technology.

Join for free. Save money. Grow your dental practice.

More on Growing a Dental Practice

For more information on growing a dental practice, check out the articles and webinars in our Learning Centre, like our guide on How to Grow a Dental Practice.

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Key Mistakes to Avoid: Buying or Starting a Practice

Starting a Dental Practice: Get Started

We’ve been helping the UK’s dentists start their own practices for nearly 20 years and we know exactly what it takes to make your practice a success!

Our Dental Practice Start-up Programme is a hands-on consultancy service designed to take you through your whole journey to becoming a dental practice owner. Book a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our team at a time that suits you (including evenings). We’ll call you back and have a chat about how we can help start your dream practice.

Contact us today for all the advice, support and expertise you’ll ever need to start a dental practice.

Learn More: Starting a Dental Practice

For more information please check out the articles and webinars in the start a dental practice section of our Learning Centre, like our guide on How to Start a Dental Practice in 13 Steps.

Make sure you never miss any of our articles, webinars, videos or events by following us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.