Running a dental practice is very expensive, but if you are a dentist you have probably already discovered this for yourself. From renting premises, buying equipment, paying staff and keeping a stock of supplies, overheads are considerable. The good news is that whether you have been running your own dental practice for years or you’ve only recently opened, it is always possible to reduce your costs somewhere and increase profits as a result. You will find lots of different tips and pieces of advice about the most effective ways to cut costs in a dental practice, but here are 5 of the most effective.
Choose reusable, not disposable, supplies
While disposable supplies may seem more convenient and cheap if you look only at the unit price however, the costs can quickly add up. To reduce the cost of your dental products, rather than using new safety glasses for every patient, for example, switch to reusable ones which can be cleaned after use. Other supplies which could be reusable include bite blocks for x-ray sensors, prophy cups and brushes, suction tips, burs and air/water syringe tips.
Stop buying everything in bulk
It may be worth taking a close look at your inventory as while there are plenty of items which you use on a daily basis which it makes sense to buy in bulk, other products will not be used anywhere near as regularly. Overstocking your store cupboard will reduce your available cash so consider buying smaller quantities of some items on a monthly basis rather than stocking up for the year.
Use caution with credit cards
A lot of dental practices use a credit card to pay for supplies and manage monthly bills, but keeping a balance on your credit card is likely to involve interest fees. Credit cards can be a great buffer in terms of cash flow but if you are relying on them for cash flow you will be paying more and more in extra fees. Best practice is to pay the credit card balance in full or at least to pay as much off as you can rather than only meeting the minimum repayment amount.
Buy used equipment
It would be great if you could afford to buy brand new equipment for your practice all the time, but that’s not realistic for most practices, especially those in their early stages. There are plenty of suppliers which offer refurbished or used machines which are much lower in cost. Alternatively, opt for an older version of a machine rather than the latest model.
Try lower cost marketing techniques
Marketing is a crucial part of your business strategy as you need to keep patients (new and returning) booking appointments. However, you don’t necessarily need an eye-watering budget to do it. With a high quality website and a range of low cost digital marketing techniques you can increase your online visibility and attract visitors to your website. If you are not confident with marketing and would like to employ someone to take the role on, consider offering a part-time internship to a local college student.