Locating The Best Dental Practice Marketing Companies
As any successful Dentist will tell you, it takes a lot more that just knowing the technical aspects of fixing people’s teeth to come out ahead. It also takes a significant amount of planning, control, and execution of basic management principles for both the financial and operational aspects of the business. This article will outline some of the stumbling blocks encountered by many Dentists and what can be done to correct them.
The advent of social media combined with savey dental marketing strategies, has made it possible for business owners to reach out to consumers directly and this is not different for dentists. Dentists now have the ability and permission to market themselves and their practices through social media sites and programs. But it’s not as easy as it seems.
With thousands of social media sites, it can be a little confusing on just how to start up and proceed with a targeted dental marketing strategies and promotional campaign. To help you out, we’ve listed a few tips that should prove helpful.
The Main 3 – Social media sites will come and go but most marketing professionals swear by the big three stalwarts in the field: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Facebook and Twitter have an informal feel and a large base of personal users while LinkedIn reaches out to professionals and companies.
Facebook and Twitter are ideal places to set up contests, highlight your practice by posting before and after photos, offer discount deals etc. On the other hand, LinkedIn allows users to set up two profiles:
commercial for a dental practice and a private profile for individuals. Dentists can take advantage of this and set up two profiles that are also connected to Facebook and Twitter. The website also offers a Dentists Directory, which acts as a service provider directory for patients, and a networking option by which you can connect with other medical and dental professionals.
Of course, as a dentists you can also join dentist-specific websites like Dentaltown, Dr Bicuspid etc. and general social media websites like Pinterest, GroupOn, LivingSocial, FourSquare etc to increase your online profile.
Other Dental Practice Marketing Companies Social Sites
Videos on YouTube – YouTube is the second-largest search engine on the internet and it currently has over four billion videos. Offering short dental videos can be the best way to establish an immediate footprint on the internet. You should know Google prefers videos to content and posting regular videos will easily result in your practice being listed higher on Google searches. You can try posting a range of videos like welcome messages, introduction to core members, before and after treatment videos, videos providing answers to queries etc.
It’s not as easy as it seems though. Dentists need to be with their patients and it’s not possible for you to work on your social media accounts full time. We recommend that you delegate the work to a staff member or better yet, hire a professional firm to do the work. Trust me, the results will be well-worth the costs.
Incorrect pricing: It is critical to assess the going rate for services in your geographical area. While it may be necessary to set a relatively lower price structure at the onset of your practice, don’t make the mistake of assuming that your business will maximize sales and profits by offering the lowest prices in town. In fact, many people might perceive a lower price to equal substandard quality.
Failure to promote your practice: Promoting your public image is one of the best ways to increase your patient count. Although it can be costly to advertise, it is absolutely essential to keep your name and face in the public domain. You should not depend on word-of-mouth alone to increase your sales.
Not establishing good customer relations: You could be the most skilled Dentist in town, but coming across as arrogant, rude, or condescending could cause your patients to go somewhere else for their dental needs. It is imperative to be respectful at all times.
Paying too much for supplies: Many Dentists assume that the local supplier is competitive with other distributors around the country. While it is good to do as much business as possible with local vendors, it is advisable to get bids from other companies in order to keep expenses down. Conducting a Google search should yield a widespread sample of companies to contact.
Poor financial structure A proper mix of debt and equity should make up your capital structure. many may disagree as to what the ratio of debt to equity should be. That would be dependent upon the expected available cash flows the first few years of the practice. It is critical that there be sufficient working capital to withstand slower revenue periods.
Lack of budgeting: Budgeting is an important financial activity for any practice to implement. A properly developed and well thought-out budget is a financial blueprint that helps you plan for the future and evaluate results. Those who don’t implement a budgeting system run the risk of confronting a negative cash flow situation.
Not staying on top of receivables Losing control of receivables, whether they be from insurance companies or patients themselves, can have an immediate detrimental effect on working capital. A member of your office staff should be designated to make collection calls at least weekly. A system should be in place to send delinquent receivables to a professional collection agency after all internal efforts have been made.
Poor record keeping: Without a good record keeping system, you have no way to gauge how well your practice is performing. You won’t be able to do tell how you’re doing compared to previous years, evaluate revenue per patient rations, or even know if you’re making money. Just reviewing how much cash you have in the bank is simply not enough.
Inability to keep up with current technology Advances in technology are occurring at a blinding pace. Using the same equipment year after year may get the job done, but you will lose efficiency and not look good in the eyes of your patients. With the high cost of dental care, people expect their Dentist to use the best equipment on the market. Leasing dental equipment is an affordable way to stay at a state-of-the-art level.
These are just some of the ways a potentially strong dental practice can be tripped up. There are many more. The key to ensuring your practice is running efficiently is to set aside adequate time to plan and review all aspects of the practice, including marketing, operations, financing, and accounting.