Start with a plan. Many small group practices are cobbled together almost by accident. A dentist may have the opportunity to buy out a failing practice, followed by buying out the practice of a retiring dentist, followed by identifying a hot new area that's perfect for a new practice. Each of these decisions is independent and not part of a medium- or long-range plan. Without a concrete plan, the dentist may later find that he or she is overextended financially or that the "hot" new area isn't as hot as previously thought.
Don't forget to check out the competition. Performing a competition analysis for each area where a future practice will be opened will help you to understand how changes in the area might affect your small group practice.
Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the CEO of Levin Group, a leading dental management consulting firm, and one of the most sought-after speakers in dentistry. Dr. Levin has authored 65 books and more than 4,000 articles on dental practice management and marketing. You can sign up for the Levin Group Tip of the Day.
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