Dentists face incedible challenges now. They have to do so many things well; providing optimal patient care, keeping up with the latest clinical techniques and technologies, managing the practice, leading the team and operating a successful business. cBPE have idenified 5 big challenges that dentists face in the business side of dentistry.
Challenge 1: Privatisation of the NHS – by the Backdoor
The Tesco quote is actually from an Essex GP, not a dentist, but it applies equally to dentists.
The NHS is in big trouble: despite the big injection of money under the last Labour government, it is struggling to provide quality services and to fund them. More than half of dentistry’s output is NHS funded and we know that government funding is set for big cutbacks.
As a result the NHS is increasingly demanding more for less with each negotiation/tender and this is putting smaller practices at a competitive disadvantage to bigger players with financial muscle and business acumen. So in a fragmented industry we are seeing consolidation in the form of the emergence of large multi-practice dental businesses funded by investors and businesses with no previous connection with dentistry.
We expect that if you are a smaller dental practice you will lose business to these bigger players at the contract level and at the High Street level where customers will migrate to their swankier dental surgeries. Consequently you will either go out of business or have to sell out. Or become their employee at a salary they set. Either way individual dentists income
will trend lower by the law of market forces.
By being smart now, that is, by skilling up your practices, dentists could develop regional multi-practice businesses and become significant players yourselves or develop a highly profitable practice whose selling price is more than one that isn’t so well run.
If you would like to find what you need to do to survive the coming storm, or you would like to become one of the big players yourself, contact us now. Or you could end up as an employee of Tesco.
Challenge 2: Winning NHS Contracts
More than half of dentistry’s output is NHS funded but as the funding available decreases, the NHS is becoming a more aggressive buyer with a greater need to demonstrate value. We see this with the NHS increasingly demanding more for less.
From our experience in helping our clients to win tenders, we at cBPE.org have observed that most dentists simply do not have the basic business skills to compete and win the contracts on offer. If you cannot win NHS tenders, you can see where your practice is heading. And if that is not enough, delivering UDAs on the new PDS plus contracts has just become more onerous.
We have a track record of winning the majority of the tenders we have helped our clients to complete. If you would like to know how to win contracts and tenders please contact us now.
Challenge 3: Competition – Patient Choice
Patients increasingly have a choice: whether private or NHS, they can choose whether to come to your practice or go to your competitor’s. In addition there is competition coming from non-dentists such as for teeth whitening (remember solicitors and conveyancing?). If you don’t have a competitive edge over your immediate competitors, you risk not just your earnings but your very practice itself.
To get customers to come to your practice, and stay with you, you need to:
- Attract them to your practice (marketing)
- Convert them into customers (sell to them)
- Give them a quality experience of your practice at all times (not just chairside manner but customer relations management)
- Get satisfied customers to refer new customers
This constitutes your competitive edge, being perceived to be better than your competitors. All the above are skills that you and your staff can acquire. Contact us and we will show you how.
Challenge 4: Competition – the New Kids on the Block
It hasn’t escaped notice that dentists can earn 6 figure incomes and we now see that younger, hungrier and more ambitious youngsters coming into dentistry.
These youngsters are in a hurry to succeed and they will not be held back by a practice they see as not progressive. They are more willing to innovate and entice patients into their practices. They are also more likely to be frustrated and want to leave your practice if you still run it in the old way. What’s more, parents are willing to mortgage the second property to give them an earlier start to own their own practices.
If you have young associates like this in your practice, you must run your practice in a way they feel their aspirations can
be met. Or soon you may need to compete against them when they open their own practice opposite yours in the High Street.
At cBPE.org we specialise in getting all staff in a dental practice working together which increases morale, increases productivity and improves practice profitability. To learn more contact us now.
Challenge 5: Dentists Need to Think Like Business People
Consider this: I network prodigiously at all sorts of general business events but in the last 5 years I’ve only met one doctor and zero dentists. Is this not an indication that you men of dentistry and medicine do not consider yourselves to be general business people running businesses?
And yet as the NHS struggles to deliver quality services more cheaply, dentists are finding the need to compete for NHS
contracts, to compete for patients, to deliver services more efficiently, and to manage and organise their staff better. Nothing to do with clinical dentistry but everything to do with running a business effectively, productively AND more profitably.
At cBPE.org we believe that dentists today are doomed if they don’t accept today’s competitive pressures and start to think like business people. As established business people ourselves we can bring to your practice the business skills you need. And invariably once our clients get to know from us what they didn’t know, they ambitions for what they can achieve become bigger. Sceptical? All you need to do is contact us and we’ll show you what we can do for you.