Establishing a dental practice – an aid
Have you seized the opportunity and are planning to set up a dental practice? However, you are unsure in some areas and have many unanswered questions? Or do you already have a plan and would like to expand it with additional tips and tricks? In this blog post, we answer some of your questions about founding a practice.
Your dental practice – technology and innovation
Modern technology and innovative treatment methods in dentistry simplify patient-oriented treatment. The right equipment and a high quality of your dental practice is the be-all and end-all for your success. When it comes to the planning and interior design of your dental practice, there are a number of aspects that make up a modern and efficient practice environment. The furniture and fittings should not only be considered from an aesthetic point of view, but also functionally, spatially and architecturally. A successful practice design combines intelligent functions and ergonomic work. Your practice should be designed to create a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere.
A dental practice has many tasks to fulfill in its practice furnishings: hygiene, sufficient light and a calming environment. The reception area and the waiting room offer the first patient contact. Relaxed, minimalistic images and the right use of colors can help to make the waiting time pleasant for children and anxious patients. When designing, make sure to include your corporate identity. The practice design supports your treatment of patients with modern elements and designs.
Financing when setting up a dental practice
In many cases, those who want to open their own practice cannot do so without investing capital. Since income only arises at a later point in time, most founders lack capital.
One borrowing start-ups receive from the state-owned KfW-Bank (credit institution for reconstruction) and also from private-sector banks. This can be used to pay for initial investments as well as ongoing costs for staff or rent. A correct and complete business plan is important for the bank. Banks use the business plan to evaluate your project and decide on the terms on which to grant a loan.
Statistically, the prospects of obtaining financing for setting up a dental practice are very good, since the projects lead to success in almost all cases. The capital is repaid to the lender in installments, including interest.
The risk of the banks: Financing a business start-up always represents a risk for the financing bank. From the bank's point of view, the risk of financing is minimized with a good business plan, the possibility of equity participation and possible collateral. Unlike private individuals, they probably do not yet have a regular income or an employment contract. It is all the more important to convince the financing bank of your project.
When it comes to equipping a doctor's office, leasing be an additional supplement. Your advantage is that loans that have already been granted remain unencumbered, you do not tie up any equity or increase your financing requirements. The monthly leasing installments also minimize the tax burden.
The business plan when starting a dental practice
Your business plan for founding a dental practice represents the concept of your practice implementation. On the one hand, this serves as a guide for founders themselves and, on the other hand, as a convincing tool for potential lenders. The plan gives structure to your practice, identifies any weak points, and helps you think through your project from start to finish.
The business plan is an important prerequisite for a start-up loan. In order to keep the right overview, it makes sense to create your own business plan. However, you will also need to seek professional advice on many things. If you helped design the business plan yourself, this will make the financing discussion with your bank easier, among other things. You can easily answer questions from the financing advisors. Helpful tools from the Internet can also be of assistance to you here.
Structure and scope of your business plan
A good business plan must have a clear structure and an understandable formulation. Convince your investors with your knowledge. In addition, legible and optical preparation is important. The following structure is recommended for a promising business plan:
Summary – At first sight! The first overview serves as a summary with all important questions and answers about your start-up. This includes questions such as: Who is behind the founding? What is the core business, your service? What do you know about the market and the competition? How would you like to reach your customers? How much money is needed?
Body text form: Detailed description of your business and its implementation. You will go into more detail about your offer and the benefits. It should also describe your target audience and your advantages over your competition. Once this part is complete, your team and business partners, if any, will follow.
What skills and previous experience do you bring with you? In this context, your corporate values are also in the foreground. The explanation of your start-up plan should emphasize the value of your service. It is also helpful to list your competitors in your field and differentiate yourself from your own competition. Justify your choice of location and explain any marketing measures.
Finally, a brief outline of the risks should follow, detailing how you can mitigate these existing risks.
Counting: The number part includes your financing options and the financial resources available to you. Your planning figures are an important component here. In your own interest, you should present these realistically and think them through carefully.
Target figures can usually be represented well by empirical values, statistics or figures and estimates customary in the industry. Estimates or reading coffee grounds have no place here. The number part should also provide information about sources of income, sales, taxes, capital requirements as well as profitability and liquidity.
Attachments: This too should be carefully considered. The attachments should include meaningful information about you as a person. This can be in the form of a CV, a CV, experiences, successes, etc. A combination of the information presented is also possible, as this primarily says something about you personally, your abilities and experiences.
A solid business plan for starting a dental practice is one of the most important success factors. This will help you to implement your project in a well thought-out and planned manner in order to implement a successful start. Further developments and subsequent adjustments to your business plan are also part of your everyday practice.
Practice establishment and legal forms
When starting a business, dentists are faced with a multitude of options and decisions. This also includes considering whether future activities should be carried out in an individual practice, group practice or in a BAG group practice. We have looked at all the options and legal forms in detail for you.
Physicians who work independently and economically and organizationally. As a rule, these are individual entrepreneurs and so-called freelancers according to § 18 EStG. You can find a definition of the liberal professions at Federal Association of Liberal Professions eV
Pros and cons of a solo practice: Pros include being completely independent act and be economically independent. The disadvantage is that you as the practice owner alone bear the costs for all resources such as premises, staff, equipment and so on. This also includes the full, sole responsibility for the economic success of your dental practice, as well as the organization of replacements in the event of absence.
BAG – group practice
What does BAG mean? In a group practice, several doctors work together. For example, you have a joint billing and a patient master record. As a rule, one decides on the legal form of a GbR (civil law partnership), which “practically” arises from everyone when several people “do” together for a common purpose. Interesting information about the GbR can also be found on the website of IHK Munich
Advantages and disadvantages: Through a group practice, you have that advantagethat they can share or save costs by sharing resources. In addition, there is a joint distribution of profits. The focus is on joint responsibility, but also working independently and more personal freedom through simple representation among one another.
Disadvantages: In general, the liability risk of a GbR is seen as the greatest disadvantage. As with an individual practice, you are also liable with the BAG with your private assets. In the case of a GbR, one is also personally liable for any mistakes / missteps of the co-partner.
community of practice
A joint practice is the merger of two or more independent doctors with separate patient records and accounts. Here, too, the GbR is usually chosen as the legal form.
advantages and disadvantages A community of practice: The advantages of a community of practice include the cost savings and synergy effects of sharing resources. There is also the opportunity to exchange ideas among colleagues and still maintain medical and economic independence and the ability to make decisions. There is no high bond and the practice has limited joint liability.
To the disadvantages includes, among other things, double work in areas such as marketing. In addition, there are risk factors such as the risk of commercial infection in the event of improper cost allocation, a risk of VAT liability in the event of an exchange of services and if the external presentation and accounts are not carefully differentiated.
Opening a new practice or taking over a practice?
Many doctors dare to take the step into self-employment - and another question arises: Do I decide to found a new practice or to take it over? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each form? We have the answer to your questions!
The majority of doctors who decide to become self-employed step by step rely on the Practice takeover. A practice takeover refers to the purchase of an existing practice, usually including inventory, patient base and continued employment of employees. In principle, taking over a practice is already a good alternative if your planned practice location is in a closed planning area.
Let's look at the advantages of taking over a practice: A practice takeover represents a significant risk reduction when starting a business, as you can already take over a fixed patient base and practice staff and make contact with other doctors in your area. You have the option of evaluating the expected sales of the practice and forecasting the financing in advance. This simplifies your external financing and helps you to keep your financial overview.
In return, the purchase price of a practice is often higher than the purely material value of the furnishings and technical equipment. Furthermore, the existing furnishings of the predecessor may deviate from the ideas of the buyer. This can result in additional costs for furnishings.
The opposite is the reopening a doctor's office. The advantage here is that the location of the medical practices can be chosen freely. In this case there is also no commitment to the furnishings and fittings of the predecessor. The planning can be done individually and according to the wishes of the doctor. In this way, the level of investment can also be better controlled.
Business performance indicators
In the following, we will examine the key business figures when setting up a dental practice.
Where can I get information from?
One sales planning depends on various factors, such as the influence of competitors, location, industry-specific benchmarks and the consideration of operational capacities. You can obtain comparative data and further information, for example, from:
- Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- specialist chambers
- trade associations
- Trade Research Institute
- Stock exchange association of the German book trade
You can obtain market data from business development offices and companies, statistical offices, databases and research institutes
The operating costs include all ongoing costs incurred in your practice. These include fixed and variable costs such as personnel costs, rental costs, telephone costs, taxes, insurance and the purchase of goods.
This type of cost describes costs that do not arise directly, but still have to be generated by the company. This includes depreciation, imputed rent and interest as well as your private withdrawal.
This requires the creation of a sales analysis, in which you record all operational and private costs. This is used to derive the minimum turnover you need to generate in order to cover all your costs and secure your livelihood. It serves to check whether your business planning appears feasible.
In order to determine the operating result, your individual plans, such as cost and sales plan, must be summarized. From this, you can calculate your probable profit and loss. The determination of profit is the comparison of income and expenses of your practice at the end of a financial year.
As a rule, investments are economic goods or fixed assets. This includes buildings, machines or office and business equipment. Set up an investment plan for your practice.
Liquidity is the ability to fully meet your payment obligations at any time. A liquid company meets your payments, such as staff, rent and open invoices. Neglect threatens the continued existence of your practice, there is a risk of bankruptcy. For this reason, a complete and daily documentation of your invoices is important.
Return on Investment (ROI) – return on investment
Ratio or yardstick to calculate the return on a business activity, measured by the ratio between profit and investment. It shows the performance and profitability of your practice.
A cash flow is understood to be the cash flow for a period, which results from the difference between the incoming and outgoing payments. Cash flow calculation is a mandatory part of accounting.
Informs about the capital structure, which reflects the ratio of equity to total capital of a company. Total capital consists of equity and debt.
Successful practice marketing
Successful practice marketing is an essential part of dentists. It is an increasing challenge for you to survive in the market and to win patients for your practice. Due to the well-known transparency on the Internet, patients have the opportunity to find out about doctors and practices and to compare the service and quality of dentists. Well thought-out marketing offers you the opportunity to stand out from your competition and present the image of your practice positively.
The marketing basics for your dental practice
unique selling point: Think about which unique selling proposition can be realized for your practice. Perhaps you are the first specialized pediatric dentist in your region. You might be the first to bet the Nitrous oxide sedation in your area. USPs can also be a combination of many factors. We would like to list a few here as examples and give you food for thought. Of course, these unique selling points should be the focus of your marketing concept.
- size of your practice
- performance focus
- Target groups
- services, employees
Create a practice website: One of the most important marketing tools will become your internet website and digital presence. Your website gives patients the opportunity to find out more about your practice and the services you offer.
Local SEO: Roughly speaking, local search engine optimization aims for potential patients to find you on the Internet. As discussed above, you will need to post relevant content to get the user interested in your new practice. If you have achieved the first goal of users finding you, you should make your content as interesting as possible in order to achieve interaction, e.g. contact via the contact form or online booking.
Create entries in online portals: In addition to your website, there are other online platforms where you can enter yourself and your practice free of charge. Here you should focus on the local area. There are particularly entries here, for example in Google My Business, Bing Places for Business, Yelp, Yellow Pages and similar measures that promise success for the local area.
Email Signature: Most of the communication takes place via your professional e-mails. With the right email signature, essential information such as name, address, phone number, hours of operation and the link to your website can be included. A picture that shows who is currently in contact with the patient also speaks for open and cordial contact.
Social Media: Even medical practices can hardly avoid social media. Your presence on Instagram, Facebook and Co. gives you reach. Set up social media accounts and present your practice. We know many practices that successfully win new patients via Instagram, Facebook and TikTok.
Qualitative content in specialist magazines, podcasts, online portals: You are an expert in your field, why not share your knowledge and experience? With professional skills and valuable content, you can present yourself as a dentist in journals, magazines and newsletters.
Create a practice brochure: As an introduction to your practice, you should have your own brochure that contains all the important information about your practice in a compact and handy way. If used optimally, the number of new patients can also be increased by a practice brochure.
Online appointment booking: There are significant advantages on both sides: Patients can book an appointment quickly and easily and receive an automatic appointment reminder. Experience has shown that this reduces the number of patients who do not appear. The employees of your practice team are also relieved by online appointment allocation and have more time for your patients in the practice.
Establish a CI for your practice: The term corporate identity (CI for short) describes the development of your identity in order to remain in the memory of your patients in the long term. It embodies the self-image of your practice. This includes external behavior, internal and external communication, philosophy and, above all, a clear and defined design - the visual aspect.
At a later point in time, an analysis of the Patient Satisfaction follow: In addition to the online reviews, you can find out in advance how satisfied your patients are at the moment. You can do this, for example, by conducting regular internal patient surveys. In this way, weaknesses in your practice can be identified and eliminated.
unique selling point Nitrous oxide sedation
A big factor is the unique selling point (USP) of your practice. Above all, it has one effect: that patients make use of your service. The unique selling proposition of your practice is important in order to stand out from your competitors and generate sales. The USP's designate an outstanding performance feature that clearly sets your offer apart.
With the development and revolution of our products in the field of dental Nitrous oxide sedation we help to reduce the number of patients who are afraid or uneasy about dental treatment and provide a safe treatment method. With the use of Nitrous oxide meet your patients.
The use of Nitrous oxide is for a fear of dentists/dental phobia as well as for severe swallowing and retching sensible. It is also excellent for treating children and people with physical and/or mental disabilities. It has a gentle effect, is non-toxic and leaves the body immediately after treatment. Laughing gas leads to a relaxed state and can help to suppress fears.
The nitrous oxide method is the safest, most researched and oldest sedative. In other countries, such as Scandinavia, England or America, millions of patients have been successfully sedated with nitrous oxide every day for years.
Our Baldus systems represent progress in medical technology and stand for innovation and high-quality materials. We accompany you from the beginning and equip you with an excellent method. Benefit from professional advice, individually tailored to your practice.
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