By Jayme Amos. Get free updates of posts here
Dental Startup: Many dentists prefer to own their practice but too many are trapped in positions
where the options aren’t good.
This article will address 2 of the most misunderstood topics about properly planned dental startup practices: Visibility and Signage .
If you’ve ever wondered “WHERE” to open your dental startup practice, you’ll need to know:
You’ll learn how these 2 concepts (with case-studies) can put you ahead of any other colleague opening a dental startup practice.
You’ll learn about a few of my dental startup-dentist clients who attract over 100 new patients per month while saving 50% on your real estate costs.
Startup practices provide an option for the dentists who know they want a practice that reflects their clinical values, strong income opportunities and pride of owning a practice that represents their personal standards.
In the process of opening a successful dental startup, one of the chief concerns is location. In my book, Choosing the Right Practice Location, I cover dozens of concepts related to this topic.
But here, in this brief article, there are
2 areas of interest that should be addressed at a deeper level.
In this discussion, we’ll look at a few case-studies to give validity to real life successes from doctors who followed our proven 13 Stage process.
Our First Topic: VISIBILITY
Should you choose a location with “visibility” like McDonalds?
I know. It sounds crazy.
When you read to the end you’ll learn about my startup-dentist clients who attract over 100 new patients per month while saving 50% on real estate costs.
In our 2-day course, the Startup Practice Blueprint, we teach dentists how to do this.
It starts with ignoring the advice from people who pretend to know how dental startup practices succeed.
Those with opinions are not the same as those with experience.
These people are referred to as the Peanut Gallery.
THE PEANUT GALLERY
They’re the group of people who have strong opinions about dental startups, without a few hundred case studies to teach from.
The Peanut Gallery has good intentions but their sample size is so small that their advice can hurt you more than help.
It’s important to ask yourself, should you really take the opinion on such an important topic from someone who hasn’t helped hundreds of dentists create successful dental startups?
What about advice from someone like an equipment sales person? Did that person create the successes they speak of or just sell the equipment? Their compensation comes directly from an equipment sale and I have yet to find an x-ray unit determine the success of a startup practice.
Instead, I suggest helping folks like equipment salespeople to focus on what they do best: sell equipment.
Or how about a loving family member?
All the love in the world for you and your success doesn’t give experience in dental startup practices.
What about the opinion of a colleague who opened a practice 10 years ago? Does that colleague truly have a sample size of experience relevant to meet the needs for your decision, affecting the rest of your career?
With a sample size of just “1”, be highly cautious of the advice.
Dental startups today have unique needs to thrive.
Those needs aren’t complicated but they do deserve more than casual opinion’s from bystanders.
That’s the Peanut Gallery.
There is no topic more filled with Peanut Gallery “wisdom” than that of Visibility.
LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION
Dentists have been told by infomercials, realtors and so-called “experts” that location-location-location should be your priority.
They say things like:
– “open at a busy corner!”
– Look for busy traffic patterns
– Seek out road frontage
– Find the walk by traffic
It’s just not true for successful dental startups.
How do I know?
Here’s an example from of one of my High Level Consulting Clients.
We helped her negotiate, buy and open her practice in a building she loves. It’s located on the back-side of a building on a slow road. She now owns the building and her startup and is exploding with growth.
Take a look at her building here:
She attracts over 100 new patients per month…in her dental startup…without pricey real estate.
Funny enough, just last week she told the marketing agency to pause the marketing campaign because she has too many patients (1500+ in just 14 months).
Remember, she’s on the backside of that building on a side road just outside of town.
Visibility not included.
How did she do it?
AVOID MCDONALDS LOCATIONS
The solution is not to buy the expensive “McDonalds” corner location.
The right way to do this is to follow the 13 Stages process, not hoping for a silver bullet of visibility.
Businesses like Mcdonalds buy that corner location because their business must attract the impulse-buyers.
Impulse-buyers are good for coffee and fries, not crowns and prophies.
When was the last time a patient popped in for a quick crown prep on their commute?
Stop in for a burger? Yes.
A crown? No.
McDonalds pays a huge premium for their real estate. And dental startup practices don’t need to waste that kind of money on visibility.
For dentists, the problem isn’t the corner location, the issue is that the corner real estate is terribly expensive.
…and may not even attract the patients you really want.
Instead of focusing just on Visibility, like some people in the Peanut Gallery would have you do, focus instead on factors like:
– Defining your Ideal Patient
– Full Demographics Studies (not reports)
– Proper floorplan solutions
– Proven marketing strategies for startups
– Integration of the entire 13 Stage Process
SAVING 50% ON REAL ESTATE COSTS
What if you can be like the client from the image above?
Instead of paying a million dollars for the expensive corner real estate, you would spend less than half that.
See, commercial real estate prices can drop by 50%+ when you’re just 1 block off the main street.
In the process, you would own your real estate and you would create a huge success story.
You would get more new-patients…
And you would only spend HALF the real estate budget of McDonalds.
Your building can still be an icon in the community.
The town will be impressed with your practice.
And all the while, you can create rapid growth in your startup with smart strategies that work for a dental startup, not McDonalds or the Peanut Gallery..
THE TEXAS CASE STUDY
Another example is one of our dental startup clients just outside a major metropolitan area in Texas.
You’ll see his building (the brown one in the back) in this picture, taken from the highway…
Do you see the brown building up on the hill?
As you can tell, there is very little visibility here.
He just surpassed his 6-month income goals in just 3 months.
Again: 6 months of income in his first 3 months!
He’s on the 3rd floor of a commercial building with no visibility from the main road.
Yet in his third month of practice ownership, he created a profit, exceeding his 6 month financial target.
See, when you tie all the 13 Stages together for a dental startup practice the right way, the results will change your entire life. Even without expensive Visibility.
You’ll create a practice that represents you and your values that you can be proud of…without going into debt by a million dollars for the expensive McDonalds corner location.
That’s why I’m telling you:
“Don’t believe the so-call experts who say Visibility is your top priority”.
It’s just not true.
OUR NEXT TOPIC: SIGNAGE
After negotiating millions of dollars of real estate deals all over the country, I’ve learned a lot.
Those principles formed the basis for the powerful strategies we use to help dental startup practices create rapid growth.
Signage is one of those topics that people believe has an absolute answer.
While great signage is a good thing…
most signage is worthless.
Look at this image of a practice in my hometown, just outside of Philadelphia (in full disclosure, this is not one of my clients, though I’ve met the owner multiple times).
She took the advice from the Peanut Gallery, getting her a building with:
- Road frontage
Those things sound good, right?
Lucky for you, you’re about to learn why those things were very bad news for her.
10 new patients per month.
This doctor attracts only 10 new patients per month, even though she followed the advice of the so-called experts out there. This poor doctor even got the largest sign, legally allowed in her town. But it accomplished nearly nothing.
What if that was you?
What if you invested your life savings – and your heart – into a dental startup, like she did.
And you only got 10 new patients per month? It would take you decades to turn a profit.
Are you feeling a pit in your stomach yet?
Remember that sick feeling.
I need you to remember that the typical advice from the Peanut Gallery isn’t right for dental startups.
At the risk of repeating myself, please remember: While great signage is a good thing, most signage is worthless.
Let’s take a look at our other two examples and see what kind of signage you can find.
If you take a close look at the sign, you won’t see her name because it’s not there.
The contractor didn’t finish her sign in time for the Grand Opening Day so she opened her practice without one.
Even without the sign, she still had 96 new patients in her first month.
She now has more patients than she can handle after just 14 months.
This is yet more proof that signage is not necessary to create a life-changing successful startup practice.
While great signage is a good thing, most signage is worthless.
Still wondering about the power of signage?
Remember the brown building up on the hill in Texas?
This is a closeup of that same building.
You may remember that this building can barely be seen from the main road.
Can you tell which floor he’s on?
Yet, paradoxically, he’s reached his 6 month income goal in half the time we planned.
The point is that signage clearly plays no role in his growth.
THE SOLUTION FOR YOU:
The answer to this problem is heard in an interview with Tom Brady, the winning Quarterback from the 2017 Super Bowl.
After winning the Super Bowl in what pundits say was the best comeback game of all time, Tom Brady was asked:
“What ONE play turned it all around for you?”
His answer was genius.
“There were probably 30 plays but if any one of those was different, the outcome would have been different.”
In other words, if any ONE play didn’t happen properly, they would have lost the Super Bowl.
And, to make it more profound, their success was only created through those EXACT 30 plays.
Take away any 1 of those plays for the Patriots — or your dental startup — and the outcome will lead to a painful outcome.
Your startup is much like Brady’s Super Bowl.
THE WINNING PLAY FOR DENTAL STARTUPS
This is a lot like the Super Bowl for Startups.
The stakes are very high.
But it’s worth planning it properly because the rewards of success are even higher.
Don’t let the Peanut Gallery tell you to expect success from any single topic like Visibility and Signage.
By avoiding that kind of advice you can easily cut your real estate costs in half and increase your new patient flow to over a hundred per month.
The solution is to focus on all 13 Stages of a dental startup, not just 1 topic like Visibility.
Together, all 13 are necessary to create a great success.
Vision, Financing, Demographics, Lease Negotiation, Floorplans, Marketing Strategy, Protocol, Hiring, Construction, Equipment, Real Estate and more….
Combined, those will unite to create your success, just like with our High Level Consulting Clients..
By focusing on all 13 Stages during your planning and then implementing them like your own Super Bowl, the rewards can change your life and your career.
Incredible success stories are being made all across the country – and disasters are being avoided – by simply focusing on the entire process and implementing it the right way.
Good luck to you and your future in practice ownership!
Want to see a real-life case study of a successful startup?
Watch Dr Lauren’s story here.
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