Current political and economic events would make it seem that old W. B. Yeats was correct when he wrote, “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold.”
Of course, the question is in what way and to what extent things will fall apart.
Since nobody has a genuine crystal ball, there’s no way to know for sure. It just makes sense to take steps now to safeguard your livelihood and the value of your practice, whatever happens.
Most dentists don’t realize it, but they’re skating on thin ice. The ice seems pretty thick, but that’s an illusion. We learned during the Great Recession of 2008 that the unemployment rate can skyrocket with mere months during a financial meltdown.
No one is saying that another 2008 is going to happen anytime soon, but nobody is saying with any confidence that it won’t. The safeguards that were put in place have been thoroughly watered down; it’s unlikely that they will protect the financial system the way that they were intended to do.
But let’s say that our near future doesn’t include another recession. Dentists are still on thin ice, because the way the go about attracting new patients makes them vulnerable to DSO-affiliated and corporate practices.
The vast majority of dentists advertise specials, discounts, low prices, and dental insurance acceptance. That’s a race-to-the-bottom scenario that shaves dentists’ margins to the bone; the lowest price “wins.”
And it makes dentists vulnerable, because when a big player with the deepest pockets enters the market, dentists inevitably get less. If corporate isn’t in your market yet, it will be – the growth rates for the various chains are terrifying.
Here’s An Idea: Work Less, Earn More
There’s a significant segment of almost every dental market that is not driven by price, discounts, insurance, or specials. That segment can be as large as 40 percent of your prospects, and it consists of people with the means and willingness to go fee for service to get the dental procedures they want from the dentist they respect and trust.
It’s true that during a significant recession, some of those “better” prospects will become unemployed. It’s also true that many of them have the reserves to weather a financial crisis without having to compromise their standard of living.
Those are the patients you want in good times AND bad.
In good times, better patients mean higher average case values, meaning you can work less and earn more if you choose. Or, stay nose-to-grindstone and really sock away the cash. Either scenario works.
In bad times, those patients will stick around. They’ll get their cleanings and exams. They’ll purchase veneers, higher-end crowns, and get teeth whitening. In bad times, better patients can become the backbone of a dental practice’s success.
Don’t Go It Alone
Given that you’ll make a lot more money with better dental patients, it makes no sense to not make more money because you’re spending time managing your marketing. SmartBox helps thousands of dentists on three continents attract more of the patients they want. SmartBox dentists can succeed by practicing the dentistry they want on their terms instead of getting kicked around by pencil-pushers at insurance companies.
Discover what’s possible for your practice by scheduling a Roadmap call. Invest about the amount of time you need to place a single crown or a dental implant.
Following the call, we’ll send your completely personalized Roadmap to your practice’s future success.
Whatever happens, your practice will be ready.