Well-trained and skilled dentists rarely, if ever, make technical errors in treating their patients. Providing professional dental services at a reasonable price with a focus on patient satisfaction would seem to be a formula for success.
Provided, of course, that those dentists get enough patients who want and can pay for the services they offer.
That’s where most dentists go wrong; they don’t read the tea leaves about how the profession is changing. Or if they do read the signs, they don’t extrapolate what that will mean for their practices in the future.
Heads Don’t Belong In Sand
There’s a fairly recent pop culture term called the Ostrich Syndrome. Basically, it’s a refusal to recognize or deal with the obvious. Now, don’t get your back up – no one is suggesting that this applies to you. But it may, at least to some extent.
Here’s the handwriting on the wall, so to speak:
- Corporate dentistry and DSOs will continue to grow in market penetration and prevalence.
- Competition generally will increase as dental schools graduate more and more new dentists.
- Insurance reimbursements will continue to decline.
- Patient loyalty will continue to decline as more choices become available and dentists are increasingly viewed as interchangeable.
- As more patients “defect” from your practice, your marketing costs to attract new patients will increase.
- Low-price marketing will become the major driving force in prospects’ decisions about which dentist to choose.
So, here’s the question: do your plans include measures to deal with all of these threats to the future of your practice? If so, are you adjusting them as market and competitive conditions change?
If your plans don’t address all those threats, why not? The future isn’t going to wait for you. As Alvin Toffler, the author of Future Shock, wrote: “The future comes too fast and in the wrong order.”
“If you don’t have a strategy, you’re part of someone else’s strategy.”
That’s another Toffler quote, and dentists should take heed. Your practice goals should drive your strategy which in turn should drive your tactics. Without firm, realistic goals and a flexible strategy to reach them, you’re going to get pushed around – a lot. Think of a kid on a playground being harassed by the “bullies.”
However, you’re a dentist, not a business consultant or a marketing strategist. The deck is stacked against you because the bullies have access to strategists, marketing experts, huge advertising budgets, and economies of scale that you can’t hope to match.
If you don’t have a strategy, you need one now. If you have a strategy that hasn’t been adjusted in 18-24 months, you’re behind the curve.
Here’s a suggestion: talk with SmartBox. Invest some time – just time – at a mutually agreeable day and time to have an in-depth discussion about your goals and the competitive factors in your market.
Following the call, you’ll receive your completely personalized Roadmap to the future success of your practice.
The future is coming – too fast – for your practice. Make sure that your success stays on track.