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Growing Your Private Dental Practice into Multi-Locations: Top Tips for Scaling Your Vision and Strategy

By Planet DDS
September 27, 2021

Vision, expertise, and hard work landed you where you are. From here it’s about how you scale your vision if you want to grow your private dental practice into more locations. 

We use the term vision” because it’s helped drive your current success. Now it’s essential that you duplicate it going forward. 

And that’s key to expanding your business beyond a single dental practice.  

Your vision “squared” 

Author Marshall Goldsmith once said, “What got you here won’t get you there.” This applies as you think about scaling your solo dental practice into multiple locations. 

You should expect a world of difference between running one dental practice and a second or more practices. In fact, the challenges expand exponentially. 

Your vision will require the capability to drive double the production, team productivity, patient engagement, and more.  

Don’t lose sight of the dream that compelled you to enter the field of dentistry as you reevaluate the vision for sustained growth. Accumulated success has likely opened your eyes to what’s possible beyond your current location. 

  • Confirm your motives for growth. Money can be a motivator but not to the exclusion of helping people improve and maintain their oral health. 
  • Align your growth initiatives with your primary vision and motivations as a dental provider. 

Question your vision 

Self-awareness is at the core of achieving success in any endeavor. That’s why it’s important to test your vision with a few probing question to see how self-aware you are as you proceed to grow your practice.  

Ask yourself the following questions to determine if you and your vision can bear the weight of expansion. 

What are the financial risks associated with more than one dental practice? 

Your success to date can help inform your investment potential. You may need to incur additional debt and this can impact your revenue stream and available cash flow for a period of time. 

Other financial considerations include assessing your savings, the growth potential relative to the demographics of your next location, marketing and promotional strategies, and staff additions. 

How will you lead and manage another location? 

You should determine how prepared and willing you are to divide your time. Your time margins will fluctuate depending on your workflows.  

Be cautious about overextending yourself. Thin margins impact you but also your team and your patients.  

Count on the need to up your energy when bringing another practice into the mix. Your time investment will coincide with how you choose to manage the additional practice (team), who provides dentistry in addition to you (associates), and the processes you put in place (practice management systems).  

Your organizational vision 

There are two core facets to how you organize your dental practice expansion from one to two or more locations: building a team and setting up operations. Consider their application for each practice you launch. 

Recruit, train, and release your new team 

You’re not only opening a new location, you’re also building and launching a new team. The success of your multi-location practice relies on equipping your new team to carry your vision forward in a fresh location. 

Close supervision will be required during your initial recruitment, training, and subsequent launch. Once launched and you have a strong management team in place you can expect to delegate more and more. 

Here are some tips on how to grow your new team: 

  • Hire, compensate, and provide benefits to team members that motivates them to grasp and carry out your vision for dentistry. 
  • Train team members to “own” the vision. Their aligned relationship with your vision will sustain them independent of your presence. 
  • Build and implement systems around your new team that aligns with their unique skills and contribution to the new practice’s culture and patient demographics. 
  • Attract new team members according to the growth and production achieved by the new practice. “Home-grown” team members help maintain an HR loop for future expansion. 

Establishing operations at the new location 

Each dental practice is unique according to how it’s staffed, resourced, organized, and managed. Common staffing decisions will include dentists, business/front-office, dental assistants, and dental hygienists. 

Start-up bandwidth and ongoing growth will dictate the scope of your operational flexibility. You will need to support your operations with billing, AR (Accounts Receivable), payroll, accounting, insurance coordination, HR, and marketing/communications. 

  • Evaluate your operations and/or task your practice manager to keep you in the loop on organizational matters. 
  • Expand your team as functional capacity requires it. This helps prevent burnout and internal culture issues. 
  • Encourage team members who excel to take on more responsibility according to their skills and available energy. Keep them in your HR loop for future expansion opportunities. 
  • Empower your team around evolving operational needs and challenges. Maintain culture consistencies in your new practice(s) such as morning huddles, continuing education, patient engagement, technology upgrades, etc. 

In essence, dentistry is a blend of clinical expertise and entrepreneurial savvy. Treat patients with a care-givers skill and mindset. And scale your dental practice’s care capacity with vision and organizational integrity.  

The following resources will help you do both:  

Develop an Entrepreneurial Mindset and Create a Thriving Private Dental Practice 

How to Onboard New Dental Practice Employees 

Keep the Operating Costs of Your Private Dental Practice Healthy 

Expand your dental enterprise with growth-oriented technology  

From contactless options to cloud-based solutions Planet DDS is a leading technology provider among emerging and sustained dental trends now and in the future. 

Planet DDS’s Denticon is the proven cloud-based Dental Practice Management Software in today’s market among solo private practices, private group practices, and top DSOs. 

Contact us for more information about how Denticon can streamline your workflow systems and operational tasks that can help you build your practice and expand when the time is right!