A dental practice is essentially a business. It includes cash flow for services offered, taxes, marketing, accounting scheduling and planning, and so much more. Albeit it is too much for one person to handle, that said you should know the basics business aspects of your dental business. This article covers the five most important business skills every dentist should learn. Irrespective of the size of their practice or their expertise. These skills will go a long way in helping you build a successful dental clinic.
Dental clinics, like many other businesses, also need to hone their skill to sell. However, selling is most often not the same as marketing. Every treatment requires some preparation so that the session goes smoothly. Similarly, before you sell, you market your product. In this instance, your marketing strategy is the preparation you do before you make a sale.
Marketing is a cumulation of many elements, tactics, and an understanding of human behavior. To succeed in marketing, you need to observe cause and effect and understand how it came about. It is a very large field, and many factors affect the performance of your campaign. Moreover, the better your campaign performs, the more clients you attract. Thus, you get more clients and, therefore, more revenue.
You do not need to know everything that there is to know about marketing. However, you should have a basic understanding of marketing and how it affects your dental clinic. Additionally, the research that goes into marketing can reveal many trends in your customer’s behaviors and purchases. You can utilize this information to craft your offering in a better way to drive revenue.
Accounting is a big part of the business. Therefore, you should know the foundational topics in accounting. Every business needs accounting since it allows them to track all cash flow and investments. At the end of the accounting process, you get the financial documents. These financial documents include assets, liabilities and stockholders’ equity, statements of cash flow, etc. The P&L statement and balance sheet gives you insight into the financial performance of your dental practice.
Your financial documents must be up to date and in order. Mismanaged documents always lead to mismanaged capital, which in turn will lead to financial problems down the line. Additionally, these documents will help you ensure statutory compliance with your business. Especially in times of auditing and taxes.
Again, you do not need to know everything that has to do with accounting. But having an overall understanding will help you run your business better. It will ensure that people do not swindle you if you hire external accounting personnel. Plus, you will not be clueless about your company’s finances.
Additionally, financial documents usually detail all past transactions, which can help you create a budget. The biggest challenge in budgeting is knowing where the money is going and why. This is where the financial document can help you by tracking each transaction to a source. Therefore, you can use balance sheets to create a budget and forecast budgeting requirements and revenue growth.
Communication and conflict management skills
When you run a dental clinic, you are also running a team that has to work in tandem to get the job done. Since you are working in the medical industry, there is no scope for errors. Therefore, you should have excellent communication skills, and so should your team. About 86% of the workforce cites communication as a cause for failure. However, it is not always communication that needs to be learned as a skill by professionals. You also have to invest time into learning comprehension because there is no scope to understand communication without comprehension.
Additionally, communication skills play into conflict management. Therefore, you must know how to manage your team and maintain open lines of communication at all times. Especially if you are handling a team. These communication lines should also extend to patients, vendors, and other parties. Plus, conflicts are not avoidable. When different people with different opinions work together, friction is inevitable. However, fights do not always have to be terrible. Workplace fights allow you to work with people and solve issues. Resolving such issues can lead to a strong team.
Analysis is one skill used in all fields and industries, such as marketing, accounting, communication, etc. It is also one of the most sought-after hard skills in the market. An analytical mind is crucial to identify trends and discrepancies in data. Besides this, you must also know how to summarize and present your findings on the data. You will need to find a solution in many situations, and you will do so if you analyze the situation.
Plus, as a dentist, you will have to use data to convince patients to accept treatment. Lay out the pros and cons of treatment in a way that your patient can understand. Statistics and facts are your best weapons. However, you should know how to use them effectively.
Planning your scheduling
One of the most integral parts of running a business is scheduling appointments and treatments daily. Hence, you should know how to handle your schedule in the absence of front desk personnel, since they can not be everywhere. Moreover, you will have more than just clinic appointments to take care of. In fact, as a dental professional, people expect you to attend conferences, write papers, update yourself, network, etc. plus, you only have 24 hours in a day to fit your work, house chores, and other things. Therefore, you must know how to manage your day without someone helping you. The more you focus on optimally scheduling your time, the more effectively you will allocate time to do things you want to do. Scheduling requires planning (days if not months) in advance and discipline in execution. And so it is one of the hardest things to accomplish.