How to Know When Expanding Your Dental Practice is the Right Choice
Booked up? Expanding your dental practice is a sign of success in the industry at large – you’ve built up a roster of clients who are happy with your services and have grown loyal to your brand. However, careful considerations should be made before pushing forward. Should you increase your hours of operation, or is it time to build out your office to maximize your efficiency?
After COVID-19, the way that dental practices operate has shifted dramatically. One thing that hasn’t changed is the care and attention that you must provide to your patients. In this blog, we explore what signs indicate it is time for a change in how you navigate your business, and the options that are available to you.
Navigating Your Dental Practice After COVID-19
According to Vyne’s State of the Dental Industry report, the biggest problem practices have anticipated for 2021 is patient volume. During this period, most patients agreed that they would return to offices if safety practices were in place, which led to a marked dip in business across the board.
With the vaccine now readily available, practices now have the opposite problem: too much business, and not enough time in the week to get their patients into their offices.
While the emergence of COVID variants adds a degree of unpredictability to what the future of practice might look like, the pandemic proved that dentistry is a vital and essential practice that people will continue to seek out regardless of the circumstances around it.
Options for Expanding Your Dental Practice on a Full Schedule
For all intents and purposes, there are three options you can take when you’re looking to get more people into your office.
1. Increase hours and staffing to accommodate more patients
2. Expand or build out your current location to add more chairs
3. Move locations to get more space
Each of these has their own set of pros and cons, which we explore below.
Increase Hours and Staffing
When you’re looking to ramp up the number of patients you can take on as a business, many practices look first towards increasing hours of operation and staffing needs. In and of itself, this can be lucrative, but comes with hidden costs.
For instance, a practice that is open only a couple of days a week can expand their hours of operation to accommodate new clients. Adding more days of operation can increase the amount of chair time, allowing for increased revenue streams. This does not impact certain costs such as rent, but managing an increase in hours generally means hiring on more employees. It may also necessitate an increase of administrative space.
Although increasing hours of operation can be a sound decision, especially during busy periods, it opens the door to the next question: expansion or building out a space for more chairs and greater operational efficiency.
Expanding and Building Out Your Dental Practice Expanding or building out your existing dental practice offers a sound investment for dental practices looking to increase their volume of business without the level of expenses incurred in moving locations. Consider the difference adding a single seat can offer to your practice without having to change your hours – you can build upon popular services like hygiene programs while being able to continue with existing offerings.
While a dental buildout can incur larger costs than expanding hours, it also allows for you to scale your business in a cost-effective way. For every new chair that you add, you are able to increase your profits.
Moving to a Larger Location
Switching locations can offer a variety of benefits to your practice, but should generally be saved as a last resort. Why? Moving might be a necessity in cases where your lease has expired, or if you simply have no space to expand in your existing office.
Yet with so many costs incurred, it is generally advisable to first look at building out the space that you have and maximizing hours of operation. You have to consider moving costs, new rent costs, potential loans, and building out your new space to accommodate your business.
While moving locations can offer a greater amount of space to dental practices, it comes with tremendous expense and careful consideration. As a rule of thumb, making the most of your existing space through increasing hours and maximizing your space through build outs tends to produce the best investments.
In light of COVID-19, spatial requirements have taken on a new dimension of meaning. While it appears unlikely that we will return to the same level of mandates for social distancing, understanding the volume of patients your business can handle is more critical than ever. Build outs can help you make the most of your space while protecting your employees and customers alike.
For building out existing spaces, or build outs for new offices, look no further than Buildout Pros. We have extensive familiarity with handling state-of-the-art dental equipment, and have industry expertise in build outs for x-ray rooms, exam rooms, and patient waiting areas. Providing timely, quality builds is our specialty. Contact us today for more information about our services.