If you’re ready to open your first private dental practice, you will be faced with the task of marketing your office to potential patients. Where do you start? How can you be certain that the money you invest in marketing will yield new patients? First, you need realistic goals.
Based on your expenses, target market, office and staff size, location, and market saturation, what is a reasonable number of new patients per month? An established, one-dentist office that has a great reputation can bring in 15-30 new patients a month on average, though some bring in upwards of 60 in peak months. Multi-doctor practices should bring in more, of course. The hurdle is, new dentists have to start from scratch. Creating a name for your business online and in your community takes time.
You need to give yourself (and your budget) 6-12 months to work up to a steady influx of patients. Just as your name has to earn a reputation in your community, your website domain has to earn credit with Google, and this takes time. To supplement, you might consider additional signage, direct mail, partnering with neighboring businesses, and hosting or attending events. In my opinion, you do not need to draw in new patients with discount offers. Most dentists find that a great percentage of people who take advantages of discounts are not loyal. The popular coupon-based marketing companies usually require a 50% discount on services, and then their fee is about 50%. Small businesses end up losing money, and for dentists, the model isn’t profitable, even long-term. Continue Reading →