A question that always comes up with dentists in Canada and around the world is, “How I can be work towards earning extra money next year?”
We recognize how overwhelming 2020 has been for dentistry, so much so that simply getting your head above water can be an impressive feat. Now, as vaccination plans roll out across Canada and the U.S., it’s time for dentists to focus on their practice and how they can level up their profit margins with several key strategies and insights.
Setting goals, building a detailed marketing plan
You first want to ensure you’re setting specific goals within your practice. These can be milestones relating to revenue per day or number of new clients onboarded. But they should be specific, and set with quarterly or monthly deadlines. Be sure every staffer on the team is aware of the goals, and conduct meetings to discuss them at regular intervals in case you need to establish new metrics or deadlines for a certain goal.
Also, profitable dentists often have a successful marketing plan in place. Thing is, many practices don’t have a comprehensive or cohesive marketing strategy and just throw a few social media posts together, perhaps buy a Facebook Ad once in awhile, and hope for the best.
A well-directed dental marketing plan should be organized from start to finish, and include a coherent map of targeted campaigns, unified efforts, and incentives understood by everyone in the office.
Reduce overhead, if possible, and recover lost income from missed appointments
While it’s easier said than done, if more dental practices could reduce their enormous overhead costs, their business would be that much more profitable. Dentists in Canada can aim to earn extra money by bringing down overhead costs in a variety of ways, such as using automated services.
As a blog post on the topic points out, missed appointments or late cancelations are one of the largest contributors to lost income. “From implementing a fee for missed appointments to using an automated SMS messaging service to remind patients of upcoming appointments, there are a number of solutions that you can implement to help your patients keep their appointments. Be sure to choose the solution that will help you to retain positive customer service experiences, while simultaneously combating the negative effects of too many missed appointments, i.e. lost time, reduced income, and inflated overhead percentages.”
Another dentist suggests discovering other avenues to reduce overhead when you analyze your expenses. “The most obvious is eliminating waste. Look in all the storage areas around your office. You’ll probably discover types of supplies you haven’t used for a long time, excessive inventories of items that have reduced cash flow and outdated materials. All are signposts for ways to reduce overhead. You also should review how you deal with suppliers. They’re probably up against intense competition, so they will often be willing to negotiate with you, offering better prices, delivery and service in order to get your business.”
Also, how is your labour force affecting your office’s bottom line? As a rule of thumb, the practice payroll, excluding doctor income, should represent approximately 25 percent of total overhead, so if your staffing costs exceed that amount, you can likely find ways to reduce them.
Could changing your hygiene appointments earn you extra money?
The short answer is yes! So many dentists have been taught that the 60-minute hygiene appointment is the gold standard when clients come in for a cleaning. But there’s no rule or policy about this visit, so as a dentist you’re free to reconsider how you approach this critical aspect of your practice.
In one example discussed online, a dentist moved to 50-minute adult hygiene blocks, which allowed for two additional hygiene appointments per day in his practice. He goes on to say, “An average hygiene appointment generates $150-200 in revenue, so moving to 50-minute appointments can add $75,000-$100,000 in additional revenue to your bottom line in in a given year.
I can tell you that for my office, the 10-minute reduction didn’t generate a single patient complaint and we scheduled just as much restorative work out of our hygiene department. Turns out 50 minutes is plenty of time for a hygiene appointment.”
Turn dental scrap into a new way to earn extra money
Dental professionals may be missing out on an under-reported way of accumulating some revenue: dental scrap. This term refers to anything that a dentist uses on a patient or in making restorations for the mouth, and those are often made up of precious metals such as gold, palladium, silver and platinum.
Can dentists estimate the value of their dental scrap by eyeballing it? Muzeum Dental’s Daniel Gruz said in a previous blog post, “Dentists aren’t too sure about the value of these teeth. After all, usually what they pull out comes from older patients and, in Canada with so many nationalities all blended together, some of these crowns and caps and inlays contain a variety of precious metals, some more valuable than the others. Dental work in Latin America may be quite different than dental work in Europe.”
It’s always recommended to contact a reputable dental scrap buyer such as Muzeum Dental to work with a trusted partner to ensure you get the correct valuation for your scrap.
Dentists in Canada, if you’re interested in learning more about earning extra money by selling your dental scrap, get in touch with us today to receive your free kit that you can send us to help our team assess the value of your scrap.
And we want to wish you a wonderful and safe holiday season, and we look forward to provide you with more informative content in 2021!