12 Secrets For Growing Your Dental Practice Quickly

Practice Management

So you’ve just started your dental practice and you’re wondering how to scale. Or maybe you’ve been stuck in a rut and are looking to jumpstart your business with new patients. Growing your dental practice fast can feel daunting, especially if you’re working with a small team. 

If you're wondering how to grow a dental practice, you’ll need to take a holistic look at your business and identify places where you can improve. Here’s how to grow your dental practice quickly and sustainably. 

How To Grow A Dental Practice

1. Build the right team. 

You won’t be able to grow your dental practice entirely on your own - you’ll need to have a team of talented individuals in your corner in order to get things done. Start by taking a look at the team you already have. What’s the dental office environment like? Would your existing team be able to keep up with an influx of new patients? 

If you’re planning on growing your dental practice, you need a team that can keep up with an increased workload. This will likely mean hiring more staff members as you grow. If your team has to handle an increase in daily patients without extra support, it could lead to burnout and a loss of morale among your team. 

It’s also important to make sure that both existing and new team members have the right skill sets to keep things running smoothly. Offering regular training sessions and team-building activities can help get everyone on the same page. 

2. Make sure established customers stick around. 

When you’re dental practices focus is on rapid business growth, it’s easy to focus entirely on landing new customers and forget about maintaining existing ones. Start by taking a look at your patient satisfaction and retention rate. How many times does your average patient return to your practice in total?  

If you have a high volume of one-time patients but don’t have many returning ones, start by focusing your energy on retaining customers. Stay in touch with them and send reminder emails or mailers encouraging them to schedule follow-up appointments. It’s also crucial to pay attention to patient feedback. Addressing patient concerns and creating a comfortable environment will encourage patients to return. 

3. Be prepared for growth. 

As you learn how to grow a dental practice, it’s also important to ask yourself if your team is ready for growth. If you’re not set up to handle a higher volume of patients, growth can result in chaos rather than profit. 

Ask yourself what would happen if you took on 10 new patients tomorrow. Would you be able to schedule them in a reasonable time frame? Are your hours convenient for patients? Do you have the staff to handle this volume of business? If you aren’t sure how you would handle this increase in business, you’re probably not ready to scale just yet. Brainstorm ideas to improve your dental practice management and then implement them before you start growing. 

4. Get your dental practice identity together. 

You know what your dental practice is like, but is that identity reflected in your website and your social media profiles? A cohesive online brand is essential for dentists, especially as many patients today use the internet to find dental providers. In many cases, your website is going to be the first impression a prospective patients has of your practice, and it can really make or break your overall success rate. The average person spends just 54 seconds on a webpage before clicking away.

Start by searching for your practice on Google - what comes up first? If your website is not ranking first, you’ll need to adjust your SEO strategy. Next, consider the patient experience once they’re on your website. Is the website aesthetically pleasing and easy to navigate? Is there a way to book an appointment online? Think about the patient experience you want your clients to have and make sure that is reflected in your online presence. 

5. Advertise locally. 

Local advertising is the fastest way to grow a dental practice. When developing your advertising strategy, it’s important to think about where your clients are located.  For dentists, it’s inefficient to focus on advertising at a national or even regional level, because you’re unlikely to source new patients from cities hundreds of miles away. 

Instead, focus your energy on a local advertising and marketing strategy. When purchasing PPC ads or social media ads, be sure to target them to your city, state, or region. Although a locally targeted ad may receive fewer likes or views, it’s much more likely to result in a booking. Consider implementing offline community marketing strategies as well, such as direct mail, billboards, event sponsorships, and more. 

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6. Learn where your customers are. 

In order for your marketing strategy to be successful, you’ll need to figure out how to reach prospective patients. The modern consumer spends almost seven hours per day on the internet and on social media, which means that your practice needs to be there as well. 

The first step is to build social media profiles for your practice. At the very least, you should have a Facebook account, but you should also consider using other platforms to broaden your reach. Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and TikTok can all help you reach potential patients, depending on which demographics you’re trying to reach. The key is to create engaging and authentic content that is appropriate for the network you’re using, rather than reposting the same content across all social networks. 

It’s also crucial that your dental practice has a strong SEO strategy so your website ranks well on Google. Additionally, your business should have a detailed Google Business Profile with your address, phone number, hours, and photos of your practice. Encourage existing patients to leave Google reviews for you as well. 

7. Boost your customer service. 

Speaking of online reviews, what do yours look like? Patient satisfaction is critical for success. Consumers take online reviews very seriously when choosing a new dentist. Going to the dentist can be a stressful experience for many patients, so having a reputation for good customer service makes your practice look more appealing. 

Read your reviews carefully to determine what is and isn’t working for your patients. Then, identify where you could improve your customer service. Your entire team should provide a great experience for each patient, from the dentist all the way down to the front desk team. Look for ways to improve your communication and make each individual patient feel comfortable and is a catalyst for word of mouth. 

8. Focus on social media (but not likes and followers). 

Social media is an incredible tool for a dental practice. You can connect with potential patients in a casual and authentic way. However, you’ll want to focus on posting consistently and making high-quality content, rather than just trying to get as many likes and follows as possible. Instead, you can use your social media presence to give potential patients a behind-the-scenes look at your practice and showcase your patient experience and satisfaction.  

While likes and follows feel good, they don’t always translate into long-term patients. You can grow your dental practice a lot faster by foucing on providing quality dental care rather than becoming an influencer.

9. Attend dental networking events. 

Building connections with others in the dental industry is invaluable as your business starts to grow. Attending networking events is an easy way to meet new people who are also looking to make these connections. Look for regional or national dental conferences in your area to attend. Once you’ve built a network, you’ll have people in the industry that you can bounce ideas off of or ask for help. 

10. Research your competitors. 

In order to expand your dental practice, you’ll need to do more than just build name recognition among local patients. You’ll also need to prove to them that you’re a better choice than your competitors. Research your local competitors to see how they’re marketing to new patients. What is their website like? How is their SEO? Are they marketing using other channels like social media or teethtalk ads? Assess their marketing funnel, and then brainstorm to see how you can make yours better and capture a larger share of the market. 

11. Be adaptable. 

Things change quickly, both in the dental industry and in the world as a whole. It’s important to be adaptable so you can handle any unexpected changes that come your way. For example, social media platforms cycle in and out of popularity, with new platforms hitting the market regularly. You should be able to adapt your dental marketing strategy to new social media platforms as needed. It’s also important to be open to customer feedback. If your patients say that something isn’t working, look for new solutions rather than doubling down. 

12. Always think ahead. 

You never know exactly what challenges may be on the horizon, but it’s important to be prepared. As you’re growing your business, take time to think about potential changes in the market and how they may affect you. If a new practice opened up down the street, how would you adjust your marketing to keep your client base steady? If a major practice nearby closed, would you be able to handle an influx of new patients? Thinking about these ‘what ifs’ ahead of time can help you prevent future challenges. 

How To Grow Your Dental Practice

Growing your dental practice is a long-term process. You’ll need to re-evaluate many different aspects of your business, from your staffing to your customer service procedures to your marketing strategies. Don’t be afraid to break the mold and make major changes, as big changes often come with significant growth.

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Zach Westerhoff

Zach Westerhoff

Co-founder & Head of Product

Zach Westerhoff is a dental marketing expert. Join Zach and over 5,000 dentists to learn how to scale your dental business like a tech startup. Zach managed digital marketing teams & campaigns for large SaaS companies and retail giants. As co-founder of teethtalk ads, his goal is to help dentists advertise their practice to patients looking for treatment.

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