Competing against large dental service organizations (DSOs) can be challenging for an independent dental practice. There are some strategies that practices can employ to remain competitive and find success in the market.
1. Focus on personalized patient care:
Small dental practices have an advantage in offering personalized and individualized patient care.
By taking the time to get to know your patients, addressing their concerns, and tailoring treatment plans to their specific needs, you can build trust and loyalty among your patients.
2. Leverage technology:
Utilize technology to streamline administrative tasks, such as scheduling, billing, and record-keeping. By freeing up staff time, you can focus on delivering high-quality patient care.
There’s a wide range of scheduling apps to choose from including SolutionReach, MarketBox, Acuity Scheduling, and Luma Health.
3. Build a strong online presence:
Invest in a professional website and social media presence to help potential patients find and learn about your practice. Regularly update your website and social media with relevant content, such as patient testimonials, blog posts, and educational resources.
An easy way to manage your business’ social media presence is by using tools such as Hootsuite or Buffer. These websites allow you to schedule out social media posts, which can free up some time for administrative assistants to focus on patients.
4. Offer competitive pricing:
Consider offering competitive pricing for your services to attract and retain patients.
While large DSOs may have more resources to offer discounted services, small practices can still remain competitive by offering flexible payment plans and financing options.
A way you can save money in order to offer these savings to patients is by enrolling in a group purchasing organization (GPO). Organizations like SourceClub can help you by negotiating prices and contracts on dental supplies and services.
5. Provide value-added services:
Consider offering value-added services such as same-day appointments, extended hours, facial aesthetics, and emergency dental services.
These services can help differentiate your practice from competitors and provide added convenience and accessibility to patients.
6. Develop strong referral networks:
Build relationships with other healthcare providers in your community, such as specialists. By working together to provide comprehensive care, you can attract more patients and increase referrals to your practice.
You can also gain referrals by participating in community events. This is a way to gain trust and increase your visibility By building relationships with potential patients you can increase your chances of receiving referrals.
If you have the means to, you can also sponsor local organizations to get your company’s name out into the community.
By implementing these strategies, small dental practices can remain competitive against larger competitors and attract and retain patients who appreciate personalized care and attention.
It won’t happen overnight, but if you start taking the steps now to improve your company’s footprint, you’ll see the benefits start to pour in.