Owning and operating a successful dental practice for patients of all ages is much easier if you come up with family friendly business ideas. Having a guide keeps you focused on ensuring that everything you do has a purpose. Plus, you can put your family friendly business ideas into a spreadsheet so you stay on budget.
Remember: Unless you’re going to open a practice in a very small area without a dentist, you’re going to run into some major competition. Basically, every dental provider in the area will want to encourage people to see them at least every six months, as is recommended by experts. That means you have to stand out.
Can implementing clever family friendly business ideas really help you differentiate the way you treat patients or the services you offer? You bet. Make no mistake about it, either. People are often shopping around for new dentists. If you make your practice seem irresistible, or at least intriguing, they may decide to give you a try, especially when it comes to finding a reliable dentist for their children.
Want another reason to put some proven family friendly business ideas into action? When you get one member of a family to become a patient, you can more easily persuade other members of their family to follow suit. That means that getting one new patient could really turn into getting two, three, four, or more patients, all for the same amount of effort.
Excited to get started and begin to construct a business plan for your dental office? Check out the following family friendly business ideas that are sure to help you put your best foot forward as a leading healthcare provider in your community.
Choose a Location for Your Practice
Have you ever heard the saying, “Location, location, location?” Though it’s usually used when discussing restaurants and retail stores trying to find a place to open, it’s valid for dentists’ practices, too.
As you’re looking around for available real estate, be sure to concentrate on a few key items. First, ask yourself if a location is safe. People will be reluctant to come to even the best dental practice in the world if it’s in an insecure neighborhood that makes them feel scared.
Secondly, be sure that patients won’t have problems finding you. Perhaps your realtor shows you a fantastic mountainside building that would make a spectacular dental office with amazing views. Though that sounds kind of wonderful, it isn’t practical. Would patients actually drive to get to you? How about people who have to take taxis, Ubers, or public transportation? They’re not going to be impressed that you’re out of the way.
Third, be sure that your practice has enough easy-in, easy-out parking. Many dentists like having offices in strip malls where parking’s already taken care of. Though this certainly isn’t a must-have, it can often work out very well.
Finally, pick a spot that can be retrofitted exactly as you need. You’ll have a lot of equipment and space needs. Be sure that the property you buy or lease doesn’t end up being too cramped or limits your ability to scale if you get really busy.
After you pick a location, start to think about signage. You’ll want to ensure that all the marketing signs you place outside can be seen. Call a business sign service to help you understand all of the different types of signs available on the market. Don’t forget that your signage will need to be visible from a number of different angles, especially if you’re on a corner and people could be driving from a couple of different directions to get to your office.
One more of these family friendly business ideas related to location: Choose a place that is convenient for where you live. The last thing you want to do is make your commute extra-long, particularly if you offer same-day emergency dentistry. Otherwise, you could spend a ton of time on the road, which will make it hard for you to embrace what you do.
Create a Friendly Office Atmosphere
At this point, you’ve decided where you’re going to set up shop. Now comes the time to plan your interior spaces. First, you need to think about equipment, of course. Figure out exactly what you need in terms of the variety of equipment pieces. For instance, are you going to invest in a large machine to make ceramic tooth crowns and other restorations onsite so you don’t have to wait for a third-party lab to do them for you? Create a large laundry list of everything you need from a practical standpoint, being as thorough as possible.
Once you have all the basics written down, you can start to think about more of the aesthetics of your practice. Ideally, you want your general dentistry or family dentistry office to have a welcoming ambiance. Take your time in thinking about that, walking through the space in your mind.
What colors will the inside and outside of your facility feature? Will the exterior painting echo the interior painting in any way? What flooring will be suitable for your practice? Are you going to have any homier touches like a single-cup coffee machine for patients who are waiting or specialty massage chairs and heated blankets?
Don’t discount thinking about the environment in your office. It’s one of those family friendly business ideas that can make or break whether you stay in business for the long haul. People tend to make snap judgments about the service providers they choose based solely on their first impression. If the outside of your property looks dingy, dated, and drab, you can be sure that a lot of patients won’t even consider walking inside. This is true even if you have completely redone the interior!
As a side note to these family friendly business ideas for dentist practices, always think about how your office smells. A fresh-smelling healthcare location will put people at ease. One that has a strong “dentist office” smells may be a turnoff, especially for people with high levels of dental anxiety.
Include Kid-Friendly Office Features
Are you thinking that you’ll be trying to market to not just individuals but whole families? In that case, you’ll need to ensure that your office is friendly to kids. Even if the kids aren’t your patients and their parents are, you should do what you can to make youngsters feel like you want them there.
The simplest way to “kid zone” your dental office is to ensure that you have some kid-sized furnishings, books, and toys in the waiting area. Clean these items routinely so they look appealing for both children and adults. The last thing you want is to have a germy area for the little ones. Their parents won’t appreciate it, and the kids won’t want to hang out there.
How else can you add some kid-friendly elements to your family dentistry office? When you’re planning the facilities, think about installing bathroom countertops and sinks that are kids’ heights. This means kids won’t have to balance on stools in order to wash their hands after using the lavatory. It’s a small touch, but it shows you have thought of everything.
Some dentistry practices give prizes to kids who have great visits, too. You could have a supply of little toys or stickers on hand to “gamify” the experience for children. The more that youngsters like going to your dental practice, the more their parents will stick with your office for their dentistry needs.
Want another couple of family friendly business ideas related to kids? First, show pictures of kids on your social media pages and website. Or, at least use images that include families. Also, decorate some areas with pictures that kids will enjoy looking at. You might even want to paint a wall in chalkboard paint to encourage budding artists to draw while waiting for their appointments or their parents’ appointments.
Provide Helpful Resources
As someone’s family dentist of choice, you’re in a great position to be even more of an influence for your patience than just as their dental provider. For example, you could make yourself a clearinghouse of helpful resources.
How does this work? What if a patient asked a member of your team, “where to get my physical done near me?” and get a pleasant, fast answer or referral? What about the patient that wants to find out how to tow safely because their battery died in the parking lot? That person would be thrilled to learn that you or your staff could be of service.
Of course, providing helpful resources shouldn’t take up all your time. You have a dental practice to run, after all. Nonetheless, being a go-to resource isn’t such a bad thing. Providing resources lets patients know you are there for them in more ways than one. This can make them more apt to leave positive online reviews or rave about your dental office and its welcoming environment to everyone they know.
Is this one of those family friendly business ideas that takes a lot of money to implement? Absolutely not. But it does need to be part of your office culture. In other words, you have to make it clear to everyone you hire that they aren’t just there to provide patients with dental services. They’re there to be a warm, compassionate listener and make suggestions when appropriate. Empower your team members to help patients out, and you’ll definitely see appreciative patients as a result.
Design a Family-Friendly Website
It’s no big surprise that most people’s first introductions to any businesses or professionals, including dentists, is online. The vast majority of your new patients will look up, “best dentist in my area” and scour through the hits. They’ll look over reviews, visit websites, read blogs, and check social media pages.
This means you have to be where people can find you. The initial way to do this is with an effective website design. You don’t necessarily have to spend a fortune on your dental practice site. On the other hand, it might make sense to hire a website development agency that knows how to put together great sites specifically for dental offices. Use your best judgment, but always look around at your competitors’ websites. Jot down what you like about some and don’t like about others. Then, use your observations to lean on some digital marketing-related family friendly business ideas.
What is a market tip you can use right away? Why not add walk-through videos on your website and YouTube channel? Walk-through videos would involve you literally giving the viewer a quick tour of your facilities. Maybe you take them through the front door and introduce them to the front desk people they’re most likely to see at their upcoming appointment. This can help kids with dental anxiety feel more comfortable coming into a place they already saw online. Perhaps you showcase your most advanced piece of equipment to tout its abilities and explain how it helps make dentistry better, easier, more comfortable, and maybe even more affordable.
You can be as creative as you want with your online presence. Just don’t ignore it. As more generations become native digital users, they’ll expect to be able to find you online. Even if you don’t like social media yourself or rarely use Facebook, you definitely need a Facebook business page. If you’re not paying a marketing professional to help you with your digital ads and other items, be sure to assign the task to someone in-house. That way, posting won’t slip through the cracks.
Patients who are trying to locate ‘a good dentist near me’ may need to search for family dental care services. The best general dentist can recommend a more specialized clinic for oral health if necessary. Every dental office needs to have an accessible ‘about dental clinic’ page, which can help patients learn more about a specific dental office directly.
Dental professionals should use precise terms in these pages, making it easier for patients to see whether or not the dental office has the services that they need. This section of the website also cannot be too technical, however. It needs to be concise, giving patients the chance to read the page very quickly.
A page like this will also give dental professionals the opportunity to make their particular practice seem more welcoming. Most businesses have introductory web pages like this. However, some businesses make those sections of their websites seem very perfunctory and generic. Potential clients won’t really see what it might be like to work with that particular business.
When a dental practice is being presented, the introductory web page is even more important. Patients who feel welcomed and more informed after reading an introductory web page may be much more likely to make appointments at that particular practice.
Want a final few family friendly business ideas as you get ready to make a splash with your general or family dentistry office? Number one, be sure that you continue to make improvements over the months and years. If something you try doesn’t work, try something else. You’ll be glad you did.
Number two, be sure to stay involved in your community. This could mean walking as a group in a local 5K to donate money to charity, or participating in a downtown neighborhood event. Being visible will help your name get out there.
Lastly, keep looking for new and innovative ways to get people to realize that going to the dentist can be fun and rewarding, not scary and painful. You want individuals and families to be pleased that they’re visiting, not worried. After all, you’re an important part of their healthcare and wellness.