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Supporting the cost of starting your own dental practice

Published on 21st May 2019 - Last update on 1st July 2020

Thinking about opening your own dental practice? Deciding to set up on your own, or with a partner, means going forward with a well-developed plan and realistic expectations. Being your own boss can be fun, there’s nothing more satisfying than seeing a practice you’ve built from scratch succeed, you just need to make sure that you’ve got the means to overcome the challenges that will stand in your way. And one of the first questions that any enterprising dental practitioner tends to ask usually involves the overall cost outlay required to get started. Although there’s no simple way to answer this, if you’ve got what it takes to succeed, here are the three main areas you need to consider.

Buy or rent a premise?

In order to run a dental practice, you need premises in a good location for your patients and the surrounding community. Although property is often high-cost, you can choose to either purchase or lease premises in your desired location. If leasing is the more viable option, you need to be sure that the location is suitable and is able to comply with any regulations you’ll be subjected to as a dental practitioner. You should also check whether you’ll need to make a deposit and request a Signed Inventory Report. A signed inventory report details what items come with the premises and what alterations you can make. Should you eventually decide to move out, this will help avoid any unnecessary complications with the landlord.

Meanwhile, if you wish to purchase premises instead, there are a number of Property Finance products that could help you manage the expense, including Secured Business Loans, Commercial Mortgages and Bridging Loans. You should also check whether the property is freehold or leasehold. If the property is described as leasehold, then you’re leasing the land that the premises is built on, affecting the length of time you have permission to stay at that address. Although leasehold agreements are usually long-term, check when it expires as renewing it can be expensive.

Are thinking about starting up your own dental practice? Worried about how much it will all cost to achieve? Apply for a Business Finance agreement or learn more about how your practice could benefit.

What dental equipment are you going to need?

Another key area of your practice to consider is what dental technology and equipment you’re going to need. This will also affect the range of services that you will be able to provide. However, to get your practice started, you are likely to require equipment ranging from dental chairs, instruments, precision microscopes, X-ray machines, digital imaging technology, surgery lighting, decontamination equipment, CAD/CAM systems, monitoring instruments and suction systems to compressors. Factor in the cost of installation and the amount of pressure this puts on your finances can be difficult to cope with. However, applying for Asset Finance could be the key. With Asset Finance, you could gain access to a number of secured finance solutions to allow you to purchase or borrow equipment, or even release equity in your unencumbered assets.

  • Hire Purchase: this option enables you to gain access to a piece of equipment and eventually gain ownership of it. The first step is to pay an Initial Deposit to the lender. Subject to negotiation, this usually involves 10% of the equipment’s total purchase price, including VAT. Once settled, you can begin using the equipment whilst making Fixed Monthly Repayments over an agreed term, plus interest. Terms for this type of finance usually extend up to 5 years. As soon as the agreement has matured, with all relevant payments settled, ownership is transferred to you.

  • Leasing: this option allows you to borrow equipment over an agreed term. Although agreements usually last up to 5 years, some lenders could offer you 7 years if the equipment is particularly expensive. During the time you’ll need to make Fixed Monthly Rental Payments, plus interest. Once the agreement has matured you can choose to either return the equipment, extend the agreement or upgrade to another model. For many dental practitioners, leasing represents a cost-effective way of acquiring equipment, especially if you only need it for a limited time, or if the equipment rapidly depreciates and becomes obsolete as more advanced models become available.

  • Asset Refinance: this option enables you to release up to 100% of the capital held within any unencumbered assets in order to provide your practice with a lump sum, which can be used for a wide variety of purposes. Upon receiving the lump sum, you’ll need to begin making Fixed Monthly Repayments, plus interest. Plus, as long as you keep up with the repayment scheme, your use of the asset won’t be affected.

How are you going to hire and train staff?

A vital aspect of running a successful dental practice is hiring and retaining qualified staff. Through introducing fresh talent, you’ll boost the efficiency and quality of your services, which, perhaps, may even allow you to expand them as well. For example, some dental practices may employ staff trained in specific areas of dentistry to take on roles such as a hygienist, orthodontist or a prosthodontist. This also provides another benefit as you won't be generating a loss in potential earnings by having to send clients to your competitors because you don’t provide a specific service.  

But once you have all the staff that your practice requires, you need to be able to retain your talent and avoid having them seek employment elsewhere. One way of achieving this through ensuring that they have access to training opportunities which will allow them to upskill and offer the chance to advance their position within your practice.

However, if you can’t offer the training that’s required in-house, providing access to external training courses might be an option. But in order to support this, you may need to make funds available for CPD to staff members who want to advance with your practice. Although this could be difficult for any start-up or small practice to handle, the Alternative Finance industry does offer a variety of products that could assist, including Merchant Cash Advance, Overdraft Replacement, and Invoice Finance. Therefore, through retaining highly-skilled staff, you’ll improve the quality of your services and gain a distinct advantage over your local competitors.

How will you get your dental practice noticed?

Finally, you need to create a well-developed marketing plan. One of the biggest and most challenging obstacles to any new business is figuring out how to lure customers through your doors. However, this is a crucial step in growing your practice, since a reliable income is the lifeblood of any business. So, as well as creating a website for your practice, you may also choose to use social media, billboard ads, banner ads or create pamphlets which can be pushed through the doors of local residents. However, marketing could incur any number of costs and you may even need to seek the help of external services in order to run a successful campaign. Fortunately, there are funding opportunities available that could prove invaluable in this endeavour. These include Merchant Cash Advance and Overdraft Replacement. So if you’re willing to put the hard work into ensuring that your practice gets seen and develops a tangible presence, your determination will allow you to succeed.

Thinking about starting your own dental practice?

Like any new business in the UK, establishing your own dental practice isn’t going to be easy. As well as many hours of hard work and dedication, you also need access to sufficient amounts of capital. Unfortunately, no one can tell you precisely how much this will costs to achieve, but there are plenty of external funding opportunities available that could help. Thanks to the Alternative Finance industry, dentistry professionals just like yourself now have access to a constantly-expanding range of business finance solutions, including: Peer-to-Peer Lending, Merchant Cash Advance, Overdraft Replacement and Invoice Finance. All you need to do is source an agreement that’s appropriate for both your short- and long-term goals.

At Rangewell, we’re an Access to Finance specialist working with over 300 lenders to offer you an overview of more than 23,000 business finance products. Our services are free to use and we’ll also guide through the application process. We’re with you every step of the way. So if you’re wanting to explore start-up finance for your dental practice and thinking about establishing your own surgery, apply for Business Finance today or find out more with Rangewell.


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David Harrison

David Harrison

Content writer
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