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Want to grow your dental practice?

Published on 18th June 2019 - Last update on 4th July 2020

You worked hard to gain your dental qualification, and probably found that you had to work even harder when you first set up your own dental practice.

Simply running your own business might give you a good living - but for the real rewards that the profession can offer, you may find you need to grow your business to take it to the next level.

Of course, there are a limited number of hours in the day and, consequently, a limit on the number of patients you can see - but there are several steps that could see you take your practice further and earn a higher level of rewards.

These steps include:

  • Offering additional services - such as some of the new cosmetic practices now available
  • Taking on a hygienist - as an outsourced service or as an employee
  • Bringing in a second chair - which could double the number of treatments you can offer
  • Opening a branch surgery - either from scratch or taking over an existing practice

The potential will depend on your location and the size of your premises - and on securing the funding you need.

Offering additional services

Some of the new techniques and services in the dental arena can offer exciting results. New ways of whitening teeth, plus new techniques for alignment and straightening can all mean important new sources of revenue.

Most will require new equipment. At Rangewell, we believe that Asset Funding solutions can often provide the most cost-effective solutions to provide the equipment you need for your surgery.

Asset Finance provides a number of ways to help you spread the cost of the equipment you want for your practice, and includes solutions to let you buy outright or lease items of all kinds.

With Hire Purchase, you effectively hire your dental equipment until you’ve paid enough to purchase it. You’ll normally pay a deposit, plus fixed monthly repayments. When you’ve made all the repayments, your business will own the equipment outright. This can be ideal for durable items that you will want for the long-term.

Leasing gives you flexibility. You can regularly update equipment to ensure you always work with cutting-edge technology - such as laser whitening. In some leasing arrangements, you have the option to own the asset at the end of the term, upgrade it, or simply give it back.

You can also decide whether you want maintenance and insurance to be included and whether you need the item for its whole working life or a shorter, agreed period.

Taking on a hygienist

Bringing in a hygienist will let you provide an increased level of care for your patients, and create an additional income stream.

Naturally, you can call in a self-employed hygienist who will be able to come in as required - but you will need to provide somewhere for them to work. Setting up a second chair could be an investment for the future - your hygienist will be able to use a chair, even if he or she will not need the full range of tools to go with it.

If you have the space, it means your hygienist will help pave the way for the growth of your business. You can reduce the costs of setting up a workspace for them by selecting good, pre-owned equipment. Many sources of used and refurbished dental equipment exist, but many dentists believe they would need to find cash to take advantage of the savings it offers. Remember, Asset Finance can also provide funding for used dental equipment.

Bringing in a junior - with a second chair

Taking on a newly qualified dentist could be the logical next step. With somewhere for them to work provided simply by upgrading the facilities you brought in for your hygienist, the equipment costs will be minimal.

You are more likely to take on a junior as an employee rather than a partner. This will mean an extra wage to pay, and you might want to look at a Working Capital Finance arrangement for the first few months that they are with you. This will allow your cash flow to stay positive while you take on more patients to ensure that your new employee is fully occupied.

As he or she builds their skills, you can expect them to take on an increasing share of your own workload.

Need help taking your dental practice to the next level? Find out more about the financial solutions you need here

Buying a second dental practice

Of course, even with a second - or even a third - chair and a long list of patients, your existing practice will eventually reach its logical limits. The next step may be to buy a second site - perhaps in a nearby town and expand your existing operation. You may be able to transfer your junior - it will require a substantial investment. It may be possible to arrange a straightforward business loan.

Secured Loans may be used to borrow upwards of £250,000, and so may be more suitable for the costs involved in a business purchase. Secured Loans can provide an appropriate level of funding, with rates that can be as low as 2% above base rate, and ten or more years to repay. They are secured because they are supported by security, such as your existing business premises or your home, that the lender can take and sell if you became unable to make repayments. This sounds like a risk - but is only ever used in the most extreme cases.

An alternative may be to use a Commercial Mortgage which will let you spread the costs involved. Commercial Mortgages work much like a residential mortgage, and can be cost-effective - often undercutting the costs of leasing - and providing an asset for the future of your business which should appreciate in value.

If the practice you are buying owns its premises, it might be a cost-effective solution.

Again, Working Capital Finance could provide you with additional working capital to pay staff and suppliers during the early weeks and months of your new venture.

Finance designed around your growth plan

As a professional with an existing business, you may be in a very good position to raise the finance you need when you are ready to consider expansion - but getting the right finance for each need could help keep costs down.

Thorough research and expert help can be essential. 

At Rangewell, we can provide the expertise you need - and help you cut the cost of the finance you need at whatever stage of your growth plans you have reached. So whether you're looking for the finance you need to grow your dental practice, refurbishing your dental practice or even start-up finance for your dental practice, you can find more information here

You can also find additional support with our Dentists' Directory - from experts to help with sales and acquisitions for dentists to accountants and marketing.

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Richard Mitchell

Richard Mitchell

Content writer
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