Practicing as an endodontist for many years, I spent my days fixing my patients’ teeth only after the damage had been done. I noticed that the same patients were back in the office month after month. It seemed, to me, as if there was no permanent solution to their oral health challenges. As a result, I set out to create a clinic to keep people with dental issues from feeling like they were always in the dentist’s chair. My solution was EON Clinics, an all-in-one dental implant center with an in-house team of specialists who address the varying needs of our patients.
Starting a business isn’t easy, but if you know that one day, you want to work for yourself, you have to begin planning now. Here are some essentials to keep in mind as you are building your business:
1. Find your differentiator. When you build a business, you have to find out what sets you apart from your competition. What is your “wow” factor? It is imperative to research who else is in the marketplace. I decided to put state-of-the-art technology for implants at the forefront of our business. That is our differentiator.
2. Make an investment. When building my dream practice, we invested in a variety of state-of-the-art technologies, including a high-quality laboratory and a CBCT dental scanner. We have oral surgeons who place dental implants, restorative dentists who are experts in tooth replacement and dental implant treatment coordinators, all in one facility. Many new graduates are reluctant to buy a practice right away, and that’s OK. Once I knew I wanted to own a practice, though, I took steps to make sure it was successful. That first investment of time, money and resources is intimidating, but it can pay off in a big way.
3. Build relationships. If you know you are going to be launching a new business, it is important to start building relationships now. Ensure that you are carrying those relationships over to your next business, if applicable. I knew many of my patients from endodontic practice could benefit from implants, so I was able to start building my future patient pool.
4. Promote your business. It is imperative that you invest in advertising, marketing and public relations. Once you’re ready to make such an investment, set aside at least $7,000 to $20,000 for these efforts. If you decide to choose an agency to help you, do your research before selecting one. And once you’ve found one, talk to them about your goals and vision for your business so they can help you reach your target market.
Starting your own practice begins with a clear vision for the type of business you want. This was the case for me, and I now have six clinic locations throughout Illinois and Wisconsin. Even if it takes you a few years to get there, it’s worth it to begin the planning process early. What is your vision? Now, go make it happen!
~ Dr. Rajan Sharma, EON Clinics