Cloud Cover: Recession-Proofing Your Practice
The COVID-19 pandemic has made everyone realize how important accessible health care is to the strength of our economy and the literal health of our country. For dental practitioners, this means taking care of the customers you’ve seen for years, and new ones who might have doubts about committing to treatment during a pandemic. Finding new ways to make dentistry accessible and recession proof is the goal of every dentist, even outside of an unprecedented economic crisis.
Practicing virtual innovation
New technologies, such as teledentistry, have allowed dentist to forge new patient relationships and maintain recurrent customers. You can schedule and maintain appointments within most teledentistry software, and all you need is a camera or your cellphone. Whether desktop or mobile based, your personal accessibility during the worst parts of an economic downturn is paramount to your future practice profitability.
Dental software upgrades
If you’re not using an inclusive, cloud-based management software, there could be holes in your business plan that you won’t notice until you’ve already lost money. Instead of scrambling to figure out everything on your own, consider dental billing software that includes:
- Payroll management
- Dental billing and coding updates for your PPOs
- Consider outsourcing your accounts to save time
Social media and business marketing
During times of economic crisis, saving face can seem almost impossible. Everything that your practice does is put under even more scrutiny than before, so your social media presence should be up-to-date and representative of your business ethics. Remember that every reply you make will be seen by others who may have the same concerns.
- If someone leaves a bad review about something specific to your practice, address it immediately and cordially
- Post positive, informative news updates to your social media pages and engage with your audience on a weekly basis at minimum
- If a patient negatively comments about your available insurance plan options or other pay rates, inform them of your personal pay schedule or other available financial options
It only takes a small amount of time to create a positive experience for a customer, especially during a time of crisis where tensions are already high.
Planning for the future of dentistry
There’s a first time for everything when it comes to economic downturns and unexpected curveballs, but recession proofing doesn’t need to be a complex process. Most of it comes down to taking charge of your finances and asking yourself the hard questions:
- Do you personally check monthly and annual ROIs, equipment costs, etc?
- Do you use a certified accountant with experience in the dental industry?
- Are you taking advantage of continuing education (CE) opportunities for yourself and staff on national and local levels?
All of these questions lead you to the real “answer” to profitability and recession proofing: innovation. “Changing with the times” isn’t just a turn of phrase, it’s a necessity to prepare for economic hiccups, where the overlooked areas of your finances are more likely to cause issues. Take some time to ensure that your business is working for you, not the other way around.