Dental and Medical Counsel Blog

How to Create your Dental Practice Business Plan

June 1, 2022
business plan

You likely know that you must have a dental business plan to make your new dental practice successful. This is true whether you are starting a dental practice from the ground up or you are buying a dental practice and making it your own.

The business plan is your roadmap to success. When you apply for a business loan, lenders generally won't even talk to you unless you have a business plan. The plan provides you and the lender with information you need about every aspect of your practice, from the demographics you want to attract to the number of employees you expect to need.

At Dental & Medical Counsel, our professional dental attorneys work with you personally to make sure your business plan is as comprehensive as you need it to be to meet both your short and long-term goals. We offer a free consultation to see how we can best meet your needs.

Essential Components of a Dental Practice Business Plan

The Small Business Association (SBA) has a traditional business plan format you can use as a business plan template. If you are a member of the ADA, it also has templates you can use as a guide.

The SBA format provides the following sections that are traditionally used, at least in some combination, for all businesses, including professional practices. You can follow it carefully or tweak it to meet your needs. Keep in mind that this is the type of business plan lenders will ask for when you apply for a business loan.

Executive Summary

This is the first section of your business plan, but the last section you will write. It is just what it sounds like: a summary of your business plan. If possible, it should be no longer than two pages. It must be written concisely but completely. It is the part that lenders look for first and what you use to persuade them to read further. You want this piece to show you have a vision of success for your practice and what you base that vision on, so you know it will be a success.

Description of Practice and Services Provided

This is where you provide the name of your practice and details about the specific services you offer.

If you are buying a practice, you will want to include here whether you are making any changes to the services already offered. Some examples of what you might include here as far as services you are offering may be:

  • Diagnostic services
  • Implant services
  • Orthodontics
  • Dental surgery
  • Restorative dentistry
  • Preventive services
  • Periodontal disease treatments and deep cleanings
  • Teeth whitening
  • Teeth cleaning
  • Nursing home screenings

Make this list specific to what you will offer. Do not exaggerate or list a service you will not be providing. If you are buying a practice and not offering a service offered by the previous owner, explain why you are eliminating the service. If you are adding a service, explain how that will benefit the practice.

Market Analysis and Strategy

Identify your competitors and research what they are doing. Check out their online presence. Explain what your plans are for making your practice successful. For example:

  • Explain how your practice will be using more advanced technology than your competitors.
  • Will you be offering services that are not offered by your competitors? List what those services are. For example, orthodontics? Dental implants?
  • Explain your marketing plan. Online advertising? Joining the Chamber of Commerce and participating in dental outreach programs? Involvement in community programs like speaking to the elderly in nursing homes?
  • Identify your target market. What is their age, income level, and lifestyle? Is this the same target market as your competitors? If so, what is your plan for attracting them to your practice?
  • What is your approach to getting referrals from HMOs, PPOs, corporations, student organizations, educational institutions, business people, senior citizens, and others?

Business Structure

There are several ways in which you can structure your dental practice. You should get legal advice before you make this decision. There are pros and cons to each type of structure. In some states, like California, healthcare professionals, like dentists, cannot legally form a Limited Liability Company (LLC). A legal professional can explain to you your options.

  • Solo practitioner
  • Partnership
  • Limited Liability Company
  • Corporation
  • Partnership

You need to structure your practice in a way that meets your professional needs, has tax advantages, and protects your personal assets from any business debts.

Organization and Management

Identify how the practice will be managed. Who will be making the decisions? This will depend on the business structure you have chosen. For example, if you formed a partnership, the partners will be making decisions. Identify them by name.

List your professional advisors. Include your insurance agents, real estate agents, attorneys, and all business associations.

Explain how your office will function. List the positions that will be held in your practice and explain the job descriptions for each of those positions. List positions such as Office Manager, Human Resources Manager, Dental Hygienists, Dental Assistants, and so forth.

The purpose is to show lenders that you have a workable plan for how your office will be structured, and that you have a support system in place to make it successful.

Operation Plan

Explain how the day-to-day details of how the office will work. Include:

  • The office hours
  • Days the office will be open
  • Vendors you will be working with
  • Equipment maintenance schedules
  • Dental insurance you will accept
  • Dental insurance you will not accept
  • Whether you offer payment plans

This section is designed to let lenders see that you have a plan for how your practice will work.

Financial Plan and Supporting Documents

All sections of your business plan are important, but this is the one that will capture the most attention from lenders. Include all relevant financial documents. It is better to err on the side of including too much information than not enough. Include:

  • Projected income for the next 12 to 24 months
  • The projected cash flow.
  • The amount of the loan you are requesting.
  • A detailed description of how the funds will be used. Buying equipment? Covering salaries of support personnel? Cover bills until income increases?
  • What you are offering for collateral for the loan.

You need to provide documents to support your plan. That includes:

  • Your personal financial statement.
  • Bank statements.
  • Your tax returns for the last three years.
  • Copy of your current credit report.
  • Projected income statements
  • If you are purchasing an established dental practice, provide copies of all relevant financial documents you gathered when you conducted your financial due diligence.

Appendix

The Appendix includes copies of all supporting documents for all sections of your business plan plus other materials that you know lenders will want to review. This includes:

  • Your license to practice dentistry.
  • Your business license.
  • Resumes.
  • Business history if you are purchasing a practice and all supporting financial documents.
  • Your supporting documents for your financial plan.
  • Reference letters.
  • All legal documents, like leases, sales contracts, and copies of employment contracts.

Dental and Medical Counsel is proud to be one of the most trusted law firms that dentists use when they are establishing a dental practice, either by buying a dental practice or building one from the ground up. Ali Oromchian and our team of dental attorneys can answer any of your questions and assist you with your business plan and all other aspects of beginning your practice.

Schedule A Free Consultation Now

At Dental & Medical Counsel, PC, we understand dentists have trouble navigating the legal process. We believe every dentist deserves the best advice and service so doctors can do what they do best, treat their patients. We make dentists' lives easier by providing expert guidance, so they can focus on their personal and professional aspirations.

Sources

https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/plan-your-business/write-your-business-plan

https://www.ada.org/resources/practice/practice-management/finances/guidelines-for-developing-business-plans

https://cloud9.software/dental-business-plan/

https://startupback.com/dental-clinic-business-plan/

https://www.ogscapital.com/article/dental-office-business-plan-sample/

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