Whether you’ve just purchased your own dental practice or have been managing a practice for years, you’ll want to plan your practice growth to ensure that your long-term business and professional goals are successfully met. This is where a thoughtfully prepared business plan comes into play.
A sound business plan provides you with a blueprint for developing the practice you truly want. It’s a living document that provides a basis for monitoring and measuring your progress as your practice grows – whether through an enhanced service offering, increased production, or expanded professional staff and office footprint.
The business plan typically includes six components:
1. Executive Summary
Serves as an introduction to you and your business, and typically includes a Company Description, Mission Statement and Financing Requirements for continued growth.
2. Practice Description
Goes into greater detail about the structure of your business and resources available to you for managing growth, such as your advisory team, practice build-out plans, associate buy-in plans, and staff development plans.
3. Market Research
Demonstrates that your practice growth plan is based on a solid understanding of your local market and potential for success, with an outline of competition in the area and patient demographics.
4. Marketing Plan
Describes the internal and external marketing activities you plan to use to announce practice growth initiatives such as temporary closures to expand your office space, addition of new associates and services, or relocation to a new area.
Details the day-to-day functions of your practice going forward, illustrating that your plan for growth is based on well-thought-out ideas that are realistic and actionable.
6. Financial Forecast
Includes an Income & Cash Flow Projection for up to five years, as well as an outline of Capital & Operating Expenses – critical for detailing how much you need in financing to grow your practice according to plan.
For a complimentary Business Plan Template designed for dental practices, see the Wells Fargo Practice Finance website.
When it’s time to request financing, have an initial conversation with your lender to determine if your plans are feasible and what documentation the lender will require. Credit decisions are usually based on an assessment of practice cash flow and your ability to repay the loan while leaving enough to cover your expenses and lifestyle. The amount of your personal debt factors directly into this equation, so it’s important to maintain a healthy financial profile by always making on-time payments on credit and loan accounts, not applying for credit from too many lenders, and not using all the credit available to you.
By planning your practice growth well in advance, you may find that future success comes even more quickly and easily than you anticipated.