Tracking Your Dental Practice Website: Why and How

You probably already know that a strong, credible website full of high-quality content is essential to growing your dental practice. What you might not know, though, is how incredibly important it is to track your website’s performance, or how to go about doing that tracking. Here is what you should know.

Why Do I Need Tracking?

Tracking performance is the only way to understand what is working on your website and what still needs tweaking. Without tracking, you might get only a small trickle of new patients and have no idea why. Or you might suddenly get a flood of new patients, but have no idea how to replicate your success. Website tracking lets you monitor the performance of different content pages, promotions, and advertising campaigns over time to enhance your ROI—the return on your investment of time and money.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is arguably the very best way to track your website’s performance. You can drill down to specifics that let you optimize your website to maximize its success. Here are a few things to pay attention to in Google Analytics:

Website Visitors: One of the most basic but most important statistics is how many new and returning website visitors you have. If this number is low, you will need to find a way to drive more traffic to your site.

Page Views: Learning which pages receive the most views helps you narrow down what your visitors most want to see.

Traffic Sources: Understanding how website visitors got to your site helps you identify where to focus your marketing efforts. Direct traffic refers to the users who physically typed in your website domain. Referral traffic represents users who came via a link from another website. Other traffic sources are social networks and search engines.

Keywords: Learning which keyword phrases people used to find your website can help you optimize underperforming pages by including similar keyword phrases on them.

Conversions: Conversions are the website visitors who actually take action such as making an appointment or filling out a contact form. Ideally, you will have a high percentage of conversions compared to your total number of website visitors.

Average Session Duration: This lets you know how long the average visitor spends on your site. A longer average session duration means that visitors find your site engaging and helpful.

Bounce Rate: The bounce rate tells you what percentage of people arrive on a particular page of your site and then leave immediately. A high bounce rate on a page with basic information such as your phone number makes sense, but a high bounce rate on a page filled with content could indicate a technical issue.

Phone Call Analytics

Many people prefer to call to make a dentist appointment rather than handling it online or walking in without an appointment. Therefore, it is helpful to add phone call tracking to your website. This lets you know when a patient calls you based on your website. You can then add phone call conversions to your website conversions to get a better understanding of how many website visitors actually take action after viewing your site.

Ask New Patients for Information

An old-fashioned but highly effective way to track your patients is to simply ask them how they got to you. Consider adding a short section to your new patient paperwork that asks simply how the patient heard about your practice and whether he or she visited your website.

Ready to Get Started?

If you are interested in learning how to take your dental practice to the next level, please contact Ascent Dental Solutions today at (800) 983-4126 to learn how Dr. Coughlin can help.

Do you want to grow your dental practice? Throw out the box!

It’s an expression so common that it’s become a cliche:, “you have to think outside the box.”

But whether you are inside the box or outside the box, it’s still seen as the “safe space” you can retreat to when things get tough. But is it really that safe?

Let’s take a look at the current state of our business.   

  • The cost of a dental education continues to skyrocket with an average student debt of almost $300.000!  
  • There are more Dentists than ever electing to become employee’s rather than owners
  • Dental insurance companies are still squeezing the profit out of every procedure making it more and more difficult to be profitable.

Meanwhile, Managed Service Organizations are growing faster and making it even more difficult for solo practitioners or small group practices to succeed.  

So I say that it’s time to throw out the box if you want to compete and succeed on your own terms.

There are no shortage of consultants out there ready to give you answers. But most of them have never practiced dentistry. So they have a very limited view of what we are capable of doing and where our businesses can find opportunities to grow.

I still practice dentistry five days a week and I’ve built a large dental practice in Massachusetts with 14 locations providing a full range  of dental care to patients.However, changing rules, regulations, and dental insurances are taking a toll. Every year things just seem to get tighter and tighter with very few options on the table to grow.

At least that’s the way it seems if you aren’t willing to kick aside expectations and look for opportunity.

About five years ago I started to implement Botox and Dermal fillers into the Practice. This is a natural progression for dentists and I am here to say to embrace these cosmetic treatments!  Get trained, get your team on board and be aggressive and proactive! I challenge you to consider additional treatment modalities that allow you to side-step insurance companies altogether because they are strictly fee-based.

Your position as a trusted practitioner in your community makes you uniquely qualified to perform additional services at a high level and for a full fee

In addition to Botox and Derma fillers, some other treatment options to consider adding to your offerings include:

  • Radiofrequency treatments (RF) to tighten the skin around the face and neck. Each treatment takes only 5-10 minutes and maintenance is every 4-12 months.
  • Laser treatments to remove red and brown spots on and/or around the face, spider veins, unwanted hair and tattoos as well as scar tissue or wrinkles. Each treatment takes between 25-60 minutes and usually can be completed in 2-4 visit with each visit scheduled 4-6 weeks apart.
  • You can also use both RF and Laser to remove unwanted adipose tissue under the chin, sub mental area inner and outer thighs and abdomen.  These treatments usually can be completed in 2-6 treatments scheduled 6-8 weeks apart and each session lasting between 25-60 minutes.
  • Hydra facials, which replenish the youthfulness of the skin in 30-40 minutes taking years off your patients skin and is maintained by a follow up visit every other month.
  • Kybella injections in the sub mental area to remove unwanted fat or adipose tissue causing the dreaded double chin.
  • PDO sutures or what is commonly referred to as a lunchtime facelift almost instantly taking years off your face.

Does the thought of providing these services scare you? IT shouldn’t! We may not be Dermatologists or Plastic Surgeons, but we are skilled practitioners who are well positioned to elevate Spa Dentistry to something far above warm towels, relaxing music and simple massages.

You already have a captive clientele.  A majority of our patients want to improve their looks.  If they aren’t getting it from you they will find an alternate service provider to do it.  Take the action steps necessary to position yourself for the future.

For Dentist’s who remember a time when the fee you charged was actually your reimbursement, the proposed treatment options I’m suggesting are all fee for service!  They are all considered elective, non-surgical and the demand is high. Interest and awareness is enormous so consider adding additional procedures and services to you practice today.  Be first to implement this in your area – not the last.

Of course you need to be aware of your  state’s regulations. Some states may require you to work indirectly or directly under a Physician’s license.  Other states may require you to have an Esthetician’s license. However in most cases, you will delegate these procedures to a Physician Assistant, Nurse or Lic. Esthetician

In 1983, my first year in business, I put in my first dental implant.  Back then there were enormous resistance,s, but today, only 3 decades later, it is considered the standard of care in many cases.  So throw out that box, step out of your comfort zone and consider the possibilities!

Kevin Coughlin DMD, MAGD, MBA, LE is a practicing general dentist, who has a consulting business, Ascent Dental Solutions LLC, with a focus on education, training development and knowledge. Dr. Coughlin has a Non-Surgical company called Ascent Laser Aesthetics LLC.  He has taught practice management, lectured and written six books on the business of dentistry with an expertise in dealing with MSO’s and DSO’s. Dr. Coughlin has over 100 podcast on Apple radio, Ascent Radio and several webinars. His last book is the Non-Surgical Guide to Aesthetics, available on Amazon, to help patients and clients along with team members to understand quickly and easily options to make you beautiful on the outside.

 

What Dentists Need to Know About Google My Business

Online marketing is absolutely essential for dentists in today’s crowded marketplace. Getting your website (as well as your Facebook, Twitter, and other social media) in front of potential patients is the only way to ensure a consistent supply of new patients. Increasingly, those seeking a dentist will turn to Google first. Google My Business is one of the easiest and most effective ways to boost your Google ranking, ensuring that local prospects will see your website.

To maximize the power of your Google My Business page, though, it is important to devote some time and energy to making it the best it can be. Here is what you need to know.

What Is Google My Business?

Simply put, Google My Business ties your dental practice to both Google Search and Google Maps. It is a sort of mini-website that gives a snapshot of your practice and allows prospects to click through to your full website for more information. Google My Business is free to use, and it is far easier to quickly rank a Google My Business page than a full website. Think of Google My Business as a nice smile—it makes an excellent first impression.

Optimizing Google My Business for Your Dental Practice

Fortunately, Google My Business has a simple, step by step process. Work your way through the steps in order, fully completing one before moving on to the next.

  1. Claim and verify your page: Go to Google My Business and click “Start Now,” then follow the prompts. After you fill out all of the information, Google will send you a postcard with a verification code. Follow the instructions to finish verifying your page.
  2. Take a NAP: NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone number. Google likes consistency and will penalize you for any discrepancies it finds. Make sure your NAP is exactly the same across your Google My Business page, website, social media accounts, directory listings, and all other online appearances. Also double-check that your Google My Business page is linked to your website rather than a social media account, as only website links boost your Google ranking.
  3. Pinpoint your location: You might be tempted to set a broad region as your location to attract more potential patients. However, Google will penalize you for failing to list your exact address.
  4. Add photos: Post high-quality images to entice prospects. Choose inviting images of the waiting room, the treatment room, the staff, and even your satisfied patients (with their permission).
  5. Interact via reviews and Q&As

A stunning 84% of consumers trust user reviews just as much as personal recommendations, so Google likes to see a steady flow of reviews. Ask your patients directly to write reviews, and consider giving small incentives to do so. Be sure to read and respond to all reviews, including those that are negative.

The more interaction you have, the better your page will rank, so also take advantage of the Question and Answer feature. Patients can ask simple questions and your answers will help build out your profile, as well as boosting your trustworthiness with prospects.

  1. Add an appointments link: Remember that people are basically lazy. Adding a direct link to your appointment page can boost your conversions, or the number of prospects who convert to paying patients. If you have a bit more time and energy, you can even take advantage of Google My Business’s new booking feature that eliminates the need for prospects to visit your appointment page at all.
  2. Write posts: Google My Business allows you to write posts that can help drive patient conversions. Try posting about your events, promotions, and new services.
  3. Pay attention to your page: Most dentists set up their Google My Business page and then forget about it. Checking in once or twice a week to post, respond to reviews, and make sure the page looks spiffy can launch you to the top of the rankings.

Of course, not all dentists have the time or interest to devote to marketing. If you have been putting off dealing with your Google My Business page, consider hiring an outside company to help. We’ll do what we do best, allowing you to focus on what you do best.

Ready to Get Started?

If you are interested in learning how to take your dental practice to the next level, please contact Ascent Dental Solutions today at (800) 983-4126 to learn how Dr. Coughlin can help.

What the Relocation Clause in Your Office Lease Actually Means

Imagine you have developed the dental practice of your dreams. You have a loyal group of patients, a constant influx of new patients, and a team you trust. Things couldn’t be going any better. Then suddenly, you get a notice from your landlord that you have to move your practice to another location. What will this mean for the practice you have worked so hard to nurture? Welcome to the relocation clause.

What Is the Relocation Clause?

Sometimes known as the substitution space clause, the relocation clause is extremely common in commercial rental contracts. In essence, it gives your landlord the right to insist that you move to another space within the same building or commercial center. Landlords may invoke this clause for many reasons, but it is often used to combine a small rental space with another space next door to accommodate a larger tenant. The relocation clause typically gives you a short window, such as 30 days, to move to the designated space of the landlord’s choosing.

How the Relocation Clause Can Hurt Dental Practices

Dental practices are generally expensive to maintain, and they often require highly specialized build-outs. There are many potential pitfalls to a sudden relocation that all dental practice owners should consider. These include, but are not limited to:

Relocation expenses: Some leases require the tenant to cover all costs of relocation, from building out the new space to reprinting all marketing materials and hiring movers.

Increased rent: If you are moved to a larger or more “favorable” location, you may be responsible for paying higher rent on the new space.

Size and usability: You might be downgraded to a smaller or less usable space. That could require you to reconfigure your entire setup, or even lose valuable accessibility that is essential for many patients. You might even be relocated to a hard-to-find space with no foot traffic, reducing the potential for walk-ins.

Competition: Odds are, you carefully selected your existing space for many reasons, including sufficient distance from any competitors. A relocation could put you in close proximity to other dental offices, making it tougher to gain and retain new patients.

Downtime: Building out a dental practice takes time. If you are relocated, you may face extensive downtime while you wait for your new office to be prepared. Every day with your doors closed is a day without revenue or the ability to care for your patients.

Loss of patients: From accessibility concerns to an inability to wait through your downtime, there are many reasons patients may choose not to make the move with you.

Fighting Back

It is highly unlikely that, as a small tenant, you will be able to have the relocation clause removed from your rental contract. However, there are many ways to make the clause more favorable for you as a tenant. Some of these ideas are relatively common in commercial rental agreements, and they may even exist in the first draft. Others are a bit rarer. Either way, it is worth negotiating up front for as many of these terms as you can get.

Landlord is responsible for all relocation expenses: This term is actually fairly common, but by no means guaranteed unless you ask for it. In this case, if the landlord makes you relocate, he or she will pick up all of the associated expenses, from build-out to moving expenses to printing new marketing materials.

Rent freeze: This ensures that if you are moved to a bigger or more favorable location at the landlord’s discretion, your rent will remain the same.

Comparable location: You can add language that ensures the new space with be comparable to your existing location in everything from size and configuration to view and level of foot traffic.

Notice period: Ask for a reasonable notice period that gives you time to build out the new space and prepare your patients and staff. The exact length depends on your needs, but many dentists find that a period of 120 days is sufficient.

One relocation per rental period: Relocating is hard work, so try to include language in your contract that will limit your landlord to relocating your practice only once per rental contract term.

Right to terminate: If possible, include language that allows you to terminate the lease without penalty if the landlord is unable or unwilling to find you a suitable space that meets all the terms specified in the clause.

Although it is certainly exciting to start a new dental practice or take over an existing one, it is vital to read through the fine print on every document you sign. A bit of negotiation up front can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars and innumerable headaches in the long run.

Ready to Get Started?

If you are interested in learning how to take your dental practice to the next level, please contact Ascent Dental Solutions today at (800) 983-4126 to learn how Dr. Coughlin can help.

Marketing Your Dental Practice: What You Must Know

Naturally, you have certain things that differentiate your dental practice from everyone else’s. Perhaps you hold unique certifications, you have the latest gadgets, or your technical skills are unrivaled. Yet none of those things matter if your prospects are unaware of them or, even worse, are unaware you exist at all. Regardless of your level of service, you must follow the same basic marketing practices as any other service provider. Here is what you must know.

Why Market Your Practice?

Today’s world is busy and ever evolving. People move in and out of town. They get buried under a constant onslaught of information. Even your most satisfied patients tend to move on to other priorities. Marketing helps you stay top of mind to both current and prospective patients, and lets newcomers in your community know you exist. It also gives everyone a boost, including your staff and loyal patients, by making your practice feel like an important part of the community.

Developing a Marketing Plan

A good marketing plan is a natural outgrowth of a strong business plan. You need to fully understand where your practice is now and where you want it to go in the future. You also need to define both your short-term and long-term goals in practical, actionable terms. Finally, you need to become aware of your target market and the best ways to reach those people who are the best fit for your practice. For example, a big city cosmetic dentist who specializes in high end procedures has a very different target market than a rural family dentist who focuses on making dentistry as affordable as possible.

With your goals and target market clearly defined, you can begin to focus on the specifics of marketing your business. There are endless ways to market, from branding small items such as pens and stationery to sponsoring a local baseball team to hosting a charity event. Think through the ways you feel most comfortable interacting with and giving back to your local community, and marketing ideas will begin to flourish. Match your marketing to your natural interests and comfort zone, as well as your practice’s brand identity.

Implementing Your Marketing Plan

A key decision is determining who will actually be responsible for implementing the marketing plan. Remember that in addition to doing the actual marketing tasks, you will need to track the results, so you can get the highest return on your marketing investment. Present your marketing plan to your team, and pay attention to who becomes the most enthusiastic about which parts of the plan. You may want to run the show, or you might prefer to delegate authority, but either way, you will need support and assistance from your team. Let team members take on the tasks that naturally suit them, and they will be motivated to ensure the plan is a success.

Getting Started

The hardest part of any big new project is finding the motivation to actually start. When it comes to marketing, there is no perfect “right way” to start. Just sit down at your computer or pick up a pen and start making lists. Then choose something to try. Trial and error can get you unstuck and give you the feedback you need to create and implement a formalized marketing plan.

If you are interested in learning how to take your dental practice to the next level, please contact Ascent Dental Solutions today at (800) 983-4126 to learn how Dr. Coughlin can help.

People Management: A Vital Skill for a Successful Dental Practice

Today’s dental practices are fast-paced and often stressful, with a seemingly endless list of conflicting tasks that must be accomplished. It can be tough to find time to build relationships in between all of the other pressures of running your practice. Yet relationships are critical to your success.

The best dental practices not only provide excellent care, but foster thriving relationships between the dentist and the team, the dentist and the patients, and the patients and the team. Here is what you need to know.

Talk to Your Team

Research shows that beyond money, staff members in every industry seek a sense of connectedness, autonomy to make decisions, ongoing growth and development, and the feeling that they are making a difference. Foster these intangibles by holding regular staff meetings, seeking feedback, and acting on the information you are given. Help your team members feel like stakeholders in the practice, and they will become far more personally invested in it.

Lead by Example

Model the behaviors you want to see. Never ask your staff to do anything you would not do yourself. Work hard to get to the bottom of team member conflicts in a way that makes everyone involved feel valued. Share your passion for dentistry and your dedication to helping others. Show your team your vision for the practice and ask for their help in achieving it.

Be Tough but Fair with Problem Patients

Every dental practice has that one patient who insists on a very early or very late appointment to accommodate her schedule, and then fails to show up without so much as a phone call. It is always best to give a warning the first time, explaining that you know things happen but next time you will have to bill for the appointment. If the patient makes a habit of no-call, no-shows, send a bill with a courteous but firm explanation.

Pay Attention to Agitated Patients

Unfortunately, some people are aggressive in their daily lives. Even more manage to be polite most of the time but may turn combative when under stress. Keep an eye out for situations that could turn aggressive, such as:

– Patients who owe significant balances
– Patients who tend to skip appointments
– Patients with alcohol or drug addictions
– Patients who cannot be helped right away
– Patients who are especially fearful or in a great deal of pain

Certainly, not everyone who falls into one of these categories will become combative, and it is important to give people the benefit of the doubt. Still, making sure that you and your team are up to date on the latest de-escalation techniques, and using a team approach to potentially volatile situations, can help your staff and other patients feel more comfortable, and can help you provide needed care to agitated patients.

Warning signs that a patient is about to lose his cool include, but are not limited to:

– Tense body language
– Changes in speech volume
– Behavioral changes such as fidgeting or suddenly becoming very quiet

De-escalation techniques include, but are not limited to:

– Empathizing
– Active listening
– Allowing the patient to finish speaking
– Calmly addressing the stated concerns

People management may not be your natural strong suit, but learning basic skills can help boost your dental practice to the next level. The goal is to foster trust, support, and communication between all stakeholders in your practice: the dentist, the staff, and the patients.

If you are interested in learning how to take your dental practice to the next level, please contact Ascent Dental Solutions today at (800) 983-4126 to learn how Dr. Coughlin can help.

Managing Review Sites: What All Dentists Need to Know

Whether you love it or hate it, the reality is that patient reviews are a significant factor in potential new patients’ decision on which dentist to choose. Consequently, it is vital for you to monitor and manage your online reviews, and to encourage satisfied patients to write reviews. Here is what you need to know.

Major Review Sites

To manage your patient reviews, you first need to know where they are. Your practice is likely listed on some of these sites already, while others require you to take active steps to create a listing. Search each site to see if your dental practice is there, and then update any inaccurate information such as your business name, address, or phone number. For sites where you are not yet listed, create a listing as soon as possible. Major review sites include:

Yelp: Yelp covers all types of businesses and service professionals, and it is currently considered a market leader in review sites. Make sure you have an accurate, up to date listing, as many of your patients and prospects will naturally gravitate there.

Angie’s List: Angie’s List charges a small monthly fee to see your reviews. This charge is generally worth it, though, as the site has positioned itself as an excellent place to find trustworthy professionals in many different service categories.

Google: Google’s My Business pages are an interesting hybrid. Reviews from other sites are regularly aggregated there, and users can also write reviews directly on your page. It is absolutely vital to claim your page and ensure that your business information is accurate. Since so many people start with a Google search, reviews on your Google My Business page can make or break your quest to attract new patients.

Of course, there are numerous other review sites as well. Run a quick Google search to find those that seem relevant to your practice and your geographic location. Besides correcting inaccurate information, consider uploading photos to each listing to provide more insight into your practice.

Getting Reviews

The best way to get reviews is simply to ask for them. Consider offering your existing patients a small incentive, such as a free toothbrush or a few dollars off the next cleaning, in exchange for a review. Be sure to provide specific instructions on which review site(s) you prefer and how to go about leaving a review.

Managing Bad Reviews

No matter how hard you try, you cannot satisfy everyone. Sooner or later, you will receive a negative review. The best way to manage it is to face it head on with diplomacy, concern, and tact. Publicly respond to the review. Ask for clarification if needed, but be careful not to come across as confrontational. Apologize for the situation and offer a resolution.

You do not need to engage with someone hostile or offer rewards that far outweigh the severity of the patient’s experience, but a genuine apology and attempt to resolve will go a long way toward influencing the opinions of others who read the review, if not the person who left it. No matter how tempting it may be, never attempt to remove a negative review except in the most extreme cases.

Ready to Get Started?

If you are interested in learning how to take your dental practice to the next level, please contact Ascent Dental Solutions today at (800) 983-4126 to learn how Dr. Coughlin can help.

Overtime Pay: What Dental Practice Owners Must Know

In May 2016, the Department of Labor raised the minimum salary for employees to be exempt from overtime pay from $23,660 per year ($455 per week) to $47,476 per year ($913 per week). There are other new rules for determining whether an employee is truly exempt as well. The deadline for compliance was December 1, 2016, but it was blocked by an injunction.

The final fate of the changed regulation remains unknown. If it does eventually go through, though, many dental practice owners are still unclear on what they need to do. Here is what you must know about overtime pay, both as it exists now and how it may change under the new law.

The Legalities of Overtime Pay

The relevant statute is the Fair Labor Standards Act, the same act that governs the federal minimum wage, child labor, and other employee rights. The relevant portion of the law determines which employees are not entitled to overtime pay. It was last updated in 2004.

“Exempt” employees are those who are paid a salary above the threshold and meet specific tests. Even if you pay a salary, if it does not meet the minimum of $23,660 (now) or $47,476 (if the new rule takes effect), you must still pay overtime if that employee works more than 40 hours per week (8 hours per day in California).

Assessing Your Staff

With the new rule on the horizon, now is an excellent time to audit your records and ensure that you are in compliance now, and are ready to move into compliance with the new law if needed. First, determine exactly which employees fit the rules for exemption. Besides the salary threshold, employees’ jobs must meet a rigorous set of criteria. Be sure you understand the specific tests that must be met.

In a dental office, the most likely exempt employees are office managers and team leaders. Hygienists, receptionists, and other front-line staff members are rarely, if ever, considered exempt. Business owners, executives, and dentists typically do not fall under overtime rules at all.

Establishing Compliance

Once you know which employees are considered non-exempt, you must make sure that you are properly compensating them. These are your options:

 

  • For an employee you considered exempt who is actually non-exempt: Either increase her salary and change her duties to meet the exemption criteria or accept that she is non-exempt
  • Establish a system for tracking non-exempt employees’ time
  • Pay non-exempt employees overtime whenever they work more than 40 hours in a workweek (or eight per day in California)
  • Consider removing duties or hiring additional staff to limit overtime expenses

Managing Overtime

It is important to note that a non-exempt employee can NEVER waive her right to overtime or work off the clock. The best way to manage overtime is to create a written notice in the employee handbook that overtime must be authorized, and delineating the penalty for unauthorized overtime. If a non-exempt employee works unauthorized overtime, you must still pay correctly for the overtime hours worked, but you may also impose the designated penalty.

Ready to Get Started?

If you are interested in learning how to take your dental practice to the next level, please contact Ascent Dental Solutions today at (800) 983-4126 to learn how Dr. Coughlin can help.

5 Creative Ways to Boost Your Dental Practice Valuation

If you are interested in selling your dental practice, it is only natural to want to get the highest possible price for it. For the most part, a dental practice valuation is fairly straightforward. It is based on formulas, and modified by certain intangibles such as brand equity and intellectual property. Still, there is always an X factor, which is the personal feeling that the practice evokes in a potential buyer. Here are 5 creative ways to boost your dental practice valuation.

Website

If you do not have a website for your dental practice, adding one will boost your valuation quickly, as long as it is of high quality. Fill the website with content and educational materials that add real value for patients. Put your new patient forms online so that patients can complete them ahead of time. This will improve your valuation by demonstrating a genuine commitment to the patient experience, as well as an acknowledgement of the digital world we live in.

Social Media

In addition to a high-quality website, a strong social media presence is vital. Start connecting with other dentists on LinkedIn, and with your patients on Facebook and Twitter. Start updating your social media pages several times per week with interesting, interactive material. This shows potential buyers that your marketing is up to date and that you are making a real effort to connect with current and potential patients. You can even track your conversion rate to see how many new patients you attract on social media.

Reviews

You also need to learn what people are saying about your practice. Patients tend to leave reviews only when they are extremely happy or very angry about the service you provided, and you need to know which is true for your patients. In addition, a quick, heartfelt yet professional response to a negative review can turn around a bad situation and build trust with others who are reading the review.

Start asking your patients to leave reviews on your website, social media pages, and third-party sites such as Yelp. Read and respond to your reviews at least once a week.

Office Décor

Once your online presence is up and running well, take a look around the office. You may have heard of “staging” a house for potential buyers, using simple decorating tips to make it look more appealing. Staging is just as important for your dental practice. Replace furniture that looks worn and dated. Update the lighting if it is dim or harsh. Remove personal items and family artifacts.

Look at pictures of modern dental offices online for inspiration, or schedule a free consultation with an interior decorator who specializes in office spaces. You don’t need to spend a fortune. Even a few small tweaks can make an enormous difference in attractiveness to buyers.

Business Plan

In an ideal world, you would already have a business plan that is updated regularly and guides the growth of your practice. If yours is outdated or, worse, you don’t have one at all, it is time to get to work. Your business plan should contain a plan for growing the business, such as ideas on how to encourage referrals from existing patients and how to work with employers and insurers to bring in new patients. The more active growth potential you can demonstrate, the higher your potential valuation may be.

Ready to Get Started?

If you are interested in learning how to take your dental practice to the next level, please contact Ascent Dental Solutions today at (800) 983-4126 to learn how Dr. Coughlin can help.