Current economic conditions will present three opportunities for dental associates interested in starting their own practice.
These opportunities are evolving and we encourage you to be prepared. If you are an associate dentist, the next 2-4 months could mean a positive impact on your future startup numbers.
How is that possible under the current circumstances? Challenges certainly exist for EXISTING practices, however for a STARTUP, these 3 opportunities can give you a major advantage – BEFORE you open.
The First Opportunity: Real Estate
Landlords will have more empty space in the next 6 months than in the last 6 years. As a result, you’ll be seeing once-in-a-lifetime deals in the next few months. In many regions, you’ll be able to negotiate lower rent and free improvements. (We saw this before, during the last financial challenges in 2008-20091.)
If you begin your startup now, you can be ready in 3-6 months to sign a lease – almost exactly when landlords are going to be hungry for new tenants.
In order to take advantage of this opportunity, you need to start now. It will require a few months to prepare for the real estate stage – those who begin now will be in an outstanding position.
For startups, upcoming real estate opportunities will be incredible. BE READY.
The Second Opportunity: Construction
Construction costs will drop, perhaps substantially. Consultants are already seeing this trend emerge in some cities. When contractors are busy, they charge more. When they are not busy, costs drop quickly.
Dental construction can be over $200,000 of your budget. Imagine saving half of that in costs. This opportunity will not last long. Our economy will rebound and prices will normalize. Many startups will see higher savings than we’ve seen in a decade.
If you’re one of the startups who is ready – construction negotiations in the next few months can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The Third Opportunity: Patient Growth
This will be a reality. If your startup opens in a town with “older” practices, patients will be searching for YOU.
Patients have infection control and sterilization on their minds. They will begin ranking healthcare providers on this. This focus will last for at least the next 2 years. During this time, patient perception will change more dramatically than it has in a generation.
The “new practices” will stand out. They will be introduced as the most sterile, newest, modern practices, becoming magnets for hyper-aware consumers. Startups who do this with integrity will be prepared to serve an entire town demanding a new standard – precisely when patients are searching for it.
We should see entire marketing campaigns focusing on this one topic. Will you watch it happen OR become the startup practice owner who is ready to help these patients?
Startups who do this right will hire and train their team to communicate this message. These startups will have a modern facility, highlighting the new emphasis in serving their community. Patients will appreciate you creating a practice with their safety – and their health – as the top priority.
Startups will be in a uniquely attractive position for patient growth.
Our country will certainly experience economic challenges in the next couple months. The dental profession is strong. We have conquered other challenges and adapted. We will thrive in what’s becoming a more compassionate, caring society.
Your startup timeline will be 12-18 months, preparing your career to catapult forward as our country rises to the next level of growth. This opportunity will pass as the challenge passes.
“Opportunity” vs. “Opportunism”
“Opportunists” hurt others for their own gain. Those with integrity and preparation can serve their community while enjoying tremendous opportunities in dentistry.
1 Jayme Amos, “How to Open a Dental Office”, 04/01/20