How This Newly Opened Dental Practice Survived The Cash Crunch Of The Pandemic

It takes a lot of cash outlay to open a dental practice. You are paying upfront costs for a physical location and renovations to that space, but you also need to pay for expensive dental equipment, train staff, and attract clients. The first few years of running a dental practice are challenging.

Dr. Jessica McAllister opened her dental practice McAllister Dentistry in December of 2017, determined to make a go of her lifelong dream. She had no idea what lay ahead.

Faced with a few financial challenges initially, she would also need to navigate the financial impact of Covid-19 would have on her new dental practice. A forced closure from March 2020 to June 2020 and then retrofitting her practice to ensure it met the Royal College of Dental Surgeons standards created another enormous financial setback.

The mounted challenges in facing out-of-stock supplies necessary to run a dental practice to price increases on supplies that they could find, to staff shortages and sick leave coverage, the costs of running a dental practice were piling up.

It proved challenging to be in business, even for more mature companies. But the news wasn’t all bad, as McAllister started to see the trend in new patients and dental care cause an uptick. She pivoted her practice to meet the needs of her patients and learned how to serve remotely through virtual consultations, and noticed a dramatic increase in cosmetic dentistry, which she chose to offer her patients.

Overall, the lessons McAllister learned in her business were valuable, and those lessons she’d like to share with you:

1. Meeting patient needs

It was essential to McAllister that regardless of what was happening in the world, she wanted her patients to know that patient care was her top priority. The priority was to be there for her patients, listen to their needs, and offer services they were asking for helped her build a loyal clientele.

2. Adjusting to change

Knowing that change is part of life and rolling with the challenges are important to keep your business afloat. The next threat to your business may not be another pandemic, but there will be other challenges, so managing how you respond will help you get through the hard times.

3. Caring for her team

McAllister knows that without her team, she would not be nearly as successful as she is. She feels that paying her team while the practice was shut down and helping them navigate the challenges of offering health care during a helped build loyalty and keep her team when other practices are still struggling with staffing shortages.

4. Cash reserves

Having cash reserves on hand before the pandemic helped her alleviate the stress of navigating through financial distress. Taking advantage of government loans and financial support was helpful, and drawing a modest salary for herself helped keep her business going.

The bottom line is that life is full of surprises, especially as a business owner. It is essential to plan and be prepared financially for what market conditions dictate. There may not be another pandemic to deal with, but there will always be threats to your business and cash flow that need to be mitigated. Having a solid financial foundation will always help you navigate challenging times.

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