Conversely, if you go about this process in the wrong way, you could end up bankrupt.
Sadly, this does happen in dentistry.
It may surprise you to read some of the stories below, which have been kept quiet for too long. You will learn about specific doctors who lived through this nightmare. More importantly, you will learn how to avoid those tragic outcomes that come with words like painful, scary, failed, and bankrupt.
Unfortunately, these heartbreaking stories can happen to good doctors, even when they try hard and believe they are making good decisions.
In the worst-case scenario, it’s like scoring a goal in soccer only to realize you scored on the wrong goal. You did all the hard work, but you get none of the results. In fact, now you have to work even harder to make up for the loss.
These doctors excitedly open their doors, but quickly realized the mistakes they made were irreversible. With an improperly trained team and knowing they were about to run out of money with no way to pay bills, they became stressed and sick.
In a situation like that, decisions start to feel like gasping for air as you wait for new patients who never arrive.
After months of this, instead of growing, you have to return to your associateship. The embarrassment is crippling. You work more hours as an associate than you do at your startup, all the while regretting your mistakes and knowing it’s too late to undo them.
Sadly, this story is too common. I frequently receive emails from dentists who tell me these stories as they express a desire to try again. The right way. They describe their regrets and say they wish they had known how to follow the process properly the first time.
And it’s not their fault.
Imagine the negative impact that the worst-case scenario would have on your career, your family, and your future. For these reasons, it’s imperative to start your dental practice the right way, from the first step to the last.
I recently interviewed a guest on my podcast about a doctor and her spouse who went bankrupt less than a year into the startup process. It’s a harrowing true story from a dentist in Chicago, caused by following bad advice from people who didn’t have the right experience with startups.
In this podcast, you will learn important questions to ask yourself before considering a startup:
- Why is opening a dental startup important to you?
- What is your 5-10 year plan?
- What is your 15-year plan?
- What makes you happy in life?
- Do you understand what it means to be a business owner?
- What if you don’t succeed for several months? Do you have a plan or someone who can care for you?
- If you are a parent, do you have proper daycare if a patient needs an emergency root canal?
- How will a dental practice startup fit into your dating or marriage situation?
And maybe the most important question:
- Do you know who you can trust to assist you in reaching your goals?
You want someone with specific experience with at least 100 successful dental startup. Know this–someone will lead your startup. If you don’t have a clear, precise, defined vision laid out, you aren’t leading, someone else is. And even if that person cares about you or has dental practice startup experience in one area, such as a vendor, they may not make the best choices for you and your entire practice.
The good news is that what I describe here can be followed to open a dental office that thrives. When you read to the end, you will have learned the 13-Stages Process.
That is why I’m sharing this article with you. I want you to avoid the problems other doctors have endured from startups done the wrong way.
It’s uncomfortable but true that the worst-case scenarios could have been avoided with proper planning.
Understand this–learning how to start a practice requires skills never taught in dental school. Skills like real-estate negotiation, office design and floor-plans, demographics, legal concerns, and business ownership are crucial. But some doctors are tricked into thinking they can learn it all by reading a few Facebook posts and listening to some podcasts. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
The doctors who struggle shouldn’t be blamed. No one told them the right process. They didn’t start with the knowledge you are gaining right now. Those doctors were wrongly told the “fail-proof” process of opening a dental office that failed them.
The good news is, building a dental practice from scratch can be done well. With wildly positive, even mind-blowing, results. But if done wrong, all the hard work becomes your worst enemy. Let’s avoid this together.