How to Start a Dental Practice Management Consulting Business
You have been in the Dental practice management sector for years, operating on the administrative or clinical side. But it is finally time for a change. So, you want a better working schedule, improved earnings, and enjoy more freedom. There is no doubt that you see plenty of younger professionals working in your field in a different sector making significant mistakes. Now, you want to get several things out of the way, help people understand where they go wrong, guide them on making amends, and become the best versions of themselves. Well, it is finally time you become a dental practice management consultant. And why should you not? You have attended hundreds of conference talks, sat through numerous incredible professional luncheons, and had plenty of staff-in service days. There is no doubt that you will be the greatest ever seen.
Hold on, though. Before you traverse across the nation, guiding people on being better dental practice managers, you need to find your clients. To do this, you will need to outshine your counterparts in this competitive field where everyone is giving different versions of the same advice.
It is inarguable that after such a long time in this field, you can easily see the numerous ways that the new practitioners go wrong. For instance, breaking even might be a problem making it hard for them to attract new clients and retain the previous ones. While you can easily help them make amends and get on the right track, everyone with similar experience can do that too.
Keep in mind that being a dental practice management consultant goes way beyond identifying problems and providing solutions. To stand out, you might need to do some groundwork first.
How You State Your Credentials is Everything
Credentials are quite crucial in the consultation field, mainly when targeting dental practices. Well, experts in these fields take much pride in the certifications and credentials as they have put in much hard work right from acquiring their initial degrees. Now, they can finally enjoy the rewards after being approved and certified by the board. They also keep advancing their education to gain some new skills and get valuable certifications while at it.
Please note that your credentials play a huge role when it comes to reaching your prospective clients. Just talking about your vast experience in the field without any proof for it might not be enough to convince them to work with you. It is therefore crucial that you have the credentials and certifications to show for it. If you are a new practitioner, here are some brilliant tips to help you better your credentials:
- State Your Achievements – Besides being a dental practice manager for years, which are your other outstanding accomplishments? For instance, “I have successfully transformed a $2 million practice into a $ 6 years practice in three years” might have more potential than “I have a been a dental consultant and practice manager for the last ten years.”
- Consider Furthering Your Education – Get an MBA, MPA, or MHA if you are yet to get one. While you might have all the basics of what these programs teach, having this degree can go a long way in your career. These degrees are objective measures that guarantee that you can think critically, find solutions and communicate them with the team. Your clients only know you from your website, social media handles, or a trade journal advertisement. You might need to provide objective proof of your outstanding consulting abilities.
- Have Certifications – Find out what interests you the most in your field and look for certifications that match those interests. Go the extra mile. Grab opportunities to sit for exams and obtain certificates in human resource areas, hardware and networking, software packages, and lean production. Suffice to say, exams and certifications show your dedication to gain specialized knowledge and be an expert in this field. Without these, a potential client might see you as just a random guy trying out some stuff on the internet.
- Be Bold, Find Your Voice! – In most cases, many consultants start with the old tactic where they try and appeal to everyone. “I am confident, reliable and a real team player.” Or maybe “I can teach your team all there is to know about medical billing.” Well, this is an old, terrible, and unyielding tactic. Appealing to everybody is as good as appealing to nobody. No serious practitioner wants to sit through long, tedious hours with a dental practice management consultant.
The best thing would be to start appealing to people who are like you. If, for example, you are into science fiction, sports, or pop culture, find your ground there and make it your hook. Do you have a warm, welcoming, and calming persona; you might excel in the “mom voice” for practitioners. The idea is to identify what excites you most both in your personal and professional life and ground your public persona around such things. For instance, a unique voice might help you outshine your counterparts. “Hey, here comes the 2740 consulting gal.” has much more potential than “here is another person wants to teach us about medical billing.” If it challenges you to find your voice, be sure to ask for help from a reliable dental marketing team or freelance writers. These experts can help you perfect your language.
Critically Analyze Your Advice
Sure. New ideas can be quite intriguing, especially when they come from you. You will take pride in bringing something new to the table- probably something that no one has ever heard before. While all this is great, you might be saying the same thing as every other consultant, only in a different language. So, how reliable is your advice?
Like most people, you might turn to Google for help. Are you going to make a difference by advising people to “hire slowly and fire fast”? Well, you will most likely bump into over 18 million hints for this same expression. Note that no particular advice is unique, not even yours. So, how do you stand out?
The idea is to enrich your advice with your real-life experiences. This is because while your advice might not be unique, your personal and professional experiences are. For instance, the statement “hire slowly and fire quick” might offer much help to your potential clients. Alternatively, you can provide a relatable situation when you had to hire slow and fire quick and what this experience taught you. Be sure to convey these valuable lessons to your potential clients clearly, and confidently. Ultimately, this will help you succeed both as a dental practice management consultant and a speaker. To succeed as a consultant, you might also have to adjust your advice based on your advice. Note that generic information mixed up with some interesting stories might do the trick at a conference. On the other hand, doing an in-staff service for a particular practice requires thorough research and more specific information.
Get over canned searches. Have a talk with your prospective clients before anything else, do a holistic intake and provide guidelines, advice, and solutions that align with the needs of that specific team. Anyone can offer guidance to a generic practice. It takes reliable skills, attention to detail, humility, patience, and hard work to guide a specific team gathered before you.
Love The Books! Read Across All Fields
If you are only interested in information related to your own field, you will not be of much help to your potential clients. Your clients are also following up on the same, and therefore, you might have nothing new to offer them. Sure. You want to grow and make fundamental advances in practice management, patient experience, and marketing. But to do this, you have to study other fields and disciplines then apply that knowledge to your practices. For instance, there are numerous business innovations currently happening in India. You can use this information to improve the dental practice of a particular clinic. On the other hand, industrial engineers have developed some incredible supply chain management techniques. You can learn and borrow some ideas from them, which you then incorporate into your practice.
Given the nature of their work, your clients barely have the time to read wide and do thorough research. As a dental practice management consultant, you are responsible for bringing fresh and reliable ideas from other fields and disciplines into your practice management. If you want to stand out, you need to read, think and synthesize ideas.
Sometimes, you might be operating on tight schedules, and therefore you have no time to skim through the newsletters and trade publications from other disciplines. In that case, you need to hire an assistant to help you search for interesting ideas and advances. Do something other than offering your client a solution that has worked numerous times before. Be thorough. Be a thought leader, then be brilliant enough to make your clients think too.
Free Samples Go A Long Way
Let’s face it. Bringing in a consultant to train the team to assess the practice can be quite expensive. But that’s not all. It’s also risky when a practitioner hires a consultant without knowing they will bond and blend with the rest of the team members (unless you have engaged them before). Besides, practitioners might not be sure of what you bring to the table and how well you will understand the situations in this practice, improve it and make them stand out. Go ahead and give them a little preview of your style, troubleshooting abilities, and your thought process. Generally, your marketing portfolio should entail the following;
- Short podcasts or videos– They should give a general idea of your style and purpose.
- An active and blog with little advice and tip snippets– This shows your prospective clients that you are knowledgeable and updated with the latest topics and trends. Also, include links to other interesting articles on the internet..
- Trade journal articles: They help you reach out to new clients and show that other professionals in the field approve and value what you have to say.
An e-book -People who cannot book you for various reasons can purchase an e-book and read more on your philosophy for a small fee.
- White papers: Prospective clients can download them and share them amongst their teams.
White papers offer valuable advice and leave leaders wanting to hear some more.
Developing a good portfolio takes time and dedication, and hard work. Ideally, successful consultants ensure to produce new materials of their own every week and have a copywriting firm market their ideas. There is no doubt that outsourcing their content helps them reach a broader market and gives them enough time to research, re-strategize, and serve their current clients.
The best dental practice management consultancy can be a great start to a successful career. Besides earning you a living, it gives you a chance to explore the country, engage new people and feel the satisfaction of providing a solution and help a struggling soul. Like most other careers, creating your brand and making it stand out might take you quite some time and lots of effort, but it is all worth it- and your clients deserve it.