How to Build and Maintain Your Practice Legacy 

“Practice legacy” is a forward-thinking term. In dentistry, it describes a conscious effort to establish a unique practice that reflects a commitment to high-quality care and a great patient experience. Achieving this can be challenging, primarily because owning and managing a successful solo practice in today’s environment requires a lot of time and dedication.

For practice owners looking to develop their longevity, we’ve discovered the three pillars that can drive long-term success: reputation, professional development, and financial security. If you focus on building a strong foundation and securing a partner who helps maintain your practice values, you’ll not only establish a promising practice legacy, but preserve it.

Building and Maintaining a Strong Reputation

Having a strong brand reputation refers to the impression individuals in your community and online hold about your practice. With a positive reputation, it’s easier to attract new patients, maintain long-term relationships with existing patients, and retain loyal team members. For insight into how to build a good reputation, consider implementing three strategies. 

  1. Provide a great patient experience.

Your patients are the soul of your practice, so delivering a great patient experience should be an ongoing effort by every member of your team. You can do this by having an organized and welcoming reception area, utilizing cutting-edge technology, and offering ample time for patients’ to share their questions and concerns for improved oral health.  

  1. Offer a long-term dental home.

Each member of your team plays a unique role in delivering a great patient experience. The long-term relationships among your staff and community can be a great boost to your social reputation. By offering a work environment that puts patient care first, encourages teamwork, and fosters opportunity for growth to committed staff, your practice will attract employees who will build your legacy. 

  1. Implement marketing tactics that attract the right patients.

Attracting patients who fit your practice’s target demographic will increase your chances of delivering high-quality care and an outstanding patient experience. To attract the right patients, define your audience, develop a unique brand, and craft a clear message that will resonate with your ideal patient.

How to maintain your practice’s reputation: Consider securing a partnership that will preserve the traditional values of dentistry like long-term patient relationships, to ensure your practice’s reputation stays intact. Apex’s non-branded model means your team benefits from the expertise of business professionals, while the identity of your practice remains the same in your community.

Building and Maintaining Professional Excellence 

Sharpening your team’s professional skills will ensure your practice has the knowledge and synergy to deliver top-tier patient care and is positioned for long-term success. To encourage professional development, implement three specific tactics. 

  1. Develop non-clinical skills.

Managing a team and connecting, preserving, and growing a patient base requires human connection. Consequently, investing in your team’s development of soft skills like empathy, active listening, leadership, and adaptability will build well-rounded employees. Offering tools and resources that help team members grow professionally increases employee retention, thus boosting patient satisfaction.

  1. Create constructive HR systems.

Shifting your team’s mindset from “this is a job” to “this is my career” is essential to longevity in any profession. Achieving this shift requires practice leaders to determine whether their HR operations are conducive to fostering or detracting from that transition. Especially when faced with a difficult labor market, we recommend regular employee reviews and systems for timely constructive feedback.  

How to maintain your team’s professional development: Seek a partner who empowers you to achieve greater goals. At Apex, our team of IT, HR, and Operations managers are here to help you achieve more. With improved technology, facilities, and employee satisfaction; our doctors can spend more time investing in strengthening their clinical and leadership skills. 

Building and Maintaining Financial Security

Financial security doesn’t solely consist of growing new patient numbers, introducing cosmetic services, or partnering with more insurance providers. When reflecting on your practice legacy, it’s important for owners to also understand these two tips to building financial security.

  1. Invest in the right operations.

Patients want the best experience possible, so it’s important to have advanced technology—but that technology shouldn’t only exist next to the dental chair. Cutting-edge technology should be available throughout a patient’s entire experience, so when considering upgrading your tech operations and protocols, practice owners should ask the following questions:

  • Can new and existing patients book appointments online?
  • How can patients complete and submit their paperwork virtually?
  • Do we have texting capabilities for patients to receive confirmation and reminder messages?
  • What online payment options do we offer?

Patients have grown to expect their dental teams to offer both friendly service and modern efficiencies. These questions are just the beginning in determining whether your practice’s operations are growing to match today’s rate. 

  1. Reduce in-office spending and improve collections.

For every business, there are essential and nonessential services. The former includes basic utilities necessary for running a dental practice, like electricity, water, a PMS subscription, and internet. The latter consists of luxury expenses like television streaming or coffee delivery. While it’s not imperative to cancel nonessential services, it’s important to evaluate each one to see if it’s helping enhance patient care. If the value doesn’t match the cost, consider eliminating it to reduce in-office spending.

Improving your practice’s collections is also critical. A few strategies to try implementing are automating invoicing and payments, personalizing communication about payments, and prioritizing accounts based on client balances versus individual invoices.

  1. Find out your practice’s valuation today.

The valuation of your practice is constantly changing based on current and future metrics. Understanding your practice’s value and the factors that contribute to a high appraisal will enable you to make actionable steps towards your financial legacy before you transition. 

A successful partnership can benefit dentists at any stage of their career. Once you decide to bring on a partner, you’ll want a buyer who will offer you a fair market rate, buy-in equity potential, and a transition timeline that aligns with your goals. In a partnership with Apex, you’ll never be held to unachievable standards  or clawback clauses that allow the buyer to roll back the purchase price if certain performance contingencies aren’t met. 

How to maintain your practice’s financial security: Look for a partner who understands that your financial legacy doesn’t end at closing. With a mutually beneficial partnership, your practice value can continue to grow with the support of a strong organization. For dentists who want to pair professional success with the financial stability and peace of mind of a premier organization, Apex’s unique path for clinicians offers opportunity for long-term wealth creation. 

Establishing a Positive Practice Legacy

Practice owners looking to build a positive dental legacy should focus on their community impact, professional development, and financial security. When you build a strong foundation, securing a partner who helps maintain your practice values will ensure that you have a legacy that lasts.

In your journey to build and maintain your practice legacy, a partnership with Apex can provide the support and resources needed for long-term success. Apex offers a unique path for clinicians to leave a remarkable footprint in this industry. If you’re ready to embrace the potential of a long-term partnership, let’s connect.

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By choosing the right partner, selling your dental practice can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your professional career. At Apex Dental Partners, we work closely with you every step of the way to ensure you feel comfortable and confident you're making the best decision for your future.