Technology is one of the key components in any business. Advanced technology can make a business more efficient and attractive to customers. This is also true in dentistry, where advanced technologies continue to revolutionize the industry.
But dentists, unlike many business owners, tend to get swept up in the scientific and technical appeal of new technologies rather than considering them from a business perspective. This can lead them to invest in many pieces of advanced technology that never end up pulling their weight, creating a costly drain on the practice’s finances.
To keep yourself from falling into this trap, you should ask a few simple questions before adding any new technology to your practice.
How Much Does It Cost?
This is, of course, the biggest question to start with. The cost of a piece of technology determines how much it will drain your practice’s finances, and it’s important to carefully gauge the value of each technology before bringing it into your practice, which starts by getting an accurate assessment of the cost.
Remember, the cost of a technology is not just the sticker price on the machine. It includes any regular maintenance, software upgrades, or supplies that you will have to purchase to keep the machine running. It also includes the cost of increased utility usage. Also consider any installation cost or other modifications that might need to be made to your office to accommodate the machine.
And if you’re going to count on bringing in new patients to pay for the machine (more on this below), you need to factor in the cost of necessary advertising.
Will It Increase Profit?
Of course, the cost of the new technology should be weighed against the potential profit increases it might bring. Remember, there are two ways a technology can increase profit. It can either bring in more revenue, or it can reduce expenses.
It’s often better to invest in technologies that reduce expenses. These figures are often more reliable and concrete.
When you’re considering technologies that might introduce new procedures and revenue streams to your practice, it’s easy to make rosy predictions about how many people you will be able to attract. Don’t put too much stock in these predictions, unless you are prepared to invest in procedures to make it happen. And then you have to factor in those costs, too.
One way a new technology can increase your revenue is by allowing you to handle procedures or parts of a procedure that you currently refer to someone else. You will have a record of how often you refer these patients out so that you will have a good starting baseline for your estimates.
When you are estimating how much draw a new technology might have, make sure you’re considering it from a patient’s perspective. Many technologies seem very compelling from a dentist’s perspective, but don’t make a difference to patients. Unless you can really boil down
Will I Actually Use It?
As we noted above, one of the biggest problems with dental technology is that dentists buy it and then don’t use it, or don’t use it nearly enough to justify the expense. So this has to be an important consideration.
As we noted above, it’s easy to imagine that a new technology will attract new patients to your practice, but this should be considered a gamble.
Technologies you will most likely use are those that you simply incorporate into your current process, making it more efficient. These technologies are the most likely to be used.
You are also reasonably likely to use a technology that you’re currently getting requests for from patients or prospects on the phone. But don’t overestimate this demand: keep a record of actual requests for a couple months before making a decision. It’s easy to make a few requests seem like a lot in your mind.
Finally, make sure that the new technology is actually in line with your reasons for loving dentistry. A technology might seem appealing at first because it is new, shiny, and different. However, you’re more likely to use it over the long term if it corresponds to your values and vision for your practice, as opposed to seeming like a second thought. That’s more likely to have a fad appeal that will fade.
Partnerships Can Help
One way to avoid getting your practice bogged down by technology is to utilize some of the 7 Figure Dental Practice partners, who can give you the benefits of technology without the large investment.
Many of our partners can help you streamline your office procedures and add revenue streams without large expenditures.
Call 7 Figure Dental Practice today at (858) 349-7996 to learn more about our partnership program.