Most professionals go through career phases, eager to take that next big step and make significant advances. You’re hungry for progress and want to challenge yourself with all the knowledge and experience you possess. If you’ve been thinking about owning a dental practice, you’re likely on the fence about the decision. But don’t worry; we’re here to clarify things for you and guide you toward making the right choice.
Here are the top reasons to own a dental practice that will help you decide whether you should take that next big leap in your dental career.
What are the benefits of owning a dental practice?
Owning a dental practice has plenty of perks, like being the “boss” and having flexibility with your schedule. But those aren’t the only advantages of running a dental business. Here are the top benefits that dental practice owners enjoy regularly:
1. Healthy work environment
If you’ve ever worked in an unhealthy workplace atmosphere, you know how difficult it can be to be a productive employee. Dental associates don’t have much control over their professional life as practice owners do, and often they’re stuck following the owner’s dental philosophy, even if it doesn’t align with theirs.
As a dental practice owner, you have the opportunity to cultivate a work environment that caters to your beliefs and preferences. No more “office politics” and underappreciated contributions. This time, you get to follow your passion and surround yourself with people who share the same goals as you.
2. Manage your dream business
If you’ve ever dreamed of how it feels to manage a business, owning a dental practice will give you the full experience. It’s up to you to design the facility, determine the quality of dental care, and provide meaningful services to your patients. You have full control of your hours, select the patients you want to work with, and ultimately develop a practice that fits your wants and needs.
If you’re up for the challenge, running a dental practice is a fulfilling journey that leaves a smile on people’s faces and yours. The question is, do you have the mental make-up to keep pushing forward when things become difficult? Dental practice ownership isn’t easy, and it’s another reason you want to identify your “why,” as it will help you deal with the rough times when they arrive.
3. Unlock your earning potential
Dental practice owners have uncapped earning potential, unlike dental associates who log in long hours and get stuck with a set salary. How hard you work and the quality of your work will determine your earnings, thus putting you in a position for financial success.
Aside from generating revenue from your patients, you’re also building an asset that you can sell when the time comes for you to retire. Your ability to save for retirement increases as you can contribute to your 401k plan and have your practice match it. An elective profit-sharing plan works great for contributing more money to your retirement savings, which can make a huge difference in helping you retire early.
4. Feel more satisfied with your work
Seeing your practice grow and reach its goals hits differently than working as an associate. Knowing your efforts are blossoming right before your eyes leads to the satisfaction that cannot compare to anything you’ve done before.
Even part-time practice owners see increased job satisfaction by doing specific treatments they like. You can schedule appointments according to your availability and dictate the amount of work you’re comfortable doing. With such versatility, practice owners can maintain a work-life balance that keeps them happy for longer while earning money.
5. Reduce taxes with business deductions
Business deductions can help practice owners save money or invest it in their growing business. Since dental practice owners provide valuable services to their communities, they benefit from tax incentives. Some of the most common expenses dental practice owners deduct are:
- Inventory and supplies
- Professional dues
- Retirement savings
- Ongoing education expenses
- Travel expenses
Aside from those, you can further reduce your tax obligations by using depreciation of assets, including properties you own.
6. Invest in yourself
As a professional, your biggest asset is not your car, your house, or your business. Your biggest asset is yourself; the more investments you make in your career development, the better you can shape your future. Sure, dental practice ownership entails financial and liability risks, but if you come in with a solid approach, you’ll reap the rewards in the future.
Are there disadvantages to owning a dental practice?
While there are plenty of benefits to becoming a dental practice owner, there are a few disadvantages that you should know. Here are some of them:
1. Balancing act
It can be difficult to juggle responsibilities when running a business. As a practice owner, you’re not just a dentist anymore but also a marketer, a businessman, and a leader. Wearing many hats can prove daunting for first-time practice owners, requiring a lot of self-awareness to be able to focus on the task at hand.
You’re also responsible for cultivating and maintaining your practice’s brand image, which can take years to develop fully. While hiring multiple staff members can ease the balancing act, you must learn how to manage people to bring the best out of your team.
2. Daunting overhead costs
Another disadvantage to being a practice owner is the pressure you face from overhead costs, especially during the early stages of ownership. There will be moments where you’ll feel overwhelmed with operating expenses and figuring out how to lower them. Considering that the average overhead for dental practices sits at 75%, you’ll need to develop solutions that’ll help you get more revenue.
If your heart and mind aren’t set in stone, you may want to rethink becoming a dental practice owner. It’s one thing to start a business, but to continue building upon its success is a long-term grind. There are plenty of moving parts to a dental practice, and clinical responsibilities aren’t the only things you need to keep in mind.
It’s common for practice owners to feel exhausted from running a business, especially if they’ve been doing it for decades. Are you willing to grind it out and show a level of consistency you haven’t done before?
What is your “why” for owning a dental practice?
Many dentists want to own a dental practice to build wealth, while others want to contribute to their community as best they can. But for you, it may be a bit different. Ask yourself, what motivates you to own a dental practice? What is your “why,” and how will it serve you when your practice is finally up and running?
With your dental practice, you have the opportunity to make meaningful changes to the lives of thousands. It’s a rewarding journey that takes your practice philosophy and imprints it within your local community. Perhaps you want to secure your retirement and are looking at a dental practice to save money for your golden years.
Whichever path you choose, having a deep understanding of your “why” will serve as fuel for motivation and drive you to succeed in your career’s next chapter.
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