Creating an effective business plan is essential for any business’s success—including dental practices. Business plans provide detailed information that helps businesses forge a path towards long-term growth and success. Such information may regard market analysis, marketing, cash flow projection, competitive analysis, and other relevant business information. By determining such information and crafting a plan, businesses can focus on the actionable steps necessary to turn their goals into a reality and achieve their short- and long-term objectives. As such, business plans are an invaluable strategic tool that all businesses should take the time to carefully craft. To learn how to create a business plan for your dental practice, continue reading.
The executive summary is an essential aspect of any business plan. It is a short section that summarizes the entirety of your business plan in a way that allows readers to quickly become acquainted with the key points and its main purpose. Typically, your executive summary should not exceed two pages.
This section is especially important when it comes to approaching lenders. It should entice the potential lender to help you receive the funding you need to get your practice up and running. Therefore, your executive summary should be written in a way that is persuasive and compelling. Let the lender know how you intend to make your business a success and express the vision of your practice.
While the executive summary will be included as the first section of your business plan, it should be the last area that you write. Because the executive summary is a compilation of all other areas of your business plan, you must have already flushed out such details before writing it.
Description of products and services
This section should provide information regarding the products and services that your dental practice offers. If you are acquiring an existing practice, make sure to detail any major changes that will be made to the products and services that were being offered by the previous practice owner. For example, if you are planning on offering additional services that the current owner is not offering, mention them here.
When creating a business plan for your dental practice, you should also include a section that details how it will be managed. In this section, detail information about the type of business structure your practice will have. For example, you should determine if your practice will be structured as a partnership, corporation, or sole proprietorship.
This section should also include a list of the management personnel and professional advisers that will comprise your team, such as financial partners, insurance agents, real estate advisors, attorneys, and business associates. In addition to compiling a list of key management professionals, you should provide further information on their job responsibilities. Such information will help prove to business lenders that you have a plan for how your office will function and that you have the necessary support system to be successful.
Competitive analysis and marketing strategy
In this section, you should include data on what your competition is doing regarding their online presence, digital content, SEO rankings, and other relevant data. Upon detailing the state of your competitor’s marketing efforts, you should then detail your own marketing plan.
Here, you should first provide an overview of your intended market and your target patient. Include information on their income level, age, and lifestyle. If you target patient is similar to that of a competing dental practice in the area, clearly state how you intend to set your practice apart from your competition and maintain a consistent customer base.
In addition, you should also detail a content map and provide information regarding your website design. If your practice will be taking a different approach from other competitors, note it in your strategy and clearly provide a rationale as to why.
One of the most important sections in your business plan is the financial plan. This section will be of chief interest to potential lenders, as it will help them make an informed business decision regarding whether they can approve your loan proposal. As such, it should be carefully planned and written in great detail. Here, you should list a variety of relevant financial information, such as the following:
- Projected income of your practice for the initial 12- through 24-month period
- Cash flow forecast
- Personal financial statement
- Information on how startup funds will be allocated
- Total funds required by your practice for the following two years
- Offered collateral
- Historical financial analysis
Supporting financial documents
In addition to the above information, you should also provide the necessary supporting documents that potential dental lenders can review when making their decision. If you are undergoing a dental practice acquisition, many of the necessary documents will be provided by the selling dentist. However, you will have to prepare some of them. Such financial documents to provide in this section may include:
- Present business financial statements
- Recent copy of your credit report
- Copy of current aging schedule
- Three years of historical financial statements, individual income tax returns, and business income tax returns
- Current personal financial statement
- Prospective financials for five years such as forecasts, cash flows, and projections
Such financial documents should be 90-days old or less to be considered current under lending guidelines.
In the financial section of your business plan, you should also provide information that displays you have accounted for the impact of financial influences. Such influences may include business cycles, competition, the economy, seasonal variations, and other events that may impact your practice’s finances. All other information included in your financial plan should account for such influences.
The operations section will likely be the last and longest section of your business plan. Here, you will get into the nitty-gritty details the day-to-day operations that occur at your practice. You should provide information regarding the following information to provide lenders with a clear picture of how your practice will function:
- Office hours
- Days of operation
- Necessary equipment and supplies
- Major suppliers you plan to source equipment from
- Equipment-maintenance schedules
- Ideal patient flow
- Dental insurances you do and do not accept
Henry Schein Professional Practice Transitions is the leader in dental practice sales and transitions. Whether you are purchasing or selling a practice, we can help you through every step of the process. Thanks to our extensive marketing resources, national network of dental transition consultants, and superior hands-on client services, your dental practice transition is sure to be as advantageous as possible. To get started on the transition process, schedule a free 30-minute phone consultation with Henry Schein Professional Practice Transitions today.