The travel agency model has been slammed as consumers flock to websites like Expedia, Hotels.com and Trivago. And it's logical to wonder if dental offices will suffer the same fate.
Obviously, there are still travel agents and for the most part, they still serve customers that want the reassurance of going to an agent that has actually visited a particular area or resort. And also obviously, there are going to be procedures that must be performed by a dental specialist in an operator. But perhaps now is the time to have a fresh set of eyes look at your practice and evaluate the threats that you may not see. Specifically:
Have someone outside the practice look objectively at where the practice derives its income and determine which of those areas might be subject to disruption from an outside source. Clear aligners are a great example as there are now multiple sources where a consumer can go online and purchase without the assistance of a dentist.
Once a profit area that could be disrupted has been identified, it is time to look outside the practice to see just how big the threat is. Referring back to clear aligners, the Barcelona-based Impress recently reported that it had raised $125 million in funding to make a clear teeth aligner and alleviate the need for traditional braces. Impress employs a hybrid model where patients can connect with their doctor in person, or via their app and book appointments or do virtual oral scans.
For orthodontic practices, this could pose a real threat and the practice owner needs to assess their options including creating a strategy to address the threat head-on with counter-marketing or shifting to a more lucrative niche.
Alternatively, the practice owner could consider selling the practice to another person or merging their operation into an existing dental group.
The worst option (almost always) is to do nothing or to wait until the last possible moment to make changes. This not only has a detrimental effect on the financial value of the business, but it also can have a very negative effect on staff morale as they will see - first-hand - the effects that inaction will cause.
Moving forward aggressively - especially now - keeps your practice ahead of these disruptive forces and positions your practice to not only survive the arrival of the disruptors but also to flourish. So whether you are thinking about selling your practice now, in the medium or distant future, you are assuring that the value of the practice will continue to rise.
If you'd like help with this or perhaps a second opinion to evaluate if now would be a good time to exit, give us a call at 703.298.1690 or Click Here and schedule a complimentary 15-minute call to discuss your situation.