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Let's Buy a Dental Practice

Discussion in 'Dental' started by The Hammer, 06.20.10.


  1. Thanks to Crack the NBDE
  1. jay47

    jay47 Think Positively!

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    SDN Members don't see this ad. (About Ads)
    I much prefer the second add to the first, but it's still not perfect.

    #2:
    -I like the background design- and while it does not directly contribute to patient information, it is professional, catchy and likely to get someone's attention- at least when compared to the first.
    - Personally, I would like the see the person who is treating me in the ad, not generic patients with big smiles. I like the picture, I like the color in the ad, and I like the proportions much better than the first. "The perfect smile" is too big in the first one IMO.
    -I would have made the phone number bigger at the bottom and eliminated some of the wordiness under "total family care" and "cosmetics for your best smile". Instead of saying, "teeth whitening, fast results, very affordable" I would have limited myself to more of a bullet style word lists:

    e.g.:
    • Affordable whitening
    • tooth colored fillings
    • sealants
    • natural looking veneers/crowns
    • dentures, partials
    • Laughing gas

    Then, I would have taken the map from the first ad and placed it where cosmetics for your best smile is in the second.

    I think the mission statements in both are a little long and wordy. You said yourself, shorter is better. "we are dedicated to giving you the...received" is too long, not very catchy. "Excellent dentistry in...environment" is better, but I still think it's too long.

    I would go with something like, "Exceptional quality, exceptional care" or perhaps "Dedicated to the patients we serve"

    Now, the only question left is, which one are you in the picture? The one on the left? or the one in the middle? My guess is the one on the left, since that name is first, and since you were the owner and your partner you said was an old high school classmate younger than you.
  2. cl263

    cl263

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    Personally I like the 1st one just a bit more, but agree with others and would change the layout a bit, make it flow better, more methodically/intuitively planned out (font sizes, length of statements, .

    The second ad has nice color and the picture which catch attention, but the excess amounts of empty space and unstructured layout unnerves me a bit. Like having a large living room in a house with just a couch and coffe table in the middle of it. Seems wasted, and the small text doesn't draw your eye to it easily.

    A more intuitive layout of each with just a little more white space in the first and less in the second is what I think I would go for myself.

    I don't mind the picture of the doctors. Looking like a healthcare professional would help, but they also fit my expectations of dentists from all the other dentist pictures I've seen, so not a big deal. As a patient, it's nice to have "warning" of what the doctors look like so when you walk in, you've got your comfortably pre-conceived ideas to get you started. Makes it less intimidating, like you've already met.

    I like the idea of showing the doctor-patient relationship, but how would you show it without looking condesending to the patient (lecturing/teaching) or a staged-plastic smile-handshake-"I just sold you a car"-photo? If you had a truly candid happy-looking photo of you and a patient that turned out great from some event, that would be the best I think, but a staged/posed picture: Stay away from it.

    Agreed that a web address proves that you're up to date. Even if it's not much more than a beautiful splash page version of your ad, just having the address on the ad shows that you've moved into the 21st century and have a website. Whether or not anyone sees the actual site is less important for a yellow page ad, just show that you have one (and if you do have one it better look pretty and be easy to use, even if it's super-simple. (Personally I'm not a fan of the way those generic made-to-order ADA-endorsed websites look, not sure how customizable they are though, just my first impulse)
  3. The Hammer

    The Hammer Tooth Pimp

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    Good thoughts on both of my old ads and to be honest I pretty much agree with all of them. FWIW Ad 1 was the first ad that I ever designed for my dental office sometime in the mid to late 90's. At that time the phone book in my area didn't have color photos and had just started using colors other than black and red.

    At the time I was pretty satisfied with it but over time I've learned more and that ad definitely shows it's age.

    AD 2 I had no input into whatsoever. It was designed by my ex-partner and the yellow page rep. I hate the photo because it looks too "posed". It was taken by my ex-partner's wife in the parking lot :(. We are all dressed differently and to be honest we could be anything, morticians, bankers etc. I think that we look like a group of not very bright used car salesmen who let their wives pick out their clothes. BTW I'm on the far left but I have lost the facial hair since then.
  4. The Hammer

    The Hammer Tooth Pimp

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    Ok now that you guys seem to have a really good grasp of what goes into a good yellow pages ad I'll just briefly touch on a newspaper ad.

    The exact same rules that apply to yellow page ads also apply to newsprint ads. But there are some important differences between the two that you need to consider:

    1. Newspaper ads are stumbled upon while seeking something else in the paper. Yellow page ads are found because someone is deliberately seeking the service that you provide.

    2. Newspaper ads are one shot. You may put the same ad in every day of the week but you still have one shot to catch the eye of the consumer who is not looking for you.

    As I said before the fundamental difference between yellow page ad and newspaper ads is that newsprint ads are "stumbled upon" while someone is looking for someone else. It is important to remember that and to gear your ad to capitalize on this moment.

    In the yellow pages you do not have to tell someone you are a dentist because they are in need of a dentist and therefore are looking in the "dentist" portion of the book. They know what you are because they need your services. So you let them know the things that make you the best choice for them.

    With a newspaper ad what you are trying to get across is this "Hey my name is Dr. Hammer and I"m a DENTIST. I want your business so here's what I'm going to do for you!!

    If is a very very subtle difference but with the phone book you are advertising the services that make you the best choice for someone seeking a dentist. With a newspaper ad you are letting people know that even though they might not need a dentist, they should come and see you anyway because you have something very special to give them. And that very special something is usually the two things that I like to call:

    1. The Gift
    2. The Hug

    The Gift is when you run an ad because you are offering up something special like a free exam or bleaching at a reduced price. Or that you offer a very unique service like Invisalign or Saturday hours. You are wanting to let the people who are looking at your ad know that it is their lucky day and you are letting them in on a special deal that not everyone will be getting. You always need to present the "gift" as "hey I got something very nice to give you, just hop on down and pick it up" and not "hey I need patients so if you'll come to my office I'll give you something for nothing."

    The Hug is basically taking the Gift out on the road. One year I gave the local High School a really really nice Mascot outfit (the were the Tigers). So the week leading up to the Friday night that I was to present it to the High School at a football game I ran an ad that said something like "Tiger Power" talked very briefly that I was giving the high school a Mascot outfit and made a big deal that I was going to shoot t-shirts out of a gun into the crowd like they do at the big sporting events.

    The night came and I showed up in scrubs and a white coat. I strapped on a t-shirt cannon and any time there was a lull in the game I walked around shooting t-shirts at people. I had a bunch of cheap t-shirts printed up with a cool logo for their high school on the front and my office logo and info on the back. People loved it and for years after that people would always ask me about it.

    When I open my new office in two weeks I am going to run an ad that invites everyone to my new office in Oak Ridge. What it is really saying however is "Hey any of you who were my patients and want to see me again, come on down" without violating my restrictive covenant.

    Lastly here are just a few other considerations for print ads

    1. Color is a must! Use bright colors like orange, yellow or pink for the best results. Also be sure to use a nice photo like one of a young person with perfect teeth smiling or a really good photo of you. When people are browsing through a hometown newspaper their eyes will be automatically drawn to any photos of people. Why? They are looking to see if it is anyone that they know. Don't believe me? Take a newspaper with some ads on it that also has photographs of people. Just give it to someone and say "Look at this page and tell me what the first two things that you look at are" The first two things will always be whatever is headlined on the page and the photos. Always.

    2. If you are doing "the gift" make sure that you follow the name, map, contact information, we take insurance stuff that I talked about in the yellow page posts

    3. If you are doing "the hug" emphasize the event more and if you are donating something you can't really play that up too much without looking like a scheming DB so be sure to do something in addition like giving away t-shirts so that you can really pound that message home.

    4. Community specific newspapers (like papers in small towns or counties) are great and you will get maximum bang for your buck. Major city newspapers are at best a crapshoot and one that I would probably avoid.

    5. Most importantly- make sure that if you are advertising in a small town or county newspaper that they put your ad IN THE SPORTS SECTION!! This is where everyone looks to see how the hometown team did. Everyone looks in that section to see if their little Johnny had his photo taking running in the winning touchdown and they will also see your ad. Run your ad on Monday and Friday. If you can only do one day make it Monday because that is when the Friday sports will be featured.

    6. If you are going to run an ad that isn't during the school year I would run it only on Monday in the front page section and do it for at least 6 weeks.

    Next post the all important and often overlooked "Internal Marketing":thumbup:
    Last edited: 09.15.10
  5. 8 SNAKE

    8 SNAKE

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    This whole post is gold, so I hope that people take it to heart. Seriously, awesome material that reads like common sense (good marketing really is) but is overlooked by almost everyone.

    I have a question about the sports section, though. In families, I'd venture to guess that the mother/wife chooses the dentist way more often than not. If you focus your ads solely on the sports section, I'm afraid that you're missing a big piece of the pie. You've obviously been successful with your ads, so I'd like to hear more feedback about this Hammer.
  6. ODEP PEDO

    ODEP PEDO AAPD Member

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    It's great that you are sharing your experience and such but making excuses right and left to justify that you were not at fault, seems a bit much. we all learn continuously, but please spare the excuses,
    ad 1 was a rainy day and the tire of the taxi did not have the marks and because of that the phone book did not have colors, bla bla bla, even if the ad had color would not be perfect.
    ad 2 the cousin of the neighbor's best friend wife did everything but me, I had a gun in my head and back then I had no saying, so I smiled a bit crooked for the picture so the police would not notice that my life was in jeopardy, but the best of all the flawed ad was not my fault nor did I have any input, but if the SDNers happens to love my ad 3, then was all on me, my big genius thought of all.
    in summary, bunch of excuses with bunch of nonsense
  7. 8 SNAKE

    8 SNAKE

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    Classy post, doc. Thanks for adding so much value to the discussion.
  8. ODEP PEDO

    ODEP PEDO AAPD Member

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    to have some value to the discussion and be sure the pedestal is not too high...

    it does not matter if one's ad is big, tall, blue or red, the common sense dictates that one cannot please everybody. Even if I run my ads here, I am sure that it will have people that will hate it, others love it, that is just the name of the game. but I can guarantee that ugly ad or not, the important was the return that I had and have with each one of them. If I payed off the ad with new patients than its all good.
    there, just added value to the discussion
  9. lotexigeus

    lotexigeus Master Member

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    you're bringing too much negative energy bro. Hammer's giving a wealth of info for free. I'm all for constructive criticism, but lets try to keep it civil.
  10. New2Philly

    New2Philly

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    I would have to agree. I always had the impression that it is the wife/mom who cares the most about the dentist. Wouldn't it be better to put the ad in the "Living," or "Entertainment," or "Local" sections? Just saying. Thanks for talking about this....
  11. The Hammer

    The Hammer Tooth Pimp

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    You all have made good points about the location of the ad in the newspaper. And yes Mom usually makes all of the dental appointments which is a great reason to locate your office by a big grocery store or in my case a big Wal-Mart.

    The two community papers that I have advertised in previously only come out on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The also usually only have 2-3 sections which are:

    1. Front Page/Hometown Sports
    2. Obits/Classifieds
    or if there are three sections

    1. Front Page
    2. Living/Hometown Sports
    3. Obits/Classifieds

    So for me its always put it in the sports section. The thing about the sports section in a community paper is they cover all of the local school's sports programs. I don't know how it is in other places but where I live everyone buys the Monday paper to see if someone that know or are related to has made the paper. So for me I know that it is the most read section of the paper and its where I want my ad to be. Also this time around I want people to know that I am back and the more people who see my ad the more that my return will get talked about.

    In a paper that regularly features a Living/Lifestyle section putting you ad there would be a good idea as well. But any section of the paper that deals with local school events is always going to attract the attention of any mother with a child that is school age so just keep that in mind.:thumbup:
  12. The Hammer

    The Hammer Tooth Pimp

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    Well I really didn't think I was making excuses. The things that I stated are just simple the truth about both ads. AD 1 was the first ad that I designed after studying some advertising techniques. At the time that I did it I thought it looked great. As I said in my post though having learned more about ads there are definitely things that I would change but there are things that I got right as well. My stating that the ads did not allow color photos and that the only colors available for the ads were black, white, red and blue was just to let the readers know why I didn't put a color photography or use a bright orange highlight. It wasn't an excuse as much as it was an explanation.

    As for AD2 I had totally left it in my then new partners hands so I really had no input and thats just how it was. I really think that the photo stinks but I suppose that a photo is better than no photo but I really doubt that anyone on this board would say that they thought that was a great photo for a dental office. And truth be told that photo reminds me of the bad **** that was just about to fall on me which I'm sure is part of my dislike for it.

    And as for the nonsense well thats just how I entertain myself:D
  13. The Hammer

    The Hammer Tooth Pimp

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    I'll go ahead and repeat this now. This thread is just my experiences and opinions about having owned and operated a general dentistry practice for the past 15 years. I'm not saying that this is how you should do it, I'm just sharing with you how I did it and how it turned out. Your dental practice is yours and something that might work for me might not work for you and vice versa. I just want to make you aware of what the process is like so that you can start planning your future now rather than wait for things to happen and try to respond to them on the fly.


    One other thing that you need to be aware of and again this is just my opinion, to me it seems like there are five distinct groups within dentistry when it comes to sharing ideas:

    1. Dental Students- dental students for the most part are open to advice because they know that they are in a learning stage of their profession. This to me is a fun group because they are eager to learn new things. They may or may not use what they've learned but they are open to learning.

    2. 10% of dentists don't care and don't want to be bothered with learning anything new

    3. 70% of dentists will learn something new but will either be too afraid to implement it (why if I do that ALL my patients will LEAVE!!!) or they become upset because they think that you are suggesting that what they have been doing all these years is "WRONG" and it bothers them on a self-esteem basis.

    4. 15% of dentists are happy and content doing things the way that they always have and see no reason to change

    5. 5% of dentists realize that even though they might not implement what new thing they have learned they still realize that regardless the source there is always some knowledge that can be gleaned even if it is just what not to do.

    Always stay willing to learn and willing to make changes. The more rigid you become in your thinking just makes it that much harder to recover when misfortune falls on you. It will eventually and it will pass because that's just how life is.:thumbup:
  14. monreal

    monreal Au pôle nord

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    Then the above "KREJ JERK" is a buttload of entertainment.

    I see many practicing dentists here in SDN attacking The Hammer just for starting this thread. And I would cut my appendages if they were not the fastest in checking his new posts.

    Mind your own business people. If you don't like what you read, move your cursor and hit back.
  15. New2Philly

    New2Philly

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    Or better yet join in the conversation. If Hammer is leading us astray, or if his advice is too narrow and could use some expanding; please chime in. We are all here to learn, and acting like a jerk is not helping anyone.
  16. The Hammer

    The Hammer Tooth Pimp

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    Most definitely any input is greatly appreciated. Some of the best posts on this thread are from people other than me. The more the merrier as far as I'm concerned:thumbup:
  17. The Hammer

    The Hammer Tooth Pimp

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    I had been searching for an internet address for my new website. I found out that the domain www.drbrewer.com (my real last name) was free so I bought it. How sweet is that?!:D
  18. zriceman

    zriceman Member

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    looking forward seeing it :)
  19. The Hammer

    The Hammer Tooth Pimp

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    Yeah me too:D I'm hoping to have something up and running by the end of the year or first of 2011.
  20. The Hammer

    The Hammer Tooth Pimp

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    Well it looks like I will be going to the "Using Social Media to promote your practice" seminar on Friday. I will come back and give a full report:thumbup:
  21. budda10000

    budda10000

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    If your netting 45% of revenues as profit then your doing very well indeed! I am just entering dental school but I have run other businesses in the past and after costs I was lucky to net 25%. After taxes this would be reduced to about 15% profit margin. Consider yourself lucky as a dental businessman if your sucking 45% of every dollar as profit.
  22. 8 SNAKE

    8 SNAKE

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    You're comparing apples to oranges, though. Compare dentists with independent plumbers or electricians and the picture looks a lot different. Dentistry may yield a relatively high percentage of profit per dollar in revenue, but it's much more difficult to scale than other businesses and relies a great deal on the amount of work the dentist can produce on his or her own.
  23. The Hammer

    The Hammer Tooth Pimp

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    Wow. Went to a seminar on using social media (facebook, twitter etc) to market your practice and it was incredible. It made me rethink how I am going to market my new practice. I spoke with the dentist who was giving the seminar and show him this thread and invited him to post here and share his experience. This guy is an awesome resource. If he doesn't show up and post then I will go over what I learned.

    My next post I'll go over some ideas for internal marketing and then we will start a new direction called "OK I now own a dental office, what do I do with it?":thumbup:
  24. goosestuff

    goosestuff 10-4, Chicken Feed, 10-4

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    I went to a great course the other night about marketing your practice ("Growing your practice as you make a difference" - lecturer: Rick Wilson DMD). His overall message is that to be successful in today's market, it's important to find your niche and do it well. Not necessarily niche as far as procedures, but just anything that stands you out to attract the patients who are seeking that "anything". He uses social media (FB and blogs etc) very effectively.

    Another main point of his is the use of marketing through "Opinion leaders" - the pts of yours who will spread word of your practice to others be it good or bad.

    Here is a link to his blog, "Bite Point" which a few post back includes the handout to his lecture. http://rickwilsondmd.typepad.com/rick_wilson_dmds_blog/

    One way he uses his blog that I find interesting is that if a patient has a particular general concern/question that isn't answered during their appointment, he'll research it, blog about it, and email the entry to the pt. A bonus to the pt feeling an extra connection to the doc is that if this pt is an opinion leader - they may forward his email to others..

    I've no doubt butchered his message, but it's a great take on running a practice.

    PS Hammer - thanks for wrapping up the GF/Eurotrash storyline for me.:thumbup:
  25. DentinBond

    DentinBond DentinBond

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    goosestuff, you're doing quite well! Hope you don't mind, but I saw the large traffic volume to my reading list emanating from here and thought I'd register and comment.

    Most practicing dentists have been so influenced in their thinking by Interruption Advertising that when they start a blog, they do two things:
    -They feel obligated to make it all corporate (and boring), and
    -They aim to use it as a funnel, to send it out there with the goal of interrupting as many strangers with it as possible in the hope that some will reach the narrow end of the funnel at the dental practice's door and make a first appointment.

    The thing is, we have all been so interrupted so many times and in so many ways, and we all have such busy lives, that we've gotten very good indeed at ignoring Interruption Advertising. In my friend Anne McCrossan's phrase, we can "Look away, walk away, click away" from interruption with ease these days.

    What, then, is a blogging dentist, a dentist with something to say, to do?

    Turn the funnel around, turn it into a megaphone!

    So yes, as you say I send my posts to patients as issues come up. We do deal with their concerns fully in the office, as always. Yet now, having writen for almost two years, there are many topics that I've covered. So I'll say to my patient, "I've written on this topic, so I'll email you a link, is that OK?" I don't even say the word "blog" too much anymore because some older patients have pretty strange ideas about what a blog is.

    This system is easy and meets Seth Godin's (www.sethgodin.typepad.com) criteria for Permission Marketing: my emails are:
    -Anticipated
    -Personal
    -Relevant

    And thus amazingly powerful, more powerful than yelling at people with an ad can ever be.

    At the very least, I've informed and entertained a person that I already know and serve. It's quite possible that I will increase treatment acceptance. In the best case, patients will share my link and refer in new patients to our practice.

    It costs emotional labor, not money. So much of the best marketing costs no money at all. Perhaps the best resources ever written on this are "The Purple Cow" and "Free Prize Inside", both by Seth Godin.

    So go on out there and engage your patients, one at a time. And don't waste too much money or effort yelling at The Crowd...
  26. The Hammer

    The Hammer Tooth Pimp

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    Good find! Thanks!
  27. The Hammer

    The Hammer Tooth Pimp

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    Hey everybody. Sorry I haven't been posting much as of late. I have been super busy getting my money from the lender and all of my last minute things ready for moving to my new city and starting seeing patients. I had all of my new dental equipment installed on Friday and today and Monday I am having all of my computer and phone equipment installed. I've also had photos made for the ad that the media company is creating for me and I'm talking to a webpage designer to try and get a website up and running. An if all of that wasn't enough, my ex-wife has been sending me emails and texts discussing where she thinks our marriage went wrong. I am going to try to post a list of the things you have to do once you have purchased the practice today or tomorrow and go over that with you. Till next time:D
  28. MacPreDent

    MacPreDent

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    Boy this thread makes me so PUMPED and excited about my dental career. Well, potential dental career as I'm still a pre-dent.
    But yeah, this is awesome...
  29. zriceman

    zriceman Member

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    wishing you the very best getting your new practice up & running!
  30. Rezdawg

    Rezdawg 1K Member

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    Great stuff Hammer...looking into getting a practice within the next 6 months, all this info is coming in at the perfect time. Also got the Stephen P. Robbins book. :thumbup:
  31. 8 SNAKE

    8 SNAKE

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    Guess word got out that you were setting up shop again, huh. ;)
  32. The Hammer

    The Hammer Tooth Pimp

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    yep. she thought that she had put me in a position of where I would have to declare bankruptcy. I guess the joke is on her :D
  33. 8 SNAKE

    8 SNAKE

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    If I were a betting man, I'd say that someone is trying to get two bites at the same apple.
  34. lotexigeus

    lotexigeus Master Member

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    we want prenup
  35. joyride

    joyride Member

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    This may be a little off topic for this thread but Hammer - Whats your take on startups? Bad idea in a down economy?
  36. The Hammer

    The Hammer Tooth Pimp

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    I'm not saying that they can't work because I have seen plenty that have. I just know in my situation it has always been better to have a patient base already in place when I buy a practice. I like knowing that if my note is $4000 a month and the practice is averaging $50K a month I should be fine.

    The thing that has always bothered me about start ups is not knowing how long it will be until I have enough patients that I can reliably pay my bills. I have never been in the position of having an excess of working capital to carry me over until I am busy enough to break even. Right now in the practice that I bought I should be at break even in 60 days which is pretty freaking sweet to quote Peter Griffin.

    I'm all about the managed risk. I don't mind sticking my neck out if my due diligence shows me that I have a pretty good chance of not getting my head lopped off.
  37. The Hammer

    The Hammer Tooth Pimp

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    OK my busy bees, here is the ad that I am about to run in the local papers to let my former patients know that I am back in practice. Pick it apart and tell me what you think

    [​IMG]
  38. zriceman

    zriceman Member

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    looking good there doc! looks like you've aged backwards w/o your stash. Do you plan to hire specialists in your new office?
  39. The Hammer

    The Hammer Tooth Pimp

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    Thanks! No I don't plan on having any specialists in my office because I am in a complex with 2 oral surgeon offices, 2 perios, 1 pedo and 2 orthos :D

    The only thing that we don't have is an endo but all of the other specialists that I used to refer to are all within 50 feet of my front door:thumbup:
  40. Phlogicyde

    Phlogicyde

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    The ad looks pretty slick. Did the two women in your ad also work at your other office? Would your former patients recognize them too?
  41. MacPreDent

    MacPreDent

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    Hey, nice ad! I like it.
    What I noticed is that it has less information on it than the examples posted here previously (a couple of posts down). Things like what your practice offers and so on. So you said the ads purpose is mainly to show existing patients that your back in business, but say you were new in town or setting up a new practice with nobody knowing you, would you make the ad different?
  42. 8 SNAKE

    8 SNAKE

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    I'm really nitpicking here, but if there's any way to change the dark background in your photo I would do so. You and one of the women have dark hair that fades right into that background, which distracts the eye.

    Since this ad is primarily designed to let familiar faces know that you're back in town, I would say that your mission has been accomplished. You might ad something about forms of payment/insurance, though.
  43. The Hammer

    The Hammer Tooth Pimp

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    Yep, they are my assistant and office manager from my pervious practice. People probably recognize them more than they would me
  44. The Hammer

    The Hammer Tooth Pimp

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    Yes, I would put office hours, insurances taken and methods of payment and a website address. My website is currently under construction so I didn't put the address on my ad. The message that I wanted to get across with this ad is "Hey I'm back, here are some familiar faces from my old practice, here is the address and the phone number so call me." The only nod that I made towards new patients is that I am open on Friday. Apparently I am the only dentist open on Friday and one of the major plants in this town is closed on Fridays so I'm hoping to pick up some of those employees.

    Once I get my website up and running I might put another ad in the local papers with more information for new patients.
  45. The Hammer

    The Hammer Tooth Pimp

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    What? You don't think that disembodied heads say "quality dentistry'?:D
  46. 8 SNAKE

    8 SNAKE

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    Sure, in a "come on down to my basement" sort of way. Might be wildly popular with the goth crowd, too. :D
  47. DentinBond

    DentinBond DentinBond

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    This is pretty advanced stuff, but there have been discussions about "using" social media in this thread and I wanted to point you all to my friend Anne McCrossan's recent blog post:

    http://www.visceralbusiness.com/managingsocialmediaorsocialorganisation/

    She speaks of "socially fit brands" (I suppose that means that there are many "socially unfit" ones!) and develops the concept of a "social organisation":

    The social organisation offers one big advantage beyond just using social media, in that social organisations are sustainable. They’re sustainable because they help people connect where they buy and buy where they connect.

    I point you to her concepts in the interest of helping all with that "sustainable" part.

    What is happening in our culture is that people are getting tired of the corporate-interchangeable model of business. As Seth Godin says in Linchpin:

    We can’t profitably get more average.
    We can’t get more homogenized, more obedient, or cheaper. We can’t get faster, either.
    We’ve gone against our true nature and corporatized, anonymized, and dehumanized as many of our systems as we possibly can.

    And:

    Do we need to be flatter and smaller?
    It’s our desire to be treated like individuals that will end this cycle. Our passion for contribution and possibility, the passion we’ve drowned out in school and in the corporate world—that’s the only way out.
    Every successful organization is built around people. Humans who do art. People who interact with other people. Men and women who don’t merely shuffle money, but interact, give gifts, and connect.
    All these interactions are art. Art isn’t only a painting; it’s anything that changes someone for the better, any nonanonymous interaction that leads to a human (not simply a commercial) conclusion.

    Many businesses will try to force a conversation about themselves into social media channels, to create a funnel through which new customers or patients may flow. You can see it in many businesses outside of dentistry right now, you can see that they're trying to dominate what inherently cannot be dominated. The Internet is too anarchistic for that- thankfully!

    Yet these emerging concepts of Socially Fit Brands and Permission Marketing and the like encourage us to abandon the traditional marketing strategy of the funnel and instead flip it around and use it as a megaphone. The conversation that we have with the patient in our chair, one person at a time, eye-to-eye and knee-to-knee, is the key. When we provide a "nonanonymous interaction that leads to a human (not simply commercial) conclusion", referrals increase because consumers are looking for certainty and connection as never before. When we fully engage our patients, we earn their Attention. This is so very critical because the days of being able to buy Attention are largely over. Especially on the kind of marketing budget that a dental practice can afford.

    I believe that dentistry as a whole is well-positioned to understand this and be an early adopter of the innovations of Permission Marketing when it comes to social media. Most of us exist as small business entities and are thus not fettered by committees and layers of bureaucratic fat. We are flexible and innovative- when we choose to be.
    Last edited: 10.07.10
  48. Cabetz2

    Cabetz2

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    So I was searching on the computer this evening for information on buying a practice right of school and everywhere I searched the same dead end, don't do it. Work for someone until you get your speed and skill. I'm not one to listen to others but I was becoming a bit depressed. Then, I found this thread! Whoo Hoo!!! Finally, some good usuable information. I'm a first year non-traditional dental student and really was getting worried about what to do when I graduate. I'm not one to sit around and wait for things to happen so I want to have a good plan before graduating. Hammer, you are very savvy!!! Love the great info and your style of instruction. Top notch!! Thanks for the thread!!!:thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::D
  49. IdahoDoc

    IdahoDoc

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    Hammer,

    Thanks a ton for you all your post I now feel super excited about having my own practice. Too bad I have 3 years of dental school in my way. From reading your posts I have seen how much you value your OM, just wondering if you could say why? Most of the offices I have been to just have front desk ladies and the Dr. does all of the "OM Roles". Is it really worth having one, and why? Thanks
  50. JavadiCavity

    JavadiCavity DDS 2008 Moderator Emeritus

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    I know I'm not the one you're asking...but my opinion is YES x 1000 it's worth having a good one. I'm on my second OM in 12 months. I have an accounting background, and I'm not intimidated by the business aspect of running a dentist practice. But, the amount of work required to stay on top of EVERYTHING is impossible to comprehend until you've experienced. As a dentist in Houston that accepts most all PPO insurance plans, I have to stay on top of claims. Insurance companies don't always pay as implied. Takes mucho work. So hire a good OM and you're life will be better.

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