You have got to have a reason

“Turnover is vanity , profit is sanity, but cash is reality.” Gary Nelson explains that the truth behind this well-known saying is just one of the reasons to get a practice branded membership plan in place

Like most things in life and business, you have to have a reason for doing something, changing something or implementing something.

With this in mind I’ve put together the five main business reasons for a practice having a branded membership plan.

1. Financial certainty in unsure economic times

The economic situation has been well documented. Consumer confidence has been shot to pieces and disposable income within the country is thin on the ground.

Implementing a dental plan that offers your patients lower treatment pricing will almost certainly appeal to them, while guaranteeing vital cash flow to help your business.

2. Cover your fixed costs during clinician holidays

With the summer months coming to an end, it is all too apparent the downturn in revenue through the practice if the dentists have had their holidays. Often it can take a practice a number of weeks or months before the practice trading account returns to normality.

However practices that have a dental membership plan with a reasonable number of patients have much more moderate peaks and troughs.

3. Banks love certainty

If you are looking to expand your practice or simply update some of the facilities or equipment your bank will be looking for some form of guarantee.

Banks love certainty, certainty in your cash flow forecast and income projections.

Having a reasonable number of patients on your dental plan paying regular amounts is often just the ticket when it comes to meeting your bank manager.

4. Enhanced patient loyalty

Branded membership plans should without doubt build another level of loyalty with your patient. Patients often view the fact that this is ‘your’ practice plan as an added benefit, after all ‘you’ or your practice have chosen to design a membership plan that rewards their loyalty with preferential pricing for members on any treatments required.

In addition it can give your patients a sense of belonging to the practice and the ‘club feeling’ if you implement the plan correctly as your brand is on the brochure and the forms.

5. Exit strategy in the next five to 10 years

If you are a practice principal and considering retirement, having a practice membership plan with a reasonable number of patients on the plan should make your practice easy to sell and may even secure you a premium price for your practice as a result.

In this article I have chosen to focus on the main practice reasons for having a practice branded membership plan, in the next article I will focus on the patient reasons for having a membership plan in your practice.

Gary Nelson is the founder and owner of Quality Plan NI.

Published: 5 September, 2011 at 16:38