How small practices can succeed amongst the corporate chains

It’s no secret corporate dental chains have the resources to aggressively market their services and that their size allows them to offer convenient hours and discount prices. But at the end of the day that’s all that sets them apart.

These chain locations all need to fit in the same box. They simply can’t personalize the experience the way a small, local practice can. And that’s where you have the advantage.

So here are some strategies to build on your strengths and succeed as a small practice:

  1. Personalize your website when and how you want
    Unlike corporate practices, you can customize your website to fit your patient base and make changes quickly. Suddenly sick of your layout? Swap some pages around, add new colors, etc. Hear a lot of patients asking the same questions to your receptionist? Add a FAQ page to help save them and YOU time.
  2. Emphasize your community presence on social media
    Your entire practice is wrapped up in your community—let patients see your impact by posting content that reflects your community ideals. Doing community service, donating to local events, taking part in traditional festivals or celebrations are all things you can share on social media. It will make patients feel a kinship with you they simply can’t get at a corporate dental office.
  3. Form strong relationships
    One of the keys to keeping patients coming back is showing them how much you care. Take the time to get to know them—their likes and dislikes, where they work, how their kids are doing, etc. That extra effort will speak volumes of the type of practice you are and keep patients around. (Bonus tip: learn patient birthdays and then send them a card—they’ll never expect the surprise!)
  4. Ask for reviews and referrals
    Forming personal relationships with patients can lead to powerful marketing tools: positive reviews and referrals. Happy patients will have no problem referring friends and family to your office or writing a glowing review. And those reviews give you a huge advantage with new patients searching online—it’s a no-brainer to choose the practice with excellent reviews.
  5. Adapt to new technology now—not when a corporation tells you to
    Your autonomy allows you the flexibility to immediately try new technology. If you see a new product or technique you think will benefit your patients try it out, and if it gets positive feedback implement and market the heck out of it. The corporate chains simply can’t keep up.