There are reasons to be concerned about the economy – particularly when it comes to the profession of dentistry. Now, you might think everything’s looking good for the economy, but here’s a not-so-fun fact: On average, economic recessions in the U.S. happen about every 5 years. In fact, we’ve had 33 recessions in the last 150 years. We’re 8 years out from the Great Recession, meaning that we’re overdue for another downturn. After the break, I’ll tell you what’s coming, and what you need to do to ensure your practice survives.
– Thanks for watching the Patient Attraction Podcast™.
– I’m Colin Receveur, founder and CEO of SmartBox Web Marketing.
– It’s not news that economies run in cycles of expansion and contraction, or boom and bust cycles.
– We’ve been in a somewhat subdued expansion since the Great Recession of 2009.
– That’s 8 years, and the longest economic expansion on record is a decade.
– We’re already in the third- or fourth-longest expansion in the last century and a half.
– It’s not a question of whether we’ll have another recession, but when.
– The smart money says it’ll be soon, and dentists have to be prepared.
– The Great Recession did a number on dentists’ incomes.
– Many baby boomer dentists who’d planned to retire found that they had to defer those plans.
– They wound up working much longer than they’d intended while their practices regained lost value.
– Most dental practices have barely recovered to pre-2009 income levels.
– Consumer spending on dentistry was flat for well over a decade and has only begun to show signs of increasing slightly.k
– In other words, most dental practices aren’t in a great place to survive another recession.
– When a recession happens, or even threatens, people tend to cut back on nonvital purchases to hoard money.
– You might disagree that dental services aren’t vital, but that’s not how your patients and prospects will see it.
– Food on the table, car payments, and keeping the lights on are more important.
– So at some point, your revenue streams are going to take a hit from people deferring elective or even necessary dental care.
– But economic uncertainty isn’t the only danger your dental practice is facing.
– There are 3 other forces in play that threaten dentists’ livelihoods.
– You’re almost certainly aware of them, because they’re practically impossible to escape these days.
– Those forces are corporate dentistry, new dental school graduates, and declining insurance reimbursements.
– Almost all dental practices are already facing one or more of those challenges.
– Many practices are finding it hard to cope with 1, much less 4.
– I’ve named those forces, together with economic uncertainty, the Four Horsemen of Dentistry.
– The effect of each force reinforces and multiplies the others.
– Corporate dentistry undercuts you on price and availability, damaging your new patient stream and your income.
– New dental school graduates are fueling corporate dentistry’s expansion.
– When those grads have paid off their school debt, they’ll join existing practices or open practices of their own.
– And crappy dental insurance reimbursements are squeezing dentists’ margins everywhere.
– An economic downturn is the trigger that will send all those forces into overdrive.
– And you might recall that the Four Horsemen usher in the apocalypse.
– But there is something you can do to prepare your dental practice for the coming dental armageddon.
– I’ve written a new book titled “The Four Horsemen of Dentistry: Survival Strategies for the Private Dental Practice Under Siege.”
– It not only gives an in-depth analysis of the forces you’re facing, but it also gives you a roadmap through the unknown.