Wondering how to start a dental equipment and supplies business? We take you step-by-step from start to success.
Customer Profile for Dental Equipment & Supply Distributors
The lack of adequate dental coverage and the ability to delay dental treatment are just some of the reasons why dentistry isn't nearly as immune to recessionary pressures as other healthcare fields.
But when you combine economically vulnerable revenue streams with the fact that the majority of dental practices are small sole proprietorships (rather than corporate clinics), it becomes apparent that startup dental equipment and supply distributors need to understand their target market and be extremely sensitive to their customers' needs and circumstances.
For qualified dental professionals, barriers to entry for a dental practice are relatively low – there are currently more than 150,000 dental practices throughout the U.S. Although low entry barriers create opportunities for more dentists to become small business owners, it also limits their ability to absorb unexpected financial hits. As a result, startup dental distributors need to devise business models that feature competitive pricing and intimate familiarity with their customers' unique pressures and purchase requirements.
Economies of Scale for Small Dental Equipment & Supply Distributors
Small dental distributor startups are at an immediate disadvantage because they have fewer opportunities to benefit from quantity pricing and the economies of scale that are prevalent among chain distributors. To level the playing field, many small dental equipment & supply distributors participate in strategic alliances and coops.
The American Dental Cooperative and the United Dental Dealers are distributor coops that give small equipment and supply operations access to the same economies of scale as large distributors. By tapping into these and other coops, you'll gain a pricing advantage and the combined influence of your coop partners.
Personal Selling Tips for Dental Equipment & Supply Startups
Dental equipment and supply distributorships are B2B ventures that demand a customer-centered personal selling approach. High pressure or aggressive sales tactics aren't as successful as a sales strategy that emphasizes product and customer knowledge.
Although it makes sense for your new dental distributorship to implement a personalized selling philosophy, you need to strike a balance between spending time with your customers and reaching enough customer to achieve your startup's sales benchmarks. To accomplish this, all sales personnel should be equipped with time management skills and the resources they need to maintain productivity on the road.
Tips for Generating a Top Quality Dental Equipment & Supplies Company Business Plan
A good business plan is the foundation of your entrepreneurial journey. Lenders, investors and other interested parties are accustomed to seeing several key business plan elements and if your dental equipment and supplies business's plan leaves something out, it could have real consequences for your company.
If you're unfamiliar with business plan essentials, you may want to think about purchasing business plan software. The best business plan solutions can be tailored by industry, incorporating highly relevant metrics into your dental equipment and supplies company's business plan.
A quick review of Gaebler's business plan software packages article is great place to begin your search for the solution that's right for your dental equipment and supplies business.
Look Over the Competition
Before you open a dental equipment and supplies business in your area, it's essential to find out how many competitors you have. We've provided the link below to help you find competitors in your area. Just enter your city, state and zip code to get a list of dental equipment and supplies businesses in your community.
How tough is the competition in the market you are considering? If the competition is too tough, you may need to think about starting the business in a different area or even start a completely different business instead.
Studying the Market
As part of your due diligence on opening a dental equipment and supplies business, the next step is to speak with somebody who is already in the business. If you think owners of nearby dental equipment and supplies businesses will give you advice, think again. Why would they want to educate a future competitor?
However, a fellow entrepreneur who has started a dental equipment and supplies business in a location that is not competitive to you will be much more likely to talk with you, as long as they don't view you as a competitive threat. In fact, they are often very willing to share startup advice with you. If you are persistent, you can find a business mentor who is willing to help you out.
How do you find a dental equipment and supplies business founder who is willing to talk to you but doesn't live nearby?
We can help. Follow the link below, try a few city/state combos or zipcodes, and then start calling!
Reasons to Pursue a Dental Equipment & Supplies Business Acquisition
Many would-be dental equipment and supplies business owners are perplexed by those who encourage them to buy a business rather than starting one from scratch. But what's so great about a dental equipment and supplies business acquisition?
The availability of acquisition capital should be a major factor in your decision. Commercial lenders are usually more inclined to fund acquisitions than startups.
Buying a business to get acquisition capital is a legitimate ownership strategy for dental equipment and supplies business entrepreneurs.
Consider Buying a Franchise
The chances of doing well in business are much better if you go the franchising route in lieu of doing everything yourself.
If you planning on starting a dental equipment and supplies business, you ought to assess whether franchising might simplify your entering the business.
The link below gives you access to our franchise directory so you can see if there's a franchise opportunity for you. You might even find something that points you in a completely different direction.
These interviews should be of interest to you.
These additional resources regarding getting started as an entrepreneur may be of interest to you.
If you currently own a dental equipment and supplies business, these resources will come in handy:
If you sell to dental equipment and supplies businesses, we've got better information for you elsewhere on our site. These resources are more appropriate for you:
If you are still exploring all of your options, please browse our directory of guides below.