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Are you getting the most from your plan provider?

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With most of Europe in the grip of a cost-of-living crisis, now is a good time to make sure you’re getting the best value from the money you’re spending. 

Regional Support Manager, Jayne Gibson, outlines some of the things to assess when deciding whether you should stick with your current plan provider or switch.

I have been involved in the dental industry for more than 18 years now and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a time when it’s been so important for dental practices to make sure that every penny spent on their business is money well spent. Rises in the costs of utilities, supplies and salaries mean now, more than ever, expenditure has to be subjected to an almost forensic examination to make sure it is justified. There is no room for things that don’t add value to the business.

Checking you’re on the best deal for broadband and phone lines, seeing if you could benefit from a change of energy provider and checking you’re getting the best deal for your supplies, both clinical and office is a sensible, if not essential step to take now if you haven’t done so already. That includes checking your plan provider too, and when you decide to put yours under the microscope, here are some things to consider when you’re assessing whether they’re a keeper or you should switch:

What extra support do you get to run your business?

It’s taken as read that your provider will collect the money from your plan members and make sure it goes into your bank account, but is that enough?  Running a practice can be tough. After all, although you’re providing dental treatment, you’re really running a business and businesses need support and nurturing. What support can you expect from your current plan provider? Will you have regular contact with someone who has experience of working in the dental industry and who can help you navigate the sometimes choppy waters practices find themselves in? Or, when you signed up were you given the name of someone who is supposed to look after you but who you haven’t heard from since? Being able to build up a relationship with someone who has your business’ best interest at heart is like having someone to lean on in times of need. Does your plan provider offer you that?

When you’re running a business that employs people, there are always things that need to be sorted and professional advice can be costly. Being able to tap into the experience and knowledge of someone who’s been there and done that in dentistry is invaluable. Can you log onto an exclusive website and find learning materials about subjects such as HR, staff wellbeing and staff retention? If you’re with a plan provider that doesn’t give you access to that type of business support, what sort of value for money are you getting from them?  

Does your provider offer you access to other business services such as marketing and design? Branding says a lot about your business and having access to a design and marketing team can help you to create a strong brand and make you stand out for all the right reasons. You may be looking to freshen your existing brand, or re-brand entirely. Being able to call on specialist knowledge means you can make sure that everything – your website, signage, posters, etc – works together to spread your message. Does your current plan provider offer you that? If not, it may be time to ditch and switch!

There are new developments in dentistry all the time. Whether that’s intraoral scanners, greater use of treatment coordinators and dental therapists or the increased demand for cosmetic and aesthetic dentistry, it’s important to keep up with trends and new techniques. How do you go about this? Choose a plan provider that gives you the opportunity to attend events and workshops featuring key industry figures and experts in their field. If you can get CPD credit for attending, then that’s a big dollop of icing on the cake, too! If yours doesn’t do that, then maybe it’s time to switch to one that does.

If you’ve asked yourself all these questions and found your current plan provider wanting, why not talk to Practice Plan about Easy Switch, the hassle-free process that makes changing your plan provider easy peasy.

We’re ready when you are. For a no obligation conversation, ring Practice Plan on 01691 684165 or visit www.practiceplan.co.uk/switch

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