Don’t take no for an answer!

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  Posted by: The Probe      24th June 2020

For your dental practice, as with many small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs),
cash-flow might be an eternal headache. Although your business will have a pragmatic budget in place, there is always something that pops out of nowhere, or an issue that’ve you’ve been vaguely aware of, but now can avoid no longer and have to a find a way to fund it.

Your most valuable resource

Staff-related expenses are often the biggest costs. Once salaries have been accounted for, as a forward-thinking practice owner, you’ll need to think about investing in training. The alternative is to increase numbers – either adding to the payroll, or by engaging the services of a contractor. But investing in your team can enrich your practice by enhancing patient services. In other words, it can make great business sense as part of a long-term plan for growth.

Among the clinical team, your practitioners may be looking to up-skill, so they can deliver specialist services. With patient-driven demand for treatments like whitening increasing, upskilling is a way for your practice to offer more, as well as give individuals the opportunity for professional and personal development. Or you may have a dental nurse desperate to move into practice management, or a treatment co-ordinator role.

Good-quality training costs money and you also may have to temporarily fill roles when people are away. While training generally encourages retention, people do move on and the recruitment process can be costly. Again, you might need to engage a contractor before someone new is in post, or your favoured candidate might want to negotiate their renumeration. If they are the right person for the job, you should be willing to do this.  

Where’s my money tree?

What other things that might require a cash injection? New equipment, technology and changes to your premise which could be anything from a spruce up, to building works. So, where to go for money? Well, a report from the end of 2019 indicated a funding gap in the SME sector worldwide, and you might not be successful in securing a loan from a high-street lender.[i] According to past data, UK high street lenders convert only a small percentage of loan applications from SMEs, which goes some way to explain the funding gap of tens of millions, according to one source.[ii] Reasons for this can include: “regulation… banks having huge cost structures (and) SMEs not having standardised data”.

Investing in your dental practice – whether it’s in people, products or premises – can enhance your service, increase numbers of happy patients and boost profits. Look for alternative finance, away from the high street. I have previously reported on a government-backed referral scheme that helps small businesses who failed to access finance from the major banks. Launched in 2016, the large banks will refer SMEs who they turned down for a loan to four alterative platforms.  

SMEs are the backbone of the UK economy. At the beginning of 2019, they accounted for 99.9% of the business population, employing over 16 million people.[iii] Investment in their success is essential. After you’ve discussed your plans with a specialist dental accountant – like the experts at Lansdell & Rose – and it’s agreed that they’re viable, don’t take no for an answer when seeking the funding you need to grow!

 

To find out more, call Lansdell & Rose on 020 7376 9333,

Or visit http://lansdellrose.co.uk

 

[i] Large funding gap forms in SME lending sector as UK banks fund just 8% of small business loans. CISION, 11 December 2019. Link: http://www.prweb.com/releases/large_funding_gap_forms_in_sme_lending_sector_as_uk_banks_fund_just_8_of_small_business_loans/prweb16773997.htm (accessed December 2019).

[ii] High street bank converts just 8% of SME loan applications. SME Guidance for Business Growth,
20 September 2018. Link: http://www.smeweb.com/2018/09/20/high-street-bank-converts-just-8-sme-loan-applications/ (accessed December 2019).

[iii] FSB figures, UK Small Business Statistics. Link: https://www.fsb.org.uk/media-centre/small-business-statistics (accessed December 2019).


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