Your treatments are quality, are your patients?
Your treatments are quality, are your patients?
Now apply the above to dental practices all across the UK and you’ll find a familiar picture.
January 22, 2018

By Connor Smith, Accountant at Hive Business

Talk to any accountant – if there’s one word that strikes fear into our hearts more than any other it’s ‘January’. No matter the planning even the most organised of firms take, the deadline rush seems to always creep up like an inevitable dread. There are measures a firm focused on quality clients can do to stave off some of this impending doom. Namely – if someone comes to you mid-January begging you to complete their tax return by the end of the month – more likely than not you’ll have the same case next year. And the year after.

Is all custom good custom?

Now that’s not to say a practice can’t build a model based around this kind of client. There are plenty of people out there who leave their return until the last minute every year, why not capitalise on the classic human nature of ‘I’ll worry about it later’? National Rail and Flybe have pricing models to fit this, and it’s hard to argue their success. There are two main types of business in the world; the cost-cutters and the differentiators. A tax return factory focused on January clients is likely to have a high volume, low cost price structure. And client retention is likely to be low, as the clients rarely value an impersonal, one off service. Compare this with a firm that will refuse new clients in January, preferring instead to build lasting business relationships with clients who have a long term goal in mind, rather than chasing their tail every time the New Year comes around. You’ll find higher value clients and greater retention.

Now apply the above to dental practices all across the UK and you’ll find a familiar picture. You’ll get the high volume, low value NHS and membership practices, churning through their patient list to meet their UDA targets and simply treading water. At the other end of the spectrum, you’ll find the high end, private practice’s offering a complete patient experience from the initial consultation to the end of the aftercare. Naturally, with an altogether different experience, these practices can charge a premium and are likely to get the recommendations and referrals that keep these kind of high value patients coming through the door.

Unfortunately, especially in dentistry, the spectrum isn’t always this black and white. More often than we’d like to see, a clinic will be delivering a private care model with NHS patient financial results. Spending resources and your valuable time on a patient who isn’t likely to return that value is counter-productive to the quality of service you can provide, and fundamentally under-values your practice.

The New Year is a great time to re-evaluate your practice and the service you are providing. Are you stuck in the same old routine of delivering Denplan despite having just completed your implant training? Perhaps it’s time you refocus the work of you and your associates, backed up with a robust marketing strategy to attract the kind of patients you want.

Decide which end of the spectrum you’re aiming to target, and make it work. If you would like to discuss how Hive can help improve the financial performance of your dental business please get in touch on 01872 300232 or email us at

The information contained in this article is based on the opinion of Hive Business and does not constitute formal tax advice. Any tax outcomes will be based on individual circumstances, tax legislation and regulation, which are subject to change in the future. You should seek specific advice before embarking on any course of action. Hive Business does not provide regulated Financial Advice, including advice on investment, insurance or lending products or their suitability for you. This article is provided for information only and does not constitute, and should not be interpreted as, investment advice or a recommendation to buy, sell or otherwise transact, or not transact, in any investment including Bitcoin and other crypto. Any use you wish to make of any information contained within this article is, therefore, entirely at your own risk.

By Team Hive
If you have any questions or comments about this article, please get in touch.
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