Look, we know — the business climate seems shaky heading into 2023. And even the dental industry, which is famous for being (almost) recession-proof, may be feeling the heat.
We’ve talked to dentists who sound poised to cut back on marketing, hunker down, and wait for fairer winds to blow.
Now, we’ll admit upfront that we at Dental Rift are not exactly neutral parties here. One of us (Gary) runs a dental marketing firm that’s all about generating new patients while the other (Tanner) leads a company that simplifies the dental tech stack to make life easier for dental teams.
Our businesses succeed when dentists invest in theirs.
Disclaimers aside, we want to say, for the record, that now is not the time to give up on growing your practice. While we understand an instinct towards caution, the current economy represents a massive opportunity for any practice owner or dental executive willing to push forward in the face of uncertainty.
Why? Because, to steal a line from Benjamin Graham, when the markets are falling, investing in your business becomes less risky, not more.
This is doubly true when your business model is as fundamentally sound as dental, where the number of potential new patients vastly exceeds the number of qualified dentists and practice owners, by some measures, face a failure rate of less than one percent.
Yeah, in a down market, most people’s natural instinct is to pull back. Most of us get scared and that fear makes us cautious.
But that same fear also means that if you embrace the uncertainty of the moment and continue working to expand your market share — if you zig when everyone else zags — then you’ll likely have much of the field to yourself.
This isn’t just a pretty theory, either — we’ve lived it. When COVID hit and half the economy shut down overnight, Gary and his company, SMC — like so many other marketing agencies — lost most of their clients and couldn’t make payroll.
He thought about closing his doors, but decided instead to take out loans and press onward. Three years later, SMC has quadrupled in size and revenue to become one of the premier dental marketing firms on the planet.
That could be your story, too.
We’re not saying you’ll become Heartland overnight. But double down on growth and you could wind up miles ahead of your competition by the time they feel confident enough to get back in the game.