Turning resolution into reality

Suki Singh explains why switching plan provider this year may not be such a daunting task.

At the beginning of the year you may well have started thinking about what your plans are for your practice for 2017. You may have started setting goals for your team and business, and thinking about any changes that need implementing to achieve those objectives.

Now we’re a little bit further along and back in the swing of routine, these plans may have faded from view. Once this happens it can be all too easy to let them slip away completely. Yet, now is the perfect time to strengthen your resolve – before they disappear altogether.

Bitesized chunks

One of those goals may well have been to switch your practice membership plan provider this year. While it can seem a daunting task and something you may be tempted to put off, it is less overwhelming if you plan effectively and have the right plan provider on board with the ability to tailor the process to suit your unique circumstances, and the expertise to make it as hassle-free as possible.

As a regional support manager with Practice Plan, I support many dental practices with bespoke plans to make this transition seamlessly. I know that breaking the process down into manageable, bitesized chunks can make it feel much more achievable. Just like if you set yourself a personal resolution, for example, to lose a certain amount of weight, it is a lot less fazing to break down a big-picture objective into smaller monthly or weekly goals. Not only does this make your end-goal feel more attainable, having regular targets can help you to stay focused and on track.

When it comes to something like switching your plan provider, this approach can help you stick to a feasible timescale without becoming intimidated by the bigger picture of what you are trying to accomplish. It’s also worth bearing in mind that you will not be going it alone; in my role, I help practices at every step and deliver a custom-made plan of the best way to make that transition. It can be complex but, with the right support and processes in place, it can be navigated seamlessly.

To make the move as straightforward as possible and get the most out of your provider, you need to select someone you can build a personal relationship with. I know from the dentists I work with that having someone who feels like an extension of their team is incredibly important.

Understanding your business

For someone to become a key part of the team, you need to ensure they will take the time to understand your business – only then can they guide you with bespoke advice and specialist training. They also need to continually invest their time in you. Having a trustworthy, go-to source of advice that understands what your business is and what you want it to be, can make all the difference.

With this level of understanding they can help you at every step of the process, such as communicating this change to your patients. It’s important to have support from your new provider on this, and any worth its salt should be more than willing to provide it. Ensuring your patients understand why the change is happening and the benefits for them is crucial to securing their buy-in to the switch, as well as making them feel valued.

You also need your team to have the same understanding, so training from your new provider is vital in ensuring the switch is as smooth as possible. Of course, all practices are individual with different needs and circumstances. This means that a one-size-fits-all approach is not appropriate; there are nuances to this process, so each practice’s specific journey and timescale for completing the move will be different.

Having a provider that understands this and can put an action plan in place to meet your specific requirements, – for the business as a whole and not just for your plan administration – is key to making your resolution a reality. We create partnerships with our practices, so everyone feels like they are working together towards the common goal – building a profitable, strong and sustainable practice.

Practice Plan is a specialist provider of practice-branded dental plans. It has a wealth of business and plan support services, including expert marketing support, and a proven reputation for supporting practices to develop and maintain a profitable and sustainable business. Whether you’re considering your options out of the NHS, looking to introduce a plan into an established practice or considering switching from another plan provider, Practice Plan offers you expert advice. Call 01691 684 165 or visit www.practiceplan.co.uk/dental-plans.

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