How to kick-start your laboratory

businessCheryl Hayes looks at how to get your lab business going again following the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the dental profession finally able to resume services, dental laboratories across the country have also re-opened their doors.

Following several months of closure for many last year, it is crucial that dental labs are able to kick-start business again. They need to begin recouping what they lost and build solid foundations for the future.

This means settling accounts and making the very most of the resources available to you. This will give your business the best chance of success.

Settle outstanding invoices

This is a two-way street. Get any bills from suppliers or partnering labs squared off as soon as you can. While everyone has been in a difficult situation and therefore understands the pressure you face, settling balances will help to maintain your reputation among the profession. It will also avoid any negative effects on your credit rating and encourage companies to continue working with you.

Of course, this will be made significantly easier if your clients settle any outstanding invoices from you.

Many practices are now open in some capacity. They should be politely but firmly reminded of any amounts that they owe.

Chasing payment for work completed and balancing the books will put your lab in a much stronger position now and moving forwards.

Maintain communication

Whether introduced in recent months or implemented for several years, you will have various methods of communication with your regularly referring practices.

If you have been busy since re-opening, it is understandable that you might have let this slip. However, maintaining clear and frequent communication with all the dentists you usually work with is crucial throughout this transitory period.

They need to know what services you are offering, if and how you intend to expand these to include your full range of services, as well as what additional cross-contamination measures you have in place.

You might send a monthly e-newsletter, you may just post a short message on your Whatsapp groups or on your social media. Whatever you do, keeping your clients and potential clients informed on what you can and are doing for them is essential.

It may also be worth introducing an accessible platform for dentists to ask questions from your team of technicians. These are still uncertain times. Extra reassurance you can offer your client-base could go a long way to establishing and strengthening working relationships.

How to kick-start your lab business

  • Settle your outstanding accounts
  • Chase payment of monies owed to you
  • Make the very most of the resources available to you
  • Maintain communication
  • Use social media to talk to your clients
  • Introduce an accessible platform for dentists to ask questions or seek advice from your team of technicians.

This article first appeared in Laboratory magazine. You can read the latest issue here.

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