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New Practice Case Study

People owning practices for the first time need to make a decision about whether to buy existing practices or to start from scratch. This case study is about a practice that started from scratch.


Practice details:

  • Emerging outer suburb of Brisbane
  • Existing small supermarket and other small shops
  • Projected big developments of shopping centres in the next few years
  • Single chair in the first year

The site was chosen partly because of its proximity to the owner’s home, but also because research of the area showed that the demographics fitted the profile of the ideal patient. In conjunction with Momentum, the owner had spent a lot of time identifying the ideal patient avatar, so she knew the type of patient she wanted to treat.


The focus of the NPM:

Momentum spent time with the owner detailing cash flow projections to ensure that all aspects of the business set-up were within budget. Momentum also helped the owner forecast her production needs right from the opening day. [numbers on early patient flow]

The owner has a mentality of wanting to learn all that there was to learn about business. She was aware that she had had no business training, and was smart enough to get help.

As mentioned, a key focus of the NMP was the owner learning to identify her ideal patient. Once she had a detailed patient avatar, she made sure that the location had signage straight away (including “Dentist coming soon” on the windows, and keeping that signage updated). She is also strongly committed to the local community, so she began activities connecting with that community. Further, she engaged with the other businesses in the shopping centre and kept communications going. Finally, she got her Facebook page going early, and has kept that active ever since.


Why the Management Program?

With the success of the practice following implementation of ideas from the NPM, the owner decided to join the Management Progam for ongoing training and support.

While it’s possible to learn the theory of business without running one, the reality is very different! Being in the MP, the owner gets:

  • hands-on training of staff in systems implementation,
  • advice on handling difficult patients,
  • advice on how to track and interpret KPIs (e.g. production against expenditure)
  • support on hiring, managing, and training staff
  • advice on business growth (e.g. when to fit out the second room, the best structure for additional clinicians etc)
  • an ongoing analysis of marketing activities.



Critical success factor: mindset of wanting to learn, very coachable


[add production graph]


What’s worked?

For this practice owner, what’s worked is a strong identification with the vision of the practice, and the commitment to customer service that supports that vision. The vision is lived in every hiring decision, patient interaction, system implementation, marketing activity.

The fact that the owner is very coachable and has a mindset of wanting to learn makes a big difference to her success.



In the first 12 months the practice has been trading, they have receipted over $700 000 in patient fees. In addition, after the owner has paid herself 40%, there has still been a $50,000 business profit!

Note that those numbers have been achieved with a single dentist, and without needing to open on Saturdays!

Rebooking rates are high, which has been a sign of systems (including customer service) working well.


Budget extra $$ so that you can get the right support along the way!

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