Competition in the UK dental sector is fierce due to the proliferation of practices within condensed geographical areas and patients’ rising expectations for unique service quality. Successful dental practices typically bare the hallmarks of an engaged and knowledgeable team, well-maintained premises and investment in modern equipment and technology. But distinguishing your practice from everyone else often carries a significant cost.
While cash is considered ‘king’, utilising finance is an effective way to sustain and maximise business growth and overcome cash flow constraints. But attempting to navigate the field of financial solutions available to your dental practice can be a frustrating minefield. Whilst regulation ensures that product information is clear and simple to compare, the banking industry’s focus on their products rather than your specific needs can be restrictive for some dentists who are looking to access the finance they need to grow their business.
Following the economic downturn in 2008, traditional high street lenders demonstrated a high resistance to risk which led many to tighten up on their lending and general appetite towards the professions sector. Although their stance has softened in more recent times, ambitious dentists now have a much wider choice of trusted financial partners who can support them throughout their careers, from being students right up to retirement.
Specialist commercial finance providers, such as Wesleyan Bank, possess a deep domain understanding of the dental sector and offer an extensive range of funding solutions, from six months to 25 years. These range from short-term cash flow facilities to long-term loans, to support the acquisition of another dental practice, and commercial mortgages. Furthermore, asset finance solutions can assist dentists to overcome the conundrum of how to keep up with emerging technology and services that patients increasingly expect due to the high level of ongoing investment that is required.
Tailored finance solutions include funding for a wide range of dental technology and equipment, including software and associated hardware and maintenance services. As a result, dentists no longer have to dip into vital cash reserves and attempt to purchase new items in one lump sum. In doing so, they can spread the cost (usually over one to five years) to protect essential working capital while maintaining their existing banking lines.
Many factors should be taken into consideration when selecting a financial partner. High street lenders sometimes offer cheaper interest rates and a convenient one-size-fits-all approach, making them an obvious option to assist your day-to-day business needs. But as providers of value-added services, most private dentists will acknowledge that it’s not always about price.
Increasingly, dentists are turning to specialist commercial finance lenders for dedicated financial support and advice. They can typically offer greater flexibility, a dedicated point of contact and swifter decisions in contrast to the bureaucracy some dentists experience when dealing with high street banks.
So, if you are looking to access a greater pool of bespoke funding solutions, alternative sources of finance could hold the key to enabling you to invest in the continued growth and profitability of your practice to attract new patients and retain existing ones.