Creating a business plan

Author: Dr. Aisling Whitaker

As part of setting up a new dental clinic, there are a number of steps that you will need to take (see our start up checklist). Here we discuss creating a business plan for your bank loan application to help secure the lending you need.

Your business plan will comprise of a document outlining your plan for your clinic, location information, marketing strategy and allow you to present why you should be considered for the loan. You will accompany this document with financial projections by an accountant that reflect industry norms for your area. Here we will present the general layout and content for your business plan document. We recommend you start this early on as it gives you time to reflect on areas you may not have thought of and to do your due diligence. The typical document will be 5-8 pages in length.

Section 1: Introducing your clinic location

Mission statement
Here you will introduce the high level aim for your clinic, the types of patients you will see and the treatments you will provide.

Practice vision
Here you will give a deeper understanding of the patient experience. What makes your clinic unique? What are you doing differently?

In this section, you will present the area in which the clinic will be. Start general and introduce the community as a whole. Write about the local culture, history and other local businesses that align with your vision. You can insert images such as a map view and/or building facade etc. to give a sense of the location. You will then go on to introduce the specific property where your clinic will be. Give details such as size, whether it is storefront level, visibility level, signage opportunities etc. Add details about transport links, parking, walk score etc. Discuss how your clinic will attract potential customers and why they will chose you. Discuss planned developments in your area and how these will drive growth of your patient base over time.

Provide details of the unit/property that you are developing. How big is it, how many ops do you plan to build etc. What will be the high level plan for the unit. If you have a provisional floorplan, include it in your appendix. Give specifics about the building in terms of the address, realtor, lease details etc. If you have a draft lease agreement, add to your appendix.

RealtorDental realty inc.
LandlordJohn Smith developments inc.
Address123 Toronto ave, Toronto ON
Size2000 sq. ft.
Lease term10 years
Lease renewal5 years x 2
OccupancyPossession 1 Sept 2024; Commencement 1 March 2025
LeaseholdsRent $50.00 PSF; Additionals $15.00 PSF; thus Monthly $10,833+ HST est.
  1. Rent free period 6 months
  2. Tenant improvement allowance 
  3. Landlord improvements
DepositFirst & Last month’s rent


Who lives in the area you? You can find details from Statistics Canada about the median age, % with children, household income etc. You can add information about house prices, and local schools to further give a sense of the community.

Local businesses
The surrounding businesses help demonstrate the anticipated growth of your clinic and the consumer behaviour in the community. Write about local medical centres, popular eateries (and their reviews), and large businesses that drive customers to the area.

Competitive landscape
It is expected that there will be competition in the area you plan to open. Speak to who is practising within your community and why you are different, the level of growth of the are and why your clinic is needed.

Section 2: Business overview

Here you will detail the costs estimated in each stage of the build and who will be paying. Attach appendices of any quotes that you have received that support the costs outlined. For example (figures for illustrative purposes only):

Clinic planning costs
Paid by the applicant, to be re-imbursed by the line of credit

LeaseLease negotiation

Legal costs






Identity, Logo $5,000

Website $5,000

Signage $30,000

Advertising $10,000


Clinic construction & equipment costs
To be covered by the business loan

Construction$150-250/sqft @ 2000 sqft

Furnishings and décor







Equipment @$300,000

Technology & Software/Support @ $100,000

Consumables @ $50,000

Cabinetry @$50,000

PermitsRadiology – Ministry for Health

Sedation – RCDSO




Professional services

Here you can list the various people/companies who will make up your start up team, such as lawyer, accountant, equipment supplier etc.

Section 3: Marketing strategy

In this section you will outline how you plan to market your clinic on different platforms and grow your patient base. If you have had experience with this before, speak about how you have demonstrated growth already, include patient reviews and insights from any online sources. Examples of what you can discuss are social media, website, signage, community, advertising, internal referrals etc.

Section 4: Applicant

Who are you and why should they lend to you? Discuss your professional experience and speak to who you are as a clinician. Detail the management/organisational structure of the business. Attach your full resume in the appendix.

Section 5: Staffing

Here you will outline your plans for how your clinic will be staffed over the first 2 years. Consider the different phases of growth and hours of operation. If you are starting part-time, discuss where else you will be working and how you will phase out. Create a timeline for who will be hired and when, for example:

Staffing Timeline
Month 0Front desk manager, Dentist (PT)
Month 3Front desk manager, Dentist (PT), Dental Assistant (PT)
Month 6Front desk manager, Dentist (PT) Dental Assistant (PT)
Month 9 Front desk manager, Dentist (PT), Dental Assistant (PT), Hygienist (PT)
Month 12Front desk manager, Dentist (PT), Associate dentist (optional PT), Dental Assistant (FT if needed), Hygienist (PT)

About the Author: Dr. Aisling Whitaker, BA (Hons) MSc PhD BDS (Hons)
Dr. Aisling Whitaker is a general dentist, owner of multiple dental clinics Bitehaus Dental in Toronto and CEO of Dental Hive. Dr. Whitaker is experienced in starting a dental clinic from scratch, developing marketing campaigns, office systems and building a strong team culture.