The movement: Google searches have seen a tremendous uptick in the volume of searches for the gig economy. Similar to our write-up about teledentistry, much of this increase in popularity has to do with individuals forced to stay at home due to the coronavirus. This is no new concept though. Many companies have emerged as marketplaces for gig economy workers. Largely, the dental industry has missed the opportunities that have emerged because of this trend.
Google Trends search data
Society and industries have changed completely due to the emergence of the gig economy. Some of the largest and most used companies in today’s society have paved the way for this new type of economy. Uber and AirBnB have dramatically changed life as we know it. It is only a matter of time before this gig economy has a major impact on our dental practices as well.
While the dental industry is not one that can undergo complete integration of the gig economy into everyday proceedings, it still could have drastic impacts on the financials and efficiency as a practice owner.
As more individuals have rushed to participate in the gig economy, the quality of work that you can receive from such platforms has become second to none
The opportunities for the dental industry
1). Virtual Assistants for Dentists
As the responsibilities for dentists continue to increase, the delegation of tasks will continue to increase dramatically. In The 4-Hour-Work Week by Tim Ferris, the idea of using a virtual assistant for everyday commitments is discussed extensively. The use of virtual assistants in business has been rising in popularity to outsource low-end tasks.
Accordingly to Ferris, “...the goal is to free your time to focus on bigger and better things.” Think about it...if you estimate your time at $25 to $30 dollars per hour, would it not make sense to pay someone $10 to $15 hours per hour to complete menial tasks? The gig economy and multiple platforms across the Internet allow for access to a talented pool of virtual assistants.
2) Outsourcing Dental Marketing Projects
We have already covered how to utilize platforms like Fiverr to make yourself your own dental marketing company. This is probably the easiest way to integrate the gig economy into your practice. Dentists can easily find talented individuals to fulfill their dental practice needs on Fiverr
With the possibility of a recession looming on the horizon, dental practices will need to find cost-efficient ways to continue to drive patients to their practices. The large dental marketing companies (often charging thousands of dollars per month) will not be financially viable. By having a large market of freelancers and talent, the cost of dental marketing and creative services will be much more manageable.
3) Dentists Can Join the Fun.
As we already discussed in another trend report, there has been a recent increase in search engine data for teledentistry and telemedicine. With emerging telehealth companies, the need for dentists to participate as a tele-dentist will rise in demand. Expect more and more companies that will need dentists to provide consults virtually.