February 19, 2020
Whether you’re fresh out of dental school or are ready to move up from being an associate, buying your own dental practice is likely an essential part of your long-term career plan. Needless to say, this process can be quite complicated and tremendously draining both financially and emotionally if you don’t know what you’re doing. Thankfully, there are dental practice buyer representation experts out there who are ready to walk you through everything step by step to make it nice and simple. To get started, here are some basic questions you should ask yourself before buying a dental practice.
1. Where do you want to set up shop?
Will your practice be in Texas, New York, Nebraska, or South Dakota? Will it be in an urban setting, or were you thinking more rural? It all matters when considering what your practice will look like, feel like, even what insurances you may or may not accept. Having a clear vision for how you want to practice and what community you want to serve can depend on where you see yourself practicing. Lastly, the biggest thing I challenge all my clients to know before they pull the trigger is can the area you have targeted support another dentist? Dental specific demographics are essential to choosing the right location to mitigate risks you probably have not considered.
2. Buy or build?
Asking yourself a very honest question can answer this very easily: Do you like the idea of being an entrepreneur and creating your vision exactly how you would want it, or do you like the idea of plugging and playing from the previous owner? These two questions are key in deciding if a startup or acquisition is right for you. I am here to tell you, both options, if done right, can be very successful or incredibly challenging.
Both approaches have their pros and cons. The easy answer that most dentists are attracted to is to buy the practice. That being said, making too many changes right out of the chute can be extremely damaging to the goodwill of the patients and team members. Not to mention, the new generation dentist will have to spend time and money on things like updating the technology and overall aesthetics of the practice, training the team, addressing overdue maintenance issues, and so on. For the right dentist, designing your perfect practice from the ground up could be the way to go.
3. With or without a consultant?
While it may be tempting to do all of the searching, evaluation, research, and due diligence that it takes to buy a practice yourself, the fact of the matter is that most dentists simply don’t have time or the acumen to do it right. The majority of your day is probably dedicated to treating patients and spending time with loved ones, and the last thing you want to do is come home and spend hours on the computer looking through online listings which may be old or inaccurate. This is where working with an experienced buyers advocate can be a game changer.
In addition to making the buying process more streamlined, a consultant can help you determine what you should be buying and for how much. Practice brokers do their best in trying to guide buyers through the process, but the brutal truth is that they are representing the other side! An advocate on your side will help you understand the deal from top down and align it to your career goals, both short and long-term. If the consultant has good relationships in your market, they oftentimes will have access to “pocket listings” that you won’t find on most sites.
Lastly, it is very challenging to navigate all of the experts that you will need to hire along the way. Your consultant can help you secure financing, negotiate the purchase and sale, help structure the lease, navigate HR compliance, and help with initial marketing strategies.
Keeping Your Goals in Mind
It’s easy to get bogged down in the process of buying a dental practice and forget what the practice is actually for—helping you help people who need your skills! Working with a consultant allows you to maintain your focus and get closer to your career goals without having to become a real estate expert in your off hours. With the right person in your corner, a process that starts off as stressful can quickly become exciting and fulfilling!
About the Author
Michael Dinsio has personally helped over 500 dentists start, buy, and grow their practices, and he’s ready to provide the comprehensive expertise you need to reach the next level of your career. Thanks to him and his team’s experience and dedication, he’ll earn your trust again and again with each successful milestone. To learn more about how NLC can help you buy a dental practice and ensure it starts on the right foot, give us a call today.