Deciding to run your own dental practice can be the start of an exciting journey — but it can also feel completely overwhelming. Many young dental professionals find that purchasing an existing dental practice already serving a community may be a great option. Going this route can provide access to existing patients, a stellar reputation, and a desirable location. That said, this process can, at times, be quite tedious; not every dental practice acquisition goes smoothly. But if you follow these initial steps, you’ll set yourself up for success when it comes time to buy a dental practice.
- Choose Your Location: One of the first factors you’ll need to decide on is the desired location of your practice. You should practice in an area that’s economically sound, making it possible for you to make a solid living. This might not necessarily be the exact area where you choose to live, either. Exploring the available dental practices in a neighboring town can often open up more possibilities and make for a more lucrative decision later on. Once you have at least a general idea of the ideal region you’d like to be in, you can begin to look for the perfect dental practice for sale.
- Start Early: The average retirement age for dentists is approximately 68.9 years old, but that doesn’t mean you have a lot of time to waste. It’s a good idea to start this search early on in order to get all your ducks in a row. Contact industry experts like dental practice transition consultants, dental supply businesses, accountants, small business bankers, or other professionals operating in the area who may be able to provide you with valuable insight. Whether they’ll personally know of a dentist who is looking to retire or can simply be part of your acquisition team, gathering these contacts early on is always recommended. Making yourself known to these professionals, even if there aren’t too many viable options yet available, can serve you well down the road.
- Visit the Practice: Many practices will look great on paper, but there’s a lot that might be left out of those reports and descriptions. All dental practice sales are different — and it pays to visit the practice in real life before an agreement is ever reached. There’s really no other way to assess existing staff, the patient flow, and the facility itself. This can provide essential information about how well the practice is currently functioning and whether there are hidden opportunities for growth, should you take it over. If you plan to buy a dental practice, making a personal visit is a must.
- Find Out the Value: When you buy a dental practice, the current owner will likely have an asking price already in mind. But this asking price could be based on emotional investment, rather than on the true value of the facility. Before making an offer, you’ll want to pursue a dental practice appraisal and discuss whether the figures indicate that the practice will make for a good investment. There are a number of factors that can determine value, so be sure to consider them all and ascertain which ones are most important prior to extending an offer (or walking away).
If you’re looking to buy a dental practice, we’re here to help you throughout the entire process. For more information about purchasing a dental practice or the services we offer, please contact us today.