After completing your formal training and saving money for a down payment, you might be excited to purchase your first practice and start advertising your services. For those who are moving to a new area after having worked in another practice, this is also an exciting time. However, because purchasing an existing dental practice involves securing property, investing in equipment, transitioning staff, and keeping patients on board, buying a practice is more of a process than a single event. Successful transitions involve extensive preparation, assessments, consultations, and effective communication between you, your broker, the seller, and everyone else involved. Here is a brief summary of the steps ADS Dental Transitions uses for the practice purchase process.
1. Initial Consultation – The first step in buying a dental practice is having an initial consultation with one of our dental practice brokers. The goal of this consultation is to understand your needs, goals, professional experience, areas of interest, and timeline.
2. Practice Preferences & Financing Potential – Before you start shopping for a new practice, we will talk with you about practice variables such as future revenue streams, desired location, employee compensation, community demographics, and so on. We will also discuss financing methods and encourage you to be pre-approved for financing so that you understand your available budget.
3. Browsing & Narrowing Down Potential Practices – The next step in the purchase process is matching you with a practice that meets your needs. ADS Dental Transitions maintains a vast network of practices for sale, making it easy for our brokers to pair new dentists with ideal opportunities.
4. Dental Practice Visits – Once you have narrowed down your search to a few dental practices that fit your criteria, we typically contact the owners to arrange a visit. This gives you the opportunity to meet the current owner, get a feel for the atmosphere, and see the location actively functioning as a practice. Because a practice transition involves both parties, you will likely be asked some questions by the seller to ensure that you would make a good fit for the practice as well. If you like what you see, we can submit an offer to purchase the practice.
5. Design Transition Plan – If the seller accepts the offer, we will work with you to obtain financing, if you haven’t already. We will also discuss responsibilities with everyone involved with the transition, including attorneys and accountants, so the sale proceeds like it should.
6. Putting Together the Agreements – The most crucial step of buying a dental practice is putting together proper contracts and having your attorney review them. Drafting contracts involves an eye for detail and creating a beneficial situation for both the seller and the buyer so that everyone will be pleased with the transition. During the drafting process, concerns will be addressed so that the contract is suitable for both parties.
7. Closing Review & Completion – At this point all parties involved will need to review the transition paperwork and sign the contracts, financial settlements, covenants and other documents.
8. Helping Your Patients & Team Adjust – After you have purchased the practice, you will likely continue to work with the seller to ensure a smooth transition into ownership. At this point, most dentists focus on reviewing management protocols, financial procedures, insurance relationships, and employee benefits to determine whether any changes need to be made. If you see something that could use improvement, work with your new team members to come up with a solution. Management techniques like team building exercises, employee meetings, and even practice parties can help team members to calmly and happily accept the changes.
9. Create Practice Goals & Review Patient Flow – Creating practice goals together as a team is important for your success as a new practice owner. Take the time to review current patient traffic, revenue, and services offered to look for new opportunities.
10. Maintaining a Good Relationship – Maintaining a good relationship with the previous dentist is crucial, since there are often portions of the purchase contract that extend past the original date of sale. For example, both parties may need to uphold agreements as they relate to restrictive covenants, performance, or land ownership. Having a respectful, positive relationship with past and present dental practice employees can make the transition much easier.
Every dentist and dental practice is unique, which is why our professional brokers may adjust the purchase process to meet your needs. However, one thing remains constant: our commitment to your happiness. ADS Dental Transitions has helped thousands of dentists to find the perfect practice, and we are confident that we can help you too. To get your complimentary initial consultation, contact one of our expert dental practice brokers today!