By Ryan Brengman, Shea Practice Transitions
During a recent conversation with a new graduate, I inquired as to their professional goals and aspirations as they made their way in to the world of practicing dentistry. Their reply was, “I guess I will just go work for one of the big companies.” This response was void of any of the spark or enthusiasm I had encountered so often in years prior from recent graduates who often responded, “I’m going to eventually own my own practice!” Reflecting back on this conversation, it struck me that maybe the message of “big box” corporate dentistry was taking hold at the expense of the spirit of entrepreneurialism that had made dentistry such a fulfilling career, both professionally and personally, all the many years prior.
For those dentists that may have been inclined to answer my initial question similarly to the most recent graduate, you owe it to yourself to consider just a few of the many reasons why NOW is the ideal time to purchase a dental practice.
The majority of associates earn 30-35% of their production as compensation. If you are employed by a corporate dental office, you may earn as little as 25% of your production. When you consider that it is not uncommon for dentists who own their own offices to earn 50%, 60%, sometimes even 70% of their individual production, it begs the question that associate dentists should be asking themselves, “Can you afford to NOT buy your own dental practice?” Purchasing a practice may be the only way for you to give yourself a raise of two to three times your current compensation, all while producing dentistry at your current level.
Access to financing remains readily available with numerous lenders at historically low rates. Lenders are literally lined up to lend money to dentists who want to purchase a practice, despite a dentist’s student loan debt, mortgage and other financial obligations. Why? Dental practice acquisition loans have one of the lowest default rates of all industries. Said another way, dental practices ARE GREAT INVESTMENTS!
So why would you further increase your debt load? Certainly just because a bank will lend you more money is not a good reason. The answer is, while it seems counterintuitive, the easiest and quickest way to get out of debt is to incur more debt, the right kind of debt…the kind of debt that allows you to substantially increase your earning capacity immediately. Owning your own dental practice does just that. Banks are actively trying to lend you money at cheap rates, to enable you to then go out and make even more money!
MORE MODERN PRACTICES
With the influx of baby boomers reaching retirement age, there are many more practices on the market than at any time in recent history. These practices come in a variety of locations and sizes. Further, a large number of doctors who are selling their practices have invested the time and money in their practices to stay current technologically. Finding a computerized practice with digital radiography and paperless charting used to be quite rare. While not every dental practice on the market has been completely upgraded, finding one with some, if not all of these modernizations, is a possibility today.
With the variety of quality, modern practices on the market, the access to financing and ability to dramatically increase your income almost immediately, young doctors are doing themselves a disservice if they fail to realize the opportunities available to them. Practicing dentistry does not require you to work for someone else or for corporate dentistry. With practice ownership, you have the ability and opportunity to be your own boss, practice dentistry on your own terms and enjoy the countless professional, personal and financial rewards, all while being your own boss. Why wouldn’t you choose to buy your own dental practice?!