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Buying into Success: 3 Things Every Dentist Should Consider Before Practice Acquisition

Mar 1, 2024 | Articles

Owning a business is still a dream for many people; 42% of people have considered the possibility. While the path to entrepreneurship can present a few stumbling blocks, dentists enjoy a unique opportunity to create a profitable enterprise and a memorable legacy. Buying a dental practice promises growth, professional fulfillment, and long-term wealth for innovative owners. At DDSmatch, we understand the intricacies of this transformative process and enjoy helping doctors take strategic steps to ownership.

Dental practice acquisitions come with complexities that most dentists haven’t seen before. Your choices before, during, and after the acquisition can dramatically impact your career trajectory. DDSmatch Transition Professionals serve as a compass, illuminating the crucial considerations every dentist should weigh before leaping into practice ownership.

Success begins long before you sign on a dotted line and enter dental practice ownership. From understanding market dynamics to navigating legal intricacies, from financial preparedness to communicating with a new staff, new owners juggle many moving parts. Thanks to our years of experience, we can empower you to turn your vision of practice ownership into a successful reality.

Navigating the Dental Landscape: Trends and Opportunities

The dental industry continues to transform with new challenges and exciting opportunities for practitioners. A sharper awareness of the profession may influence your decision on location, practice type, and service focus. Here are just a few highlights of the dental industry today:

Shifting Demographics: Baby Boomers are entering retirement, impacting patient preferences and treatment demands. Expect a rise in demand for
cosmetic dentistry, implant procedures, and senior-friendly solutions. Conversely, the growing Millennial and Gen Z populations are digitally savvy and value preventive care. Adapting your practice to cater to their online expectations and technological preferences will be crucial

Tech Revolution: Technology is rapidly changing the face of dentistry. From AI diagnostics and digital treatment planning to cloud-based practice management software, embracing these advancements can streamline operations, enhance patient experiences, and improve efficiency. Dental owners should carefully consider technologies that align with their practice philosophy and patient demographics.

Consolidation and Mergers: The dental industry is seeing an increase in consolidation, with larger groups and private equity firms acquiring smaller
practices. While independent practices may face increased competition, they can also attract buyers seeking high-quality operations with loyal patient bases.

Data-Driven Insights: Data is becoming increasingly valuable in the dental industry. Leveraging patient data can help you understand demographics, identify treatment trends, and make informed business decisions. Data analytics tools can optimize marketing strategies, improve patient engagement, and boost profitability. We also use these powerful tools with our DDSmatch clients.

The Rise of Value-Based Care: The healthcare landscape is shifting towards value-based care models, emphasizing preventative care and positive patient outcomes. Practices demonstrating their ability to deliver value-based care will be well-positioned for future success.

Take some time to consider what these forces mean to your goals. As regional transition professionals, we can discuss which factors significantly impact where you want to practice. Once you’ve weighed the bigger picture, here are three filters to move toward a decision.

1. Identify the Right Opportunity: Define Your Values

Buying a practice is an exciting journey for a dentist, and finding the perfect acquisition opens a thrilling new chapter. But beyond financial considerations, it’s crucial to identify a practice that aligns with your vision, values, and aspirations. Different practices can be like apples and oranges, and we like to match our clients to their ideal model. A thoughtful, visionary approach ensures that your next move fuels your passion and delivers profitability.

So what should you consider? Define the characteristics of your ideal practice. Think about the location that best suits your lifestyle and desired patient demographics. Imagine the patient base you’d like to serve– their age, insurance coverage, treatment preferences, and the growth potential this represents. What core values do you want to uphold in your new practice? Do you envision a technology-driven, patient-centric environment or a focus on specific specialties?

Finally, establish realistic financial metrics that align with your long-term goals, including revenue, net income, and growth expectations. By defining these criteria, you create a map that guides your search and ensures you don’t settle for anything less than you envisioned.

2. Consider Your Comprehensive Financial Picture

Analyzing the financial intricacies of the purchase is vital, but it’s equally important to consider the convergence of business and personal finances. This holistic approach ensures a smoother transition into ownership and maximizes financial well-being during the initial years of practice.

Beyond the detailed examination of financial aspects tied to a potential purchase, dentists should take the time to assess their personal financial needs and aspirations. Setting realistic expectations for lifestyle and aligning them with professional goals is fundamental to career satisfaction. Collaborate with a qualified accountant or financial advisor who’s experienced working with dentists and can provide valuable insights into this process.

The purchase price, terms, and cash flow within the new practice are crucial financial considerations that impact the quality of life beyond the workday. A comprehensive approach ensures the investment succeeds professionally and enhances overall economic security and personal fulfillment. Starting with the end in mind helps set the stage for what’s uncovered during the due diligence process.

A successful dental practice acquisition requires a balance of financial business understanding and consideration of personal goals. DDSmatch clients benefit from guidance that empowers them to align business decisions with their desired lifestyle and economic achievements. Ultimately, this practice ownership journey involves strategic choices aligning with professional aspirations and personal fulfillment.

3. Lay the Groundwork for Success with Due Diligence

Once we’ve helped our clients clarify their personal values, desires, and goals, we undertake a meticulous search with a national reach. But matching up with the perfect practice is just one early step in your acquisition process. Before any formal commitment, our due diligence process helps create a smooth transition and safeguards your future. This comprehensive investigation diagnoses the practice’s financial health, legal standing, operational efficiency, and overall culture. It’s where you uncover the details beneath the surface, ensuring you clearly understand the strengths, weaknesses, and potential opportunities the practice presents.

Our approach to due diligence goes beyond simply sifting through numbers. We guide you through a focused exploration of key areas so that you gain a well-rounded perspective:

● Financial Strength: We carefully analyze financial statements, identifying revenue streams, profitability trends, and any potential liabilities. This comprehensive financial portrait empowers you to make informed decisions regarding the final purchase price, financing options, and future cash flow.
● Legal Compliance: We ensure the practice adheres to all relevant regulations and licensing requirements, mitigating potential legal or ethical concerns down the line. For example, this includes verifying past data privacy practices and employee contracts.
● Operational Efficiency: We delve into the practice’s daily operations, assessing staffing structure, technology utilization, and overall workflow. This evaluation helps identify areas for improvement and ensures you inherit a well-oiled machine ready for your leadership.
● Cultural Fit: Beyond the tangible aspects, we understand the importance of cultural alignment. We facilitate conversations with existing staff and patients, gaining valuable insights into the existing atmosphere and values. This ensures you enter a practice where your vision integrates and thrives.

Due diligence is not just about ticking boxes; it’s about gaining the confidence and clarity to move forward with conviction. At DDSmatch, we’ve helped hundreds of clients evaluate countless details before committing to a deal.

Seamless Transition and Integration: Paving the Way for Success

Once you define the perfect practice, evaluate your financial picture, and perform due diligence, there’s still more to map out. A carefully planned transition and integration phase bridges your defined vision and effective execution.

Our collaborative approach ensures a seamless transition and minimizes disruption for patients, staff, and you. To foster a smooth handover, we work closely with buyers and sellers to develop a customized transition plan, addressing communication strategies, patient introductions, and staff onboarding. We help you analyze potential operational synergies, identify areas for streamlined workflows, and implement technology solutions that optimize efficiency and communication. A successful start moves through this integration process step-by-step and helps you gain momentum.

The dental landscape presents exciting opportunities in 2024, but navigating its complexities can be a little overwhelming. We enjoy helping our clients meet and exceed their goals as they understand key industry trends and move through a proven framework. At DDSmatch, our Trusted Transition Process™ sets the stage for these considerations and much more.

Buying a practice is not just about numbers; it’s about finding a purpose that fuels your passion, aligns with your values, and becomes the foundation for your professional fulfillment. DDSmatch empowers you to make informed decisions, navigate every step with expert guidance, and turn your vision for the future into a thriving reality.

Contact us today to discuss how to make dental practice ownership the launching point for the next stage of your career.