Words of Wisdom for Dental Practice Buyers
Congratulations! This has been a long, expensive and painstaking journey. It was not easy and at times very frustrating.
The practice you now own most likely was not the first practice you rolled up your sleeves and pursued. What an exercise.
Exhale and breathe slowly. You are now entering a new stage as you now have the platform to practice your vision and craft.
It is crucial that you understand that re-engineering the practice you now own to where you want it positioned takes time and patience. If you do not understand this, you will be humbled by your exuberance as you immerse yourself in the practice.
As much as you wish to make changes right away, integrating consultant changes regarding new protocols will most likely alienate you to the staff who are crucial for the support and endorsements you need. PPS has witnessed too many enthusiastic buyers who do not understand that they need to tread lightly.
Your first and only task as you take possession is to invest yourself in getting to know the Team and impressing upon them that you need their support. Establish rapport and lighten-up. Do not be stiff and totalitarian. Be yourself and use humor where appropriate.
Do not be critical. As they come around and grow to like you rather than feeling threatened, their positive feelings about you shall be communicated to the patients and your schedule shall start filling up.
Please understand that if you reduce staff compensation and then hope that they shall support you simply flies against all human psychology. Decide what is best for you and your practice in the long run.
Integrating digital radiography at the onset is an upgrade the patients shall appreciate. Upgrading sterilization equipment is something the staff shall appreciate. If you wish to hit a home run, upgrade the staff lounge.
Making wholesale changes to the delivery systems and décor may communicate a message to the patients that their oral healthcare is going to see a spike in costs. If you are patient and win the patents’ trust, these changes can be made in the future when you know the patients shall not bolt.
PPS has witnessed that Buyers who take it slow and easy retain the goodwill they purchased and enjoy a nice stress-free transition.
Those who push things faster than the staff and patient community are ready to accept face a tougher task and typically invest more money in trying to “right the ship” with consultants after they witness staff and patients exit.
We at PPS liken the acquisition of a practice to the following analogy: “When you acquire a practice, do not be Barry Bonds swinging for the fence. Be Pete Rose and hit singles each day.” You shall strike out less and get on base more often. That is success!
You paid a lot of money for your practice which is mostly goodwill and a loyal patient following. If you desired a modern high-tech office, you could have simply signed a lease and carved one out. Take your time and use common sense, and you shall do very well.
This is a long-term investment. Be smart and handle it as such.
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He Took Time to Educate this Buyer
“I am writing to thank Ray Irving for all he has done in helping me understand the Bay Area dental market and for introducing me to a practice which he felt was a great match for my skills and experience.
I contacted Ray in July 2010 to discuss a practice he had posted on his website. My initial conversation could have overwhelmed the best of dental brokers. In the prime of my career, I had a successful practice in Canada, but my wife wanted to relocate to the Bay Area to be close to her family. Having been a practice owner for 8+ years in Canada, I had specific requirements on what I wanted but a limited knowledge of the California dental market.
This is where Ray went above and beyond a traditional broker and spent countless hours on the phone and in person with my wife and I to get an understanding of my needs as a dentist but also to understand the needs of my family in this whole relocation process.
Not only did he discuss his own listings but took the time to inform me on which areas to consider practicing that would suit my needs as well as guiding me through the subtle nuances of practicing in California that a new owner should be aware of – especially the recent changes in Delta Dental’s policies.
I did reach out to other brokers, but none took such a customized approach to finding a practice that would ensure my success or took the time to know me or understand my specific needs. Ray’s approach was so different and refreshing in trying to match the right dentist to the right practice so that all parties are happy as well as successful.
In spring of 2013 Ray found my practice. The practice was exactly what was represented through his comprehensive evaluation and was exactly what I had been looking for in terms of its philosophy, location and production. In dealing with Ray, I felt that he had a strong conviction to match me with the ‘right practice’.
This has made my transition incredibly smooth and successful with no unexpected surprises. I could not be happier and cannot thank Ray enough. He definitely knows the dental practice industry like no other and is truly the best at what he does.”
—Erwin Yeh, DDS, Berkeley