Selling dental practices today is not like it was in the past. have been involved in selling dental practices since 1975. Started when I was 23-years old as a second generation dental transaction specialist following my father’s footsteps. For those selling their practice today, it is important to understand that the marketplace is not what it was when you started your practice.
Dialing back to my early years, last-year dental students were making offers on practices prior to graduation. Our booth at the California Dental Association’s two annual Scientific Sessions was crowded by students wanting to see what we had “For Sale” along with getting on our mailing list. And many out-of-state practitioners were selling dental practices to move to California.
Practices were being acquired as dentists required a vehicle to support themselves and their dependents. Other options were (1) finding that perfect association in a private practice, (2) the military, (3) working for non-profits or a government entity such as the Department of Corrections, or (4) stay in the university as a professor.
Moving forward, there has been an evolution of societal norms as females began pursuing careers rather than being tasked as dutiful housewives. Couple this with Dental Service Organizations finally getting traction with Dental Management Organizations following their lead. Job fairs are hosted at dental schools with graduating students pitched employment offers. And many dentists have extremely successful spouses with careers in law, medicine, tech, investment banking, accounting, etc. A dual income household is now earning $300,000-to-$500,000+ a year. The need to acquire a practice today is not what it was when you commenced practicing.
Selling dental practices requires an understanding that there are not as many real buyers as there were one-and-two generations ago. Doing it successfully requires expert coaching and assistance that only the best possess. Delta Premier practices require analysis to model them as to how they would perform economically as if they were a Delta PPO provider, and then priced based upon this modeling. Selling profitable PPO practices is easier than selling a Premier practice. And selling out-of-network practices can generate multiple offers in a short period of time if handled properly.
Sadly, many sellers discover that their practice has no appeal to today’s buying dentist. If handled properly it may have appeal to a nearby dentist in a merger situation with the seller working back as the Pied Piper for a period of time. The selling dentist will have to vacate his/her office.
Selling a dental practice requires astute analysis and consult by a seasoned transitional expert. You need someone who truly understands what is happening on the street. You’ll want to avoid someone new to the field or an organization that simply emails your information to a number cruncher to obtain a price. Keep in mind that your Dental CPA and Dental Attorney simply don’t have a proper handle on this finite exercise since it’s not their 24/7 focus.
Selling a dental practice requires the understanding that there are more “For Sale” practices than there are buyers. It further requires the understanding that, if the right marketing platform is utilized, your practice will enjoy that “15-minutes of Andy Warhol fame” as you are the new darling in the marketplace. It is crucial that you know how to capitalize on this brief notoriety to make your “For Sale” practice “Sold.” Only the best have this skill set. If you want more information about selling a dental practice, register with us today.