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Benefits of using an expert when transitioning a dental practice

April 13, 2015
Tips for a dentist to consider when transitioning a practice.

Transitioning or affiliating a dental practice is probably one of the biggest decisions any dentist will make during his entire career. Whether transitioning the practice to a partner, a new dentist, or affiliating with an established dental practice management firm, dentists need to factor into their decision-making process the following important tips:

1.Seek independent practice valuation
Consult an experienced and reputable practice broker or attorney who specializes in dental practice transactions. Your advisor can expertly explain the valuation process and provide comparisons to similar dental practices in your market. You should also consult an accountant to carefully review the fiscal viability and profitability of your practice. Being prepared and knowledgeable about your dental practice’s market value is strategic to successful negotiations with any potential buyer.

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2. Consider all your options
Once you have a well-established benchmark valuation of your practice and understand how you compare to other dental practices in your market, it’s time to find a viable buyer. Finding a financially qualified buyer to transition or affiliate your dental practice is the most important and intricate part of the process. Think about it, transitioning your dental practice – which includes your professional reputation and goodwill – requires strategic expertise and supervision. Most dentists rely upon experienced practice brokers or lawyers to find and vet financially qualified buyers for consideration. Upon expert review and mutual party agreement, independent brokers and lawyers skillfully negotiate your final deal. Expert representation helps maximize the value of your dental practice and protects both your personal and professional interests. It can also help facilitate a timely and smooth transaction.3. Understand practice transition terms
Once you’ve determined a dental practice transition or affiliate partner, it’s very important to seamlessly work together to ensure practice continuity for both patients and staff. Most dental practice transitions require a pre-determined time commitment from the dentist/owner. Any good broker or lawyer will make sure your practice transition requirements fit within your preferred timeframe. There are several other key issues to consider before signing a deal.

4. Protect your investment
Make sure your transition or affiliate partner works with your practice prior to transition. This essential step in the process helps ensure retention and trust among staff. It also provides the buyer with a comprehensive understanding of your office and practice management. Ultimately, a dental practice is a business. A business that’s intrinsically built from your excellent dental care, personal relationships, and goodwill in the community. Make sure your deal promotes practice success during any transitional time requirements.

5. Establish an exit strategy
When it’s time to leave your practice – after fulfilling any agreed time commitment – 1) Make sure your staff and patients know they’re in good hands and the practice will continue to prosper. Successful practice transfer depends upon active and positive dentist/owner involvement. 2) Make sure all your personal financial affairs are in order and you’re sufficiently funded for retirement. 3) Make sure you have personal interests and activities outside the practice of dentistry. It helps keep you both mentally and physically active. Stepping away from a lifelong, physically demanding career of dentistry can be a difficult adjustment. Having ancillary skills, interests, and activities will help make your transition to retirement that much easier.

If you’re thinking about transitioning or affiliating your dental practice, call Benevis Practice Services for a no-obligation consultation. We guarantee straightforward terms and cash-based transactions that give you the flexibility to practice dentistry your way. We can also refer you to well-qualified brokers who specialize in dental practice transactions in your market.

Don Spiert is the director of business development at Benevis Practices Services. He has extensive experience in finance, compliance, risk management, and dental operations. Prior to joining Benevis, Don managed a national team of specialists at Bank of America Practice Solutions, which provided on-site financial and operational support to dentists. Don’s deep understanding of dental finance enables him to uniquely craft individualized transition proposals for dentists.