Buying a dental practice is a joyful occasion – the start of a new venture, the culmination of years of training, and the result of your significant investment in your studies and chosen career path. It is truly a milestone to be celebrated! But, to accomplish this goal, you will find yourself going through an emotional rollercoaster as you venture into the “business” side of your profession. Your mind will focus on the office expenses, staff concerns, size, design, and other aspects of the office, and naturally, the amount of loan to be taken out. In other words, you will dig yourself further into debt, with only your courage and conviction that it is a means to an end — which, it is!
So, before you go on buying just any dental practice, let’s go over certain aspects to ensure that your vision aligns perfectly with your work philosophy, the vision of your path, and the dental practice you are about to acquire. The first bit of advice I can share is to secure some advisors, but know their background, expertise in the field of dental/medical practice brokerage and gauge their level of interest in YOU and your goals. To begin, then, following the protocol laid out, we feature Lou Bermudez (BRE #01102002), one of the founders of the Medical practice brokerage business in Southern California over 35 years ago as the broker of choice for many dentists! His involvement in the sale process leads to successful transactions. And, while many of you may not have even been born, Lou was working at representing buyers and sellers achieve their
goals of purchasing or selling their dental practices!
For brevity's sake, we have focused here on three specific questions you should address concerning a practice you may be considering acquiring before you finalize the purchase of your dental or medical practice.
Does the practice support YOUR vision?
For every successful dental/medical practice business there is a vision-driven by passion and integrity – whether providing utmost patient care, controlling all aspects of treatment delivery, or attending to volume walk-in patients it is imperative that you properly assess what makes the practice you are considering to buy operate as it does; and, more importantly, is that where you see yourself? Remember, you are considering taking over an ongoing business. The ultimate goal is to take this business to the next level and beyond. To do so, you must first capture its goodwill, its mode of operation, to absorb all the good aspects and improve upon them. In doing so you must come to terms with your treatment “focus”, degree of treatment planning, and your own financial goals. So, in many ways, the first step comes from within — knowing what style of dental/medical practice suits YOU best. Once done – go and buy yourself a dental/medical practice – success awaits!
Will the existing patients continue returning to the practice?
The Achilles heel, as it were, to any successful healthcare practice sale is the proper transfer of patient confidence, goodwill, case acceptance, and continuity of care. Let’s face it, if all the patients, staff, and referral sources were guaranteed to remain in place there truly would be little to no risk in these transactions. With that advanced knowledge, the real task in any acquisition becomes to assess the state and risks of such transfer. Many aspects are in play – the length of time the practice has been established, the willingness of the seller to assist and take an active role in such patient transfer, a well-designed letter of introduction, the length of time staffers have been working at the practice, whether staff would remain after the sale, the overall treatment philosophy of buyer and seller, and other facets of the dental practice to be acquired. Here is where there is a wide divergence between brokers in the dental/medical practice brokerage arena. You need to assess the motivation of the broker representing the seller – whether his sole interest and focus is in squeezing the last dollar from the sale or in providing you suggestions, and even well-intentioned advice that makes your process easier. With a lifetime of successful transactions, Lou Bermudez sets himself apart from all other brokers, and is one of the premier practice brokers in the country, he will guide you through
the purchase or sale of your practice each step of the way. Whether negotiating favorable lease terms, discussing staff transition, designing a letter of introduction, or referring the parties to the right lender, Lou is a broker whose focus is on providing guidance based on his extensive experience. And the ultimate proof is that all of the listings brokered by Mr. Bermudez result in win-win scenarios wherein BOTH buyers and seller achieve their objectives.
Will my dental practice flourish?
Financial goal setting for dental and medical practices is a difficult and necessary process. While it may appear to be like throwing darts against a wall, if properly done, it charts a path to success, a direction to be focused upon, and sets targets that can be quantified to even a daily chart. Most management consultants would agree that financial tracking is imperative to any sustained and meaningful practice growth; in fact, many times the basis behind the success of these consultants lies more in the focus on accounting and practice management reports, than on any other tangible advice provided. And therein lies the answer to many of your concerns as to whether the dental practice business you are about to acquire will flourish. Simply put, look for all the different aspects of the subject practice that need improving, and once you carry out a plan where those features to be enhanced and improved you have just carved yourself a plan for a successful practice transaction. Business acquisition moguls look for opportunities – the underachiever, the “under the radar” business, the poorly run operations and then go about improving all aspects. In many respects, as you look to acquire a medical or dental practice, you need to do the same! Set yourself a written plan to achieve your goals, secure an advisor or broker to map out a cash flow calculation, do your financial forecast. The results can be quantified. So whether a general practitioner, orthodontist, or some other specialist in the dental field; a family or urgent care provider or specialist in the medical arena, while not necessarily in your nature, the financial component of the practice can never be forgotten or shunned.
In California, if you need assistance in selecting the right dental practice to acquire, whether general practitioner specialty orthodontist (endo or perio), or should you be in need to sell your practice, your only contact need be Lou Bermudez (818-999-9595) – experience, skill, and integrity. All calls are confidential.