You have an opportunity to buy a dental practice and the deal does seem to be a good one. Even so, it makes sense to look below the surface before making an investment of this magnitude. Along with having a business plan that will help you get through the first year or two of ownership, there’s a few other points to consider closely. Here are five questions to ask yourself before putting in an offer.
Take a Look at the Practice’s History
You can learn a great deal about what to expect by investigating the history of the practice. How stable has it been the last several years. Is there a good chance that the patients will keep coming even after the practice changes hands? What about the arrangements currently in place with medical financing providers, the turnover in employees, and the potential to expand your base of patients? Knowing the history makes it easier to determine if the stated reason for selling the practice is as simple as everyone says.
Will the Staff Stay With You?
While you may eventually want to make some changes, the best scenario is for just about all of the current staff to remain with the practice. They possess a wealth of information that will take you some time to assimilate. Many of the staff know the patients by name, and can provide helpful tidbits about how to interact with each one. Familiar faces around the office will also increase the odds that the patients don’t start shopping for a new dentist.
Your Feelings About the Location
What do you think about the current location of the practice? Is there adequate parking for the patients? For those who do not own vehicles, is the practice located close to one of the main city bus lines? It doesn’t hurt if the practice is located in an area close to your targeted patient base. Unless you have a good feeling about the location, it would be best to consider a different opportunity.
Can You Handle The Extras?
The expenses associated with purchasing a dental practice go beyond writing a check and paying an attorney to handle the transfer of ownership. Think about any upgrades to equipment that you want to make, any cosmetic changes to the place that are in order, and even how you plan on paying any outstanding debts connected with the practice. You need a solid plan of action to ensure that there is enough cash on hand to manage all those expenses and concentrate on taking care of your patients.
Do You Like the Dental Payment Plans Already in Place?
When you inquire about dental payment plans for the patients, what you hope to hear is that there is already a program like SimplePay.com in place. Many people have substandard or no dental coverage and can’t pay for procedures in lump sums. By making sure you have this kind of dental financing arrangement in place, it will be easier to take care of your patients and ensure you have a steady cash flow that keeps the practice on firm financial ground.
After investigating the practice and what is already in place a little closer, you may find that the investment is a good one. Move ahead with the purchase and implement the plans to keep all the current patients happy and bring a few more into the fold. Before you know it, your investment will begin to pay off in a big way.