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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Buying A Dental Practice Part Three - Finding the Perfect Practice

Now, how do I find that perfect practice?

Over the years we have seen buyers who were successful in their new practice as well as those who were not. There are several keys to stepping into practice ownership with the least amount of stress and the greatest likelihood of success. Understanding the process and following some simple suggestions can make practice ownership as rewarding as you thought it would be.

You have finally made the decision the time is right for you to purchase a practice. Now what do you do? Juts as there are many tools and options to conduct a job search, there are many ways to uncover the right practice to purchase. Some are traditional, some are out of the box, but each should be on your menu of tools to use.

Practice brokers and consultants

This is the most common way buyers and sellers match up for a practice transition. A doctor who is interested in selling his or her practice usually contacts a broker or consultant who then "lists" the practice. The seller is obligated to pay the broker a commission, usually a percentage of the final transaction, when the practice is sold. The broker is usually responsible for conducting a marketing campaign, screening potential buyers and showing the practice and assisting with the closing. The process is very similar to selling a home.

For a buyer, they can have their own reprehensive who is a broker or consultant. Be sure the person you are working with is familiar with the process of buying and selling a dental practice. There are unique characteristics about the business of dentistry that may or may not relate to other businesses that are sold. The buyer's consultant can be compensated on an hourly basis or a set total fee

Associations, study clubs or component meetings

Just as there is a "hidden" job market, practices that are sold often do not reach the open market. By attending meetings and getting to know other doctors, you may come across a doctor who is considering selling their practice. If you are able to establish a professional relationship with potential sellers, you may be able to find out about a practice that is for sale before other buyers do.

Journal, internet and alumni network postings

Most dental associations have classified ads that doctors or their representatives can post practices that are for sale. Know that with any print journal there can be a 30 plus day lead time before you actually see the ad. The practice could be sold before the ad is published.

Many dental schools have internet postings that their alumni can use to advertise. These can be great sources for finding a practice. The added benefit is you have a connection with that seller if you attended the same dental school which can work in your favor.

Other internet sources, such as DentalTown, have classified ads with practice that are for sale.

Professionals who have dentist clients

Another source for potential leads for practices that are or will be on the market are the advisors who work with dentists. Accountants and attorneys may have clients who are ready to sell. The dental supply and lab reps in your targeted area may also have knowledge of doctors who are thinking about a transition.

Direct mail letter

If you have narrowed the search for a practice to a specific area, you may have success in mailing a letter directly to dentist in that area. A simple introductory letter expressing your desire to purchase a practice in the area and some background information about yourself may land on the doctor's desk just at the right time.


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