by Corinne Jameson-Kuehl, RDH, BS
Published with Marquette University
There is an exciting new era of private practice owners hitting the ground running! This season is perfect for practice ownership transitions, but there are several considerations a new potential owner should be aware of while they contemplate the decision of entering private practice.
There are many paths to ownership: build from scratch, purchase from a retiring dentist, or the associateship path to ownership. Very few banks will extend a loan to a new graduate, but after some experience is gained in the workplace, a loan is obtainable to begin the journey to owning your own dental business.
A few questions to ask yourself if you think this path maybe one for you: Do I want to “do more” than clinical dentistry? What lifestyle do I want to pursue within dentistry? What support system will I put in place to ensure my success as a solo entrepreneur?
Often times, the day to day business operations and the human element is neglected during a transition of ownership. Excellent brokers, attorneys, and accountants are going to get you through all the paperwork and details, but what about the actual management of this business when the dust settles and all those advisors are gone? New owners are often met with the feeling of overwhelming buyer’s remorse, and lack of support because they walk into an environment they did not prepare for success.
By doing your prep work in advance you will be sure to lessen the “bumps” of entering private practice ownership.
The 8 Simple Secrets
- Hire someone outside the practice to “show and teach” you the dental software system so you are running reports and verifying numbers.
- Look at the actual costs of supplies, salaries, etc and understand what you can afford.
- If you choose to keep the previous owner’s employees, be understanding they may not support you and the changes you are making.
- Hire team members that buy into your philosophy and want the same growth you do.
- Be consistent and clear in your expectations for the team, and put it in writing (Office Manual and Employee Terms).
- Chose dental specific advisors and meet with them regularly.
- Be teachable and grow in your responsibility as a leader.
- Do not update everything immediately. Pace your spending and building expansion dreams.
To be an excellent dentist and an excellent owner, the buck stops with you. Only your name is attached to that dental practice sign and the bank loan. Prepare to work hard, and be a servant leader. Nothing you neglect or put in haphazard effort will be amazing.
I strongly encourage you as an owner to learn every aspect of the business and then bring alongside trusted advisors and employees that have your best and philosophy to move forward. Put in the TIME to be amazing as not only as a good human, but as a private practice dentist owner. With the right mindset, systems and support, you will never regret the decision of private practice ownership.