The first thing most people think about when they hear “due diligence”, as it pertains to the purchase of a dental practice, is a checklist of everything needed to evaluate the price of the dental practice for sale. Although this is a very important part, I think there are other considerations than just the checklist. The first consideration would be to make sure you are suited for private practice.
Before you even start looking at locations and practices for sale, it is a good time to assure that you have thoroughly examined whether or not you are suited for ownership. Not everyone should be an owner or a boss. Also keep in mind that if you really are not the owner type, there is nothing wrong with that. It doesn’t matter that your peers are owners and it doesn’t matter if you went through dental school thinking that ownership would be the endgame. It would be much cheaper to make the determination now, before you own, than it would be to buy a practice, go through years of pain while underperforming with an unhappy team, and then decide you really just want to be an associate.
Think about the benefits of being an associate. For the most part you get to show up, prepare for the day, and then just practice dentistry. When the day is over, you go home worry free. You don’t have to stress about making the rent payment, hiring, firing or employee complaints. You don’t have to worry about the effectiveness of the website or if the corporate tax return was filed last year. You don’t have to worry about your fiduciary duties with regards to the 401(k) plan.
On the other hand, there are some great benefits to owning your own practice. You get to set your own hours, you call all the shots and you are in total control of your future. You are allowed to create a beautiful practice that is a reflection of who you are. You also get to lead a group of people, help them grow and develop into a wonderful team.
If you are that type of person, great, in my next due diligence blog we will get into what you need to do as you look to buy a practice. If you are not that person, congratulations, you have just saved yourself years of headaches by making the right choice now. If you are unsure, do not hesitate to contact us and we can help you evaluate the situation further.