Buying a dental practice is exciting, but can also be just as overwhelming. Whether you are fresh out of dental school, or a seasoned doctor who is looking to expand, buying a dental practice starts with a solid plan.
If you follow the Blatchford Transitions Blog, you will know that some dentists don’t take counsel when it comes to buying a dental practice. Unfortunately, this had far-reaching consequences later down the road.
Dr Bill Blatchford and his daughter Christina Blatchford are dental brokers, practicing dentists and dental coaches. Had they been able to council the young doctor who suffered a decline the first year in business, things would have been quite a bit different.
Three Mistakes Buying Dentists Often Make
1. No Retiring Doctor References
Without an endorsement from the outgoing or retiring dentist, your new patients will be caught of guard to say the least. Patients who have been going to the same doctor for years, may not be so happy when Dr. Brown decides to fly the coop. A strong endorsement or recommendation can help keep patients on the books.
2. Raising Service Fees
Dr. Bill and Dr. Christina recommend that if you are buying a dental practice, avoid raising service fees right away. Dentists who believe that fees are below current rates will lose patients. While increasing fees on cosmetic services probably won’t be noticed immediately, an increase in hygiene services will. A good dental broker will make sure you know the financials before you sign on the dotted line.
3. Dental Practice Administrative Changes
Applying new fees or changing current billing cycles is a bad idea. If the practice you are buying isn’t charging for missed appointments or doesn’t expect fees to be paid in advance, you will have complaints. If changes do need to be made, it’s important that you ease into the transition.
Buying a Dental Practice Takes Time
If you rush into change, you will lose patients. Even if changes are unavoidable, the current patient base will be loyal to the outgoing dentist. It will take time to build new relationships with patients.
Blatchford Transitions recommends that you build your patient relationships during the first 12 months slowing implementing any changes after that time.
Remember, if you are buying a dental practice that is already practicing put patients needs first. Let them know you have an endorsement from the outgoing dentist, proceed slowly with changes and make sure you have the patients needs in mind when you more forward.
If you are buying a dental practice, call and talk to Blatchford Transitions. It will make the sale much easier, and best of all, you will be prepared for it.