Top 10 Associate FAQs 1. What is the best way for me to own my own practice? Most associate dentists prefer to purchase practices rather than start-up new practices. If you've done some research, you know that it is very difficult to find good practices to purchase in areas that you might prefer. While some practitioners who have not received satisfactory assistance in placing new start-ups have struggled, properly located new start-ups have performed well. 2. Where is the best place to practice? If you have an interest in owning a practice in a saturated market, your best bet is to purchase a practice. A saturated market would be where the population to practitioner ratio in a given area is 1,400:1 or less. Practitioners who are flexible to practice outside metropolitan areas can do well with both practice purchases and properly located new practice start-ups. 3. What is the most important factor in practice success? The most important factor in practice success is the factor that is also most limiting. With practice acquisitions, patient retention and subsequent cash flow are often the most limiting factors. With new start-ups, the most common limiting factor is practice location. 4. Should I go about finding a practice on my own or recruit help? Practitioners who have adopted a "go-it-alone" philosophy toward practice ownership often become frustrated in their attempts. And if they do move forward on their own, they may end up locked into really bad situations for a long time. It is unsettling that national practice brokerages require buyers to sign paperwork requiring their brokerages to represent buyers as dual agents. Many people consider dual representation to be unethical. With real estate, poorly trained and inadequately supervised real estate agents representing out of state based brokerages may lead new start-ups practitioners in the wrong direction. Some CPAs, attorneys and dental supply company representatives try to do everything from acting as practice brokers to giving advice on new start-up locations. Your best bet is to work with licensed and certified advisors who are specialists in what you need. 5. Should I rely on practice valuations from sellers and brokers? There are approximately 100 subjective factors that impact future cash flows of practices that are rarely taken into account in computations for practice valuations. Yea, that’s scary. If practice valuations performed by credentialed professionals include an evaluation of all factors that impact future cash flow of practices once sold, then those valuations have credibility. 6. Is it important for my advisors to be licensed and credentialed? States require licensure of professionals serving the public to protect the public. No one wants the unlicensed practice of dentistry, right? Most practice acquisitions include the lease or purchase of real estate. Practice Endeavors is the only practice brokerage in Ohio that is also a licensed real estate brokerage. In addition, Bob Brooks of Practice Endeavors is also the only credentialed Certified Exit Planning Advisor in Ohio (CEPA). It’s amazing, but the time of this posting, no other practice brokers in Ohio are credentialed in anything having to do with practice brokerage! 7. Who cares about mapping? Why is it important? Patient mapping is a critical part of determining the future cash flows of practices being evaluated for purchase. Not only can patient proximity to practices be determined, but new marketing opportunities for new patients can be discovered. For new start-ups, mapping demographic populations, competitors and referral sources is an essential part of the evaluation process. Demographic reports for both practice acquisitions and new start-ups are valuable. 8. Where do I begin? How do I know who to trust? Every business says “trust us.” Dentistry is big business and companies that have been in it a long time have developed effective ways to strengthen business ties with dentists. Young dentists, especially new graduates, may unknowingly be taken advantage of in the future by overpaying for products or services. Savvy dentists are now relying on companies with fair prices on equipment and supplies, and not relying on the major national dental equipment and supply companies. These national companies, along with local accountants and attorneys, prefer that their practitioner customers and clients do business in their own circles of influence in order to control dentists and not lose their business. At Practice Endeavors, we don’t care who our clients do business with as long as they have a good outcome. 9. Financing: where do I get it? Can I get it? Compared to other businesses, it is easy for dentists to become qualified for financing for both practice acquisitions and new start-ups. Funding depends on each individual deal. So don’t let another business broker lead you to believe that it is a complicated process that only they can handle. You can do it on your own! At Practice Endeavors, we are happy to share the contact information of various lenders. It is easy to become qualified at no cost or obligation. Contact us and we will point you in the right direction. 10. Where can I get answers to all my questions about purchasing a practice, starting-up a new practice, finding an associate position? Contact us and we will be happy to answer your questions at no cost or obligation.Contact Us Practice Owner FAQs What services does Practice Endeavors provide to practice owners? Practice SalesGrowing your practice, attracting new patients, using Practice Value Builder℠Adding satellite officesRelocating your existing officeBuying other practicesStarting-up new practicesFinding associatesInvesting in commercial real estate I am swamped with Buyer Inquiries. How should I respond? As a practice owner and potential seller, you are in the driver’s seat. Don’t let anyone take advantage of you. It is a seller’s market. Become informed and rely on trusted advisors. Should I consider selling my practice myself? Most practice owners have good clinical skills, but don’t have the resources or experience to sell their own practices. A qualified broker can provide the insulation needed when a deal is being negotiated. Deals that fall apart are often a result of FSBO attempts. How do I find the right buyer? Finding the right buyer who is a good fit for your practice can be a real hassle. Avoid wasting time with unqualified tire kickers. Practice Endeavors can connect you with the right buyer. If you have already identified a buyer, we can manage the transaction for a reduced fee. What about DSO’s, Private Equity Groups and Corporate Buyers? Sellers as associates may be expected to perform dentistry and sell treatment plans in ways that they believe are unethical. They may be forced to use inferior materials and labs that do cheap work. Staffs can be alienated by changes going on in a practice once sold. It is not unheard of for entire staffs to be gone within one year. How can I avoid being taken advantage of in selling my practice? This can all be avoided by relying on an experienced and credentialed practice broker representing you; one who does not practice dual representation. Many individual buyers have purchased practices before and, of course, DSO’s have purchased many practices, so they likely will have a great advantage over you if you do not have representation. Dealing with practice buyers directly is often the first big mistake practice owners make in the exit process. Should I use a national practice broker to sell my practice? Avoid national brokers which represent both sides of a deal. Dual representation is viewed by many as unethical. With a trusted advisor on your side who does not practice or require dual representation, you are likely to attract more buyers. What qualifications should a practice broker have? Most practice brokers are not credentialed or licensed in their profession. Most dentists would not think too highly of individuals practicing dentistry without a license... Bob Brooks of Practice Endeavors is credentialed as a Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA) through the Exit Planning Institute, and a regular participant in Practice Valuation Study Group. What experience should a practice broker have? At Practice Endeavors, we have worked with over 100 dental practitioners as licensed and credentialed advisors and would be happy to share our list of references. Are valuations a "hook" or a help? Some brokers promote free valuations as a hook to connect with sellers. Unless the broker is a credentialed expert, a valuation that you receive may be meaningless. Professional valuations are integral to the practice exit process. Brokerage fees pay for our professional valuations at closing. How will Practice Endeavors keep the sale of my practice confidential? In addition to requiring signed confidentiality agreements, we beat into the heads of buyers that they are not to share information, in any way, about your practice being for sale with anyone but their professional advisors. Why should a practice broker be a real estate broker? According to Ohio Revised Code 4735, individuals who represent others in real estate transactions must be licensed to do so. Since most practice sales involve the lease or sale of the dental office itself, it is important that your broker be licensed.Bob Brooks is the only dental practice broker in Ohio who is also a licensed real estate broker. Is an Associate Buy-in a reasonable path to transition my practice to new ownership? Most associate buy-ins fail. But, associate buy-ins can be a good option if they are done properly. We have an effective Associate Placement service for practice owners that matches associates and practices owners. How does Practice Endeavors connect with practice buyers? Most practice buyers research practices for sale on their mobile devices. We were the first brokerage in Ohio to have a mobile friendly website. We use our vast contact database to email potential buyers, regularly run advertisements in various forums and host associates for the Ohio Parade of Practices bus tour each year. What is Practice Endeavors’ practice brokerage fee? Our fees range from 4% - 8% depending on the size of the deal. How much does it cost for an initial consultation? $0.00 How much does it cost to list my practice? $0.00 Can I terminate a listing agreement with Practice Endeavors? You can get out of the agreement at any time. A termination fee may be incurred. How can I reduce taxes when selling my practice? If you own and plan to sell your office when you sell your practice, you can invest the proceeds from your real estate sale into commercial property through a 1031 exchange and avoid taxes. As Ohio’s only practice broker that is a real estate broker, we are uniquely qualified to assist you through our company, Practice Endeavors Realty, at no cost to you.