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Preparing Your Practice for Sale – Part 2

Preparing Your Practice for Sale

1. Upgrade your office and technology.
Does your clinic have a worn-out look and old technology? You do not need to make any large capital expenditures such as purchasing new dental chairs or cabinetry. Remember the adage “you will never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” It’s easy to enhance the curb appeal of your practice without spending a fortune by upgrading office technology, recovering chairs, replacing carpets, and spiffing the facility with some fresh paint and landscaping.

2. Stick to basic dentistry.
Established family practices fetch the highest prices, because they are low risk: patients are easily transitioned to a new dentist. A predominantly cosmetic and implant practice will not fetch the same price because the value is based primarily on the vendor’s personal goodwill and specific training, which is not easily transferred.

3. Have a strong team.
Dedicated, experienced staff is a key asset in the eyes of the purchaser. Staff members who helped you create practice goodwill will transfer that goodwill to a new dentist. To have a strong team, you need to remove employees who are not peak performers. Clearly communicating your vision will strengthen your team and keep staff motivated to support you in the practice transition.

4. Document procedures and systems.
Are your systems well documented? Does every staff member know what to do, and how to do it? Put together some how-to guides, such as the front desk procedures for billings and collections and hygiene appointment and recall procedures. You should have a job description for each position. There always is the chance an employee may leave when a new dentist takes over, and well documented systems will help get new employees up to speed quickly, so the new dentist can focus on the transition.

5. Get serious about marketing.
Many long-established practices have lost marketplace visibility. If your marketing efforts are negligible, you are unlikely to attract new patients. Get professional help to boost your website presence and implement effective internal marketing strategies to increase referrals and new patient counts.

6. Review the Associate agreements.
If you have an associate, make sure that you have an associate agreement in place containing a restrictive covenant as well as a non-solicitation clause which prevents the associate from taking existing patients and staff members.

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