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"A Professional Transition Process for

Buying and Selling Dental Practices"

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Welcome to the Choice Dental Solutions Blog

 

We're so glad you're here! Take a look at our articles, we hope that you will find them both helpful and informative.

By Choice Dental Solutions, Apr 27 2018 01:00PM

Purchasing a dental practice is a serious investment, and you should never make the decision lightly. While you are completing your due diligence, you should keep your eyes peeled for any of these red flags.

The Biggest Red Flags When Purchasing a Dental Practice

1. Pressure to Get the Deal Done Quickly: Obviously, neither party wants the purchasing process to drag on forever. However, too much pressure to skip through the diligence process and sign on the dotted line is a sign that the practice seller might want you to miss something. Always take your time when examining a dental practice, since you could be liable for something that you miss.

2. The Seller Doesn’t Want to Share Much Information with You: You need to understand what you are purchasing, so if the seller does not want to share much information with you it’s a huge red flag. There is a big difference between disclosing too much confidential information and refusing to show you any behind-the-scenes paperwork.

3. High Employee Turnover: In most businesses, a high rate of employee turnover is a red flag that something isn’t right behind the scenes. That being said, it isn’t a guarantee that something is wrong. Do some digging to see why employees are leaving after a short period. Are wages below market rates? What type of management style does the current owner use? Knowing the reason why employees head out the door will help you to decide whether or not you could reverse the trend once you take over.

4. Low Patient Retention: Just like employee turnover, poor patient retention can happen for a wide range of reasons. Why are patients leaving the practice? Are they departing after multiple visits or do they visit for a single procedure and never return? Many times, staff members will be able to offer you a great deal of insight as to why patients are not coming back.

5. A Decline in Production: Sometimes there is a good reason why production has declined, like a dentist preparing for retirement and cutting back on hours. If you are noticing numbers steadily decreasing over the past few years, don’t be shy when asking why numbers are down.

Purchase Your Dental Practice with Choice Dental Solutions

Are you looking to expand your practice? Give Choice Dental Solutions a call at (410)773-4460.

By Choice Dental Solutions, Apr 18 2018 01:00PM

One of the most important parts of the transition process in a dental practice is getting to know current employees. In many cases, current employees will be uncertain and nervous throughout the transition process, since you may have different standards and requirements than the previous owner. However, building interpersonal connections with these new staff members is vital to the success of the practice under new ownership.

Hold One-on-One Meetings

The biggest source of fear and uncertainty is the changes that you might bring to the practice. Staff members might be concerned about changes to work hours, employee benefits, responsibilities and even whether or not you will replace them with another staff member. Holding one-on-one meetings with staff will encourage an open dialogue and allow you to address concerns directly. Go over your expectations, your philosophy and any other changes you will be immediately implementing. Be open to questions and feedback along the way.

Host Individual Trainings

Every dentist has different standards for each department in their dental practice. If you are used to working with a receptionist that does things a particular way or your hygienists performing certain upkeep tasks, make that clear. By holding individual trainings with each staff member, you can go over any expectations that you have and strategize on how to make them a reality. You should never expect all staff members to change established behaviors and procedures overnight.

Keep the Door Open for Feedback

Many employees might not have feedback on changes until after the changes have been in place for a while. Don’t just ask for feedback when you initially take over at the dental practice. Instead, keep the door open and regularly solicit feedback from your staff members. For at least the first year, make a habit of asking once a quarter.

Learn from the Past

Did the previous practice owner maintain good employee records? If the paperwork and records are organized, you should be able to gain a great deal of knowledge on employees from them. What employees have the highest production? What employees struggle to stay on time? Don’t assume too much based on the past, but instead use it to search for ways to improve in the future.

Dental Practice Purchasing with Choice Dental Solutions

Are you looking to expand your practice? Give Choice Dental Solutions a call at (410)773-4460.

By Choice Dental Solutions, Mar 13 2018 02:30PM

We have good news and bad news. The bad news is that most general and specialty dental practices are drowning in overhead. The good news is that, if your practice has overhead underneath 75%, you are below the national median. High overhead doesn’t just hurt your wallet; it can also hurt your patients. Why is your overhead so high?

What Should Your Goal Be?

Ideally, your overhead should not be anything above 55-60% of production. Your practice will always need to purchase new equipment, reinvest profits to improve the practice and pay your rent. However, if you are overspending and suffering from cripplingly-high overhead, you need to lower your expenses as quickly as possible. Even a 5% reduction can make a massive difference in your bottom line.

The Biggest Reasons Your Dental Practice’s Overhead Is High

1. Location: Dental practices often overbuild initially to meet production goals that never actually occur. There are many ways to do more with less space, and it is always better to start small and grow into a bigger space than be oversized and overpaying.

2. Inefficient Ordering: More isn’t always better when it comes to ordering supplies. If you are not regularly performing inventory audits and ensuring you only have what you need, your practice is probably suffering from a bloated inventory full of duplicates and triplicates.

3. Sporadic Collections: In order to ensure regular cash flow, you need to have regular and standardized procedures for collections. Work that is already completed should be paid for, and if it’s taking too long to follow up with patients who have been enjoying their new veneers for months, you need a better system.

4. Overstaffing: The single biggest expense that any dental practice has is salary. Because student loans are so steep, many dentists are pressured to offer sky-high salaries to attract the best dentists, hygienists and office staff. If you can get better control of your salary and bonus structure, many other overhead problems will fall away.

5. Rock Bottom Fees: Paying attention to your competition is important, but paying attention to whether or not your fees can keep your practice open is even more important. Some dentists price basic services that get patients in the door, like cleanings, too high and then price more complicated procedures like root canals too low.

Keep Overhead Low and Grow Your Practice with Choice Dental Solutions

Are you looking to expand your practice? Give Choice Dental Solutions a call at (410)773-4460.

By Choice Dental Solutions, Feb 15 2018 04:09PM

Until the early 2000s, most practicing dentists owned a single office unless the practice had a specialty. However, the dental landscape has changed, and many dentists are now moving into multi-location practices. There isn’t an easy answer as to whether or not you should expand, but there are many questions you should consider along the way.

What Potential Does the Area Have?

Patients are extraordinarily loyal to great dentists, and many patients will travel to receive exceptional care. However, the vast majority of patients typically live within a certain radius of a dental practice. If you are considering expansion, you should thoroughly research the patient base and demographics of the area. If you are able to plan ahead and see the potential in a growing area, that is also a smart way to build a multi-location practice. As housing developments and retail stores expand, your practice can grow right along with them. Many of the most successful multi-location practices expanded by first putting roots down 5-10 years ahead of the growth curve and then using capital from the first practice to develop new locations as the population increased.

What Competition Will Your Multi-Location Practice Have?

Competition is inevitable for every dental practice, and it can actually be a very positive thing. When starting a multi-location practice, you have a competitive edge thanks to the existing reputation and reviews for your current practice. That being said, it’s still vital that you have a clear marketing plan for differentiating your practice from others in the area.

What Associates Will Work There?

If you have a multi-location practice, you won’t be able to be working in each location at the same time! Most dentists using a multi-location model outsource the everyday tasks of running a practice and focus on seeing patients and training associates. Look for associates who are able to work independently without a great deal of supervision, and who might want to own an independent practice someday.

Could Your Current Practice Benefit More?

The final question to consider seems harsh, but it’s important to be realistic about expansion. Could your current practice benefit from the attention, time and money that you will be investing in a multi-location practice? If your current practice still has a great deal of untapped growth potential, it might be worth considering investing in upgrades and new staff for your current location over an expansion.

Expand Wisely with Choice Dental Solutions

Are you looking to expand your practice? Give Choice Dental Solutions a call at (410)773-4460.

By Choice Dental Solutions, Jan 22 2018 05:05PM

Missed and canceled appointments cost dental practices a great deal of money over the course of the year. A missed appointment here and there might not seem like a big deal, but a single missed or canceled appointment every day could be costing your dental practice thousands of dollars annually. Next in Line is an example of new, effective technologies for filling missed and canceled appointments in an instant.

The Problem with Missed Appointments

For dental practices, missed appointments can cost a single dentist a whopping $150,000 a year in revenue and labor. Beyond the financial impact of these appointments, it also makes a negative impact on your employees. Over-staffing doesn’t just affect your bottom line, it also frustrates your employees and leaves a lot of downtime. Missed appointments can also ruin your patient relationships, as they get frustrated at long wait times.

An Introduction to Appointment Filling Technology Options

Choice Dental Solutions has partnered with the Maryland-based group Next in Line to fill last-minute appointment openings. Next in Line is an innovative service that allows dental practices to fill in canceled and last-minute appointments throughout the year. Next in Line allows your patients to sign up for a waitlist online. When an appointment opening pops up, they will be offered the chance to snag the spot in an instant. Patients love that Next in Line can get them in to see the dentist when they otherwise wouldn’t have the time, and dentists love it since it helps to fill otherwise-dead time.

We encourage all dentists to research the growing appointment technology landscape to find a partner that is right for them, whether that means Next in Line or another competitor.

The Benefits of Technology, like Next in Line, for Your Dental Practice

Still not convinced technology is a good fit for your dental practice?

Technology can help your practice rank higher on search engines, thanks to increased online visibility.

You can recover lost revenue without needing to dedicate a staff member to making more calls or sending more emails.

You will experience higher levels of patient satisfaction.

Your software can easily integrate with your technology partner’s scheduling software for a seamless experience.

Partner with Choice Dental Solutions

To learn more about the latest in dental technology, we encourage all practices to research this rapidly-expanding field or contact us for more information. Give Choice Dental Solutions a call at (410)773-4460.

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