Buying your first practice – the 60-second guide

Here are four factors to consider:

  1. Finance – how much capital do you have or can you raise? Do you understand the cash flow?
  2. Location – where do you want to work?
  3. People – do you want to start with some patients or with none? Do you have favoured demographics? Do you want to inherit a team or build one?
  4. Mix – do you want the dentistry to be funded by the Government, by insurance plans, or by the patients independently?

After that – it’s time to start the X-Factor auditions – looking at numerous agent’s prospectuses, keeping your eyes open and your ear to the ground.

Manage your expectations – it could take 2 years to identify the right deal and another year to complete.

Don’t be in a rush – that can lead to bad decision making – the consequences of which can take years to rectify (or break you).

Buying your first practice is a life-changing event.

Make sure you have mentors around you to point out the pitfalls and advise you to decline the wrong deals – don’t make the mistake of calling the mentor in after you have made the wrong choice.

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Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.

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