THINKING BUSINESS
a blog by Chris Barrow

The rise of the multi-site independently-owned micro-corporate. An opportunity for you?

Let’s go back 20 years – the millennium is approaching and imagine I’m predicting at a conference that, by 2019, there would be a new breed of Principals and Managers – multi-site owners, growing from their original location to create micro-corporates across 2-10 locations, doing so by buying satellite practices from retiring dentists who are mostly over age 50.

The initial wave of incredulity from my audience would have increased to hysterical proportions if I further predicted that those acquisitions would be at 100%+ of annual turnover (in a marketplace which, at that time, was exchanging ownership at closer to 35% – oh for a crystal ball)!

But here we are and, as I look at my 2019 client base I can see a significant number who are either already embarked on the micro-corporate journey – or who have told me in our initial discussions that they want to go there in the next 3 years.

Encouragingly, there is still a lot of low-hanging fruit around that the bigger corporates haven’t yet snapped up.

A further interesting development is that I don’t believe there are quite so many “bright young things” (dentists recently qualified and with access to family funding) who have an ownership itch that needs scratching.

Circumstantially, I suspect that the word is out from the generation immediately before them that ownership isn’t quite what it was built up to be, in a world of increased compliance, regulation, litigation and competition.

I’m working with a few start-ups (those who have bought or opened single sites and are on the first rung of the ownership ladder). That’s a scary world of overwhelm and I’m working very hard to support them on a very brave journey – it is not for the faint-hearted.

So my sense is that there is an opportunity here for the established practice owner to look at expansion into the micro-corporate landscape.

There are buyers out there who want to grow and sellers who are too small for the corporates and too risky for the newbie owners.

I’ve already written and published a Kindle e-book on this subject:

Building the £10m Dental Micro-Corporate: 7 steps to creating a perfect hub and spoke business model

It’s 28 pages in length and an easy read but might give you some useful tips on where to start.

If you are looking to grow a micro-corporate and need a mentor – I’m your man.

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