STEP ONE to find a dental practice to buy

Finding a dental practice to buy can be a marathon, and I’ve known many dentists who’ve been frustrated by the effort. But what’s the best way to run a marathon? One step at a time. Let’s talk today about just that first step.

Build a simple spreadsheet.

That’s it, that’s step one. Okay, let me explain.

The spreadsheet is to keep track of your networking efforts with other dentists. Networking isn’t the only way to find a practice to buy, but it certainly is the best way to do that. (More on that in an upcoming post.) Spend 80% of your search time networking with other dentists, and 20% of your time searching through brokers. (More on that in an upcoming post, too.)

Follow my networking advice and you’ll have plenty of dentist acquaintances to keep track of. And a simple spreadsheet is the best way to do that. All this spreadsheet needs is a few columns to track the following:

  • The other doctor’s name
  • Their location and/or practice name
  • Their contact information
  • The date of last contact
  • The result of that contact
  • general notes about that doctor or their practice

Your spreadsheet will look something like this:

And that’s it! Eventually you’ll have a hundred names on this list, but not right away. Once you’ve built the spreadsheet, find the first two names to add to it, then you’ll take another step—adding two more names—next week.

You can also add other contact like brokers, attorneys, equipment reps, and so on. While the focus should be on other dentists, those others can be a valuable part of your network, since they have their own network that they can tap for you when they know you’re looking for a practice to buy.

How will you add names to the list? That’s up to you! Networking events exist, of course, or you can cold call or participate in online forums. My personal favorite (and most successful) method is mailers. Mass mailers and targeted mailers are both effective–click through to see how they both work.

Networking takes time, patience, and diligence, but it all starts with that first step. Take it! Make that spreadsheet, and add just one or two names to it. As the list fills up, you’ll realize you’re building a network that will help you not only in your practice search, but throughout your career.

When you find that great practice, give me a call! I’ll be your buyer’s advocate, helping you evaluate whether it’s a good fit for you and worth buying, then I’ll take you through the entire process, making it as simple for you as possible.