“I’m only a D3, it’s too early.”
“The market is scary right now.”
“I don’t know where to start.”
I hear a lot of reasons why dentists—who know they want to own a practice—put off their search for a practice to buy. But you know the old saying: the best time to start was yesterday, the second best time is today. Yep, that’s true in this case.
The reasons for owning a practice are clear, and I’m sure you know them already. Owning a practice will help you make more money, pay off your student loans, and build wealth much faster than toiling away as an employee dentist.
But starting the search for a practice to buy can feel like staring over a cliff edge into a black abyss. You don’t know what’s down there, so jumping is scary.
Take the leap now.
- You’re more ready than you think.
I recently helped a dentist close on a practice exactly a year after he graduated. (Usually the earliest you can buy, by the way.) How did he do it? By building his network while he was still in dental school. Was he going to buy while still in school? Of course not! But he knew he could start working toward his goals NOW.
He found a doctor looking for an associate to take over the practice, and the timings lined up really well. So right out of school, this young dentist had a perfect associateship to step into, learned all he could in the year he worked for his mentor, saved up some cash, and was ready to take over when the time came.
Whether you’re 10 years into your career or a D2 with your eyes on ownership, you can take steps now to achieve your goals.
- Building your network will help your career.
Searching for a practice to buy means building a network of other dentists, often gray-haired doctors later in their career. Yes, you’re looking for someone who will help you find a practice to buy, but in the process you’re building a network of potential wisdom and advice to draw from as you start your own ownership career.
Let’s say you wanted to buy a practice in the Milwaukee area, and you got to know 10 dentists in that area. You ended up buying Practice 1 because of its excellent location and strong collections, but you want to improve its online presence. Luckily, you know that the doctor at Practice 2 was great at that, so you can reach out to ask how he did it and how you can emulate his strategy. You’re thinking about which CE courses are most worth your time, and Practice 5’s doctor talked a lot about CE when you got to know her—she’ll likely give some great advice.
Invest the time to build your network—and do it right—and it will benefit you long after you buy your dream practice.
If you’re feeling stuck and don’t know where to start, keep it simple and follow the tips I give in this short video. If you need a little extra encouragement, don’t hesitate to give me a call. I’ll be happy to give you some individual advice to send you in the right direction.