You know my story…
In 1996 I was at a crossroads.
I’d been a dentist for 14 years, but I was becoming frustrated and confused. I was looking to sell my moderately successful dental practice and try some business outside of dentistry.
My practice was collecting well, but I wasn’t anywhere near to full capacity in terms of time and patients.
And I couldn’t work out why it was this way.
In 1996 I tried to sell my dental practice, but nobody wanted to buy it from me.
In fact, three dentists who looked at my practice for sale in 1996 decided not to buy my practice, but to set up as my competition nearby to my dental practice, right there in my suburb.
In desperation, I looked at the option of buying another dental practice, and working the two practices concurrently over a six-day week.
How does that model sound?
It sounded like a good idea to me.
All of a sudden I would be twice as busy.
But I would also be working with twice the overhead. Twice the rent. Twice the salaries. The list goes on….
Would you do it?
Would you purchase a second location and run back and forwards between the two?
Fortunately for me I did not….
I was keen to do so. Don’t get me wrong….
And I would have purchased the second practice except for the fact that it was sub-letting its rooms inside a medical practice, and so there was no guarantee of longevity of tenure with that current location.
And I thought that was a little bit of a worry…
In the end, I declined the option of buying that second dental practice.
Instead, I chose to knuckle down at my original location.
I restructured my personnel, and moved on those who were holding back the practice growth.
And the rest became history…
My appointment book filled.
I added extra front office and back office staff.
I added a hygiene department.
I added assistant dentists.
I enlisted the assistance of dentists who had special interests in procedures that I had been referring out…
And eleven years on, I sold that dental practice for what turned out to be a 10X multiple of the asking price that I had sought originally in 1996.
Did I make the correct decision?
That indeed is the $64,000.00 question…
What if I’d have bought that other dental practice and been able to double its production, in the same way that I was able to increase the production at my own dental practice?
What if I’d been able to employ some high achieving associates who were able to grow their own associateships, and who then would have bought into the organisation?
Is that possible?
What is for sure and certain is that an increase in the number of locations would also result in an increase in the number of challenges needed to be overcome.
Dental practices are very profitable. We know this. Otherwise our industry would not be in the grasps of corporate takeovers, as we speak.
There are large profit margins in dentistry compared to other types of bricks and mortar businesses.
In dentistry I am continually meeting owners of dental offices who are not dentists, who own practices that are generating considerable profit. Some of these non-dentist owners own more than one dental office.
Could I have done that?
It certainly was not a model that was on my radar back in 1996.
In 1996 all I was concerned about was making sure that I myself was as productive as possible as a dentist, and that I was able to surround myself with the right people that allowed me to practice dentistry this way.
And so that’s what I did.
And that’s what influenced the model of the dental office that I ended up with.
What about you?
What sort of dental operation would you like to operate?
Life is all about choices….
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