If you are considering acquiring a dental practice, keep in mind the following thoughts and suggestions as you proceed:

1. Practice in an area where you can make a good living. Make a logical decision that is economically sound, not emotionally driven.

2. Don’t worry about how old the dental equipment is right now. You are not buying dental equipment; you are buying a business opportunity (the practice is a business). If the practice is profitable, you will soon be making enough money to buy all the new equipment that you possibly could want, and you will be able to afford it!

3. Don’t worry if you think the seller’s clinical procedures are not up to par with yours. If you are a more thorough clinician than the seller, that will create more production income for you when you take over the practice. The best practice “deals” are those where the seller has been running a maintenance practice and not doing all the latest “sophisticated” procedures. Un-diagnosed treatment means more production of income opportunity.

4. A “good deal” is one that is fair to both parties, so beware of a deal that seems weighed heavily in your favor. This might mean something is wrong with the practice you are considering acquiring. You should consult with your AFTCO analyst, who has the expertise to evaluate the situation objectively.

5. Don’t negotiate with the seller; talk to us if you have a problem with the practice. Sellers are understandably sensitive about the operation and value of their practice. If you try to “negotiate” a deal, the seller will resent you, and even if you conclude the transaction, the seller may try to get even later on, and you will lose in the end.

6. Don’t be short-sighted. Purchasing a practice is not a $500,000 or $1,000,000 decision. It is a multi-million dollar decision. If a practice is grossing $1,000,000 per year and you expect to practice approximately 35 years, then, without adjusting for inflation, it’s a $35,000,000 decision. Don’t lose millions by getting hung up on nickels and dimes and end up upsetting the seller. The seller is the primary factor who will determine the success or failure of this practice acquisition.

7. Compliment the seller! Show respect for the seller and his/her practice. Yes, the seller may not use all the latest tools and methods, nor have they kept up like you think he or she should, but don’t be too hard in judging the seller. Reflect on how you might be viewed by a potential purchaser 30 years from now when you are ready to sell. A seller who thinks that the purchaser is great will give a lot more support in the long run than the purchaser who comes across as a “know-it-all.”

8. Respect the seller’s time. If you make an appointment, be on time.

9. After visiting the office, call us with your feelings about the practice and the seller. The only way we can serve you best is to have your input and reactions. Your input helps us find just the right practice for you. Call AFTCO today at 800.232.3826.

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