Volume 35: How Do I Prepare My Practice For Sale

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Part IV – I want to sell my practice, now

The time for planning has passed. Either the prior planning took place or it did not. Let us assume your planning was limited. What can be done now? The biggest thing today is to make your practice showable. Get rid of those piles of paper, package off the old models, look at your carpets – did they not have a good winter? If you think that the purchaser would like to stay in the same location consider whether the carpets should be replaced – especially in the high traffic areas.

Review your charts. If there are a great many charts where the patients have not been in for four or five years or more, glean them down to more active charts. Purchasers are not impressed with a lot of charts if they are not active – in fact it is a turnoff. A good rule of thumb is to have as many inactive charts (over two years since the last appointment) as there are semi-active charts (patients who were in over a year ago but more recently than two years). The chart drawers should not be overstuffed to the point where one has difficulty removing them. Also ensure that each pouch or folder has only one patient’s chart in the folder, not the whole family.

If your current paint or wall paper is marked, soiled, tattered or outdated, replacing it freshens and revitalizes the appearance of the practice space. Equipment should be in good working order or removed. Buying new equipment may not be productive but good used equipment may be called for.

Replace burnt out light bulbs anywhere and everywhere, including signs. Clean out the refrigerator of old "stuff". Dispose of expired dental supplies. Clean off your desk – this may be a big job. Tidy up your bookcases and dispose of those old textbooks that you never look at. Throw out old and broken toys in the children's area. Tighten up the hinges on the doors in the lab and the operatories. Replace poor lead aprons which only last about five to seven years. Try to see your practice through a purchaser's eyes.

Once the above is complete it’s time to prepare the valuation of your practice. This valuation may bring out other "presentation" issues. The valuation is needed for the purchaser to borrow the money from the bank.

Now you are ready to sell your practice. You should be prepared to understand what you want in terms of transition. Retirement, vacation time, transition period, taxes and selling shares or assets are some of the additional considerations. Having an accountant, a lawyer and a broker on your side is important. The better you can describe what you want to the broker, the easier it is to achieve.

OVERVIEW: Assuming your billings and patient base are all set and ready for the sale of your practice, now is the time to focus on having a tidy and attractive office.

The Professional Advisory

  1. One Year Later

  2. Dealing with Unsolicited Offers

  3. Covid-19 Practice Sales Update

  4. When is the Right Time to Sell Your Practice and Why?

  5. Partnership Pitfalls

  6. The Real Cost of a Dental Practice Set-up

  7. Smaller Practice Realities

  8. Dental Market Update - 2019

  9. Creating Your Own Most Valuable Practice (MVP)

  10. Small Practice Economics

  11. The Market is Very Efficient

  12. How Can Dental Practice Values be Rising and Declining?

  13. Hygiene as a Value Driver

  14. The Value of a Good Team

  15. Is it Time to Move?

  16. Staging A Dental Practice

  17. The High Cost of Dying

  18. Deal-Busters

  19. Patients - Attract and Retain

  20. Should I Stay or Should I Go?

  21. Is There a Buyer for Every Practice?

  22. Good, Better, Best - The Market has Spoken

  23. Smooth-Sale-ing

  24. Buying Time

  25. Patients, Patience, Patients

  26. A Real Patient

  27. Why Do a Practice Valuation? I'm not Selling

  28. Irrational Exuberance or The New Normal?

  29. Do dental equipment and dental technology affect a practice value?

  30. Finding and Being a Mentor

  31. Bigger is Better

  32. Dave's Top Ten List for Buyers (Vendors should read this too!)

  33. How Well Do You Know Your Practice?

  34. Dave's Top Ten List for Vendors

  35. What will happen to dental practice Values in the next 10 years?

  36. Your Premises Lease is an Important Asset

  37. What are Associates Thinking?

  38. There is Life Outside the GTA

  39. When Is the Right Time to Sell My Dental Practice?

  40. Mergers are a Viable Option

  41. Is Your Associate an Asset or a Liability?

  42. Has your Practice Facility Kept Up With Your Billings?

  43. The 100 per cent of Gross Myth

  44. The Past, The Present and The Future

  45. Caveat Emptor

  46. Overpaid Long Term Staff

  47. Selling your Practice in Stages

  48. A Potential Pitfall of Selling Shares

  49. Value in Your Practice Through Balance

  50. Only Trusted Staff Can Defraud You

  51. To Own or Not to Own Practice Real Estate? That is the Question.

  52. Coping With A Large Patient Base

  53. Successful Dental Practice Transitions

  54. Taking Care of Business

  55. The Investing Dentist Phenomenon

  56. Two areas to focus upon that could negatively impact the value of your practice

  57. Organize your Debt in Order to Sell your Practice

  58. Having a Better Team

  59. How Do I Prepare My Practice For Sale

  60. How Do I Prepare My Practice For Sale? Part 3

  61. How Do I Prepare My Practice For Sale? Part 2

  62. How Do I Prepare My Practice For Sale? Part 1

  63. Advice to My Son or Daughter Graduating from Dental School

  64. Transition - What to Expect

  65. Discussion on Digital X-Rays

  66. Partnerships and Shotguns

  67. Strategic Planning - How to Get Started

  68. Calling All Vendors - Practices have Gone Up in Value

  69. Purchasers: Expect to Pay More for a Practice because of Lower Professional Corporation Tax Rates

  70. Matrimonial Practice Valuations

  71. Purchaser's Guide to Affording a Practice

  72. Location Improvements Throughout Your Career

  73. Small Practice Valuations

  74. Partnerships – The Best and The Worst

  75. Changing Location When the Opportunity Comes Along

  76. Visual Presentation of Your Practice

  77. Presentation of Charts

  78. Your Premises Lease Can Be Your Worst Enemy

  79. How to Select an Appraiser for Your Practice

  80. How Are Your Billing Ratios?

  81. It Pays to Invest in Your Tangible Assets

  82. The Importance of Separate Financial Statements

  83. Five Time Frame Levels to Sell a Practice

  84. 12 Suggestions to Safeguard Computer Data

  85. How to Buy a Visible Practice

  86. Why is there a shortage of good practices today?

  87. The Importance of Equipment in the Purchase of a Practice

  88. The Balanced Practice

  89. Will My Practice Be Saleable in The Future?

  90. Buyer Be Aware

  91. Excess Profit - The Second Key

  92. Patients and Profits are the Keys

  93. Plan Ahead