The Professional Advisory

  1. Is it Time to Move?
  2. Staging A Dental Practice
  3. The High Cost of Dying
  4. Deal-Busters
  5. Patients - Attract and Retain
  6. Should I Stay or Should I Go?
  7. Is There a Buyer for Every Practice?
  8. Good, Better, Best - The Market has Spoken
  9. Smooth-Sale-ing
  10. Buying Time
  11. Patients, Patience, Patients
  12. A Real Patient
  13. Why Do a Practice Valuation? I'm not Selling
  14. Irrational Exuberance or The New Normal?
  15. Do dental equipment and dental technology affect a practice value?
  16. Finding and Being a Mentor
  17. Bigger is Better
  18. Dave's Top Ten List for Buyers (Vendors should read this too!)
  19. How Well Do You Know Your Practice?
  20. Dave's Top Ten List for Vendors
  21. What will happen to dental practice Values in the next 10 years?
  22. Your Premises Lease is an Important Asset
  23. What are Associates Thinking?
  24. There is Life Outside the GTA
  25. When Is the Right Time to Sell My Dental Practice?
  26. Mergers are a Viable Option
  27. Is Your Associate an Asset or a Liability?
  28. Has your Practice Facility Kept Up With Your Billings?
  29. The 100 per cent of Gross Myth
  30. The Past, The Present and The Future
  31. Caveat Emptor
  32. Overpaid Long Term Staff
  33. Selling your Practice in Stages
  34. A Potential Pitfall of Selling Shares
  35. Value in Your Practice Through Balance
  36. Only Trusted Staff Can Defraud You
  37. To Own or Not to Own Practice Real Estate? That is the Question.
  38. Coping With A Large Patient Base
  39. Successful Dental Practice Transitions
  40. Taking Care of Business
  41. The Investing Dentist Phenomenon
  42. Two areas to focus upon that could negatively impact the value of your practice
  43. Organize your Debt in Order to Sell your Practice
  44. Having a Better Team
  45. How Do I Prepare My Practice For Sale
  46. How Do I Prepare My Practice For Sale? Part 3
  47. How Do I Prepare My Practice For Sale? Part 2
  48. How Do I Prepare My Practice For Sale? Part 1
  49. Advice to My Son or Daughter Graduating from Dental School
  50. Transition - What to Expect
  51. Discussion on Digital X-Rays
  52. Partnerships and Shotguns
  53. Strategic Planning - How to Get Started
  54. Calling All Vendors - Practices have Gone Up in Value
  55. Purchasers: Expect to Pay More for a Practice because of Lower Professional Corporation Tax Rates
  56. Matrimonial Practice Valuations
  57. Purchaser's Guide to Affording a Practice
  58. Location Improvements Throughout Your Career
  59. Small Practice Valuations
  60. Partnerships – The Best and The Worst
  61. Changing Location When the Opportunity Comes Along
  62. Visual Presentation of Your Practice
  63. Presentation of Charts
  64. Your Premises Lease Can Be Your Worst Enemy
  65. How to Select an Appraiser for Your Practice
  66. How Are Your Billing Ratios?
  67. It Pays to Invest in Your Tangible Assets
  68. The Importance of Separate Financial Statements
  69. Five Time Frame Levels to Sell a Practice
  70. 12 Suggestions to Safeguard Computer Data
  71. How to Buy a Visible Practice
  72. Why is there a shortage of good practices today?
  73. The Importance of Equipment in the Purchase of a Practice
  74. The Balanced Practice
  75. Will My Practice Be Saleable in The Future?
  76. Buyer Be Aware
  77. Excess Profit - The Second Key
  78. Patients and Profits are the Keys
  79. Plan Ahead

Volume 67: Why Do a Practice Valuation? I’m not Selling

Download the PDF version now!

We get this response from many dentists when discussing their practice and future plans. While it is a fact that you don’t need a valuation until you sell, there are many reasons that having a practice valuation that is regularly updated may prove to be a valuable part of your long term business planning. In addition, it may help to make your practice more valuable when you do decide to sell.

While it is the truth that most of our valuations are in response to a specific need, which may include selling, divorce, partnership splits, insurance or estate planning, we have many clients who are still 5-10 years away from selling, yet have a practice valuation, and they have it updated every year or two. Why would they waste their time and money, when it seems unnecessary?

First of all let’s look at the economics of a valuation. There is the initial valuation fee, which varies based on the size and location of the practice. Once this initial valuation has been performed, future updates (every 1 or 2 years), are typically performed at a fraction of the initial price, since the field work has been completed. It is common that since practices are generally stable, a valuation update within 1-2 years may not require a field visit, it may simply be comprised of adding new financial information, making equipment changes, and updating staff.

Secondly a practice valuation provides these dentists with valuable market and practice information that can be used to assist with the development and improvement of their dental practice. In a typical valuation, valuators will gather and analyze literally hundreds of pieces of information. This information includes a comprehensive financial analysis, premises lease analysis, location and practice demographics, a patients chart audit, procedure analysis, staff analysis, and equipment valuation. This data is then compared against other practices and the industry as a whole, and a market value is reached. Further if a valuation is then updated a year or two later, the data can be compared against the previous valuation to see how the practice changed and how the market has evolved.

In addition, when you conduct a practice valuation, you should hopefully develop a partnership with the practice valuators that will ensure that you have your pulse on the market and are made aware of market changes, innovations, and opportunities. The advice could include the implementation of a strategy to prepare your practice for sale, advice on transitioning, and ensuring your tax and legal structure are in place (we don’t give tax or legal advice), but work in conjunction with your accountant and lawyer to develop a comprehensive transition plan. Some of the market information that we may help you with include; market direction, changing location demographics, and emerging opportunities.

We have several examples of the benefits of a regularly updated valuation. Several years ago, we sold a practice that had been valued by our firm and updated regularly for the past 10 years. The practice sold at a nice premium, and all potential purchasers were pleasantly surprised that despite being over 30 years old, there was new equipment, updated technology (digital radiography, digital panoramic x- ray), and recently renovated premises. The selling dentist (who was almost 70 years old), credits our company’s founder, Graham Tuck, for pushing him to continue to invest in technology and to keep his practice current. This factor, along with the balanced financial metrics that we encouraged our seller to maintain, made a marked difference in the interest shown in the practice and the ultimate amount that was achieved.

We have another example where a prior valuation may have assisted. The practice in question had plenty of patients, but because the dentist had been planning for retirement, the production and more importantly the recall program had suffered. In response to this decline the dentist retained a consultant to improve the recall program. Unfortunately when this practice was valued and sold, the positive impact of the consultant had not really impacted the practice, and the steady decline in production created a negative perception that the practice was in trouble - as opposed to the dentist slowing down. If a valuation was performed earlier, the consultant could have been brought in earlier to refine the recall program. The results would have been slow steady growth instead of an unnecessary decline and the positive results would have been clear and proven.

A valuation performed by a reputable firm will take you to places you have never been in your practice. You will be enlightened by the results, some of which you may not want to know. However you should know about what is going on outside the operatory of your practice, just as much or more as what goes on inside the operatory.