Volume 7: The Importance of Equipment in the Purchase of a Practice

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It’s nice to have newer equipment when you purchase a practice but don’t let older equipment turn you off when considering an otherwise great practice. Equipment that’s 20-years-old won’t have a long life without constant repairs so consider the cost of revamping the equipment and/or the leaseholds when borrowing to purchase a practice. The value of the practice should be reduced because of the expected cost of replacing old capital assets. This comes back to having a good patient base to fund the new capital projects.

There are actually several advantages to having old equipment:

  • You can replace the capital equipment with brands you prefer.
  • You can purchase the practice with a lower capital expenditure.
  • You can lay out the practice in a more contemporary design.
  • You can pick the time frame for replacement (remember the patients are used to the old layout and equipment)
  • You can focus first on new x-rays and sterilizers.
  • Often the vendor would like to keep using the old equipment during transition.
  • Left or right handedness is not an issue with old equipment as it can be changed with minimal loss.

Cost of computerization

Non-computerized practices generally should be computerized in today’s market. The cost of computerization is low enough for virtually all practices. Computers are a labour-saving purchase which will pay for themselves and give you reports to better manage the practice.

Computer monitors that are on the front desk appear to be more up-todate if they are the TFT flat screens which now cost only $500 to $600. TFT flat screens are also easier on your staff’s eyes if they are on the computer for much of the day.

Filing systems

Many practices have suspended files on plastic strips that are three or four wide in a drawer. The drawers are generally 18” deep but provision must be made for 36” when the drawer is pulled open. However, there are advantages to using a system of 8 ½” by 11” file folders with an alphabetic colour code. These file folders take up less space and the colour coding allows staff to see misfiled patients more easily. There are a number of suppliers with a variety of prices. This new system is also impressive to show the extensive number of patients that have confidence in you as a dentist. Much of dentistry is the perception of the patient.

In summary, think of older equipment as a potential benefit rather than a drawback when considering a practice. Capital expenditures for computer equipment, meanwhile, should be viewed with regard to payback and efficiency. Finally, filing systems are an important component of your practice.

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