Tips to Completing a Successful Dental Practice Acquisition

January 28, 2019

Acquiring a competing dental practice is one of the most effective ways to significantly grow your business in a relatively short amount of time. It’s become more and more commonplace in recent years as competing practices have begun purchasing one another in an attempt to solidify their share of the marketplace. However, there are a number of risks involved in this process that must be paid attention to in order to achieve the right outcome.

When you buy a dental practice, you become more than just a dentist. You are now taking on financial and personnel roles that will be crucial to the success of the transition, on top of continuing your practice as a full-time dentist. You’re now absorbing an entirely new client base and team of staff members, and a lot of focus needs to go into maintaining the environment, morale, and performance of your employees. Here are some key concerns to keep in mind during the practice acquisition process to ensure the transition best serves your long-term objectives.

Reduce friction between teams

There are a number of significant advantages to acquiring a competing dental practice. Not only do you inherit a built-in patient base, but you also experience an increase in cash flow and a growth of your team’s personnel and abilities. But with that growth, there can often exist a rigidity between the team you’re bringing in and the team that already existed within the acquired practice. You’re essentially bringing two separate ways of operating into one team environment to try and form an entirely new philosophy. And that process can often be met with conflict.

Some team members will buy into the shift immediately, but others will take a bit longer and may not ever come around if they are too set in their ways or not receptive enough to new forms of doing things. It’s important to do everything in your power to navigate this shift and ensure the best possible outcome for your new practice and for your entire team.

The importance of retaining acquired staff

You might find it easier to simply remove the newly acquired staff members from your team in order to eliminate any chance of friction, but these individuals will serve an essential role during the transitional period. They are now the only people your acquired patients will know and connect with, and will be a primary reason those patients decide to keep working with your practice. The acquired employees should be leveraged in helping familiarize those inherited patients with the new organization and with the fact that their quality of care will not be compromised. The patients will appreciate these familiar faces.

While it is important to retain certain staff members, it’s not always easy. Some may be paid based on tenure and you might feel they are overpaid based on their skills and contributions following the transition. These employees will also be accustomed to certain perks and will not react well if advantages like PTO, benefits, and scheduling flexibility are taken away.

Navigating your practice acquisition with a dental consultant

If you’re considering acquiring a competing dental practice, you should not do so without the help of a professional consultant. Such a partner will play a key advisory role in ensuring the transition is as seamless as possible, assisting in everything from finances to personnel. Due diligence should be performed prior to purchase to investigate compatibility from a fit standpoint. Does the new practice suit your ultimate goals? Does it meet the quality standards you aim to uphold? You don’t want to buy a practice that is going to harm your reputation as a business.

A consultant will also help you introduce yourself to your inherited patients and staff in a way that makes them comfortable with you and with the change to keep them from moving on. A valuation assessment will be performed to make sure you’re not paying more than you should be to complete the acquisition. Overall, going through this process with a consultant helps make sure the transition works for you and is set up for continued growth.

Grow your dental practice with White & Associates

In any practice acquisition, the change needs to be steady or else the impact will be too great and will likely cause staff and patients to leave. The buyer needs to respect what they’ve acquired without trying to flip the practice on its head right from day one.

White & Associates Practice Consulting can help you through each phase of the acquisition process, from due diligence and valuation to transition strategizing and beyond. Contact us today to start growing your practice in a way that works for you.