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Tips for Hiring New Staff Members

You’re busy, you’re stressed and now you must dedicate time to hiring new staff to fill in the gaps left during your dental practice transition. So where do you start? There may be a great temptation to hire the first person who looks like he or she might fit the bill, but if you make a mistake, it’s going to cost you.

Prepare Yourself

No matter how excited or relieved you may feel, jumping into your new recruitment exercise without any thought will just hurt you in the long run. Ask yourself these important questions before you even place your first recruitment ad:

– What role will the new hire fill in the practice?

– How much help does the practice need?

– Will this need be long term or short term?

– What salary can you afford to pay?

Focus on Strategic Recruitment

You don’t want to hire the first person who comes along, you want to hire the best recruit for your practice. But how do you find the right candidate? It might sound obvious but start in places that offer the most help. Ask other employees for referrals, you’ve got the best chance of making a quality match through your current staff.

If that doesn’t work, check reputable job boards before branching out into social media.

Take Your Time

Sure, you might have needed the help three weeks ago, but making a rushed decision could mean hiring the wrong person and upsetting the well thought-out dynamic of your practice.

Go through the right procedures to ensure you attract the right recruit: conduct first and second interviews, conduct the relevant background checks, and make sure your next recruit is in it for the long haul.

Be Ready

On-boarding a new employee takes up precious time and effort. But if you’re not ready, it will waste even more of your precious time. Make sure you can tick all the boxes on this check-list:

– Is the new hire’s work-station ready?

– Do you have a standard operating procedures document for the tasks the new hire will complete?

– Have you introduced the new person to the rest of the team?

– Have you written out the new employee’s job description?

– Have you assigned another employee to assist the new hire?

Maintain realistic expectations for your new hires, and make it as easy as possible for the new person to ease into their new role.

Don’t Be Afraid to Let Someone Go

If a new person doesn’t perform well, don’t be afraid to fire them. You can’t afford to keep someone on board if he or she is not performing. Not only that, but what you let new employees get away with will be seen by the rest of the team. If it’s not working out, don’t keep the person on.

Building a quality team in your dental practice is crucial to your success.


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What Makes a Buyer Qualified?

Finding a qualified buyer for your practice can be a bit like searching for the Holy Grail—you want to make sure that the person stepping into ownership of the practice you built is someone you feel comfortable leaving your legacy.

Before you sell, consider what makes a potential buyer qualified.

Is the buyer a dentist?

This is a given, but it must be included in the list because it is one of the most important things to consider when selling your practice. You’ll need to know more than the potential buyer’s degree. Take note of their specialty, the number of years they’ve been practicing, and the amount of experience they bring to the practice.

Is the buyer a recent graduate? Have they put in decades of work in another practice before deciding to buy their own? Do they specialize in the same area as you?

Is the buyer financed?

Common sense dictates that a buyer will obtain financing before approaching a seller, however, that’s not always the case. There are numerous commercial real estate cases where the buyer puts the cart before the horse, committing to the purchase of a practice before their financing has been authorized.

A qualified buyer will have preapproval in hand before beginning their search for a practice to buy. Preapproval means they’ve already jumped through most of the red tape and credit check hoops, which means you have less paperwork and hassle after you accept their offer.

Is the buyer keeping your staff?

Your staff has likely become part of your family, and you consider them to be an important part of your life.

If the buyer wants to buy the property, they need to consider your staff as part of the deal. Unless previously stated in the purchase documentation, your staff stays with the practice. This means the buyer isn’t just buying a building and an inventory, he is committing to keep the practice running smoothly and profitably.

Before signing on the dotted line, invite the buyer to meet with your staff. Watch how they interact with them, look for any push back from your staff, and make sure that the match (between the potential buyer and your staff) feels right.

Ask they staff what they think about the buyer, and be sure to take what they say into consideration when choosing a final buyer.

Does the buyer have a good reputation in the community?

A good way to gauge if a buyer is right for your practice is to check online to see what their patients are saying about them.

If they are purchasing your practice, they are also acquiring your patients. You want to make sure that the people you’ve treated over the years continue to receive the same, or higher, level of care.

If the reviews or ratings online foreshadow a poor level of care, consider another buyer.

This list of qualifications isn’t a ruler by which to measure your potential buyers, it is more a guidebook for what to consider when selling your practice. If you’d like more information about what to expect from buyers or what to expect from the dental practice transition process, contact our transition specialists.


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Common Mistakes When Applying for a Dental Practice Loan

Obtaining a loan to purchase a dental practice can often be more complicated than purchasing a house. When seeking a dental practice loan, avoid these common mistakes.

Missing Necessary Documentation

Being proactive during the documentation phase of the process is key to having all necessary papers in hand when approaching the lender.

Failing to have all financial documents, proposals, and business plans can significantly delay the process.

When approaching a lender, ask them for a list of everything you’ll need before you make an appointment to speak to a loan officer.

Poorly Written Proposal

Lenders don’t give money to just anyone. They want to make sure that you have a rock solid business plan in place that spells out, in detail, what you plan to do with the money. Your lender will want to know about the income the business will bring in over the course of three to seven years, how you plan to increase or maintain profits, and information on staff growth, pay rate, and insurance.

If you don’t know how to create a business proposal, it’s best to ask a dental practice broker to help draft one that your lender will approve.

Having a Marginal or Poor Credit Rating

With the number of professionals seeking dental practice loans, lenders have become picky. Is your credit history short? Do you have a fair or good credit rating? Do you have any late payments in your report?

Lenders are flooded with loan applications, which means they can only to lend to dentists with a good credit score.

If you have a habit of missing credit card payments, have little to no revolving debt, or have liens or other derogatory marks on your report, chances are your loan application will be denied.

Not Using the Right Lender

One of the biggest mistakes dentists make when seeking capital to purchase a business is to approach the wrong kind of lender. A real estate lender or small business lender can help you purchase the property or get startup funds, but only a lender specializing in dental practice loans will be able to help you find all the money you need for every aspect of your business plan.

Using the wrong lender can actually hinder your ability to buy a practice, can delay the process, or even cost you more money in fees, escrow, insurance, and loan interest.

Doing It Alone

The worst mistake you can make when trying to get a loan is going through the process alone. Unless you are a real estate agent, loan officer, finance manager, business manager, property inspector, dental practice broker, and a dentist all rolled into one, you will need to have at least one or two of the above listed professionals on your team.

Not only will it benefit you to have a team of financial and business professionals on your side, it will be a tremendous asset when you begin your search for a practice or need help transitioning your practice and staff into the new business.

One of the most important people on your team is your dental practice broker who will have the knowledge and experience necessary to make your transition from dentist to dental practice owner as smooth and fast as possible.

For more information on how to get a dental practice loan, speak to one of our brokers.


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NAPB selling dental practice 4 Important Questions About Personal Disability Insurance for Dentists

4 Important Questions About Personal Disability Insurance for Dentists

Have you ever considered what would happen if you were unable to work?

What if you had an accident and could no longer perform the daily operations of your dental practice?

What if you were relegated to managerial work and you had to hire a new dentist to run the day-to-day operations?

Such an event can force you into a difficult life transition, where you may even have to sell your practice.

There is one way to guard against this possibility, disability insurance, also know as income protection coverage.

  1. What exactly is disability insurance?

The purpose of disability insurance from the dentist’s point of view is to provide you with income in the case that you become too sick or injured to perform your regular work duties.

This is important as it protects your family from dealing with huge financial losses.

If you were unable to work would you be able to continue to pay your bills and sustain your current lifestyle?

At age 40 you face at 19% chance that you will have a disability that lasts 90 days or longer before the age of 65.

  1. Will government benefits cover all my costs?

Unfortunately, these benefits often aren’t enough. For many of us, when work stops, so does income. Government reimbursements are likely to be far less generous than what you will receive if you have taken out disability insurance.

  1. When should I apply for disability insurance?

Unfortunately, this is a very open-ended question.

The reality is that you need to apply for insurance before you have a disability. From a financial perspective, immediately before would be best.

However, as you can never know exactly when this will happen, you need to opt for the second best option, which is as soon as possible. Whenever it becomes financially possible and feasible for you to get disability insurance, you need to do so.

  1. How much insurance will I need?

This is entirely dependent on your individual situation and the income you believe you will need.

If you’re single and only need to support yourself, you may consider opting for basic coverage. This ensures that in the event of a loss of income, you would be ok with a financial change.

However, if you have a family you have to consider that each person represented may need financial support for medical bills, housing, education etc.

Remember, if you are your own employer, not only will your family suffer if you are underinsured, but your entire business as well.

Make sure you protect your assets by investing in income protection coverage; being without disability insurance is a risk that is not worth taking.


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NAPB dental practice brokers Organizational Tips to Streamline Your Dental Office

Organizational Tips to Streamline Your Dental Office

Want to run your dental practice professionally? Do you want an edge over your competitors? In years gone by, dentists were virtually guaranteed a steady stream of patients coming through their doors. But thanks to the digitization of the marketplace, the dentists who market and operate themselves professionally can very well take all the patients if they want to. Why’s that? Well, they adopt these hacks to streamline their practice management.

Run Your Dental Practice Like a Business

Maybe it sounds obvious, but many dental practice owners run their practices like a service, not a business. And that’s hardly surprising because most dentists go into practice to help people, not make money. Frame your dental practice as a business to help increase your profits.

Invest in Practice Management Software

Technology can work wonders for your practice; in fact, it can become your star employee if it is implemented effectively. Your practice management software needs to integrate with all the other technologies you employ in your office.

Make sure you automate your marketing and billing procedures. When you get very busy, you might forget to send invoices or launch that email marketing campaign. By automating the process, you can ensure that nothing important is forgotten. Remember that your practice needs new patients in order to survive. If your marketing falls flat at any point, it can affect your ability to draw new patients in.

Manage Your Exam Rooms

Clear the clutter out of your exam rooms. Keep pathways clear and easily accessible, and make sure your tools are close-by and easy to access. If you do need more storage, use portable containers that can be moved in and out of the rooms.

Manage Your Cash Flow and Budget

Yes, while it’s important to keep a close eye on your billing, this isn’t the only aspect of cash flow management. Are you using the most cost-effective suppliers? Could you acquire better equipment that minimizes your running costs? Can you manage your inventory more effectively and reduce losses? Remember to frame your dental practice as a business and run it as such.

Monitor Your Inventory Closely

A good inventory management system ensures that you always have stock of the essentials, but it also reduces waste by eliminating non-essential items.

Set up an inventory management process so that your office supplies are kept in an area that is separate from where you keep your medical supplies. Put one staff member in charge of managing the inventory. This creates accountability when one person is responsible for the task.


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NAPB selling a dental practice Tips To Market Your Practice for Back To School - Source Flickr CC, Credit John Dill

Tips To Market Your Practice for Back To School

The start of the new school year is an incredibly busy time for parents.

As they get ready to get back into the swing of things, it can be difficult to get everything organized.

For the busy parent, it often feels like there is too much to do and too little time. They might get an itchy feeling that there’s something more that needs to be done.

Fortunately, this presents an opportune time for you to offer your dental services.

If you are looking to add value to your practice through increased efforts targeting kids and parents during this time of year, there are some pretty simple but effective ways to do so.

Here are five different ways you can market your practice for back to school specials.

Step up your social media efforts. Creating useful blog content and promoting back to school services through your social media channels is the quickest way to remind families of your practice. Though parents will be busy and it will be hard to grab their attention, there is one thing that you can be sure of – if they have social media, they will be on it. However, new changes in the algorithms to platforms such as Facebook and Instagram mean that parents won’t always catch your posts so don’t be afraid to post frequently!

Print a physical leaflet. Emails are a great way to offer discounts, but there is something to be said about leaflets. Creating something with color that will likely be left on a table at home could showcase your services to other families who have similar aged kids.

Request patient referrals. Many dentists are a little shy about asking for referrals directly, but if you have made sure that your patient has had a positive experience, they will be more than happy to recommend you. This is because they know that they’re doing a favor for their friends, who understand the stresses that come with taking children to the dentist.

Create and promote special offers. A lot of parents know that going back to school is a time when they have to spend money. Books, clothes, haircuts, these are all things that add up and can put a certain strain on some families. This is why during this time they’ll be more conscious of saving money and they may be more attracted to the idea of a discount.

Send out an email newsletter. Remind families of your services and let them know that you have back to school offers available by sending out an email newsletter. The letter can include brushing, flossing and nutrition tips, while simultaneously generating leads to fill your appointment calendar.

Whether you are looking to hold on to your practice or are even considering selling, showcasing a variety of ways to generate profit throughout the year is always an effective way to demonstrate value to a prospective buyer.

Have you had any experience marketing back to school specials? Let us know in the comments.


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Dental practice transitions NAPB Avoid These 5 Major Mistakes When Buying a Dental Practice

Avoid These 5 Major Mistakes When Buying a Dental Practice

Purchasing a dental practice requires careful thought and consideration. Once you’ve acquired the funds to make the purchase, there are some critical questions to ask yourself before you sign on the dotted line.

  • Is the practice the right one for you?
  • How are you going to manage the practice after purchase?
  • Which operational aspects should you be more invested in?
  • What financial figures and patient numbers should you work toward?
  • What are the most efficient systems you can implement to market and manage your practice?
  • What will you do to improve your practice’s profitability?

Answering these questions thoroughly can help you avoid some of the most common mistakes that other practice owners have made when purchasing a dental practice.

  1. Don’t Ignore Earnings Normalization

When you are in negotiations to buy a dental practice, you will be provided with the current owner’s records to give you an idea of the financial health of the practice. Don’t take the financials at face value. Review all operational expenses with your CPA.

  1. Misinterpreting The Seller’s Utilization

Remember that all dentists work differently, and there may be a major difference between the seller’s ability or areas of expertise when compared to the purchaser.

All staff hours should be considered for how efficiently they are filled, and the role of the doctor should be to spend the minimal amount of time with each patient required for each treatment or procedure. This helps the practice move efficiently, which means your patients don’t spend as much time in the waiting room.

  1. Forgetting to Generate Revenue

It may sound obvious, but there are many dentists who do not have a plan to increase their revenue. There are many creative options for increasing revenue, and they should be a focal point of your strategy from day one. Online advertising, direct marketing, and patient retention marketing need to be adopted as early as possible.

  1. Not Performing Due Diligence on Patient Files

Your average patient file should range between $400 to $525 per annum, but of course, you will have patients with larger and smaller fees. In the event that your patients do not fit into this range, their files should be reviewed. If their fees are lower, consider working on your own sales skills.

  1. Not Optimizing Your Working Capital

Buying for the right price leaves you with more free capital to get your new practice off the ground. You may have access to a lump sum right now, but if you buy for that price, how much running capital does that leave? Work on your deal closing ability, or partner with an experienced broker that can help you optimize your working capital.


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4 Tips to Ensure Your Dental Practice Runs Smoothly

When your dental practice is running smoothly, your job will tend to be a lot more enjoyable.

You’ll be able to provide your patients the best possible service, you’ll approach the work with more energy, and you will be able to stay a lot more focused.

Unfortunately, when the management side of things isn’t going so well, the opposite tends to occur. The quality of your work tends to slip, you’re not going to be as profitable and it’s a lot more likely that you will experience stress.

A practice that is effective is profitable both in the short term and in the long term if you are looking to sell.

What follows are four simple ways you can make sure that the operations of your business are running smoothly and successfully.

  1. Hire a professional to manage your cash flow and billing

While we understand that if you own a practice you may want complete control over your finances, it is usually a lot more effective if you hire an accountant. This not only means managing your cash flow and automating your billing solutions but knowing when it’s possible and worthwhile to offer financial help to clients.

  1. Take your inventory seriously

Inventory management is an essential, yet often overlooked skill for dentists.

Make sure that you have systems in place so that you always have the appropriate products on hand and that you are not spending unnecessary cash on inventory that never gets used.

  1. Automate your marketing

Marketing is vital for every dental practice and can ensure you are bringing in consistent leads. However, without experience – and trial and error – it’s difficult to know where to best focus your attention.

Once you’ve determined a strategy that you know is effective, either by experimenting yourself or bringing in outside help, you should look to automate the process as much as possible, freeing up your time for other work related endeavours.

  1. Maintain organization in your exam rooms

This can be something that you dental assistants help you with, but initially, this requires training on your part.

Consider using mobile units to keep tools for any given procedure within reach.

Running your dental practice smoothly will keep your headaches to a minimum and your profits coming in.

What tips have helped you run a smooth and successful dental practice?


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NAPB Brokers Why Buy a Dental Practice

Why Buy a Dental Practice?

Running your own dental practice can be extremely gratifying and profitable. But just how do you know if it’s the right move, and if you’re the right candidate to run it? Being a great dental practitioner doesn’t necessarily make you a good business owner. We’ve put some tips together to help you navigate these tricky questions and more.

You could buy a dental practice if …

… You are moving to a new area

 If you are relocating, starting a practice from scratch will be a huge step backwards. That means, the fast-paced working style you are used to will probably shift down a few gears.

Buying a dental practice that is already established can help you keep a similar momentum to what you are used to. It can be more fulfilling financially and emotionally than starting from square one.

… You want to be your own boss

Not everyone is a good follower; some of us have leadership traits that are extremely well defined, making it difficult to work for someone else. If you are an independent person who has a clear path in front of you, owning your own dental practice might be for you.

… You do not want to start from scratch

Buying an existing practice that has a staff contingent means you don’t have to start training people while canvassing for new clients, and that can make the world of difference to your working life.

… You want more business

Another common reason why a dentist might buy an existing dental practice is because their current operation is quiet. Buying an established practice gives you access to new patients, but there are some questions that should be considered.

Why is your current practice slow? Is it because your location is not ideal, your marketing is too flat, or your staff are not supportive enough to help you build and grow the business? If your current practice is experiencing set backs, sit back and take stock of why, before committing yourself to more financial debt. You may very well be treating a symptom and not the root cause of the problem. Identify and address the problem before embarking on an adventure with another practice.

If you are doing something wrong, there is a big chance you will transfer this error to your new endeavor.

… You want to find a better practice location

Renovating and redecorating can be expensive. In some instances, it makes better business sense to buy a newer practice than to fix an old one. Is your upgrade attached to a rebrand? Do you want to introduce new services? If so, buying a practice could be for you.


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NAPB dental Transition Dos and Don’ts

Transition Dos and Don’ts

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in business, a dental practice transition can be highly stressful and complex if you don’t manage it through a broker. To help demystify the process and ease you into a seamless transition, we’ve selected our top tips to let you know the dos and don’t of a successful practice transition.

Do Separate the Emotional and Financial Aspects of Your Decision

Sure, you may have put a lot of yourself into your practice and you may have mixed emotions over your decision to sell, but you don’t let your emotions dominate your decision-making.

Don’t Forget the Tax Implications

The lump sum that an interested party has offered you may look very attractive at face value, but have you considered tax costs? While you can’t negotiate how much tax you pay, you can structure your sale price more attractively to compensate.

Do Look for Assistance

Dental practice brokers help dental practices make the transition. So why do it alone?

It’s also important to mention that each sale has its own complexities and special needs that you need to consider. Perhaps an outright sale and hand-over is not ideal for your particular circumstance.

Do Have a Plan and Embrace Team Work

Follow a strategic approach, have a checklist and document each step of the process. Seek advice from a broker, your attorney and your accountant so you know you have all of your bases covered. Having the right collaborative team will ease much of the stress involved with a practice transition.

Do Brief Your Team and Ease Your Staff into The Transition

Your staff may be mature, responsible and capable but you can’t assume they will all just slip into their new roles as if nothing has happened. Use your finely honed chair-side manner to prepare your staff for the change, and get their support.

Do Vet Your Transition Expert

Selling your practice is a big deal. Look into the credentials and experience of the transition broker you want to hire. If you don’t know where to start, ask your colleagues for referrals. Compile a list and interview people, just as you would if you were filling a position in your practice.


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