How do I sell my dental practice?
How do I sell my dental practice is one of the most common questions we get asked. It isn’t surprising given that selling a dental practice is a big decision. There are 9 key steps to successfully selling a dental practice. In this short video, Andy Acton explains more about each of the different steps you must go through to successfully sell your dental practice.
In summary, the key steps to selling are as follows:
Step 1: Know your motivation and reasons for selling your dental practice.
So often principals think they want to sell their dental practice when there is a pressure point or frustration in owning a dental practice which can be fixed. For example, it might be a non-performing team member or the ever-increasing admin burden of running a dental practice. These are both issues which can be fixed and do not require selling. However, if it is more fundamental such as retirement, ill health or relocation then selling is a serious consideration. It’s important to know why your are selling as this is a big life decision and not one to be made lightly.
Buyers will also be interested to know why you are selling your dental practice too.
Step 2: Choose the right time for the sale.
In an ideal world you will look to plan the sale of your dental practice two years ahead. However, for many this isn’t possible due to a variety of reasons.
The more time you have to prepare the more opportunity to improve the performance or make slight adjustments to increase the desirability of your dental practice to buyers.
You will also need to set aside time to organise the sale. Whilst your sales agent will take on the majority of the work there is still work to be done in assembling information so that the process can get under way.
Step 3: Know the type of buyer.
When selling your dental practice there will a variety of buyers interested. These can range from an existing partner or associate. If a partner then you most likely will have a legal obligation to offer them your practice in the first instance. Frank Taylor & Associates have in excess of 5,400 dentists looking to buy a dental practice and this is group is the most likely to acquire your practice. There is also the corporate market who will require you to stay on for a number of years and defer some of the purchase price, this may or may not suit your situation.
Step 4: Start to gather your documentation as early as possible.
The sooner you can prepare the documentation for the sale of your dental practice the better. A good start point is to use your CQC files which should provide you with easy access to a significant amount of the information needed.
Step 5: Consider using a practice sales agent. Not mandatory, but a good one will certainly add value to your sale.
The time required to sell your dental practice will mount up and a sales agent will shoulder the burden of the time required to achieve a good result. This will enable you to focus on running your dental practice and ensure the performance is maintained through the sale process which is critical. So often practice owners start to slip into a mindset of having sold before the deal completes which can be detrimental to the value of your dental practice.
Step 6: Get an up to date, independent practice valuation.
Your dental practice is unique so it won’t value like any other practice. It’s critical that you get a valuation specific to your practice. Sometimes sellers let the buyer (commonly a corporate buyer) to value their dental practice which has the high potential to be biased. Getting your own independent dental practice valuation is a must.
You can get more details here on the comprehensive Frank Taylor & Associates valuation
Step 7: Find potential buyers – don’t accept an offer without advertising your sale to the open market.
You can do this yourself with adverts, using online forums and asking across your network. Be careful to preserve confidentiality if managing this yourself and limit the information you share with any prospective purchasers.
A good sales agent will manage this process for you and critically ensure your dental practice is presented to the widest possible audience so that you get the best deal available in the market.
The buyer of your dental practice will also need to be able to finance the deal and gaining confirmation that they have access to the necessary funds early on is non-negotiable.
Step 8: Prepare for Due Diligence to ensure your sale moves forward swiftly.
The time it takes to sell your dental practice will very much depend on how long it takes you to complete the due diligence. This can take from two weeks to three months – it is down to you how quickly you want your deal to progress.
You can get more detail on the due diligence process here.
Step 9: Completion & next steps.
This is the time to celebrate! You have made it through to completion and we hope this guide ensures you are well prepared for how to sell your dental practice.
If after watching the video, you still have further questions about selling your dental practice or you’d like to find out more about a valuation from the expert team at Frank Taylor & Associates, please call us on 0330 088 1156.