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Effective Negotiations: Making Your Purchase a Win-Win

So, you are contemplating the next step in your dental career: a dental office to call your own. This is what you have dreamed of for as long as you can remember, right? How hard could a purchase be? After all, Dr. X wants to sell and you want to buy…this should be easy, right?

Not really. Once you find your dream practice, how do you know that you are getting a fair deal? What are the major items to be negotiated and what is the best strategy for a successful purchase? Is there an office lease or will I purchase the real estate too? What about the accounts receivable or the equipment and inventory?  These are some factors to consider and potentially negotiate when looking at a purchase.

Look Before You Leap
Planning is always number 1… Just like a successful case presentation, the more planning that goes into your purchase, the better the chances of a successful outcome. Research on location, patient demographics, the number of dentists in the area, population growth and potential referral sources are some areas to consider. Once you have familiarized yourself with those items, you will be ready to narrow your search and make an offer when you find the right practice. The more information that you have about a particular practice for sale, the better your chances of a successful purchase.

In 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey recommends starting with the end in mind. Envision the success of the purchase transaction before your begin. Have your ideal outcome in mind and do not be afraid to present it from the start. Ask as many questions as possible about the practice, particular dental philosophy and the seller’s plans for the future.

Better to Collaborate Than Compete
Keep in mind, occasionally, the negotiating and purchase process becomes challenging and stressful. The best negotiators think in terms of cooperation and collaboration instead of competition. Competitors like “I win, you lose” outcomes. The best-case scenario often occurs when you negotiate from the collaborative mind set. This type of negotiation happens when both parties work together for the common good. “How can we structure this transaction so we are both treated equitably at the closing table?” The answer is fair compensation for a fair market value. This is the best way to work toward the common goal of a successful purchase and sale.

In the end, research has shown that while price is often an important factor in purchase negotiations, money does not always correlate as much to lasting happiness as friendships and social ties do. Your practice purchase involves people and personalities as much it involves price and terms. Balance among all of those factors is a worthy goal to aim towards for a long lasting and financially rewarding dental practice.

For more information on successfully negotiating the purchase of your dream dental office, please contact your local ADS Florida representative.

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