Ten Tips to Preparing your Practice for Sale

1. PLAN AHEAD
In today’s market, selling a practice is “easier said than done”. Thus, it is
incumbent upon you to plan well in advance for the sale of your practice. For
example: six months to one year (for a metropolitan area), one to two years
(for a medium sized city), and two to five years (for smaller cities).

2. CLEAN UP THE CLUTTER
Most practices have accumulated years and years of “clutter” (books, journals,
old dental equipment, artifacts). All of this should be cleaned up and in some
manner disposed of. Buyers will expect an office to be organized and sanitary.

3. SPRUCE UP THE DÉCOR
Like the appearance of your home when attempting to sell it, the practice
should look neat and tidy. Some low cost items like carpeting, wallpaper and
paint can do wonders for the appearance of an office, thus enhance its appeal.

4. GET YOUR FEES IN LINE
If your practice has been lacking in updating your fee schedule, do so in
preparation of its sale. No buyer wants the first order of business to be raising
fees! An average to above average fee schedule shows a patient acceptance of
quality dentistry.

5. REINVIGORATE YOUR RECALL SYSTEM
Many aging practices evolve into a “voluntary recall system”. Re-instituting an
“active recall system” will not only increase your production, but your active
patients and patient flow.

6. TUNE UP YOUR DENTAL AND OFFICE EQUIPMENT
Although it is not advisable to make major equipment purchases immediately
preceding the sale of your practice, it is advisable to get your equipment
functioning well, and if necessary, replace or add certain items. For example,
recovering a dental chair or replacing a cabinet facing are a few items that can
enhance the practice’s appearance and productivity.

7. WEED OUT THE “BAD” ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE
Most practices have accounts receivable that should have been turned over to
collections or written off. This should be done on an ongoing basis, however
it is imperative to handle these accounts before the practice is sold.

8. DON’T LET YOUR LEASE LAPSE
With some exceptions (e.g. records sale or inferior facility), it is important that
the buyer have a facility in which to practice. Be sure that your lease is current
and that a renewal options, assignments and/or new leases are available to a
buyer.

9. MAINTAIN YOUR PRODUCTION
In anticipation of the sale of the practice, some doctors cut back significantly
on their schedules, thus affecting the practice’s production, vitality and
ultimately its value. It is critical that the practice’s production does not slide
prior to sale.

10. CHECK WITH YOUR ADVISORS
Before you make what may be a “once in a lifetime” decision, you should
check with the people you trust the most. Counsel from financial advisors (to
check on the financial feasibility of retiring), accountants (to check on the tax
ramifications), attorney (to check on any legalities or estate planning issues),
and a competent experienced practice broker (to pull the whole thing
together) is essential for a successful transition.

By: Kevin Shea, President of Shea Practice Transitions, P.A.