From the ADS South Family, Happy Holidays

What is Truly Important in Life…

This is the time of year when people of all faiths look into their hearts to remind themselves what is truly important in life. If we get it, we discover it has nothing to do with our valued businesses, our money, our possessions or even our good fortune. We’ll see that the true extraordinary gift of our faith, whatever it happens to be, is the love we have for our God, our family, our friends, and everyone on the planet. We at ADS South share this gift with you and yours and marvel at the blessings it gives us.

Dr. Earl and Virginia Douglas

Dr. Earl and Virginia Douglas

Dr. Jim and Vikki Howard (with Captain)

Dr. Jim and Vikki Howard (with Captain)

Rebecca Kyatt, Dr. Victor Kyatt, Victor and Taylor Grace

Rebecca Kyatt, Dr. Victor Kyatt, Victor and Taylor Grace

www.adssouth.com
Practice Transitions Made Perfect

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Are you looking to sell your dental practice? Start here…

ADS South Team in Charlotte at National ADS Meeting

When you list your practice with an ADS Specialist, you get not only your local marketing leverage, but also the benefit of ADS’ continual presence in Dental Economics, an exclusive partnership with DentalTown.com to market listings in real time as well as advertising in the ADA News, Dental Entrepreneur Magazine, a relationship with DentistryIQ.com and a connection to every ADS office in America via the ADS website you are currently visiting. The ADS website attracts and reaches potential buyers actively searching for practices.

However, the ADS network reaches far beyond just our member specialist brokers, magazines and websites, into our preferred lenders as well as practice management, accounting and law firms nationwide. These expansive connections allow ADS to reach more buyers in more ways, providing the most exposure possible in the marketing of your practice.

ADS reaches more doctors on a regular basis than any other specialist, nationwide, and, we’re constantly reviewing our marketing, looking for areas in which to expand so to best serve our selling doctors.

Contact ADS South

www.ADSsouth.com | (770) 664-1982
Earl Douglas:Earl@adssouth.com
James Howard:Jim@adssouth.com
Rebecca Kyatt:Rebecca@adssouth.com
Virginia Douglas:Virginia@adssouth.com

A Story of Three Dentists

Back in 2002 our firm encountered three dentists within a one year period who experienced the same event – death.

keys on metal key ringDr. A called our office, saying that he was going into the hospital for tests and needed a dentist to cover his practice, which we provided. I visited him at the hospital and his condition was so serious that he and his wife decided to sell his practice. I was given a key to the office and with the help of a dentist who was familiar with the practice’s software, I was able to quickly gather all of the information required to perform an appraisal and prepare a marketing package. The next day I contacted a prospect from our database, showed the practice to him and went over the practice figures and other information he requested. After several hours of inspection and study, he made a full price offer. The following day Dr. A died. During the following week, sale contracts were distributed and reviewed and a lease for the office and financing were obtained. The sale closed ten days later with the widow receiving the full price in cash.

Dr. B was exercising when he suddenly died. Our firm had coincidentally performed an appraisal of his practice six months earlier. Upon his death, his accountant and widow contacted our firm to sell the practice. Our first step was to provide a dentist to provide continued care for patients of the practice. With a current appraisal and marketing material in hand, we contacted a prospect from our database who quickly made an offer of 94% of the appraised price. Dr. B’s widow was paid in full in cash three weeks later.

If you’re looking to sell your dental practice, marketing with a professional gets it done faster!

Dr. C died in his office of a sudden heart attack. The family attorney commissioned us to perform an appraisal of the practice but elected to try sell the practice himself. After four months of no activity the attorney contracted us to sell the practice. The attorney failed to place a dentist in the practice to provide continuing patient care. The doors of the practice were essentially shut for four months, during which time practice value, as well as interest in the practice, had dropped precipitously. We immediately placed a locum tenens dentist in the practice to try to revive patient activity, which was minimal. Finally, five months after the owner’s death, a purchaser was found. The practice sold for one third of its originally appraised value.

Dr. A and Dr. B’s practice sales were as successful as if they had not suddenly died. Dr. C’s outcome was much less successful.

There are several factors in post-death practice sale success. The first is the use of a locum tenens dentist to continue the practice operation. Keeping the practice active is vital in preserving value and marketability. Many patients are lost when a practice is closed or when well-meaning nearby dentists cover the practice.

Another factor for success is enlisting a professional practice broker, even though the family may already have interested prospects. Expertise and experience are critical in marketing, prospecting, qualifying, financing and selling a practice. Having prospects to immediately contact for a sale is invaluable.

However, without complete and current practice data, even the best practice broker will be ineffective. Dentists rarely assemble this information during their lifetime. The task invariably falls on a grieving spouse who does not know what to look for, where to look, or who to call. The lack of complete practice information and a professional approach to marketing the practice may easily result in losses of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The process of gathering practice information and pre-planning the practice sale process is practically impossible for a spouse, especially when the spouse is not involved in the practice. However, the process is relatively quick and easy for a dentist. Wise dentists will make this small investment of time and effort to ensure the best practice value and success for their family, patients and staff.

A free appraisal kit can be downloaded from our website.

Earl M. Douglas, DDS, MBA is the founding president of American Dental Sales. He is president of Professional Practice Consultants, Ltd. and personally serves the Southeast with affiliates nationwide. He can be reached at 770-664-1982 or visit our website.

Earl M. Douglas, DDS, MBA, BVAL.
Published in Dental Economics, September 2003

Value or Price – Choose Wisely | Dental Practice Transitions

Earl M. Douglas, DDS, MBA, BVAL.

 

There has been a great deal of discussion over the years about dental practice price, but very little has been said about practice value. It is especially important that practice buyers understand these terms and be able to differentiate between them, since practice value has significantly more impact upon the futures of buyers than does practice price.

Price is the consideration (cash, note, barter, etc.) paid to a seller to acquire an asset. Sellers receive price. Value is the benefit received by the buyer from the use and ownership of the acquired asset. Buyers receive value.

All too frequently buyers zero in on price as the primary practice purchase issue while ignoring the issue of value. However, buyers stand to benefit much more by receiving high value than by paying a low price, since the primary practice value is actually the net income the buyer takes home from the purchased practice.

I illustrate this point by asking buyers to consider two similar practices. Practice A grosses $400,000 and is priced at $275,000. I ask buyers if this is a good deal. Most buyers admit they do not know.

Then we look at Practice B which grosses $400,000, of which the hygienist produces $100,000 and the buyer produces $300,000. After paying all of the overhead expenses and all of the purchase payments, the buyer will have a net income of $140,000. Without even knowing the price, most buyers believe that Practice B is a good opportunity. Knowing the price and gross alone does not make for a well-informed decision. Knowing the cash flow-derived value, or net income, received in return for the amount of work performed by the buyer, does allow for a well-informed decision.

Consider Practice C which grosses $400,000 and is priced at $300,000. After paying all the practice overhead expenses and all of the purchase payments, the buyer will receive value, or net income, of $150,000. Now examine Practice D, which is very similar to Practice C. It also grosses $400,000, but is priced at $250,000. After paying all the practice overhead expenses and purchase payments, the buyer will receive value, or net income, of only $125,000. This comparison shows that it is actually possible to pay a higher price for a practice and still receive more value, or net income. Differences in fixed expenses, such as rental cost, can cause such differences. Which practice would you choose?

While we do not suggest overpaying for any practice, we do point out the old saying, “you get what you pay for”. Since “what you pay for” is net income in the case of dental practices, higher priced practices will generally yield higher net incomes, even after paying the payments. In the case of purchasing a practice, it is often safer to pay slightly too much than too little.

We strongly suggest that if you are considering buying a practice and are seeking professional advice on price, be sure that you also receive a practice cash flow analysis to learn all of the important facts, especially the answers about practice value, the net income you will earn.

Phone: (770) 664-1982 • Fax: (678) 965-1812 • Email: earl@adssouth.com
Originally Published in Dental Economics, November 1998
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