**When is the Right Time for Practice Ownership?** Part 1

I get asked this question quite a bit.

I’m going split my answer and cover four different aspects: clinical, financial, personal life, business acumen.

1. Clinical Skill
Your communication skills need to be very good. No one is going to get dentistry done if you can’t communicate the need for it.

You must be able to take out teeth. Most general practices will have lots of exodontia. Not only is it profitable but it is a requirement to get the majority of toothache patients out of pain. If you work by yourself, like in a startup you can’t be referring basic molar extractions.

You must be competent in basic crown and bridge work. This is where the bulk of profits IN MOST private general practices come from. That’s not to say you can’t be profitable without doing any crown and bridge work – just that it will be MUCH more difficult.

For many people, clinical confidence won’t develop properly till you are 5-10 years out. Others it’s quicker.

2. Financial position
In the owner’s group, I asked a question to the group. I asked them to look back to when they first became an owner, how much in savings would they have wanted to have? The question did not ask what they DID have but only what they would have wanted.

The answers ranged quite a bit.

Some people said $1,000,000, others said not much at all.

However the median answer was somewhere in the $80,000-$100,000 range.

Try and finance your entire purchase or startup and preserve your savings. When times are tough, you will be thankful for this advice. Not only is it less stressful, but it will probably mean you don’t come across as desperate to patients. A dentist who doesn’t need to “make a sale” will be more likely to get patient acceptance to treatment.

I hope you have enjoyed the post, please comment, like or share below.

I will discuss personal life aspects as well as business skills in Part 2.

Disclaimer: I became a practice owner one year after graduation. Please ensure you read my response in that light. Others thoughts on this will be different and I encourage others (especially with differing views) to comment as it will help contribute different viewpoints to this considering taking the step.

I will be discussing all this and more at my Practice Ownership Seminars in Brisbane/Melbourne later in the year. These events do sell out.

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