When Dental Practice Ownership is NOT For You

During my practice ownership seminars this year, one of the attendees approached me inone of the breaks and randomly put his hand on my shoulder and thanked me. Attendees are generally appreciative of any help I can offer them but this time, it was different.

This particular attendee thanked me and stated that because of my course, he realized practice ownership is NOT for him. The reason? Well not what you might expect. It wasn’t because he didn’t feel ready. It wasn’t because he realised he didn’t have the personality for it. No. It came down to one thing and one thing only: he wasn’t willing to make the financial sacrifice.

You see, this particular associate was billing approximately $1,000,000 per year at his job and after labs, his commission was approx $350,000.

When this dentist said what he said and gave me his reason, it was perhaps the happiest I have been at any one of my seminars. He understood exactly what I had been teaching in regards to numbers. He understood that ownership was not something to be glorified.

Yes ownership is more than just money, but ultimately, you are entering into a business and the finances have to make sense. For him, they didn’t.

He doesn’t have the ego to want to be an owner. He doesn’t have to be captain of the ship and have the stresses that come with being captain. Especially because he is already earning more than many owners earn after they take their commission and any profits that are left from their business.

Why would he bother with the risk of ownership when he could have a great lifestyle with no headaches once he leaves work and continue doing what he was doing, with full autonomy and excellent earnings?

Food for thought for aspiring owners…. One of the biggest mistakes that aspiring owners make is that they look at people that are successful owners who have had the benefit of many years of establishing themselves and make comparisons. They overlook the initial hard yards and the fact that lots of owners go through years and years of pain before their business actually makes a profit and rewards their initial decision to leap into ownership.

Know your numbers. Know how much you are earning and learn about the business of practice ownership. How much you need your new practice to turnover to ensure your earnings and lifestyle remain the same as your busy associate job? Also, as an aside, learn marketing. The days of “hanging up your shingle” and watching the patients roll in are gone forever. Today’s practice needs effective marketing to grow.

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