Whether you’re a new dentist 6 months out of dental school or a dentist with a few years of experience opening a private practice is a great opportunity. You are going to be the one making the decisions and will be able to work when and how you want to. You get to choose the employees that you have by your side, whether you decide that you want to hire another dentist (or two), how many hygienists, and other support staff.
However, when deciding to start your own practice, you have a few options. You may choose to buy a dental office that is already set up, or you may choose to build your own dental practice from the ground up. There are pros and cons to both, so it is important that you take your time and make the right decision for yourself and your new business.
What are the pros of buying an existing practice?
When you buy an already established practice, you are going into a place that already is all set up and running. There are systems in place and ways of doing things. They have already figured out the best way to manage the practice, do payroll, and deal with billing, and health insurance. You can just jump in and start working. You can certainly change things later down the road you start out with a stable cash flow.
You will have staff that is already trained. Your team members already know how the office works and how things should be done. You don’t have to do as much training thanks to the experienced staff already working there.
You will have clients right off the bat. An established practice already has a patient base. You won’t need to start from zero. Instead, you have a ready-made group of clients ready for your services.
You already have the dental equipment ready to get started. Unless you need to update some things, you already have all of the things that you need to get started, including desks, chairs, dental tools, x-rays machines, and everything else you need to open your door.
What are the cons of buying an established practice?
You can’t choose the location. Unless you are just buying the patient list you aren’t going to go into an established practice and be able to move it to a new location.
You may not fit in with the staff. A good work environment is necessary to enjoy your business. It can be hard to find great staff, even if you handpick every member of your team. When you are buying a practice the chances of personal conflicts with the employees increase. If you end up finding resistance with the current staff, it can lead to a rocky start at your new dental practice.
What are the pros of building your own dental practice?
You get to decide whether you accept insurance or not. This can be a big decision and one that you shouldn’t take lightly. PPO offices and Medicaid practices will often bring in patients much faster than a fee-for-service office but at the expense of smaller margins. Those who have insurance go to places where their insurance is accepted so this choice will have an impact on your long-term success.
You get to choose your own staff. When hiring staff for your new dental clinic you can handpick each member of the team to make sure have the same philosophy of care to build the best possible experience for your patients.
You can build and design the entire building. Designing a successful practice can be really exciting. You can decide how many operatories you need, design the flow of the office and pick the perfect chairs for the waiting room. You can even choose whatever piece of artwork that you want to hang on the wall.
You can choose the equipment that you want in your practice. While you may decide to stick with affordable pieces, you may also want to think about buying state-of-the-art pieces of equipment so that you can offer more to your clients.
You get to choose the location. The possibilities are endless when you get to build your own practice. You can choose a place close to your home, right in the middle of town, or even on a quiet side street, so your clients have privacy when they come to your practice.
What are the cons of building your startup practice?
It takes time to get an office started. It can take a few months to build a building from scratch, set up, and ready to go. Even if you are just renovating an office into what you want, it can take a few months before you are able to open your doors.
It takes money to get things rolling. It can be quite expensive to build a new practice or even renovate one. Then, you are going to need to put out money to design, furnish, and buy the equipment that you need to get started. This will cost you a lot of money before you are even able to accept your first client.
You will need to focus on marketing in order to build up a base of clients. Getting New patients takes time takes time. The first year after opening a new practice can be very stressful as you build up an active patient count. There may be days when you don’t have many people on your schedule. Marketing is going to be essential to bring clients in your door!
So, what should you do?
Practice ownership is a great opportunity for dental professionals who don’t want to be part of corporate dentistry. If you buy an existing practice or build a private dental practice from the ground up the most important thing to remember is to consider all the pros and cons. Hill Commercial Construction is a leader in dental office construction in Colorado and the surrounding states. To find out more don’t hesitate to contact us today. We would be glad to sit down with you to discuss your dream and work together to make it a reality!