Throughout history our time has been speckled with moments of “make or break” of “uncertain times,” moments people call “turning points.” Are the trials we are currently faced with one of these historic markers? How are you letting this moment in history affect your plans for the future? Have you placed your foot firmly on the brake pedal while you enter a phase of wait and see, or have you allowed this change to ignite that spark in the human spirit to persevere and make tomorrow even brighter?
The way we see it, we have two options, we adapt and overcome, or we react by cutting our losses and hunkering down. We know that every one of you out there has the spirit of an entrepreneur, a seeker of new beginnings, a person who builds, and one of the most important qualities of any dentist, a person who helps when things are going wrong. As health care professionals you have the security of knowing that your services will always be required, even when in an emergency only format, however, we know dental work goes well beyond emergency services, it can also repair peoples self esteem and their self expression (those uninhibited smiles). That is why we wanted to reach out to you today and address some concerns about whether or not this is the right time to purchase your own practice, and if you are in process, what you should do.
If we learned anything from 2008, it was that sellers decided to keep their practices, not cut bait and sell. If you are currently in the process of purchasing a practice, our advice is to keep pursuing that practice. Utilize this period to reassure the seller that your interest has not waned, and use this down time to continue your due diligence process. We think it is more than fair to simply ask the seller for an extension of the due diligence process, in light of the current situation, but also letting the seller know you are in it for the long haul. The total process of purchasing a practice can take anywhere from 30-90 days. All indications are that the slow down will not be that long, and positioning yourself to be the owner and hit the ground running when things get back to normal could be a huge move. All those patients who have delayed a visit to the office will be calling for appointments.
If you decide to put off buying, you may be falling in with the mass of other buyers, this means when things level out in the future there could be a great deal more competition for each practice you pursue. Remember we mentioned 2008? Of course it makes sense to lean on your advisors more than ever, and to have a heightened scrutiny of the opportunity, but we can say with confidence, making a move now could be the best move you make, period.
And the financing is there, with low interest rates, getting a loan to buy your own practice right now is easier (and cheaper) than ever.
Quote from NPR: “The Federal Reserve says it will buy bonds and mortgage-backed securities "in the amounts needed" to keep markets working smoothly, unveiling a plan that also includes measures to make sure credit is available to businesses and consumers.”
Be wise, be smart, but also, don’t be afraid to take a chance to seize a good opportunity. This will pass, and we all will get back to what we do best.