Is Your House In Order At The Time Of Sale?

I’ve been running presentations throughout the year about building a successful dental practice.

One of the things that successful dentists do is they know when the best time to exit is.

In life, some people know this, and other people do not.

In Sydney, there are radio station announcers who are still behind microphones working in what could best be described as “past their prime” conditions.

In the music industry, there are musicians and singers still performing to live audiences when they should really be retired… their voices aren’t hitting the notes they should be, and their bodies are not nearly as fit as they need to be…

I think that some of them continue on performing way past their used by date.

On the other hand, there are actors who know when it’s time to put success in a box and close the lid.



Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David knew when it was time to end the TV show SEINFELD.

At the top.

No follow on series.


One of the key points I make during those presentations that I mentioned is this:

 “AND selling a dental practice should be a life changing moment… the realization of a business life well spent…”

I continue:

“nothing upsets me more when an older dentist contacts me and wants to tart up his practice for a quick sale to some unsuspecting buyer…. to me that’s unethical and immoral… and it doesn’t have to be that way…..”

To me that’s unethical and immoral… and it doesn’t have to be that way…..

I’ve seen some pretty “interesting” and creative accounting practices going on in dental practices that are put up for sale.

Years ago, when I was looking to buy my first practice, I remember viewing a practice for sale where the owners pulled a shoe box full of dental chart cards out of a reception desk drawer and said:

“Oh, by the way, if the tax office ever turns up, these patients don’t exist…”

In other words, make this box of files disappear from the premises.

In another practice I heard of, the principal dentist was paying a salary to a relative, who was a stay-at-home mother, and was not an employee of the dental practice. She wasn’t receiving the salary. What was happening was that the dentist was pocketing a nice little amount each week in a lower tax bracket into his own back pocket….

Sometimes I go see older practices in such a state of decline that the only thing needed for the equipment and fittings and furniture is a skip bin or three…

And I think, really?

Even when selling an older style home, a lick of paint here and there and a little bit of hedge trimming can do wonders.

If you’re planning to sell your practice…

If you’re planning to sell your practice, make sure your books and accounting are all in order and above board, and make sure that your equipment works well and your fittings aren’t tired.

It’s a bit rich to try and price something on potential, when the “moment” really has passed by.

“It’s very difficult to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear…”


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