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    How to make buying practices easier

    The process of finding and buying qualified dental practices is finally better.

    As dental service organizations (DSOs) and large group practices continue to expand in the dental industry, they’re continually looking to purchase dental practices and smaller groups that meet their business models and financial criteria.

    In turn, dental practices recognize there’s a gold rush going on with DSOs and groups, fueled by private equity investment, willing to pay top dollar to acquire the right practice. Traditionally, it has been necessary to pay a practice broker large fees in order to bring DSOs and groups together with practices interested in selling. And in some cases, the broker can actually derail potential deals between buyers and sellers.

    But this model is changing. Just as the real-estate industry has embraced web applications to connect buyers and sellers, the dental industry now has a similar model facilitated by a new website: DSOconnect.com.

    Related article: 6 things you need to know to survive the DSO revolution

    With DSOconnect.com, practices no longer need to hire a broker to find an interested DSO. Additionally, DSOs can now find and engage directly with potential practices interested in selling without the need for a broker. DSOconnect.com consists of three main applications: a practice valuation estimator, a database that matches business and financial profiles of practices with criteria requested by DSOs , and a content library housing educational articles and podcasts.

    The practice value estimator

    Have you ever wondered what your practice might be worth to a potential DSO or dental group buyer? As they say, “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder” — and different DSOs have different models for acquisition in terms of evaluating a potential practice. But there are a few basic metrics universally used to evaluate a practice.

    The practice estimator can give you a real-time overview of what your practice might be worth to a DSO or group so that you can be better informed moving forward.

    Practice sales database

    The engine that drives DSOconnect.com is a sophisticated relational SQL database that makes it easy for you to provide the information DSOs are looking for about your practice or group.

    Working out internet problems on a whiteboardThere’s a filtering system that allows a DSO to look for specific criteria and displays which practices meet it. As a seller, you have the ability to enter details that will make your practice interesting to a potential DSO buyer. This information can include practice metrics and geographic, financial, insurance and staffing information.

    Sellers are in control of the sales process. If there’s an interested buyer, they can contact you through the system, and you have the option to pursue further discussions. You can see their profile, but they don’t know your practice name or your contact information until you allow them to. DSOconnect.com recognizes that selling your dental practice can be a sensitive issue and by giving you control over what information is available to a potential buyer, it gives you anonymity until you’re ready to pursue the sale further.

    Articles, podcasts and online resources

    Before embarking on the journey to explore being acquired by a DSO or expanding group, it’s important to arm yourself with as much information as you can about the process and what will be expected so that you can be as successful as possible. If you’re prepared and you know the market and what factors are important, chances are that you’ll drive the deal and stay in control — not the other way around.

    Related article: Why the future is DSOs

    DSOconnect.com has embarked on providing education and resources to help the practice or small group prepare for a sale or acquisition to a DSO. DSOconnect.com provides interviews with DSOs, emerging groups, practice sales experts and other thought leaders, and there’s a growing library of resources to make the process of selling your practice go a little smoother.

    A changing technical world

    Over the past few years, technology has increased a business’s ability to call it own shots without needing to rely on a middleman or broker. Other industries have embraced this model, and hopefully DSOconnect.com will lead the dental industry into this new technological world as well.

    Mike Uretz
    Mike Uretz is a nationally-recognized Dental software and Electronic Health Records (EHR) expert. Mike has helped hundreds of individual ...

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