Should Dentist Leave Existing Practice and Start from Scratch?

Hi, I have a pretty successful practice which I purchased almost two years ago…my numbers are pretty consistent, and I’m making a decent living (although I always worry about what the following month will be like). Anyways, I’ve been thinking for a few months now of starting a practice from scratch. I would LOVE to start something from scratch in another town, maybe a coastal town near L.A…if I did this, I would hire only ONE person…yes, just one…so, this new practice would be just me and one front/back person…I would work there a couple days a week, but I’d have that one person there full time…I’d want the doors to be open….so, what are your thoughts about his?

What are the odds that I don’t meet my overhead (I think it will be around 5,000/month)…

How much can you produce a day now? Do you do your own hygiene now? If not, how will doing your own hygiene affect your daily production? What’s the business plan say in terms of OH and/or capital needs? What are the demographics in the area you’re looking at?

Do dentists ever go out of business? (I’ve read statistics that say it’s the least likely business to fail).


…please…any insights, ideas, arguments, ANYTHING would be greatly appreciated.

How will this impact your existing practice? Will you put in less time in your existing practice? Will you pay less attention on your existing practice (when the cats away, the mice will play)? Will you burn yourself out between the two practices?

My current practice is solid…two days of assisted hygiene where the hygienist sees about 12 people and one day of traditional hygiene, production averages 70,000/month. I think my overhead is about 70%…I think my practice could me more efficient, and I am working on that, but there are so many people I have to manage that I sometimes have no energy to address certain issues.

And you think going through the process of a scratch start won’t add to your things-to-do list and where will your additional energy come from if you don’t have it now?

Will you be selling your existing practice first? If not, where will the energy come from to operate TWO practices when you don’t have the energy to operate one?

There’s a disconnect.

Also, another reason why I want to start something from scratch is because I would only hire ONE (well, maybe two) person someone who would be front and back, no hygienist. My overhead would be so low I could probably work less and make the same money. I know a couple of guys who produce ~$300,000/year, but take home two-thirds of that. LOW OVERHEAD…does my train of thought make sense at all?

Depends on what you plan for the other office. Also, what does your business plan suggest in terms of your “income” from this new office and how long will it take you to achieve that income?

This post first appeared on Dentaltown.

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