How to Successfully Take Over an Existing Orthodontic Practice

Orthodontists wanting to jump into owning their own practice should consider whether they should start from the ground up or if they should buy an existing practice. Practitioners who choose the latter will find plenty of advantages to gain from taking over an office with an existing base of patients and a steady cash flow. Here is how you can make the most of your orthodontic office acquisition and reap the most rewards in the process.

Consider the Location

While some orthodontists decide to buy an existing practice for the sake of finding the right location, others may prioritize other aspects of acquiring an established office that’s already up and running. But in either case, you should definitely consider the location in your decision to take over an orthodontic practice.

You’ll want to find a location where you can easily connect with the existing base of patients and where you’ll be excited to be an involved community member.

Get Your Own Appraisal

Investing in your own professional appraiser will be well worth it when making your office pick. Unfortunately, you can’t always trust the value the seller pitches to you, and their own broker’s opinion is likely to be somewhat inflated. You’ll get the truest value and a fair deal by getting a separate appraisal.

Of course, you’ll also want to consider more than the cost when picking an office to buy. A cheaper office with a small patient base and minimal cash flow won’t be as good of a deal as an office that seems spendy but already has a steady stream of revenue.

Decide Whether or Not to Rebrand

Once you have an office you’ve landed on, another important choice to make is whether you should keep the brand or change it altogether. Determining which is the right move will largely depend on the strength of the current brand (not to mention whether or not it was named after the previous owner) and how important having your own brand is to you. And if you’ve had a brand in mind for a while, you may need to consider if it will work for your new patient base and market demographics.

Either way, taking over an orthodontic practice is a great opportunity to update existing logos, fonts, and visuals.

Improve Orthodontic Office Functionality

Taking over an existing practice is also a great time to upgrade the patient management systems and to look for other ways to smooth out the workflow at the office. Perhaps your newly acquired practice could benefit from outsourcing off-hour reception services, or maybe you now need to use an orthodontic marketing team for social media.

During the acquisition process, you’re bound to run into some issues with current patients who are apprehensive about the new ownership, particularly with parents of multiple kids. Be sure to reach out to current and past patient contacts with a well-written letter to let them know about the change in ownership. Introduce yourself and reassure the patients you are committed to providing quality care and serving your community. It also helps to include a message from the previous owner to ensure patients that they were on board with the sale.

While you aren’t building things from the ground up, taking over an existing orthodontic practice allows you to refine how the office operates and shape it into something new.

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