What’s it like to sell a practice?

Which consultant in Dental Elite did you work with?
“Throughout the process I worked with Luke Moore.”

Was he in regular contact?
“With Luke there was never an issue of communication. In fact, I’ve been in contact with him for some time now – long before I even decided to put my practice on the market. I know Luke originally from when he completed a previous valuation several years ago, and from that time up until the point I decided to sell, he has been very attentive at checking in. Thus, when the time finally came, I knew that I wanted to work with Luke and Dental Elite. From there, everything ran very smoothly.”

What was your biggest fear prior to marketing the practice?
“To be honest I had no major fears or concerns before starting the process – I knew exactly what I wanted to achieve, I understood the potential barriers and complications that could occur and as a result, I just got on with it. Naturally, I still had some reservations when I decided it was time to go, but the beginning of the process – the valuation and marketing and so on – moved very quickly, so there wasn’t really enough time to worry!”

How did you find the bidding process?
“Well it all happened around Christmas time, so I actually started to receive bids when I was away in France. Because of this and the amount of bids that I received, accepting an offer actually took a couple of weeks. During this time, I took many factors into account, including how each buyer would impact aspects of the sale such as due diligence as well as completion time. Thus, in the end, I didn’t actually accept the highest bid – I went for the buyer that I thought would be best for the sale and right for the practice in the long-term.”

How did your completion price compare to your original valuation?
Despite not accepting the highest bid, the completion price was still more than what was originally advertised.”

Have you stayed on in the practice?
“I have a contract for this year for two days a week, but after that, I haven’t decided if I will stay on.”

On reflection, what was the most challenging time of your sale?
In comparison to the rest of the process, which was relatively straightforward, the due diligence process was the most challenging – and frustrating – aspect of the sale. As a local dental committee chairman I am more than aware of the barriers that due diligence presents, but having gone through it myself, I think there is definitely a demand for a service that better informs practice owners on what the process entails before they enter into it. I thought I had my affairs in order, but it turns out that I didn’t. Incidentally, there were quite a few things that needed chasing up.”

What advice would you give to future sellers?
“My main piece of advice would be to keep a due diligence file. Not only could this make a huge difference later on down the line in regards to time, but it would also allow you to negotiate a better fee with your solicitors. The other matter that vendors should be aware of is solicitor and accountancy costs, as they were definitely more than I thought they would be. By negotiating a fee at the very beginning, you could potentially save a lot of money.”

Why did you choose Dental Elite?
“A big part of it was that Luke Moore always kept in touch. Over the years we have maintained a professional relationship and that made a difference I think. I would definitely recommend Dental Elite to future vendors.”

How long did the process take?
“Although I had a valuation several years prior to putting my practice on the market, when it actually came to selling, the whole process only took five months to complete – not bad considering my goal was to finalise in three.

For more information contact Dental Elite. Visit dentalelite.co.uk, email info@dentalelite.co.uk or call 01788 545 900.