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Entrepreneurial Satellite Practice Investment Through Mentorship

by Dr. Emily Stopper

Corporate groups seem to be starting and acquiring dental practices at a rate that will someday shift the balance of private practice vs. corporate. Should this be alarming private practicing dentists? It certainly should and may very well be the WAKE UP call that dentistry needs to start acting creatively in the face of adversity.

Should we be upset with corporate group expansion? Absolutely not. They are masters in the art of “dental business.” Licensed dentists have many advantages in today’s market. When combined with the utilization of business techniques that corporate groups are using today, then we have all the ingredients to massive dental business success! This simply involves morphing the big corporate strategies to “fit” our solo and small private group practices. Collectively, we call these DDSO Strategies. If you would like, follow along as one of my friends and mentors, Dr. Brady Frank, illustrates these strategies in a video at TheDDSOAlliance.com.

One of the most popular strategies involves investing in dental practices much like one would invest in an income producing piece of real estate, or fixer-upper/flipper. This collective group of techniques can be classified as Valueadded practice investment or entrepreneurial satellite practice investment (ESP). Four main components are needed to successfully invest in these practices without having to practice clinically in those locations: A new dentist with practice ownership desire, a value-added practice to acquire, a funding source and an educational/support platform. When the four pillars are in place, it is then time to acquire the practice so all parties may reap the benefits of practice equity increase and profitability. For six examples of ESPs go to DDSOMastery.com.

The most successful platform to operate these deals is in the form of a mentorship program. In this case, the new dentist and the mentor dentist go into the deal 50/50. The new dentist has a dental license and the desire to maximize his or her career in dentistry. The mentor brings the success of his or her existing practice to the table, vendor discounts, live clinical mentorship, a financial safety net, marketing and social media momentum and a top notch team to provide practice management support. Both parties receive the benefits of equity increase and greater profitability through the shared mentorship relationship with the goal of shaving 5-10 years off of the new dentists learning, ownership and income curve. Most of the stability and security of an associateship with all the benefits and tax-advantages of ownership. I wish these programs were available when I graduated from dental school! If you are a new dentist who does not yet own a practice, check out DDSODirect.com to make direct contact with top private practices nationally who want to add value through a mentorship program.

Think about all the practices of retirement aged dentists in which the doctor has cut back on days and work load. If these regressive practices are acquired with the hopes of increase, what is the most important factor you may ask? Creative funnel marketing! There is no better way to ramp a practice up with pre-tax dollars than the creative use of technology and social media combined with both on-line and off-line marketing. These multi-media “funnels” are explored in detail at DDSOfunnels.com. It is not uncommon to double or triple new patient flow through the use of funnels with traffic driven through FB ads and coordinated direct-mail pieces.

I sincerely hope that this article and associated education links give you motivation to invest in YOURSELF by investing in DENTISTRY. If you are interested in pursuing CE in relation to some of these strategies, I would like to invite you on an upcoming DDSO Cruise powered by Smiles at Sea this September 28 to October 1 from Florida to the Bahamas!

I will be there and would love to share with you more about how you can leverage the wisdom and experience of other dentists to catapult your own success in dentistry. Cheers to dentistry and hope to see you there!

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