Making the Leap to Multiple Practices

Nearly every dentist knows at least one other who runs his/her own small group practice. Whether it is a friend from dental school, another doctor in the same town, or an acquaintance at the gym, most solo practitioners know another who made that leap. Have you wondered how they did it and how you could, too?

Owning a small group practice allows you to maintain ultimate control over all clinical and business decisions while capitalizing on the economies of scale of centralized operations. It does not, however, come without some inherent risk. Dentists who target multi-practice ownership broadly follow four steps below that are taught during three-day sessions at the Henry Schein Dental Business Institute. Industry experts provide dentists with business training and executive leadership skills to grow and expand their practices.

1. Planning
Develop a mission and vision statement for your practice that will be the foundation of your business plan. Your business plan should cover strategy, marketing, expansion, management, and succession; it will be used to secure practice financing and guide your practice development for the next three to five years and beyond. As you build this plan, refine your understanding of financial terminology, corporate structures, and current tax laws. This is also a time to develop your public speaking skills and confidence as a future CEO.

2. Build
Map out your expansion strategy. Determine if you plan to purchase existing practices or start from the ground up. Use key factors in evaluating site locations to determine the greatest opportunities. Learn when and how to centralize administrative activity. Establish and measure your progress toward waypoints. Explore how to lay out your physical buildings, connect technology, and place key personnel in the
right positions.

3. Lead
Understand nonclinical position types, when to add them, and how to recruit and hire the right people for the right jobs. Develop your own leadership skills and the ability to instill leadership in others while establishing a culture of performance. Gain an understanding of the complexities of employee law and how to mitigate your risk by staying in compliance. Implement policies and procedures that reward team success while protecting practice assets and minimizing any HR risk.

4. Lean Management
Multiple practice ownership allows you to spread your overhead costs across a larger production base. Using the lean principles of management, you can eliminate waste and inefficiency as you continue to grow your total production. To run a profitable business, you also need an understanding of negotiation strategy and concepts as you will inevitably negotiate employee agreements, leases, acquisitions, mergers, finance, service provisions, and more. Your ability to build, evaluate, and refine any system in your business will likely be the difference between
a good practice and a great one.

During the year-long Henry Schein Dental Business Institute program, attendees will develop and test their new business model using sophisticated simulation software, customized for dentistry. Each session will build on the concepts and skills developed in the previous session. By the completion of the program, doctors will have an efficient, effective plan that is ready to be duplicated.

To learn more about making the leap to multiple practice ownership, visit

This article was originally published in Sidekick Magazine.