By Guest Contributor: Jeromy R. Dixson, DMD, MBA, Founder/CEO of Dental Capital Partners, and Founder/CEO of the DSO Project
The diligence process, i.e., funding your DSO with private equity (PE), can be quite an undertaking. The whole process is often quoted as typically taking 60–90 days. However, it usually takes 120 days or more. DSOs/group dental practices new to PE should keep this timeframe in mind and prepare to be patient.
What Comes With It
It’s important to understand that the whole process includes a lot of data requests and extra work for the team members involved. So, making sure your team can easily pull data, and financial records before starting is essential. Prepare yourself and your team for the path ahead.
Getting Your Team Onboard
This cannot be emphasized enough. Having your DSO/group dental practice team onboard before going for PE is vital for success. Remember, the whole team is going to be a part of it, so they must know what is going on.
As a leader, you need to ensure that your team understands why the partnership is taking place. Rumors can circulate — which causes misunderstandings and assumptions that the practice or DSO is selling out. These never have a positive impact on the team. Keep them informed throughout the steps of the PE process.
Your Role as Leader
Communication is the key to success. Make sure your team understands that the partnership is a positive step towards success and growth. More importantly, your team needs to understand your expectations so that everyone is on the same page.
As a leader, it’s your job to walk your team through the PE process. Ensure that they are aware of everything that’s happening in terms of growth plans. They should know what they are working to achieve.
The Right Fit
Before jumping into the deal, consider whether it is the right fit for you. Make sure your PE partner’s vision is in line with what you want to achieve. Your strategies should be parallel to avoid any form of growth conflict.
Look for the right PE partner fit: look for aligned vision and strategic goals: the why, the what, the how you are going to grow together. Make sure there is a personality fit. Because when there are challenges, you’ll have a relationship to fall back on to collaborate and work together.
Importance of the Value Add
When you decide to go for PE, you need to think beyond capital benefits. Make sure the value the PE partner can provide is tangible to the business beyond the capital. Dig into what kind of value they bring, and how they will be helpful for you. For example, do they have dental experience? Can they help you find talent? Can they help with scaling?
Most importantly, the organization or individual you are partnering with must have some form of previous experience in group dentistry. If not, then any form of prior experience in the healthcare industry is vital.
There are many benefits that PE brings to dentist-entrepreneurs and group dentistry. To take advantage of them, make sure to prepare your team for the journey, and focus on finding a PE partner who fits with your vision — as well as adds value to your growth plans.
If you’re interested in learning more about growing your group dental practice/DSO and achieving your vision, visit deodentalgroup.com/interest/