Approaches and Resources

What is the best approach to your current challenge? Which resources will best support your needs?
This area of our site is designed to answer those questions. View the short video and then to locate and learn more about the products, services and resources available from Berning & Affiliates that pertain to your specific needs, follow the links below that best match your interests and current situation. All materials are available 24/7 on our site!

If you are planning the Associateship (top)
The following will provide a suggested approach to developing the practice associateship using resources located on this web site. This approach is based on many years experience developing practice relationships for doctors and we know it works.

Opportunity Listing
For owners seeking to find and qualify an associate or an associate seeking a practice opportunity. Start by placing an Opportunity listing. There is no charge for the listing. There is no limit for the text. Practice owners should describe fully what is offered and tell about the special aspects of practice. Prospective associates should describe at least their background, training and interest in specific geographic areas to practice. A picture can be uploaded. Once the listing is prepared you can then place a short ad(s) in professional journals referencing your detailed listing at www.BerningAffiliates.com. This is a cost effective approach.

Do Your Homework
Owners should consider purchasing Independent Contractor or Employee? Planning the Dental Practice Associateship. If there is an interest in potentially having an associate eventually purchase the practice, consider Steps To Consider Before Bringing on An Associate in planning to sell all or a portion of your practice. Owners and Associates Both are strongly encouraged to purchase the ADA Practical Guide to Associateships, coauthored by Randall Berning. You can order it directly from the ADA or on this site and if you order it on this site we provide our ADA Companion Reader Associateships which provides Randall Berning’s suggestions for how to use certain information in the ADA publication. It is a very cost effective way to gain an overview of the items you must be alert to. For example, in the section on Becoming An Associate there is a discussion, Guide for Evaluating an Associateship. Also, in the section on Financial Arrangements, there is a good discussion on Determining a Fair Level of Compensation and Break-Even Analysis for an Associate’s Production.

Owners and Associates
Once you have decided to move forward with your potential practice relationship you should set a meeting to discuss your respective Expectations. We have found this to be a critical aspect of starting off your relationship on the right foot. Consider purchasing our Expectations Discussion Format. Make notes during the meeting. After the meeting look over your notes. Are you both thinking about the associateship and the future of the relationship the same way? If not, proceed with caution! Both owners and associates will find Qualify and Interview – How To Get the Right Match for Associateship and Partnerships particularly helpful. It includes suggested interview questions and observations developed over many years.

Associates
Consider viewing the slide program Career Alternatives & Decision Making. We have found that younger professionals can face significant difficulty actually deciding what opportunity they will pursue and when. This program was designed to provide helpful considerations for the younger professional. Associates with significant debt starting out their career may also want to consider Pointers on Debt Management for Younger Professionals. We find that too many younger professionals do not pursue the practice opportunities they really want to because of their concern with current debt. This publication can help.

Owners and Associates
You will find our form agreements of particular help. These agreement formats have been reviewed by various doctor’s advisors countless times. However, they are just that, a form. Owners and associates should discuss the form and add any items they desire, such as compensation arrangements and benefits. The practice owner should then have an attorney licensed in your state that has an employment law background or health care or business/tax specialty review the agreement to make sure it complies with your state law. He or she may also have suggestions or items they have found helpful for you to consider. After the owner’s attorney has reviewed the form with any additions, younger professionals then should plan on having the agreement reviewed on their behalf by separate counsel. Younger professionals should indicate that the scope of the legal engagement sought is limited to a review. This instruction should keep the cost of any legal review of these form agreements to a minimum. Both parties will find our slide program, Role and Selection of Advisors helpful in this regard. If you need help in considering and structuring your associateship or in transitioning from the associateship to partnership or sale, you are welcome to contact us for our Tackle It! consultation. Note if a non-traditional practice relationship is desired owners and younger professionals may find our resource materials Solo Group Formation: Practice and Legal Issues of interest.

If you are planning the Practice Partnership (top)
The following will provide a suggested approach to developing the practice partnership using resources located on this web site. For convenience, we use the words partner and partnership to include traditional partnerships and also shareholder and stock purchase agreements unless otherwise noted. Partnership development can be an involved and delicate undertaking. It is worth taking your time and carefully structuring the relationship. This approach is not comprehensive, frankly there are just too many variables. This is particularly the case for the larger or multi-discipline practices. But for most practices this series of steps will serve you well. If you need help in considering and structuring your partnership or transition / succession plan, you are welcome to contact us for our Tackle It! Consultation.

For owners seeking to find and qualify an associate / partner or an associate seeking a practice opportunity with the potential for acquiring an equity interest.
Start by placing an Opportunity listing. There is no charge for the listing. There is no limit for the text. Practice owners should describe fully what is offered and tell about the special aspects of practice. Prospective associates should describe at least their background, training and interest in specific geographic areas to practice. A picture can be uploaded. Once the listing is prepared you can then place a short ad(s) in professional journals referencing your detailed listing at www.BerningAffiliates.com/web/opportunities2.html. This is a cost effective approach.

Owners who already have an associate or party interested in being a partner should do the following.
First, each party should purchase and fill out the Desired Attributes for a partner. We find that clarifying and understanding the attributes desired by each partner sets the foundation for the practice relationship.

Second, exchange practice / personal information Questionnaires. A helpful Special Report which includes pre-interview preparation and questions to cover is Qualify & Interview: How to Get the Right Match for Associateships and Partnerships.

Third, set a meeting date to discuss your responses to the Desired Attributes and Questionnaires. If you are both comfortable with the discussion, the general trust level, and interest in structuring the relationship, then proceed.

Fourth, the practice owner should secure a practice valuation. Secure a quote at DDS ValuePoint Quote and order your valuation at DDS ValuePoint. Owners and Associates are both strongly encouraged to purchase the ADA Practical Guide to Valuing a Practice, coauthored by Randall Berning. You can order it directly from the ADA or on this web site and if you order it through our on-line Store we provide our ADA Companion Reader Valuing a Practice which provides Randall Berning’s suggestions for how to use certain information in the ADA publication. It is a very cost effective way to gain an overview of the items you must be alert to before you order and then receive your valuation work product. For example, the discussion on Valuation Methods details the Capitalized Earnings Method and that is one of the most important methods to understand for owners, partners and purchasers. Further, Factors Complicating The Valuation Process is invaluable to help all doctors avoid difficulties in securing appropriate valuations.

Fifth, both doctors should have a comprehensive understanding of the practice local demographics and the individuals and families living and working there. Even though an owner has lived and worked in an area for many years he/she may not be aware of key facts and trends. For both doctors, being knowledgeable in this important area allows you to plan for the future, market with pinpoint accuracy and discuss the strengths of the practice location. Click here to order our Demographics Service. Our demographics affiliate provides not only a very detailed work product but also, the ability to link ages, incomes and areas and order mailing list with the specific elements desired for your practice marketing. This is highly cost effective.

Sixth, begin the process of developing the terms for your practice relationship. See our suggested format for developing terms. Note these formats are not inexpensive but we find that if you can reach a consensus on these terms you are on the road to structuring a well developed longer term relationship.

Seventh, work with your accountant to structure the cash flow for the partnership, including compensation distribution and debt repayment. You can order our Excel Cash Flow formats to move the process along quickly with your accountant. You will benefit by having the current tax aspects of structuring the purchase reviewed by tax counsel. If you need help locating health care or business/tax counsel please contact us Contact Us.

Document sets that track with our terms agendas and illustrate key points are available. Again, they are not inexpensive but they do represent a refinement of documents that are intended to clearly detail the practice relationship by avoiding ambiguity which can be the source of dispute. The practice owner should have an attorney licensed in your state that has health care or business/tax specialty draft from scratch or review the document set and modify it as appropriate to make sure it complies with your terms and your state law. He or she may also have suggestions or items they have found helpful for you to consider. After the owner’s attorney has prepared the draft with any additions, younger professionals then should plan on having the agreement reviewed on their behalf by separate counsel. Younger professionals should indicate that the scope of the legal engagement sought is limited to a review. This instruction should keep the cost of any legal review of these form agreements to a minimum. Both parties will find our slide program, Role and Selection of Advisors helpful in this regard.

Once you are set and ready to move forward, consider the valuable New Doctor Starting Right: Associate/Partner material to help guide raising the visibility of the practice and the doctors given the addition of a new doctor. This is a very important time to get the relationship off to the right start but also to bring local awareness to the growth of the practice.

Helping younger professionals quickly move forward on a firm financial footing is important. For both younger professionals and practice owners check out the invaluable contribution to understanding Investment Value, Accumulation, learning How Much It Will Take? and the Lifetime Investing Plan all by Dr. Alvin Danenberg, CSP, CFP, CASA with his Accumulating Wealth Series #1-3.

Online seminars that can be helpful to both younger professionals and practice owners include Three Magical Questions and Managing a Practice for set up and periodic review. If you need help in considering and structuring your associateship or in transitioning from the associateship to partnership or sale, you are welcome to contact us for our Tackle It! Consultation.

If you are planning the Practice Purchase and Sale (top)
The following will provide a suggested approach to developing the practice sale using resources located on this web site. This approach is based on many years experience developing practice sales that are cost effective for doctors.

For owners seeking to sell or a purchaser seeking a practice.
Start by placing an Opportunity listing. There is no charge for the listing. There is no limit for the text. Practice owners should describe fully what is offered and tell about the special aspects of practice. Prospective purchasers should describe what they are seeking in a practice and location. A picture can be uploaded. Once the listing is prepared you can then place a short ad(s) in professional journals referencing your detailed listing at www.BerningAffiliates.com/web/opportunities2.html. This is a cost effective approach.

Do your homework.
Owners and Purchasers should consider reading the discussion above if there will be a preliminary associateship, see If You Are Planning the Practice Associateship. If there is an interest in potentially having an associate eventually purchase the practice, consider Steps To Consider Before Bringing on An Associate in planning to sell all or a portion of your practice.

Owners should consider acquiring Selecting and Using A Practice Broker: Practice and Legal Aspects, if there is not to be a preliminary associateship.

Purchasers should consider Joining And Leaving the Dental Practice which discusses practice purchase and finance options. Prior to the practice purchased options for the form of ownership should be evaluated with your accountant and attorney.

Owners do the following if you want to expedite the sale of the practice.
First, the practice owner should secure a practice valuation. You can secure a quote for a practice valuation through our professional affiliate at DDS ValuePoint Quote. Owners and Purchasers are both strongly encouraged to acquire The ADA Practical Guide to Valuing a Practice, coauthored by Randall Berning and Paul Baumann. You can order it directly from the ADA or on this site and if you order it on this site we provide our ADA Companion Reader Valuing A Practice which provides Randall Berning’s suggestions for how to use certain information in the ADA publication. It is a very cost effective way to gain an overview of the items you must be alert to before you order and then receive your valuation work product. For example, the discussion on Valuation Methods details the Capitalized Earnings Method and that is one of the most important methods to understand for owners, partners and purchasers. Further, Factors Complicating The Valuation Process is invaluable to help all doctors avoid difficulties in securing appropriate valuations.

Second, develop the Terms for the sale. See our suggested format for developing terms. Note these formats are not inexpensive but we find that if you can reach a consensus on these terms you are on the road to structuring a well developed longer term relationship.

Third, develop the Purchase and Sale Agreement. A document set that tracks with our terms agenda to illustrate the drafting is available. Again, they are not inexpensive but they do represent a refinement of documents that are intended to clearly detail the practice sale and purchase transaction.

The practice owner should have an attorney licensed in your state that has health care or business/tax specialty draft from scratch or review the document set and modify it as appropriate to make sure it complies with your terms and your state law. He or she may also have suggestions or items they have found helpful for you to consider. After the owner’s attorney has prepared the draft with any additions, younger professionals then should plan on having the agreement reviewed on their behalf by separate counsel. Younger professionals should indicate that the scope of the legal engagement sought is limited to a review. This instruction should keep the cost of any legal review of these form agreements to a minimum. Both parties will find our slide program, Role and Selection of Advisors helpful in this regard.

If you need help in considering and structuring your associateship or in transitioning from the associateship to partnership or sale, you are welcome to contact us for our Tackle It! Consultation.

If you are interested in Doctor CEO (top)
The following will provide a suggested approach for Doctor CEO’s looking to gain increased practice and personal performance, accelerate your practice development and increase practice value. Our goal in developing our approach is to help doctors act and react like a CEO within a life plan. This is our difference, we facilitate the overall personal and practice timeline. We prepare this material for increasingly sophisticated individual doctor and group practice situations.

First, start by considering if you need to develop or refine your practice vision. If so, read and use Vision: How To Get The Most Essential Ingredient For Your Practice . The discussion and work sheet agenda will allow you to take the steps necessary to develop a clear vision statement that starts the path to effective practice planning.

Second, evaluate your leadership skills. If you would like to learn our view on an approach to leadership development read and use Leadership: For the Doctor CEO. The discussion and work sheet agenda will allow you to take important steps toward a sound leadership approach for the practice and your team.

Third, determine if you have a comprehensive understanding of your local demographics and the individuals and families living and working there. Even though you have lived and worked in an area for many years you may not be aware of key facts and trends. Being knowledgeable in this important area allows you to plan for the future, market with pinpoint accuracy and discuss the strengths of the practice location with a prospective associate or partner. Click here to order our Demographics Service. Our demographics affiliate provides not only a very detailed work product but also, the ability to link ages, incomes and areas and order mailing list with the specific elements desired for your practice marketing. This is highly cost effective.

Fourth, in understanding the context of a practice consider having your staff prepare a Profile of Current Patients. This very useful material can help you learn where the patients that are already in your practice work and live. The format allows for plotting referral and competitor practices.

Fifth, if you are a solo doctor or part of a group and you want to design a well developed future, consider our Doctor CEO Practice Planning Day. This is a challenging program that gives a tremendous return for the time you invest. We adapt this same program when doctors in a new group participate in shaping the future of their New Group practice. In both cases the benefits are significant including, applying streamlined business planning methodology to identify options and reach important key decisions by consensus. Objectives for practice and personal performance are set and the program helps guides the practice to reach its full potential. Note, the program starts with all doctors undertaking homework before our meeting. To begin, we provide a compilation of materials that gets all doctors on the same level of understanding. In this way, the level of awareness and capability of the doctors is raised with a planning and decision-making orientation. Questionnaires are sent to the doctor(s) and the answers carefully evaluated. The Questionnaires serve to raise underlying items that bear on structuring a well developed futures for the doctors and practice. During and following the meeting we will discuss and tailor to your practice vision, mission, philosophy of care, performance objectives for the practice, team members and doctors. We will also develop the overall timeline for the practice future to guide all doctors in leading the practice forward.

Sixth, if you seek close personal assistance our Stay On Track Annual Coaching program may be appropriate. This is designed for doctors who need more than a consultation because of complex matters you face or as a continuation and follow through from our practice vision or planning programs. This program provides a special level of weekly attention to helping you accomplish your objectives and goals.

Seventh, if you are concerned about unmet legal needs of the practice or if you are about to offer a partnership equity interest to a doctor(s) and you want to make sure that the representations you make about the good standing of the practice, partnership, corporation or practice affiliation is accurate you may benefit from our Legal Audit.

Gaining a comfortable financial footing is important for any Doctor CEO. Both younger professionals and practice owners should check out the invaluable contribution to understanding Investment Value, Accumulation, learning How Much It Will Take? and the Lifetime Investing Plan all by Dr. Alvin Danenberg, CSP, CFP, CASA with his Accumulating Wealth Series #1-3.

Side programs that may prompt your thinking and spur considerations include Three Magical Questions and Managing a Practice for set up and periodic review.

If you need help moving forward and want to discuss your challenges and/or opportunities, you are welcome to contact us for our Tackle It! Consultation.