Fancy a dental practice in The Shard?

by Acquisitions, Blog, Due diligence, Exit plan, Site finding

Fancy a dental practice in The Shard?    By Sheraz Ahmed. February 1, 2017.

How do you like the idea of setting up a practice in The Shard? I’ve talked to the landlord and agreed the space for a dental practice right outside the station if you’re interested. But how do you make that decision? If you’re lucky enough to be able to start looking for a site there are so many considerations around price, location and size, and if you’re buying an existing practice you also need to think about headroom and goodwill. You might just forget about the most important consideration of them all: you.

Put all that other stuff to one side for a minute. Take a step back and really think about the kind of life you want for the next 10 or 20 years. You’re in control. This is an incredible opportunity to build happiness and meaning — or frustration and despair — into your world. It’s a much, much bigger deal than buying a home because it’s going to determine how you spend most of your waking hours.

So what kind of life do you really want?

Here are some questions that might help you figure that out:

  • Do you want to keep up your clinical hours, cut them back or stop them?
  • Are you ready to work longer hours and absorb more stress?
  • Or do you in fact want to work significantly less than you are working now?
  • Do you want to earn more money?
  • Or are you comfortable and content with what you’re earning now?
  • Or would you in fact like to earn less and less money for the same amount of work?

What a lot of people do is make a shortlist of the practices for sale in the area they live in (because they know it and that’s where their kids go to school) and then they pay more than they can really afford for the one they like most.

There’s a serious pitfall here that will catch you if you’re not careful: just because a practice has a good turnover now doesn’t mean it will this time next year or in 10 years. Those days are long gone. Revenue isn’t a solid asset, so if you’re stretching to borrow enough to pay for goodwill you are buying into a precarious business model.

The ShardWhile the interest on your borrowing, and operating costs, will definitely rise over the next 10 years, who knows what the revenue will do? Even if it stays the same, your profit margin will shrink. I believe we’re going to see the goodwill bubble burst in the next three years. It has to.

You surely don’t want to earn less and less for the same amount of work, even if it is what everyone else has been doing in the UK since 2008, do you? So what do you want? Maybe you want security. Maybe it’s more money. Maybe it’s a better work life balance, and, when you really think about it, you prefer your three week summer holiday in Cornwall over the other 49 weeks of the year. So you want to move to Cornwall.

That’s great. But whatever you want, you need it nailed down before you start looking, otherwise before you know it you could be sleepwalking into a stressful, impoverished future. Stressful might be OK, but impoverished? No.

Fine Company offers an end to end site finding service that dovetails with our due diligence work to bring you total visibility and control as you make the biggest investment in your life. If you don’t know where to start, that’s OK, we’ll work on your brief with you, then our research team will draw up a shortlist of properties to undergo due diligence so you’re presented with clear information. It speeds things up, cuts the stress and protects you from making costly mistakes at the start of your new business venture.


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“The goodwill bubble will burst in the next three years”

Sheraz Ahmed, property consultant

Author: Sheraz Ahmed