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Episode 192: What Buyers Don’t Want to Tell You About the Value of Your Dental Practice

“When you have an offer on the table, just because you get that feeling ‘Oh they picked me!’ doesn’t mean you’re getting the best deal. ” 

~Kyle Francis

You got an offer on your dental practice. Hooray! 

As you look at all those zeros on the sheet you might be sorely tempted to take that offer. Money in the bank. Less stress. What could be wrong?

Wait! What you might not know is that with a little extra research and help, you could add more zeros to that offer.

This is why we are so excited to have Kyle Francis from Professional Transition Services with us today to help you learn how to get an offer for your practice from good to great, including:

  • The 3 biggest mistakes dental entrepreneurs make when selling their practice
  • How you can avoid those mistakes
  • How to add millions to the final value of your practice when you’re ready to make that transition

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Regan 0:01
Hi Doctor, Regan Robertson, CCO of Productive Dentist Academy here and I have a question for you. Are you finding it hard to get your team aligned to your vision, but you know, you deserve growth just like everybody else? That’s why we’ve created the PDA productivity workshop. For nearly 20 years, PDA workshops have helped dentists just like you align their teams, get control of scheduling, and create productive practices that they love walking into every day. Just imagine how you will feel when you know your schedule is productive, your systems are humming, and your team is aligned to your vision. It’s simple, but it’s not necessarily easy. We can help, visit productivedentist.com/workshop that’s productivedentist.com/workshop to secure your seats now.

Regan
Doctor, you got an offer on your dental practice. Hurray. You are looking at all those zeros on the sheet and you might be sorely tempted to take that offer money in the bank less stress, what could be wrong? Well, wait. What you may not know is that you could be adding more zeros to that offer with just a little extra research and help. Think about it like going from good to great. This is why I am so excited to have Kyle Francis from Professional Transition Services with us today. He is going to share with you the three biggest mistakes that entrepreneurs make when selling their practice and how you can avoid those same mistakes and add millions. Yes, millions to the final value of your practice when you do decide to make that transition. Welcome to the Everyday Practices Podcast, I’m Regan Robertson, and my co-host, Dr. Chad Johnson, and I are on a mission to share the stories of everyday dentists who generate extraordinary results using practical proven methods you can take right into your own dental practice. If you’re ready to elevate patient care and produce results that are anything but ordinary, buckle up and listen in.

Regan 2:05
Welcome to Everyday Practices Dental podcast. I am your host Regan Robertson here on a very sunny afternoon this summer in the San Juan Islands. Our faithful co-host is busy right now doing dentistry of all things. Shame on him for helping people get healthier. He wishes us luck. Today I am here with a very special guest, Kyle Francis have practice,

Kyle Francis 2:30
Professional transition strategies

Regan 2:33
Professional transition strategies, which is right up in the, in the screen of your beautiful blue screen back there a green sweater this way?

Kyle Francis 2:44
Yeah, this way? Yep.

Regan 2:45
So I met Kyle, gosh, I want to say a year ago now and it was during the, the we are looking into different ways to optimize our dental practices, we are always wanting to get the most for our private practices and so we were introduced to you Kyle and I have just been blown away with some of the results you’ve been able to to get doctors as they are looking into transition, and so I really was excited to bring you on the podcast so we could talk about that today and really address some of the biggest mistakes that happened when you know, when dental entrepreneurs decide to sell their practice and you know, when you look at like, like buying a car, you always want to get the best deal. And so you might sit there for a few hours and haggle and you know, think yeah, maybe I saved a couple of $1,000 on that. It’s fine. It’s a car, it’s a vehicle, it’s a temporary thing, but when it comes to your livelihood, and making that big of a transition, I can imagine how it feels to kind of get to the end of the line there like that and think to yourself, did I do everything I could?

Kyle Francis 3:52
Well, do you know what? There’s actually a psychological theory about that specific thing, not just in dentistry, but it’s in entrepreneurship. It’s called founder syndrome and founder syndrome is a really, really unique concept. It has to do with how the business that you’ve created or bought, and you’ve been operating for years and years and years, it becomes kind of like a member of the family, right? An income-producing member of the family as well. So it’s a really, really important part of that family and so look, I’ve got it right, I’ve got founder syndrome with my own business, right. And we have seen with tons and tons of doctors out there that ended up having these exact same kind of emotional entanglements with their financial future. Right and that is that by the way syndrome sounds like a bad thing. It’s just one of those things that you need to understand that there are emotions tied with all these decisions, right, and so like, “Okay, what is right and what is not right, and why am I being told these things, all that really matters from an analysis standpoint?” So we talked about that a bunch.

Regan 4:49
I’ve always I didn’t know that it was called founder syndrome. So you know, I’m going to be Googling this now because I always talk about it being I say you get tied up as part of your identity. So completely all right, when you retire, you don’t have purpose. So, you know, through my BMS coaching with Donald Miller, we talk a lot about, you know, identifying your purpose and how your purpose transitions over time, but even though I am not a physical owner of like PDA, I’ve been here 12 years and I feel that emotional entanglement, is a, you take it on as part of your own identity. And it can be very hard to kind of untangle yourself from this. So you can

Kyle Francis 5:27
Even like a simple change sometimes can be, you know, really, really, really hard to wrap your brain around. So it doesn’t have to be as big as you know, thinking about transitioning out of your practice, are thinking about monetizing it is certainly all those kinds of things. It can be as easy as, should I or should I not renew this lease for the next five years, Or should it be a 10 year lease and all those kinds of things? But like, if you know that you have this as part of your brain, it it allows you to make better decisions going forward.

Regan 5:52
So I wonder if it allows you to take like adding an associate, I’ve seen lots of dentists really, really get pressured around this for me myself, I separate into two buckets. So I put on the left side, what are the data points? It’s kind of like facts and feelings. So what are my data points and then what are the emotions around each data point? So I try to ask myself, why am I having a reaction to this, or why does this matter to me? It’s almost like an Excel sheet in my head.

Kyle Francis 6:21
I think you and I might think very similarly, I love making lists like that and I do pros and cons and I do all those things. I do that a lot and it’s, it’s kind of so you kind of led me into. Are you familiar with the success rate of how often an associate works out over a five-year time horizon? You know, that style?

Regan 6:39
No,

Kyle Francis 6:39
You wanna guess?

Regan 6:40
Oh, Mike, oh, I don’t want to get out.

Kyle Francis 6:44
I don’t blame you. I don’t blame you. Okay, so it’s 20% of the time it works out over a five-year time horizon is like the worst. It’s the worst of all, medicine is not even close and I look early on in my career, I used to do associate ship placements, and I actually quit for this reason I was outpacing it by about double. I was getting about 40% of mine to stick, but here’s their Yeah, well, we do all sorts of personality profiling, we do all sorts of different types of things. If I look at it, the issue ends up being that 60% of time, I was getting a ticked-off seller or a ticked-off associate coming to me and saying, “Why did you put me with that bone? You know?” And so anyway, I decided to stop doing that, but it is, it’s kind of funny, you talk about hitting that list down. We used to do those lists versus Egypt placements and, yeah, it’s a tough, tough gig. I very much respect all the headhunters out there. That’s a tough job. So I think,

Regan 7:37
Well, I think we’ll create a separate podcast episode around that because it would be very intriguing. We’ve really transformed our own company over the last seven years and worked really hard on the culture element, which you know, you can’t you can influence culture, but culture is what culture is. It’s just it exists currently and so we’ve done a lot of that personality profiling and trying for skill set. So there’s there definitely is, I think, a formula to, to finding that successful fit, but still, it’s an associate in in a world of entre or entrepreneurially minded people. Makes it you know, additionally, difficult.

Kyle Francis 8:12
Yeah, well, I’ve also found like, the incentives are really hard unless you’re tied together with that singular purpose of ownership, right, and if you don’t have that, and suddenly, there’s all these power dynamics that get in the way of even, you know, trying to develop the culture and all that kind of stuff. Now, if you’re, if you’re a really, really skilled leader, you can get through that, right. If you’re not a very skilled leader, or if that person who’s come on board is not willing to take you know, that leadership, those kind of things, It’s just, it’s, it’s a hard, I guess, a hard rat’s nest to untangle, you know, so yeah.

Regan 8:43
What I like about this conversation is it plants it right here in my chest. So I’m putting myself in the doctor’s shoes and I’m thinking about some of these things that we know our dentists have gone through over the decades of being in business, and when I think about it like that, I’m like, Kyle, let’s just take the first offer. Let’s just take the offer, transition out, you know, I’m sure you’ve worked with doctors that feel that way.

Kyle Francis 9:06
Completely. Yeah. So, look, I would say that, you know, if there was a first thing that I would say, “Well, hey, just don’t do this,” it would be that right? Maybe I’ll tell you, I’ll tell you a quick story. I was early on in my career, I had the opportunity to speak to a whole bunch of different dental schools and I did so because I was doing mostly individuals individual style transactions. I was working on West Texas, it took a lot of data points, or a lot of different folks looking at a certain practice before they would finally be willing to go out to Seminole and Alpine and Abilene and all these other places, and so anyway, because I was out there, the doctors are always asked like, “Well, hey, how is that best to get into, you know, a practice, what if you don’t have one for sale?” and the examples that I would give them as , I say, “Okay, look, run a survey in that area. You pick out your geographic area, and go ahead and write handwritten letters to each one of those doctors, right? Hand in the written letters to each one of those doctors.” Many of them will say, “Yeah, absolutely, let’s talk,” all that kind of stuff. Now, here’s the thing, what I just did is I put the buyer in the advantage, right, and the reason being is now they have data points out there, and they have multiple different options in different places that they can go and look, right? So essentially, what you’re doing whenever you’re doing that is you are decreasing practice value in a way, right? Because they have multiple places they can go. So multiple sellers are vying for their attention, right? Yes. So the exact same thing happens in private equity, right? So this is not an unusual concept, right? What they do is they send out all these letters, they send out all this marketing material, they send out all this different stuff and now they are the ones with the power and the relationship, because they have 100 different data points, and they can partner with who they think is gonna be the right ones and they obviously they want to partner with the ones that they can buy most effectively and efficiently. Right and so I don’t blame them for doing that. Really, if you think about it, they have shareholders, right, and some of their shareholders, doctors, right, that have already come out, come on board with them and so you want them to be able to get the best deal for their shareholders, but it’s unbelievable to me how often a doctor just says, “Oh, I just got this letter, and I just started this conversation. I’m just gonna go ahead and do this, right?” Absolutely. At the time, it does not lead to the most optimal type of decision on that back end.

Regan 11:22
It’s a lot like when somebody offers you money for a house and a hot market. I’ve seen, I’ve had friends get so excited because they feel like oh, you’ve picked me, right? It’s that feeling of, oh, you’ve picked me not necessarily the best deal. It’s, it’s almost like you’re focusing in the wrong area, you’re putting your emotional bank in the wrong area and I never thought about shifting the power dynamic like that. I’ll tell you one time I was very young, I was in my early 20s. So poor as poor can be for me, like I mean, we had I had, I don’t, I didn’t have a car, I didn’t have cable TV at home, like I was just getting by and there was an artist, he put up all of his art in this great Italian restaurant and the pieces were 10 to $20,000. These were beautiful, massive pieces and I thought I really want a piece of his obviously, it is not in the cards for me. So I found his email online, the Internet was still fairly new and I emailed him and I said, “I am young. I don’t have any money, I can bake great cookies. Would you consider selling me a piece of art?”, and I thought, of course, obviously he’s not going to respond, right?

Kylr Francis 12:26
Right.

Regan 12:26
He did what he did and he said, “I happen to love chocolate chip cookies and if you don’t tell my agent, I will, I will print one on Canvas for you and so yeah, he lived like an hour and a half away from me. I drove down with little it was like Halloween time. So McDonald’s gives you those little like Happy Meal plastic like trick or treat tubs. So I filled like two of them with cookies, took him down. He took me into his studio, he gave me that plus he gave me some originals. It was like an unbelievable experience and I thought if you don’t try, right, you never know what can happen and so for you to take like when I think of professional transition strategies, I think of a very, like high caliber, sleek, modern organization and you’re like write him letters, right hand write some letters out and send them out.

Kyle Francis 13:16
That was funny. I mean, it’s like the little stuff that ends up working because I mean, look at maybe I’ll tell you one more. So we worked with a doctor out in Portland, this doctor very nice practice, right? So like $2.6 million top line, something like $800,000 and EBITA, which is just a metric for profitability, right? So by the way, if I ever end up going down the acronym, rabbit hole, just let me know, I will try to unwind myself from that.

Regan 13:42
Explain. Well, I’m always surprised, I, my assumption is that every doctor knows what EBITA is, but that’s that’s not always the case. So what is EBITA?

Kyle Francis 13:50
Okay? So the way I think about EBITA, okay, technically, it’s an acronym, it stands for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, really is just a fancy way of talking about net profit. The easiest way for a doctor to be thinking about this is gonna be, let’s say that they no longer wanted to practice chairside right, and they needed to find an associate to do all the work out of the practice, we have to pay that associate a fair wage, right? Yeah. So how much is left over from the practice after all the expenses are paid, including that new associate’s comp, right? That’s the amount of EBITA in our practice,

Regan 14:20
Perfect and businesses are valued often off of that number. Is that correct?

Kyle Francis 14:25
Absolutely. So yeah, it’s just like recurring cash flow, right. So if you think about it, like an annuity right, practices are unbelievably hard to kill in total and it’s kind of weird way of talking about it, but it’s a 0.3% default rate, right? So it’s, so it’s only three out of 1000 ended up failing. It’s unbelievable, right? So it’s a very stable, but it’s a very, very much so so that annuity has a really high chance of going on into the future, right? And so because of that they value it based on that recurring cash flow because there’s a really high probability it’s going to continue.

Regan 14:58
That makes a lot of sense. So this doctor importantly had two point what, $2.6 million top line and $800000 in EBITA?

Kyle Francis 15:02
$2.6 million top line $800,000 and EBITA. Uh, and he had gotten a letter from one of the DSOs, that was out there, right and that letter said, “Hey, we would love to have this conversation.” He went through the entire thing, he ended up getting an offer from them. The offer was not bad, by the way, it was it, was a fine offer. However, as he went through the process, he just kind of had this pit in his stomach and just like, I don’t know, this just doesn’t feel right. I’m not 100% sure. Not that he didn’t like them or anything like that, it’s just like something didn’t feel right and so I’m a big believer and, you know, listening to your gut, right, and then acting on it, right? He did. So he was referred to us and I’m not saying that we’re anything special in this way by any stretch of imagination, but essentially, what we did is we just changed the power dynamic, right? What we did is we appraised the practice, we took him out to market, he ended up having interest by I think, oh, I don’t know, 30, or 40 different groups, we introduced him to the top seven or so. It’s kind of funny, he ended up choosing the group that he originally talked to. Here’s the thing, we increase the overall valuation by 1.8 million, right? So here’s that now, here’s the thing. Now, that’s not everyone, right? So this is not everyone’s story, but at the same time,

Regan 16:09
It’s like the weight loss asterisk at the bottom results, a very

Kyle Francis 16:13
Exactly, but I knew that whenever I talked to him, and he showed me that the LOI I was just like, “Oh, come on, like, we can do better than that, you know,” and so anyway, but I’ve shopped people straight the other way as well. We’re just like, sometimes people will tell me like, “Hey, can you just give me your opinion on this?” All right, that actually seems pretty reasonable. If I were you, you might go ahead and go and take that one, you know, is way more often that we end up seeing something like, oh, man, if we just switch the power dynamics on it, it will work out way better for you.

Regan 16:43
Wow, I’ve never thought about it like that, like that. So this is, this is really like a masterclass in negotiation tactics. I know, we’ve got like, the BMS has a negotiation class that I took and, and when I think of negotiation, I think of something like hostile like a hostage situation or something and I didn’t realize that we’re making those decisions every single day, we’re negotiating with each other every single day. So switching that power dynamic, and I can see you in my head without knowing what you’re doing, but I can see you almost taking the data and the emotional pieces of it, and going down the offers and then making your argument for why or is it? Is that how you do it?

Kyle Francis 17:18
It’s so funny, you say that? All right. So what we do is we put everything together on what we call a scorecard. Right? And that scorecard essentially breaks down all of the different offers based on their independent part. So it’s financial, it’s like, who did you like? Because we actually pull them afterwards? It’s like, so rank them, right? Who did you like it? That’s why do you like them and all that kind of stuff. So it needs to be quantitative. It needs to be qualitative and then by the way, we compare and contrast it to don’t do a darn thing, right, which is, look, “Your practice is sweet already, right? You don’t have to do anything here. So if you don’t want to then don’t, right,” and this is how your life is going to look for you and there’s pluses and minuses with all that. So it’s kind of funny, you tell you’re talking about how like you’re thinking that way and I really do like I also produce in that way as well like the different things that we actually produce for the doctors look very similar to that.

Regan 18:05
You’re like a financial counterpart to my brain. So my background is all messaging and marketing and so what you do financially speaking, I’m doing over in the messaging. So that’s, I think, that’s fascinating. Yeah, that’s another podcast topic for another day. What I love that you just said though, is when you were saying, you know, you don’t have to do anything, mentally, neurologically, like, I can feel my chest start to kind of calm down, like, okay, because this is a big decision. We know that our identity is tied up in this, we have the founder syndrome going on and so it puts control to me back into that owner seat of okay, let’s, you know, let’s just we have a moment to breathe and think about it. You don’t have to do anything, or if you do, here are some available options to you that has to feel good for the doctors that you work

Kyle Francis 18:50
Well I think I mean, look at the thing I’m most passionate about in total, is helping doctors make really great decisions. To me, the way that you make a really great decision is by setting up your own comp structure, right? You need comparables, you need to understand why you’re making the decision the way that you’re making it, all that kind of stuff and by the way, the emotions are real in all these different tests that can I tell you story that’s not nearly as great but is kind of proves that point. Okay. So earlier on in my career, this is prior 2009, I was in the process of selling a practice here in Colorado where I live and an old guy, right. So he was already, I think he turned 80 at that point. So he was one of the oldest dentists in Colorado and he knew he needed to sell right and so we found an individual buyer who was going to come in, he was actually going to merge his practice into that practice. We’d already had all the documents set up, legal reviews done thinking is done, everybody’s just waiting to sign right. Yeah, two days before signing. He calls me up and he’s like, “Hey, can I take you to lunch?” It’s like, “Yeah, of course.” He, He always liked to go to Subway. So we went to Subway. Subway, and he said, “Kyle I’m so sorry, I can’t do it. Right,” and I was like, Okay, well look, if you don’t want to do it, and that’s completely fine, we’ll work together whenever the time is right, all those kinds of things, but I knew this was founder syndrome. I just knew I was like, there’s no reason that he wouldn’t have made this decision to do. The doctor who was coming in was great. They were friends, all that kind of stuff. And anyway, the bummer of it is, is that less than a year later, he ended up getting T boned on coming home from work, and he no longer could practice. Now, here’s the thing, I ended up selling the patients, right? So, so the patients I sold the assets separately, all that kind of stuff. So the practice broke up and he ended up making about 700 or $800,000 less than he would have otherwise. Now fortunately for him, he practiced for a very long time, he’d been fine, you know, plenty of money for all these kiddos, all that kind of stuff. Good. So he wasn’t destitute. Yeah, it was not a bad thing but if I look at him, like, oh, man, like my, I’m pretty utilitarian, right and so my utilitarian brain is like, oh, like, all we had to do is like, get over this one little tiny emotional hurdle, it would have been easy, you know, now obviously, have no idea what’s coming in the future, right, and so you don’t want a decision out of weakness in that way, but at the same time, just kind of knowing that that little kind of voice in the back of your head could be leading you down that direction. Again, it’s just wise to know.

Regan 21:21
So do you ever, have you, do you ever study the hero’s journey or know much about the hero’s journey or?

Kyle Francis 21:24
I know some.Yes,

Regan 21:25
So, in the hero’s journey, it takes what I mean what every human ends up going through everybody is a hero in their own life and there is always and it’s, it’s a pattern-specific thing like it occurs again, and again and again, in your life. When you make a big decision, you can have a guide. So you, Kyle are the guide in this story. So he’s the hero and you are guiding him and all you can do it’s kind of like leading the horse to water. You can’t make them drink, you can give them everything you can in your power and the hero has to make that final decision and they always have to go it alone, there’s that point

Kyle Francis 22:03
That’s good. I might steal that.

Regan 22:10
Well, if you are if you’re in, if you’re in Texas in September at the IGP Summit, then we’ll, we’ll chat about that.

Kyle Francis 22:16
I’ll be there.I’ll be there

Regan 22:20
So what about the doctors that so this doctor even, even at it sounds like he at least did some planning, which was good. So he had set his children up he was, he was okay. So while it hurt, it didn’t it didn’t devastate him. How many doctors do you see have a plan in place?

Kyle Francis 22:37
Yeah. So like, it’s funny. So you already hit on number one, which is going to be don’t just take the first one. The second one is going to be you know, if I look at planning, it is unreal how many times we see folks that have said, “I have no idea what my practice is worth, I have no idea how much money I’m making out of my practice. I don’t really know what I want into the future, all of those kind of things,” and, you know, it’s the old adage that it’s just beginning with the end in mind, right? Yes. You know what Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, right? And so if you think about it, in those terms, man, it would be really, really good to know what most likely your largest asset is, and then how you want to handle it into the future, right? Because here’s the thing, are we going through the consolidation with absolutely does that mean you need to be involved in it? No way.

Regan 23:29
But like, if you feel like you have to be though, it can definitely feel like you should be or at least you should know, right? You should definitely be aware.

Kyle Francis 23:36
Yeah and we do see people that kind of go the other direction have FOMO on it, right? And say, “Oh, we definitely need to do this.” I actually talked with a guy out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, this morning, he has a $4.8 million practice, which sounds great, right, but his margin isn’t quite where it needs to be right? So we ended up talking about it was like, “Look, you know, over the next year, I think these are the different things you need to work on right and maybe you need some help with that.” Maybe those are different folks that end up going to PDA and they get helped with these different types of things, right, but if I look at it as like, “Okay, you really need to be a $5.5 million in production here in order to handle these expenses, once you get there, then suddenly, we’ll have a much different outcome for you, right.”

Regan 24:13
That’s what that was. What was that? 4.8?

Kyle Francis 24:15
4.8 yeah,

Regan 24:15
So he’s got to up his, his production significantly.

Kyle Francis 24:21
Yeah, he does and he just brought on board a new associate, right and so there were some ways for him to do these things and again, hopefully that associate works out, but anyway, yeah.

Regan 24:32
Well, if you ate it in it, we know that the percentage is much higher.

Kyle Francis 24:36
I can only hope I’ve got my fingers crossed, you know, so but I also think that it’s him just being willing to reach out and be a learner and all those kinds of things. It aided him in coming up with a plan into the future. Right.

Regan
Absolutely.

Kyle Francis
I think that having a plan is paramount in these types of decisions because once you have a plan, you can execute on something right? Yeah. And I I can think about, you know, a person I talked to. This was yesterday, she, she has a practice in the suburbs of Minneapolis, about a million dollar practice $1.1 million, something like that and she called me and she’s like, “Well, I want to be done in six months.” It’s like, okay, well, we can do that, right, but I have like, an option for you, and just one, right and so just know that if you are starting to think about what you want life to be in the future, all that kind of stuff, man, it’s great if you have time to implement different types of concepts, because many of the different types of ways of being able to monetize your practice, they take time, you know, if you only have a defined amount of time, man, we just, we’re making a decision by not making a decision, you know? Yeah, absolutely

Regan 25:48
Yeah absolutely. Do, do you find the doctors focus on? Like, when you do visioning exercise exercises to see, did they come with a number in mind, or do you kind of help them get into that mindset of what kind of lifestyle they want, and then work back from there?

Kyle Francis 26:03
Yeah, so many of them do not come with a number in mind, if they have a really good financial planner, sometimes they know that they need to, you know, be able to retire with a certain amount rates and retire by a certain time. So some of them come with that type of knowledge. A few of them know, how to value practice, or what their value was worth, or maybe they’ve even set up their financial plan where the practice was worth nothing, you know, just in case, you know, all those kinds of things. Yes. The whenever I asked the question, so the way I ended up getting there is I say, “Okay, here’s, here’s the value that we came up with, right? This is how we did it, you know, this is the methodology, but maybe the most important thing to me Doc is going to be what is a magic wand scenario for you. If I gave you the magic wand, like what is best for you going forward, right, because if we figure out what a best-case scenario is for you, then suddenly we can back into what different ways are we going to use to get there, you know, what kind of methodologies we end up using,” and so and you ask that on every single perspective, so review that I ended up going on, because you get so much really, really great qualitative information about what it is that they want out of life, right? And sometimes it’s “Oh, my gosh, I really just want to be able to take one week off more per quarter, right, or I want to be able to take my first two-week vacation that ever taken in dentistry, right, or,”

Regan 27:25
Is that real? Oh, that’s a shame dentists take your, take your time off that that makes my heartbreak. I don’t like that at all.

Kyle Francis 27:32
I don’t like it either, but I hear it enough and suddenly out of my mouth as well, right, or maybe it’s I just, there’s this, there’s this gal that had two sets of twins back to back, right, and she has I know, exactly, she has this milling, she has a million dollar practice and she’s like, “What should I do,” and I’m just like, “It sounds like you need time, like you need away from this practices,” but uh, you need, you know, you can see their bags, under eyes, all that kind of stuff. She just needs to be able to free up some time and so but everybody has different goals and what it is they’re trying to figure out in the long run and sometimes that’s more financial, sometimes that’s more emotional, sometimes that’s more operational, it kind of depends on the person.

Regan 28:14
You know, I avoided I don’t think I avoided it. I think I was just ignorant to financial advice for most of my young adult life. And when I turned 40, I started to kind of sweat and I was like, “You know, I’ve been trying to do this on my own. It’s not really working. Like I don’t, I don’t have any idea of what I’m going to need when I retire,” and so, you know, I ended up getting a financial advisor, and he shocked my system because when I got on a call with him, super, super nice gentleman but he didn’t want to talk about numbers at all, he started asking me to time travel with him and look at my life when I was you know, 65 or 60, or 55, or what he just kind of walked me back and asked me what kind of life I wanted and he was able to get out from me everything I didn’t even know it existed in me until he walked this exercise through with me. I mean, I was like, “As soon as my son graduates, I am actually going to go back to school, I want to get my PhD in this, I want to do I want to go and be in Italy and study there for a while,” and it just all like came out and he took all of that emotional goodness and he formulated into a financial plan and came back and said, “Okay, this is what you’re going to have to put away per month. This is how this is structured and looked full. I have full faith full trust,” and was like, “Okay, this might hurt a little bit,” because I I also realized I thought I wanted to retire, like in my 50s  meaning like no more and then I realized no, no, no, I just wanted to drop down like I’d love to work three days a week. That’s totally possible and doable.

Kyle Francis 29:43
Okay, can I tell you a funny story that kind of relates to that? Okay, so this is one of my favorites. I’ve told it a few times, but okay, so there’s this doctor out in Virginia Beach, this was much earlier on my career. This is I think 11 years ago and we I talked about batting, individual purchases, practice, all that kind of stuff. He thought that was where you wanted to do it, we ended up getting an offer from a DSO at that point, and kind of looked at it and, man, we’ve negotiated like crazy, because he said, “I am going to be done in two years. I’m not gonna set foot in this office ever again, like, I just need to be done.” Okay. Well, so we were able to negotiate that with the with the group and the, what this is 11 years ago, and he’s still working a day a week in the office, by the way,

Regan 30:30
Is that what he wanted? Is he happy?

Kyle Francis 30:32
Yeah, he’s happy. So really what he wanted, right was he wanted the ability to go down to Miami and go read fishing, right and so like, if he was able to get on his boat, he was able to do that for a week he comes, he comes back, and he gets to see the folks that he really is cared about for a really long time that’s like, that was another part of what he wanted. She just didn’t need to reformat in a way and so it is kind of funny as people go through these types of deals, like how things change and how your vision really gets crystallized, you know? Because

Regan 31:02
Well I think we, we can just tend to think in such black-and-white terms. It’s like all or nothing and I don’t know what I love what I do, I can’t really actually imagine not doing it. But I don’t know why my brain was set up to being like, you have to do it, or you can’t do it at all. Once I figured out that there’s a big gray area between it and yeah, one day a week. Now he still gets to change lives, he probably feels great about that and he gets to go fishing.

Kyle Francis 31:24
Yep, exactly. Well, it’s kind of interesting, the group that we ended up going with, he ended up wrapping in a $250,000 equity stake into that group and that $250,000.11 years ago is turned into eight figures, right? So that’s also going to happen, right and so like, anyway, I’m really glad that he was able to just kind of see the forest through the trees and rather than just like, “Okay, I need to be done, I need to have this doctor come on board, I will work back with him for one year and that is it.” He just kind of let go of the reins a little bit and then he got an outcome that is way more optimal than he would have ever imagined to start out with.

Regan 31:59
You know, Victoria Peterson always, one of her, I would call it her catchphrase. I don’t know if she’d like that, but one of our catchphrases success requires support and I tend to have it on sticky notes all around because we often think that we can do it ourselves and I’m wondering if we can talk a little bit about advice and support because you’re going to have to look at both of those. You know, I think when it how did doctors find you first of all and are they actively seeking advice for these decisions?

Kyle Francis 32:30
Yeah. Well, I guess how do they find need that variety of ways, right and so sometimes that’s going to be referrals, like, and we’re probably not too different from a dental practice in a way that if we take good care of somebody, then the chances are then they refer friends, right, and so I was gonna say that if we’re not very good at what we do, our business is not going to last for very long, right? Small, it’s a small world and that doesn’t mean we about 1000. I would love to say that we do. That’s not a possibility. Right? Nobody’s perfect. Yeah, exactly but I mean, gosh, aren’t we try hard? Yeah. So the, the other way is going to be sometimes they end up hearing me talk at some location, and then suddenly, somebody calls in for whatever reason, that’s kind of an interesting one. To me, the one that I still do not understand for the life of me is going to be the social media stuff. Like I don’t get it, but

Regan 33:23
Would you say they found you off of Facebook?

Kyle Francis 33:26
We do sometimes. It’s again, it’s kind of funny, like, “Okay, how’d you make the decision to call me in the first place?” It was kind of interesting to me but one way or the other, I think that if I look at it from an, from an advisor standpoint, the key is going to be understanding the incentives that whatever your advisor is telling you so that starts with me, right? So like, I am technically a mergers and acquisitions advisor, right. So I paid whenever a transaction closes, right? So if you think about that, what you should think of, okay, there’s this implicit bias that he should try to close this transaction right. Now, I know that the advice I’m going to give is going to be great, right, and so because I want to be able to sleep at night, right, and I want to make sure that I’m going to be able to handle that person. They’re all their friends and all that kind of stuff right. Yeah. So I know that it’s important to me, but if you go into it, you should like okay, well, you should at least know that I could have that implicit bias, right? I think the exact same thing, whenever I hear doctors talking about their friends experiences, right, just know that your comparable base, they’re like, how many people have you talked to five? You know, if you’ve talked to five, that’s just not very many that you can pull, like, “Oh, this is the way that this is going to go?” Maybe they had an associate and maybe that person bought in and maybe that person bought him out and it went absolutely beautifully. Well, the numbers told me that’s not statistically the norm, right, if I also look at it, and I say, “Okay, well, you had a really, really bad experience with a or your friend had a really bad experience with a DSO.” Well, okay, that is that is possible but if I go back through and chart are 500 transactions, right, now looking at happiness indicators of doctors, after they’ve already had that transaction, the ones that have had have done an individual transaction, ones that have done one with a group or with a DSO, their happiness indicators are nearly identical, right? Really?

Regan 35:12
Well, if you’re doing your homework, which it sounds like you’re doing a lot of exhaustive homework to find that perfect pair, it’s almost like a matchmaking service of sorts.

Kyle Francis 35:22
Yeah, it kind of is. Yeah. So and actually, I’ll give credit. So you know, David Porritt it who’s part of the PDA team. So I mean, he wrote an entire doctoral thesis on about happiness of doctors going into new environments, and all that kind of stuff. There’s a lot of really, really great stuff in there now that you have to sit there and read it, right. So it is read, but it’s really, really interesting stuff about you know, why there’s going to be happiness in whatever it is that you’re deciding on it, a lot of it is going to be psychological, right? A lot of it is going to be, you know, do they actually do what they say they’re going to do all those kinds of things, but if you think about it, like just understand the biases that the people are coming from, which is like, “Okay, so do they have enough comps to give you advice? What are their biases right there?” Another one that kind of gets me a little bit is going to be lots of times we end up hearing, “Oh, well, hey, you know, my CPA said I would not do this,” and I was just like, “Okay, but if you think about it, think about the buyers, right, so the buyers, if they do if you do this transaction, what are they losing?”  They’re losing the client, right, and so yeah, no, I’m not telling you that everybody is going at it in those terms, right, because you could just come back to me and say, well, you’re trying to tell them to do it, because you get the benefit of it. Right? Just understand that there’s different cognitive biases out there.

Regan 36:36
Well, I love that you said that, because one thing at PDA, I know that we anticipate so we can, as Bruce says, we handle the objection, before it’s the objection. With CPAs, specifically, as soon as a CPA tends to, now CPAs don’t come at me, I’m not saying all of you, but what I have seen is typically they get the end of the year with a doctor and they say, “Oh, we see that you’ve got consulting or coaching as a line item stress, scratch it immediately.” They do not ask any follow up questions. What has this consulting company done for you? What does this coach done for you? They don’t seem to ask it, they just see it and they know it’s a line item that can be eliminated. Now, I never thought about it from a biased perspective of, well, they want to be able to improve the, you know, the financial outcomes of that particular practice. So of course, they’re going to maybe not want to dig much deeper. Now, I think the CPA that’s worth its weight, though, would probably say, “You know, tell me more about this,’ and I know when you and I met like a year ago, I was asking you some pretty pointed questions about branding and marketing and doesn’t really drive the value and tell me what it is because I want to know what the date is. Do you have any opinions around consulting and have you seen consulting and coaching help optimize the practice? Because if you can follow my brain here, I’m thinking of coming to you and you say, “Okay, we gotta get you up to 5.5, you’re sitting at 4.8?” Do you just like send people on their way and be like, good luck? Or how do we link that so they can actually improve their performance?

Kyle Francis 37:59
Yeah, so I guess first and foremost, it depends. It depends on what it is that they need help with. Right? And so it’s, I think I’m going to answer your question in a way that you might not expect. So whenever we go through a P&L, right, and we end up seeing that consulting line item on there, one of the first things we do is we underline it, right? And the reason we underline it is we call that a discretionary spend, right? A discretionary spend does not mean bad does not mean wrong, it just means that they’re just their choice of whether they’re spending that money or not. Right. So day on

Regan 38:31
Like prime day on Amazon. That’s just discretionary.

Kyle Francis 38:35
Exactly. So now in our experience, whenever we go through and look at a practice, it’s funny, the tail is in the tape. Right. So we ended up looking at the revenue we look at how the expenses are managed me see what the EBITA ends up being, is this an investable practices, this is not an investable practice. And I can tell you how effective that consultant is. Right.

Regan 39:05
You can see it in the numbers.

Kyle Francis 39:06
100%. Yeah, definitely and so as I go through and give them advice, if they already have a consultant, right, and let’s say that their payroll is out of whack, and they’re not producing very much on an hourly basis, they’re not getting very new, very many new patients and or whatever it is they should be working on. Yeah. And I see that consulting line item, one of the first thing I say is like, well, maybe I can refer you to somebody who actually knows what they do like a PDA, right? So

Regan 39:21
So do you get like a rolling 12 probably, or maybe you get years worth of financial work three years. So oh, my gosh, that would be fascinating. You can see that line item and then you can watch all your new patient all the key indicators.

Kyle Francis 39:33
Oh, yeah.

Regan 39:33
Of Course.

Kyle Francis 39:44
Yep. So yeah, I can tell you how effective the consulting group is right. And so and that doesn’t mean again, I’m not the arbiter of all things, but it’s just your education, but I do believe numbers tell a story. You talked about telling a story earlier, and I do you believe that and so if it tells a story, it’s going to tell effectiveness of that consultant, or it tells how teachable is that client that can be the other part about it, right? So if you say okay, well maybe you try it a different consultant, right, and then we end up seeing the exact same thing. Well, then my conversation with the doctor is, this isn’t going to change, right, and if it’s not gonna change, just know that like, hey, we you’ve set up this limiting factor around your life, right? And this is what you have, right? And so, but yes, we’ve seen some consultants ended up putting practices on rocket ships, right? Yeah, just saying this, because I’m on your podcast, it is definitely that type. Right, that you can see, over the course of time, I think I probably appraised 50 or 60, PDA practices, right, of which they’re phenomenal, right, the median is just absolutely through the moon. I think that, you know, out of the 50, the median deal was like $2.6 million and something like $900,000 in EBITA. That’s the minimum, right? So many above that we’ve appraised And so anyway, and again, I’m not trying to butter you up. It’s just that’s what we see. So,

Regan 40:58
wow. Well, David Poritt taught me that unicorn is an actual financial term is, and I’ll tell you when you pour your life into something, so next year, PDA will be coming up to 20 years. Wow. Yeah and I know for Bruce and Victoria, leaving a legacy is so important. So it does, it does, it feels it feels good in your heart, I think because you know, you want to well, our unofficial tagline is doing good while doing good. So you want to know you’re making a difference, I think everybody you know, at their core wants to make a difference and wants to wants to help, you know, and it’s really it’s good to feel that there are resources, like PTS that are, you know, an advocate for doctors, that’s what you are, you’re an advocate and also, you’re not just an advocate for the dollar, you’re an advocate for the best fit and the best, the best deal that works for them and their lifestyle. Well, it has been a joy to talk with you today.

Kyle Francis 41:51
Vice versa. I’ve had a blast. Yeah.

Regan 41:54
How can doctors get a hold of you?

Kyle Francis 41:57
Yeah, so I mean, if you go to our website, www.professionaltransition.com. Both of them are singular professional transition. Apparently, you can find us all over social media. I am not the person who does that. Just so you know and, or else you can just email us at info@professionaltransition.com. Well,

Regan 42:14
Well thank you very much.

Kyle Francis 42:16
Yeah, thank you as well. It’s been a true pleasure.

Regan 42:21
Thank you for listening to another episode of Everyday Practices Podcast. Chad and I are here every week. Thanks to our community of listeners just like you and we’d love your help. It would mean the world if you can help spread the word by sharing this episode with a fellow dentist and leave us a review on iTunes or Spotify. Do you have an extraordinary story you’d like to share, or feedback on how we can make this podcast even more awesome. Drop us an email at podcast@productivedentist.com and don’t forget to check out our other podcasts from Productive Dentist Academy at productivedentist.com/podcasts See you next week.

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