Wells Fargo offers ideas and advice for purchasing, starting or expanding a dental practice
To advise those dentists seeking to purchase or start up a practice, or invest in their current practices, ADA Business Resources contacted Allison Farey, president of Wells Fargo Practice Finance, to discuss how dentists can improve their current practices or create one of their dreams. Ms. Farey has worked in the dental industry for 30 years offering financial support for dentists.
Q. What is the economic climate like today for dentists who are interested in purchasing equipment, remodeling or starting a practice?
A. I believe the dental industry is a barometer of what is going on in the general market, and things are shifting in the right direction. There are a lot of markets that are starting to emerge out of the recession. Now is a terrific time for dentists to upgrade their equipment or think about remodeling their practice. There are also opportunities everywhere to buy a practice or start one.
Q. What are some of the concerns of dentists who are considering practice ownership?
A. Dentists come out of dental school with a dream of owning their own practice and being in charge of their future. However, with the amount of debt they have coming out of school, some don’t think they’ll qualify for a loan. They wonder if they have too much of a financial burden to own a practice. Wells Fargo Practice Finance is different in that we will loan against future earnings. We help dentists understand what their financial picture looks like and create a road map for them. Many dentists can make the transition to ownership sooner than they think.
Q. How do you help dentists through the purchase process and what makes you different from other banks?
A. This is what we do. We have an exceptional team with deep knowledge of the dental industry and we often get involved two years before they purchase a practice to help them develop their business plan. So we’re not just lending money, we’re educating and helping them prepare for their future. Also, we also bring the financial stability of Wells Fargo behind us. If the dentist needs a mortgage, we’re there for him. We want to help build strong foundations and work with dentists throughout their careers. We’re a lot more than just lending dollars. We want to be a resource throughout doctors’ careers.
Q. Do you have any advice or recommendations for dentists who are seeking to purchase or acquire a practice?
A. It’s all about location. I think it’s important to find the right place to practice. It’s also critical to have support such as an accountant that understands dentistry and an attorney you trust. And the ADA helps dentists in so many ways too, and is one of the key centers of influence for successful dentists.
Q. How did Wells Fargo Practice Finance become involved in the Dental Office Design Competition?
We came up with the idea about 13 years ago. Our goal was to raise the level of understanding about the areas of ergonomics, aesthetic quality and efficiencies. Creating an efficient environment is crucial and so is ensuring that practices are set up for the digital future. The Dental Office Design Competition allows us to give back to the dental industry.
Q. How can ADA members learn more about Wells Fargo Practice Finance’s services?
A. I have a couple of suggestions. First, check out our website’s free planning resources at wellsfargo.com/dentist. Second, call us to talk about your plans. You can get in touch with your regional representative at 1-888-937-2321 or wellsfargo.com/contactpracticefinance.