The Earn-Out Dentist – ambassador or saboteur?

When a practice is bought by a micro-corporate and the owner agrees to stay around for a period of years (with or without an earn-out) it can go one of two ways.

The former owner, now turned associate:

  • becomes an enthusiastic ambassador, encouraging the team and the patients to remain loyal and themselves eagerly participating in refurbishment, human interest marketing and digital dentistry. Or…
  • becomes a cynical saboteur, encouraging the team and the patients to ignore, obstruct and object to every initiative.

Therefore, I suggest that part of your due-diligence process is to make a serious and detailed assessment of which type of former owner you are going to be dealing with, before money changes hands.

An ambassador can add value to your purchase and is to be cherished.

No matter how attractive the financial arrangement, walk away from the saboteur. They can make your life a misery.

If they slip through your due diligence net – fail fast.


Published by

Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.