What to do when a corporate says “No – we don’t want to buy your practice.”

Three separate conversations recently with Principals who have attempted to sell their practices to corporates but have been politely turned away.

Why did they want to sell?

The usual story – acronym fatigue – GDC, CQC, GDPR, HR, UDA, UOA, FtP, etc. People, paperwork and politics.

Why were they declined?

Because a simple calculation revealed that, after they were paid as associates based on their own production, there was little or nothing for the corporate to buy (typically 80%+ of the turnover coming from Dr. Elvis and if he/she isn’t in the building, we are doomed).


  1. sell the practice to another Principal who wants to sit on your stool and see your patients. Problem – they are few and far between nowadays, as the noughties phenomenon of young dentists buying from old dentists has largely evaporated;
  2. embark upon a 3 to 5-year plan to reduce the Principal’s production as a percentage of gross revenue to somewhere down below 45% of total gross – and you might have the corporates back interested again (if the bubble hasn’t burst). A.K.A. build the practice with great marketing to build books for apprentice/salaried dentists and therapists;
  3. decide to create a business that you can fall back in love with. The stress that makes you want to jump ship now replaced by a self-managing dental business that you enjoy arriving in each day. A.K.A. great managers and systems.

As explained to those connecting with me, I can’t help with option #1 – the independent valuers might be able to.

I can help with options #2 and #3.

If you want to build a business that doesn’t depend so much on you and that self manages – I can help you to do that.

Email me for a complimentary phone or video call on coachbarrow@me.com



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.