If you’re one of the many listeners wondering where Prav has been hiding, all will be revealed in this week’s episode.

In this end-of-year special, Prav returns to let us know why the past three months have been the most stressful and intensive of his career.

If you’re thinking of buying or selling a practice, or wondering how to start putting an exit strategy together, you won’t want to miss this one.



“The best deal on the table is not the most money, the best deal on the table is the right deal for you”. – Prav Solanki

In This Episode

01.52 – Where’s Prav been?

04.11 – The process and perfectionism

07.41 – Planning and goals

11.47 – Roles and responsibilities

16.47 – The exit process explained

22.25 – Options and getting the best deal

30.04 – Due diligence

39.15 – COVID, costs and practice growth

49.53 – Adapting to changing economics

57.37 – Fantasy dinner party

[00:00:00] There’s quite a few things that you need to consider when an offer is made for your business, and there’s a lot of due diligence in that process, you know? What does the offer look like? How much cash are you going to get on completion? What does your earnout period look like? Have you spoken to previous people that that corporate has bought or partnered with? And what’s their experience been like in terms of getting there now out? For example, was there any price chipping along the way in the negotiations? What did they look like? Speaks to an interview the lawyers and asked them what it’s been like dealing with buyer, a baby buyer? S. How did the deals usually go? Are they usually quick? And then, you know, how does the deal turn out in terms of the in terms of the year now? Are there any growth shares? You know what happens if you overperform for that business and in four years time you’ve increased their rear bit by a hundred K or 200 K? Is there any upside for you? There’s so many different things in the way in which all the offers end up on the table. They’re slightly different in many ways, and you just need to sit back and absorb what has been offered on the table and what every single element means.

[00:01:17] This is Dental Leaders, the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry. Your hosts Payman Langroudi and Prav Solanki.

[00:01:34] Well, we’re coming to the end of twenty twenty one and I thought we’d have a little run through the year and look at what we’re looking at for next year. And it’s lovely to have Prav back on the show. Hey, Prav.

[00:01:47] Hey, buddy. Yeah, I’m good. I’m a good. I’m good.

[00:01:52] I’ve had quite a lot of listeners ask me, you know, West Prav. So where have you been, buddy? Do you want to explain to the audience where you’ve been all this time or? Yeah.

[00:02:03] So I crawled into a hole, right? And I’m just coming back out of it now. And, shall we say, over the last sort of three or four months, you know, I think I think let’s go back to the beginning of the podcast, right when we set up Dental Leaders Me and pay, we made a promise to each other that we were going to launch an episode every single week. I remember when we kicked off and I said one a month and they said, No, no, no. He he negotiated and he said one every two weeks. And then he said, Listen, buddy, we’ve recorded 20. Let’s just do one a week. Let’s just do one a week. And then and then the momentum we picked up the momentum. We have lots of listeners that get in touch with us who look forward to listening to this on their morning commute, their run when they’re exercising, whatever. So we promised we would not let the weekly sort of rhythm disappear. But, you know, I’ve had a project on that I’ve been working on and I’ve had to take some time out from the podcast. And this is where teamwork comes in, right? And and Payman has been there to, you know, do a lot of the interviews in my absence and then even me when my schedule’s allowed me to.

[00:03:10] You’ve probably noticed I’ve done the odd solo episode. I’ve interviewed a guest here or there without a. Now we’re back as the dynamic duo. So where have I been the last three months? I’ve been deep within due diligence in the process of exiting from my group of practises. So that’s probably been the most stressful and intensive three months of my working career. And there was a lot of preparation leading up to it and during the whole process, and I’m happy to answer any questions around that. But I had to step back from some of my duties and the podcast was one of them I had to focus on. Obviously, my agency, the fresh, my work with the Ace Academy and then the exits as well. And it has been like doing three or four full time jobs, burning the candle at both ends. Fitness goes outside out of the window, family life went on hold for a bit and I had to park that and we’re out of the other side.

[00:04:11] So, you know, it was a surprise to me how involved the processes of selling a practise by talking to you and all the conversations we’ve had in this period. But, you know, I’m quite interested to know, is it is it that this was a, you know, first of all, a complicated deal in that you had three practises and so forth? Is it that you’re one of these all or nothing kind of people and you are? This is true, but you jump into stuff and when you get into something, you fully get into that thing because I just can’t imagine that most dentists, when they come to sell their practise, have had to devote the amount of time that you’ve had to to this, you know, is it that you’re a perfectionist and is the process much more complicated than most people realise?

[00:04:59] Hey, this could have been done in several ways, right? And you’re right, I am a perfectionist and I need to know every single detail. Yeah, right down to every single line item in the zero accounts, right down to the process, right down to interviewing the lawyers that we were going to choose to move forward with. Reviewing every line in the heads of terms, reviewing every item in the lease, right? I am one of those individuals who has to absolutely understand everything. There are some people who sell the practise and they will just go through the motions. They will accept things. There’s things that will go over their heads. And it’s a bit like when I speak to some of my clients that I’m coaching, they don’t know how to read a profit and loss statement. They don’t know how to read a balance sheet. They don’t know. They don’t understand their end of year, but they just didn’t trust in their accountant and just sign the sign the thing at the end of the year, I need to understand and know every single detail and the process and journey that I went through. I wanted to document it. I wanted to make sure that everything was incredibly thorough. And let me tell you, when you actually sit back and and say to yourself, Right, you’ve been building this baby, and let’s not be, let’s not beat around this bush, right? This is a group of practises that I bought into four or five years ago.

[00:06:15] Ok, well, the group of practises was originally set up, developed and launched by Karl Beheira and his wife, Raha. Ok, it was their baby. They. Recline in mind for 10 to 12 years, and then I was fortunate enough to be able to be in a position to be able to buy in to that practise and assist in the growth development all the way through to exit. And the reason why I guess the process has been so intense is that I did want to understand absolutely everything and you only get one shot. Ok. It’s not like selling an Invisalign case. It’s not like selling an implant case. You sell one this week. It doesn’t go to, well, patient doesn’t go ahead or whatever you sell another one next week, you sell another one the week after you’ve only got one shot at partnering with the right business and selling your business right. So I wanted to make sure that every single decision we made was incredibly well executed. Thoughtful, thorough and cow is exactly the same as me. In that respect, he is insanely OCD about detail, and that’s where the two of us work really, really well together in the sense that we knew it was going to be an intense process. But I embraced that process and I saw it as a learning experience.

[00:07:41] I can talk to you about it, but when you initially got into this partnership that the conversation about exit start right at the get go, were you saying, you know,

[00:07:51] Right at the beginning, maybe in the

[00:07:54] Beginning you said that you’re

[00:07:56] So right at the beginning. So there was a lot of due diligence even before I came on as a partner. Ok. Both on from Campeche and Raaz perspective and my perspective as well. So there’s a there’s an amazing book called the Partnership Charter. And we both both both parties, we read that and there’s right in the back of that book, there’s a bunch of questions that you must, must, must act, ask each other as business partners loads are super uncomfortable questions. But there was a lot of business planning, forecasting and stuff that we did prior to me, even at the point of buying the shares. And one of them was the exit valuation of the estate and we said to each other and we agreed together that when the valuation of the business hits a certain number, that is the point that we both agree that we will target that value, that that exit OK. And so when we hit that, then we knew we had to start planning, unlike all of these things, right? You have these big, hairy, audacious goals, and I don’t really want to talk about numbers because I don’t think it’s appropriate.

[00:09:05] But let me ask you, did you hit the number

[00:09:07] Two two years into the into the project? So I guess the point what I want to make is that when we did end up exiting, we exited for twice the value of what our big, hairy, audacious goal was. I think we we both underestimated it. But at the time, I think we both felt we were overestimating right. That was our that was our big, hairy, audacious goal or whatever you want to call it. So. But you know, there were a lot of structured discussions about what my duties were, what car pressures duties were, what Raaz duties were, what we were all expected to do in this business. And forget about the exit. Forget about the partnership with the new team that we’ve just partnered with. There was one overriding factor in this whole business and that was maintaining exceptional customer service, maintaining an amazing patient experience, generating a sales, marketing and training business that was scalable, where Carl Peche could step back clinically and pick and choose the cases he wanted to do and where Raha could step back and focus on family and focus primarily on sort of coaching a lot of the team in terms of the the sort of day to day running of the practise and keeping them well motivated. So we all had our goals that we wanted to achieve. And part of them revolved around, you know, reducing clinical input and focussing more on the business and also the various goals and KPIs that we had in place to grow that business.

[00:10:41] The rhythm of the monthly meetings, the rhythm of the quarterly meetings, the rhythm of the end of year meetings, right? And what the various outputs there were of them when KPIs changed. What do we do, right? When things went up? Yeah. What were the patterns and trends that we were spot in when things went down? How did we deal with them? And then on the day to day, you know, I think it’s really, really important to stress here that, you know, without having the right team and I’m talking about me, Campeche and Rafa together, working as a team, none of us would have been able to achieve what we achieved. Ok, I’ll give you and I’ll give you a little bit of an insight into this if there’s a gap in the diary tomorrow afternoon. Kyle Pash will know about it. Not not in his diary, in an associates diary. If there’s a gap in a hygienist diary. Kyle Peche will know about that, and he will instruct the relevant team members to fill that gap. And it’s that micro level of detail and stress multiplied across multiple disciplines and areas in the business that drives the success of that business.

[00:11:47] So outline what was what were your responsibilities and what were his and what were rattled?

[00:11:53] Ok, so if we take it from a very simple perspective, I mean, I was the marketing person, sales and marketing person from right at the beginning, right when they launched. I remember meeting Karl Passion is one stroke, two bedroom flat in Birmingham and talking about this concept of the Dental suite that he launched and his baby and his ambitions. Right? And they grew that over the first 10 years, and Kyle Busch and Ray have worked their socks off, right? Then I came on board and my responsibilities were to drive business into the practise. As simple as that and my role focussed around sales, marketing and assisting with the customer service side of the business, right systems and processes. Another one of my key roles in the business was and still is putting together strategy working really alongside Carl Pash a lot of the time. But for me, my unique ability sits in document in that process. Am I to go to tools when running and managing any business? I Google Sheets, so essentially a spreadsheet and a tool called Lucid Chart. So I use Lucid Charts, a very simple flow chart and software, and a flow chart every single process in my business, whether it’s to do with how you answer the phone. Whatever it’s to do with delegation strategy, who’s responsible for what? And then things like if this happens, do this and if that happens, do that and having a visual representation on a flow chart for absolutely everything from people to management to out to marketing to, you know, campaigns and strategy, your sales process, your follow up process.

[00:13:35] I literally flowchart everything and anyone who works with me on a one to one basis knows that. And usually I work with clients on the basis of wheat up, wheat flowchart, everything to visually represent the process and also providing, I would say, a higher level of input for MeaCulpa Sharara to be able to bounce ideas off each other, right? And that was literally it. So what did I have to do? I have to generate the patients the enquiries and to make sure the sales team were appropriately trained and trained. Week on week, month on month. And we executed every single little detail right down to voicemail training, right down to listening to phone calls every time, right down to monitoring the emails that went out to patients and tweaking the language. And this started five years ago, and it still hasn’t stopped today. Is that constant quest for perfection, right? And then hiring new team members, onboarding them, having the systems, processes and delegation strategies in place in order to do that. So in answer to your question, pay. It was my responsibility, and it still is my responsibility today to drive patients into the business and drive the sales process.

[00:14:57] Caltech. And in that in that time? Yeah, in that time. But how did that? How did that play out between Cal and Raho? So one was clinical, one was operations.

[00:15:07] So Cal is focussed is primarily clinical. And also, I think on operations, he’s got his finger on the pulse, on many different areas. So on the clinical side of things, he’s got his WhatsApp group and I’m in that and you can see he’s helping clinicians treatment plan on a daily basis. He’s helping them with sales and that sort of stuff, right? And they come in and shadow him and spend time with him. But on the whole, he’s got his finger on the pulse, on numerous different aspects of the business. Yeah, rehab. She steps back from clinical and mainly focussed on the ground, working with our our amazing practise manager Kerry on, I would say, the easiest way to describe it. And I don’t know if it’s the right words, the touchy feely side of the team, right? Keeping the team happy, making sure that we’re appropriately motivated, giving them some personal coaching. Ok. And Roger is somebody who’s very much been in touch with the human side of the individual team members in the practise. And it’s all those things that generate that, that success that we have in the business, right? Without the patients being driven into the practise, there’d be no wants to do your sales training on your practise your treatments on, do do treatment plans, et cetera, et cetera. And without that, we wouldn’t have the team, et cetera, et cetera. You know, you know, so it’s been a fantastic partnership where we’ve all had our, shall we say, roles and responsibilities, and we’ve all played them out and fulfilled them to get us to where we are today.

[00:16:47] So then let’s go into the moment when you said, Right, we are going to exit and you know, what did you do from that moment up to exit? Because I’m sure there’s loads of people who have no idea what that process involves and doing that process. Of course, you can do that process well or you can do that process badly. You know, is it, you know, we were having the chat before. It’s not simply about maximising the value of the practise. It’s about, you know what, what you want to happen to your baby, right? From the owner from from an campus’s perspective, it’s something that they started as one practise single handed and just give us the numbers in terms of staff and all that numbers of people at the end of it all.

[00:17:33] So in terms of right, you know, right at the end, it’s three practises. And I think I think the easiest way to answer your question here is that, you know, you know, when we started looking at exit, what did we do, you know, there’s a few things mean me and Carl had discussions around the numbers. We did some research on what the market rates today, what kind of multiples are being played paid. How do you calculate how do we figure out what our value is today before we even start speaking to everyone, right? And we had discussions pre-COVID, right? And then obviously COVID put a spanner in the works. Yeah, but actually it was it was a blessing in disguise because what happened is, as we all know, in private dentistry, business grew. Right. And we’re still I still think we’re right in that post-COVID. I say post-COVID. Well, you know, we’re riding, we’re riding that success right where where demand has definitely gone through the roof, turnover has gone through the roof. Profitability has gone through the roof. And, you know, exit valuation ended up being a lot higher than, you know, than we’d anticipated had we gone through that pre-COVID, right? But you got one chance to sell your baby. Now this was my baby for four or five years. This was Shinra Peshmergas baby for 15 years. Completely different emotions for both of us, right? And a much, much bigger deal for for those two, and understandably so. Right. So we went through that process and you say, you know, you can either do it well or you can do it badly.

[00:19:09] Let me tell you some that the majority of people that exit won’t know whether they’ve done it well or badly. They won’t. Yeah, OK, because you’re blind to that, right? We did a lot of research, right? And the one thing that we wanted to do is engage a broker who had the same values with us, who is able to, first of all, open us up to, I would say, the the market give us some insight into what was possible and then give us lots of different options. Ok, so that we were able to see what was out there. We didn’t want to just go to one buyer, right and say, OK, well, there’s what we think your business is worth. We think it’s worth that. Let’s let’s play ball. So we engaged. We engaged the services of a guy called Max from flu told partners very, very early on, and we had numerous conversations with him. And I think when it comes to a broker. Number one, you’ve got to be able to get on with them on a personal level. But number two, they need to know their shit, they need to understand the market and you need to understand what you’re getting out of them versus doing this process by yourself. Ok? And what was very clear is there was a lot of value added, and I don’t think we’d have got to where we had had it not been for for this relationship that we’d developed with Max.

[00:20:31] So you knew that Max Max does it that way because you knew him from before we had it on the on the on the podcast, I we

[00:20:39] Don’t not really know. So so I think one of the things is that we we had we had a few conversations with Max and it was actually Kyle Busch and Ra who initiated the conversations with Max. And he said he said to me, Look, Prav, I’m going to stick you in front of eight to 10 buyers, OK? And then you can make the decision on who the right fit is, what the right deal is. Right? And what’s important here is that we have clear ideas of what we wanted out of this deal, not just financially who was the right partner. Ok, we’re going to be moving forward with this partner for several years to come working together. The team that got us there over the last 15 years, you know, their well-being and their future was just as important to us, right? And we what we definitely do not want to kill the brand in case we had we had certain things criteria that we wanted to meet. We wanted to know what life was like afterwards moving forward with this new partner and minimal changes. And we wanted to make sure we hit the right right valuation. So the best deal on the table is not the most money. I can tell you that for now, the best deal on the table is the right deal for you. So if you’re considering exiting or you’re you’re considering partnering with somebody. The most important thing you need to do is take a step back and ask yourself why. What’s the reason? What’s the reason you want to exit? And the buyers will ask you that anyway, right? But why is it that you want to move on now, OK? What is it that you want out of this? And what’s life after look like? Ok, get that clear in your head and then start speaking to the relevant people.

[00:22:25] There’s quite a few things that you need to consider when an offer is made for your business, and there’s a lot of due diligence in that process. You know, what does the offer look like? How much cash are you going to get on completion? What does your earnout period look like? Have you spoken to previous people that that corporate has bought or partnered with? And what’s their experience been like in terms of getting their earn out? For example, was there any price chipping along the way in the negotiations? What did they look like? Speaks to an interview, the lawyers, and ask them what it’s been like dealing with buyer a buyer? B Buyer C How do the deals usually go? Are they usually quick? And then, you know, how does the deal turn out in terms of the in terms of the. Now, are there any growth shares, you know what happens if you overperform for that business and in four years time you’ve increased their rear bit by a hundred K or 200 K? Is there any upside for you? There’s so many different things in the way in which all the offers end up on the table. They’re slightly different in many ways, and you just need to sit back and absorb what has been offered on the table and what every single element means. What we ended up doing is just producing a spreadsheet of each of the offers that were on the table and just trying to do a like for like compare apples for apples, right? You know, we know every day in dentistry, you know, someone goes and has orthodontic treatment in one place, another place and another place.

[00:23:55] Often the treatment plan is very different from this for the same outcome, and you draw the same analogies when you know, exits in your business. There’s lots of different treatment plans presented on the table. You’ve got to really break them down and understand what you’re getting yourself in for on what the future looks like. As part of that deal and how it shapes up. So Max puts several people in front of us, and it was a two way interview process. The first thing we did is we produced a prospectus that contained all the information about the business or the key USPSTF, all the key financial details. We did a lot of pre due diligence way before we even took it to market right and then presented that to all the potential partners out there, spoke to them, interviewed them, they interviewed us. And then it got to a point and we spoke to a bunch of people. We spoke to the existing usual suspects out there. You know who they are, the big corporates who go around mopping up private Dental practises. We spoke to private equity. We spoke to a business that we’re looking to get into the Dental industry, right? So they hadn’t they didn’t have a practise and they wanted to find a platform to invest in. Yeah, that was an exciting opportunity, right? But we considered everything. We looked at the risk versus the benefits and then decided to choose to move forward with one particular partner who you consider.

[00:25:19] Did you consider taking taking an investment and continuing and, you know, not not selling the majority share?

[00:25:28] We spoke about that possibility, right, but you know, if I’m looking at it from my point of view that you know what, my dilution would have been much higher. Ok? We felt that valuations that hit the appropriate level where we were all comfortable. Remember, we spoke about that magic number earlier. Yeah, we were at 2x that. So it just felt the right time. We looked at all different options, the partner we ended up partnering with. Yeah. And I might as well just spit it out now because I’m sure it’s on everyone’s mind right now, right? So we ended up partnering with Dental. And the reason for that, and without any disrespect to any of the players in the market, we felt their values aligned perfectly with ours and we felt that, you know, during the whole process when we presented the due diligence, when we presented what we wanted. We felt that they really understood what we wanted out of this, and we felt that life after involved minimal change and the change that it would involve was actually for the better. So reducing a bit of the red tape and reducing a bit of the headaches of running a practise and benefiting from the economies of scale. But actually in leaving us to carry on doing things the way we’ve always done them and actually supporting our growth. And I can honestly say during the whole process, when you’re buy buying a business or when you’re selling a business or partnering with someone, it’s you versus them. Yeah, that’s that’s how it is. Yeah, because you want the best deal and they want the best deal didn’t feel like that felt like we were both on the same team. Yeah, it was really refreshing to go through that. It was a lovely process and everyone on the team.

[00:27:16] The interesting, interesting thing about what you’re saying is, you know, you only get one chance to buy a practise, but some of these guys, they buy a practise every couple of weeks, right? Yeah. So they’re very experienced that you’re right. If you get the right fit, then you know, it’s going to have to be adversarial by its very nature to start with, isn’t there? That’s just one of those things. Tell me about the different types of groups that you met. Did you meet any overseas groups? So yeah,

[00:27:46] Yeah, we did. We did. And we met. We met a group, a European group that are looking to enter the UK market. They’ve got practises overseas and they wanted to find their first platform to invest into. Ok, really cool group. Exciting interest in for us. I think we felt it was a little bit too high risk because we didn’t have any structure here in the U.K. there’s no head office here in the U.K., there’s no support here in the U.K.. Ok, and we would be we would be their experiment. Yeah, yeah. We’re not selling our baby to someone who’s going to experiment on us, right? Even if even if the numbers stacked up to be better, right? It just and those were the type of decisions that we made, you know, consider it made it excel spreadsheet of pros and cons of each different partner. And then can you

[00:28:40] Choose can you expand on on the group? Like, how many practises do they have in which country?

[00:28:47] Remember off the top of my head, I can’t remember, but you know, it was 30, it was 30 plus practises, right? Wasn’t a huge group, wasn’t a huge group, OK? And I remember very, very early on we only had one meeting with them. We didn’t, you know, we had multiple meetings with with other people. And it was because we dismissed very, very early on that we felt it was going to be too high risk. Yeah. And then there was another there was another business that was purely private equity set up by somebody who was involved in setting up one or the other big corporates and splintered off wanted to set their own business up. And once again, another first platform, no infrastructure had the team on board. And, you know, really nice people. We met with them twice, but once again, I think we consider that to just be a little bit too risky. And we spent a lot of time interviewing them. Ok. You know, we grilled everyone really hard and, you know, they buckled a few times in terms of some of the questions, the detail was a little bit sketchy. And when you think when you’re ready to go into business or partner with somebody, if they’re sketchy on the detail, then you know, it’s just once again, it’s all about risk versus benefit, right? So we just we just stepped back from that.

[00:30:04] Ok, take me through some of the due diligence and stuff you had to get done in order for this to go through for the lawyers.

[00:30:11] All right. So one of the first things that we did is we did some due diligence on our lawyers. Ok, so what usually happens is you think, right, who’s the lawyer? We’re going to hire to do this right? And you ring your buddy up and you say, Hey, you sold your practise, which lawyer did the use? And then you say, Oh yeah, we used Bob Smith, right? It was really good. Ok, fine. We’ll just hire that guy. We will get in probably a half a dozen recommendations, both from clients of mine who have already exited. Yeah, and from Max, our broker. But we just decided we’re going to Zoom interview every single one of them, a couple of them twice. We had a list of questions we would ask them. And obviously, we wanted to know things like, you know, costs, investments, things like that. And we went through that whole process and we grilled our solicitors as well. And we wanted to hire a solicitor before we have the agreed heads of terms in place. So usually you might get your heads of terms in place and then hire a solicitor. I wanted to make sure our heads of terms were just a little bit more detailed. And so we hired our solicitor beforehand, so we did a bit of due diligence. We had a lady called Gemma from nights who was absolutely amazing. There were a handful of people that we interviewed who we thought were would have been exceptional. What sort of questions did we ask the lawyers? There are a few things like that might might not seem that important. But will you take a call from me at eight o’clock at night? Yeah. And some of those lawyers turned out to be not.

[00:31:47] Yeah, buddy. Well, listen, you know, I get it. I get it. I get it. I get it. You get it.

[00:31:53] Yeah. Will you take a call from me at eight o’clock at night? Do you work weekends? How many deals have you done with this particular buyer? Ok. What have been the things that delayed the deal? What was the biggest thing that delays deals with this buyer? Do you have a list of questions involved in the due diligence process that you have that could prepare us for this, right? And the moment I asked that question within 15 minutes, I got a list of questions sent to me by notes. I asked everyone else that. I asked everyone else that, and they said, Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. But what notes did is they sent me that list of questions and that I felt that was prior to hiring them and that I just felt that, you know, it was one of those little boxes that they tipped to say, This is nice, right? This is very proactive. Whether you proceed with us or not, you are going to need to answer all of these questions. So the first thing that we did is started working through those questions even before we’d we’d engage them. So we went through that whole process. And then, what’s the due diligence? It’s the worst 90 days you’re ever going to experience in any in business, right? It really is. It depends how detailed you go, right? But right down to every little financial detail, everything that every item that’s been through the business, right? Every little line item in your finances. Ok, I learnt more about my business in that 90 days than I did in the last five years.

[00:33:22] Yeah. Interesting.

[00:33:23] And had I known everything I knew about my business, our business in the last five years, we’d have done things slightly differently.

[00:33:36] Yeah, yeah. It’s just an example of one of those things.

[00:33:41] If I just take one simple thing which comes down to the way we the way. We pay our associates, OK, so we pay our associates on cash received and not work completed. Ok, so you might think, well, what’s what’s the big deal there, right? Patient comes along, pays us four grand for also treatment on day one. Our associate has done a bond. Ok? Ok, so have they completed foregrounds worth the work? Absolutely not. But why? Let’s say the wrong 50 percent. They get their two grand minus the lab bill or whatever, right? So they get their money upfront. Ok. Now, just just from that perspective alone, from a cash flow perspective, had we paid our associates or our team based on work completed rather than cash received, a cash flow game would be completely different. Ok? Tiny little things like that. The other thing I’ll tell you about is when you go through every single cost in your zero accounts and you look at every single invoice and you do it because you have to at this point, right? You don’t do it because it’s a it’s an exercise that you just kind of like scoot over and you don’t go into much detail. You figure out there’s a few standing orders there that you should have cancelled maybe 12 months ago. Yeah. Below the radar amounts a hundred quid there, 200 quid there or whatever, right? We could have probably had our finger on the on the ball a little a little bit closer.

[00:35:11] But because of the way the business was growing was scaling. There were other problems that we had to solve and fix those tiny details, probably, you know, didn’t matter as much. But but there’s a lot of things that we could have done during that whole process that would have made made running the business smoother. But here’s a point. Here’s here’s a thought Payman. We’ve been through this 90 day process of deep due diligence. Now imagine and this is this is a concept whenever we do anything like this or always try and cast myself into nature. Imagine you run your practise every day using the systems and processes, documenting everything in a way that you decided to exit tomorrow and partner with somebody that all your due diligence was done. It was done OK. And I mean, to the fact that the way you keep your records and all your team members right down to the hepatitis B vaccination, their passport details their CRB. Absolutely every detail documented to the nth degree. Yeah, every little bit of your insurance, your lease, this, that and the other, right? Had I known all of that, I would have run my business exit ready. Every month year, I’m not something that I want to sort of an interesting idea.

[00:36:32] Interesting idea. But you know, it’s it’s it’s not it’s not normality, is it? It’s not. It’s not what normal normal businesses do. But why tell me why? Tell me why. Tell me why did? But what’s the what’s the huge benefit?

[00:36:46] The huge benefit is every single month. You know what your business is worth? Number one, OK? You know that. And if you know that OK, and it’s the same with every KPI, let’s let’s go away from dentistry. Let’s go to bench press. Ok? So if I’m bench pressing every Monday, right, and tomorrow I start with an eight kilo bench press, OK, and I document that Prav bench press eight to kilos last Monday, and they three Mondays later is bench press in eight to five kilos any documents. And if you document that stat every single Monday, what do you think is going to happen to that number? It’s going to go up and up. It’s going to go up because you’re measuring it and you’re documenting it, right? And that’s the same thing with that. The other benefit is that if you ever got to the point where you said, right now, we’re ready to partner with somebody. Can you imagine can you imagine going to your potential partner and say, by the way, here’s the thirty five folders that you’re going to need for due diligence? Ok? It’s probably going to take you about 20 days to work your way through that, but I’ve just saved myself 90 to one hundred to one hundred and twenty days of hell. But during that whole process

[00:38:02] Is also also, I guess, you look better right to the potential buyer. You look like a much more professional organisation with without question.

[00:38:11] You know, there was a few comments that came back from Dental, which were the level and depth and detail of organisation and the way we presented everything to them. Yeah, they were incredibly impressed with the way that that was all handled. Ok. So there is that and you know, at the end of the day, they’re making an investment as well, right? They need to be clear that they’re choosing the right partner as well as us. Yeah. So, yeah, one hundred percent. Yeah, it looks better. But you run your business better. You spot these little issues better. And if there’s anything that’s going to come out of this experience, rather in addition to, you know, having achieved this goal that we’ve we’ve we’ve achieved during the process, right, is that I do want to put together some kind of education that allows practise owners a deeper insight into the process, the pitfalls, what’s involved in the due diligence, what they can do today to get their business ready for the next next stage and what sort of questions they should be asking themselves and thinking,

[00:39:15] Hmm, I study very nice. I mean, and I guess that applies to any business, right? And you didn’t have any NHS element in your. Nothing like this, did you? Nothing. No. So that complicated because that’s another thing that, you know, I know in selling practise that becomes a whole headache and time wasting

[00:39:36] A whole headache, right? And the reason the reason there was no NHS. And I believe there was when Kyle Peche bought one of his earlier practises. And he’s always been a believer of the fact that you can’t offer a two tier service in a single business. And look, a lot of people do OK. But it’s always been his vision that we don’t do two tiers here. There’s one tier and it’s that minimum high standard that we offer and nothing lower. Hmm.

[00:40:06] Yeah. Let’s move on, Duke, let’s move on to where we are today compared to this time last year, when we sat, Boris had just cancelled Christmas. If you remember the Delta variant, it’s just hit. And here we are again on on with the corona situation. I don’t know about you, dude, but to me, just anecdotally, I’m hearing about more people getting this than I’ve ever heard before. And yet when we look at South Africa, which is furthest forward on this, it looks like there aren’t as many hospitalisations and so forth. And I think, you know, if we it’s easy to worry about this sort of thing a lot and we should, of course. But compared to this time last year, when it was Delta, when we didn’t, we weren’t sure about all the growth that every Dental business must have seen in this period. I think we’re in a better place compared to that. I mean, it’s been an extraordinary year, as far as you know. Look at it from from my perspective, I see people are doing dead a lot more private dentistry and enlightens one of those businesses that kind of kind of tracks private dentistry. And you know, you’ve

[00:41:22] Got the money on the head there, buddy, because whenever I speak to a practise, you know what? One of the first questions I ask them, how much whitening do you do? Yeah. How much whitening do you do? Do you track the number of white things that you do a month or a week? Right? And I truly believe that it is an indicator of private Dental, almost like a KPI, a benchmark. We use it all the time, right? How many whitening starts do we do? How many fingers starts do we do? So if your numbers have gone up in lights, then that’s a benchmark for the industry.

[00:41:51] For private, for sure, for sure, for sure. And I think it’s a lot of a lot of NHS, Baxter said then. Let’s face it relatively well out of the pandemic and you know, they obviously had. They’ve got right now this question of heading the 65 percent. And I think that going forward, the NHS side is is looking a little bit ropey. No one knows exactly how it’s going to pan out. But I think one thing we can all say is there’s not going to be any new money for NHS dentistry. It’s very, very unlikely, isn’t it? I mean, people do kind of think there’ll be different versions of the core service, whether whether that’s government imposed or whether that’s just the way practise set themselves up to have NHS as a core service. Mm hmm. But what I’ve seen a lot of in this year is a bunch of ex, you know, very NHS practises trying to set up private sides, trying to increase their private revenue, both on the corporate and on the independent side. I see I see that going on the private side. It seems like people have been, you know, making hay. And you know, I’ve had some of our users come back and say, Oh, look, things have slowed down a little bit now. Yeah. And you know, sure, things have slowed down a little bit now, but we forget there was always seasonality in dentistry. We just got so used to just these massive growth numbers. Yeah, how about you? What do you see with your clients?

[00:43:19] So we’ve seen we’ve seen huge growth, right, not only in my own practises, but with my clients across the board. I don’t think I work with anyone who offers NHS dentistry as a mainstream service, if that makes sense. If anything, it’s it’s tacked on because it’s either historic or it’s children or it’s minimal or whatever that is. I’ve had a lot of enquiries for coaching from people who want to transition from NHS to private.

[00:43:48] A lot now

[00:43:49] A lot and just the unknown, the minefield. What what does their education need to look like? What courses do they need to book in? You know, everything ranging from, you know, how to start at the beginning and get there. But on the private side of things, the growth has been in say OK, and there doesn’t seem to be any sign of it stopping and pay. I’m talking everything from from whitening and just a little bit of a white feeling here in there right through to, you know, ab type stuff, more complex restorative dentistry right through to those who have in sort of a full mouth of, you know, immediate loaded implant dentistry, you know, right at the top end of the scale where people are investing north of 30 40 K on their teeth, right? And we’re getting more people saying yes, yes, yes, right?

[00:44:43] Private does private kids also as well a few of your clients?

[00:44:47] Few of my clients, I mean, we we’ve run a few campaigns for just targeting mums, right? I think we’ve spoken about this in the past, right? And, you know, call me sexist or whatever, right? But when you target mums, you get a high conversion rate of kids ortho. But once again, a huge upsurge in that, well, you know, it’s probably down to the fact that, you know, similar sort of demand less of a supply. Ok. Longer waiting lists, maybe stricter criteria. And then the other thing that anecdotally here all the time for my clients is that they get a lot of patients coming through who are saying the reason they’ve decided to change their smile is Zoom. Yeah. And I’m not talking about your competitor whitening product here, mate. I’m talking about the the video conferencing, right, is on Zoom. They’re looking at their teeth all the time and they’ve become aware of it and then they want to change something. And this is so many of my clients who sign a reason for patients going ahead is seeing themselves on video.

[00:45:48] Yeah, well, you say you say you don’t see any signs of it slowing down, but we’ve got to acknowledge some of the concerns as well going forward. I mean, and you know, I think last year we all became virologists. This year, a lot of us are becoming economists, the economists, you know? Yeah. Well, you know, we’ve got this the inflation sort of situation, you know, there’s wage inflation, massive wage inflation. Yeah, loads of practises, not able to retain staff because staff are decided to go to other jobs that aren’t as difficult and pay paid the same. And I don’t think it’s only in dentistry. I think it’s across the board. We see it in our business as well, people, people asking for bigger pay rises and all of that. But but in in all businesses and then a shortage of skilled labour, there’s definitely a shortage of people willing to come and work. Yeah. Whether it’s Brexit, that’s caused that. But I do understand it’s the same situation in the US. Although, you know, Trump wasn’t exactly friendly to immigration, either, so I don’t know. Going forward, you know, we have to pay for COVID. Let’s imagine it gets easier from here. Who knows? Yeah, let’s imagine it gets the actual clinical medical situation gets easier. We have to pay for it somehow. And then on our side, look, we’ve had big issues with supplying product. You know that our supplier supplier can’t supply him some raw material. And again, across the board, you can see this. It’s the first time ever that Amazon problems they’ve ever had in my life.

[00:47:27] Look, we’re getting a little bit of work done at home, right and building supplies, materials, things like that, right? You know, we had a quote to have some work done at home. There was a bit of delay in getting the materials across and then and then our builder came and said, Look, I’m going to have to increase the quote by 20 percent, and there’s absolutely nothing I can do. It’s because the cost of materials have gone up. Yeah, and and he wasn’t trying to pull a fast one. You know, it cost the

[00:47:54] Cost of everything you. It was a

[00:47:56] Genuine, you know, sorry, Prav. But this is what it’s going to cost. You know, the labour had stayed the same and everything. And you know, we’re seeing it in practise now that when you’re looking to, for example, employ a nurse or a higher team member, the pool of people or at least the volume of that pool and quality of that pool is much, much smaller. Ok. Yeah. And some are going elsewhere into other industries. Some have had just sort of life changing moments. Yeah, you know, COVID has lockdown. Covid has given us all a chance to sit back and and sort of think what I want to do in my life. But do I really want to be socking spit for the rest of my life? Or would you rather do something, whatever, whatever that is, you know, you all have those moments where you think, you know, you reassess what you want to do even during this process where you know, I was, you know, thinking about the the other end of the reward that comes out of selling a business right is that you end up in a financial position that you become more stable. Yeah, it meant that I could afford to take less share of people. Yeah. Do you understand what I mean that that that you can you can actually turn around and actually turn more down, or you can tell someone to go take a hike and find another provider because because you’re a little bit more comfortable now, right? Same thing with with team members, right, is they have a reassessment of of what they want out of life, right? And what their priorities are and maybe flip over to other careers and things like that. And I think in dentistry, we are going to see certainly across the board a hike in overheads when it comes to wages, for sure, for sure. And it’s inevitable it’s going to come. And I think if we don’t talk about it, we’re just we’re just skirting around that issue.

[00:49:53] And I think around that you feel Prav because I think it may be high time for it. And I know it’s a strange thing to say. But but since the 2008 2009 recession, wages have really been quite stagnant. I know some practises give pay rises every year and a lot of that. I’m not happy about it to tell you the truth, you know, because it’s a pressure on on on employers, right? Yeah. But I do think that it might be high time and certainly your money just doesn’t go as far. There’s no way

[00:50:29] That we know that right. The money printers been going off like like the clappers, right? You know, we’ve got inflation. We’ve, you know, we’ve just heard from the Fed that they’re going to reduce tapering as well.

[00:50:41] And yeah, you know,

[00:50:43] Everything is just pointing to the fact that, you know. The cost of living, yeah, your bottle of milk, let let’s just take this down to brass tacks, right? What does it mean? Yeah. Is that your your bottle of milk is now going to be 10 quid instead of two? Right? It’s not. The money is not going to stretch as far. Yeah. And as a result of that, then people need to live and earn, right.

[00:51:07] And so I don’t think it’s going to go to ten quid. No, I don’t think I’m

[00:51:11] Overexaggerating here, right?

[00:51:15] But you’ve you’ve never lived, you’ve never lived through or you weren’t old enough to remember an inflationary period, have you? Were you? No, I have. No, I do. I remember. It’s terrible. It’s terrible when it happens. And one thing I would say to inflation is very nice. If you’re a big borrower, you know, if you’ve got two million pounds of debt on your house or something, suddenly that number doesn’t seem as scary anymore when all prices of everything, all assets go up. You know, I do think it’s a potential worry. And, you know, I think we’ve been living kind of on this printed cash and and, you know, corona. Covid hasn’t yet played out financially, let alone. I mean, we don’t medically, financially, it hasn’t yet played out. And and I think we’ve been extremely lucky as a profession so far to be able to navigate it. As I said to you before, I’ve got friends who own pubs and nightclubs and all that say navigating it very easily at all. But going forward, I think you’re right that, you know, we need to soberly look at it. And then, you know, the questions have been going on the forums. You know, who’s going to pay this extra? Have you ever seen that? Who’s going to pay for this extra money? Is it going to be the principal or is it going to be the associate? And I think there’s going to be new models that, you know, whether it’s a therapist led, you know, we see that a lot in my area and composite bonding. You’ve got some therapists, you know who you know, that’s all they do all day, every day. And from a principals perspective, that’s that’s quite attractive idea, right? You can, you know, you can get the money that way, I guess, and the associate principal disputes that have been happening in the last year. I think for now, maybe that the pendulum swung towards associate. But we have to be careful because if you know, if a practise owner can’t make the thing pay, he’s going to try and find new business models, right? You’ve got to

[00:53:19] Adapt, right? The one thing about about being a business owner, right, is I truly believe that owning a business is just about solving problems. There’s nothing more to it than that, right? You just you just fixing things and solving problems all day long, right? And you know, if you’re hit with something that makes your cost base go up, you’ve got to fix that problem. Yeah. However, that may be either increasingly the end cost to the consumer or adjusting your business model or a combination of the two or whatever. That is right. You sit back as a business owner and analyse how you’re going to how are you going to solve that problem? Ok. And that may end up adapting itself as business models. I mean, I’ve got I’ll say this without without spilling the beans because I think could shoot me if I, if I, if I shared this information with anyone. But you know, he’s trusted me with with some information about how he’s going to change his business model in his practise, going from one to seven practises, how he’s going to scale up, and he’s come up with a really unique model of how he’s going to deliver the industry. Ok, and he’s thinking four or five years ahead, a real, a real maverick, really, in terms of how he thinks ahead. When I look at that and the way he’s thinking, Yeah, I think, holy crap, that guy’s got some big balls, right? He knows that I take some risks. Yeah, but if what he’s thinking plays off and I’m pretty confident if anyone can do it, he can. Yeah, yeah, he’ll monopolise in the methodology and he’ll be first to market in terms of the way he and his team deliver a certain type of dentistry. So business models will change because we’ll be forced to write and some of them, some of us are thinkers that think ahead of the curve and some of us are reactive who respond to that situation. But change is inevitable.

[00:55:12] How about of your clients? Prav is do you see a shift from big practises to smaller ones?

[00:55:20] What do you mean?

[00:55:21] You know, because, well, because the cost base of big practises just seems to be so difficult. I mean. Well, let me let me go back a little bit. I think there was there was some thinking that you needed the size to get the sort of the, you know, what they called economies of scale before, you know, corporates were looking at three three surgery practises as a minimum. But now I see a little trend more going towards sort of boutique practises, you know?

[00:55:46] You know what it is, pay a lot, a lot of it comes down to actually, you know, what’s your business model? What are you doing? You know, you could have a small boutique practise that just focuses on high Typekit dentistry. Ok. So that income, yeah, you don’t need the economies of scale to deal with that. And then I work with some practises who pride themselves on doing a lot of general dentistry. And from that general dentistry, they generate their cosmetic dentistry. About 50 percent of their income is general and 50 percent of their income is high. Typekit dentistry, right? So their cost base is much higher. Ok. They need the economies of scale, et cetera, et cetera. You set up a boutique practise and say, Look, I’m going to focus my business on AB Implant Dentistry. You can go down the route of like the equivalent of the Evo Dental, who only do same day immediate loaded teeth, right? We are that it’s a specialist centre in inverted commas. Yeah. The only focus on that one high ticket thing and we do it well, right? So you know, you don’t you don’t need that entirely depends on your business model. Yeah. And you know, there’s a lot to be said for these practises who do. Yeah, a lot of general dentistry. I tend to find myself that those practise owners that focus on doing a lot of general dentistry and a little bit of cosmetic dentistry is generally happier as human beings.

[00:57:14] Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Well, whether it’s the you can see the lack of the

[00:57:20] Lack of stress associated with those with those bigger ticket or more demanding patients, or the fact that they’re comfortable and complacent with whatever it is, they’re generating and doing their general and minimal sort of high ticket dentistry. But generally, as human beings, much more content, much happier.

[00:57:37] Well, while you’ve been gone Prav, I’ve changed some of the final questions. Ok, so I want to I want to quickly throw one at you, all of the mother. Fancy dinner party, buddy.

[00:57:59] Fantasy Dinner Party,

[00:58:02] Three guests dead or alive. Prav who would be your three guests, please? Dinner for a dinner party.

[00:58:13] Who? Elon Musk, for sure, for sure.

[00:58:20] Why? Why? Because look after the winner.

[00:58:24] No, not necessarily.

[00:58:25] But anyone who is history, go listen.

[00:58:28] Anyone who’s crazy enough to say that we’re going to populate Mars. Ok with conviction and take life onto their right thinks in a way above and beyond and completely different to the way we do, right? And then the guy, you know? And then he reinvented electric cars, right? You’re not going to be having normal conversations with this dude. You see some of the stuff he puts out on Twitter writes a little bit wacky. Yeah, I like it. Of course it’s going to. Of course it’s going to be wacky. Do you expect normal stuff to come out of this dude? Yeah.

[00:59:03] So, yeah,

[00:59:04] He he definitely be one. Yeah.

[00:59:08] And number two, interesting, buddy. If you’re interested, Elon’s done a couple of Joe Rogan’s. Yeah, yeah. I’ve seen three hour Joe Don, who second.

[00:59:19] Arnold Schwarzenegger, you got.

[00:59:22] Yeah, because he’s got muscle.

[00:59:25] Well, childhood hero, right? And look, if you if you was, he was he was he God? Yeah, for sure, right? And you know, in my younger years, I was into bodybuilding and all the rest of it, right? Oh, good. So, you know, definitely would love to sort of catch up with him and just learn more about where he came from and from wisdom. Very motivational guy, right? For sure. Third, jeez, man, put me on the spot here, buddy. Hmm.

[00:59:58] I know it is. Go granddad, my granddad.

[01:00:03] You know what? The moment you said that? You arsehole, man. Sorry. It’s my granddad.

[01:00:17] Yeah. Finally.

[01:00:30] No need to say anything more, buddy.

[01:00:34] It’s a beautiful body. Listen, it’s who he’s

[01:00:38] Been and buddy. You’re not getting away with this man.

[01:00:47] Trying to get out of that man

[01:00:51] Who he was.

[01:00:54] It’s strange because I’ve asked this question many times already, and I haven’t yet fully worked out my answer. But the first guy is the guy whose name I don’t know who’s the guy behind Red Bull. Ok, you don’t, you know? No, I do that, dude. There’s a guy. There’s a guy. And I kind of like the fact that I don’t know his name. I wish I could google it right now and find out, right? But but I like the fact that I don’t know his name and that he’s got brand, the head of, you know, ego to get ahead of his own name. And, you know, often we think with, you know, who owns Tesla, Elon Musk, but there’s loads of massive brands. We don’t know who owns the Nike, you know, I mean, I know some some people do know that, but there are some brands where the brand takes precedence over the personality. And I really, by the way, I’m not even a massive fan of Red Bull, the product, but the brand, what he’s done with it and just the thought process to go into that market with the with the incumbent Coca-Cola and Pepsi to take them on with this little can and and the marketing, the marketing, you know that you don’t see a can of Red Bull in the marketing at all, right? You know that they’re riding motorbikes off cliffs and jumping out of space ships.

[01:02:19] Yeah. And then of late, I mean, you are not sports fans. Yeah, but he’s bought two or three football teams. And part of it is change the names of the football teams to Red Bull first and then the name of the football team. He’s got one in the American. You know that that thing they’ve got going on in America and in Europe, he’s got a couple of team and of course, Formula One F1 number one. I’m not a big fan, but just the thinking that those play in races. Yeah, yeah. So definitely him. Let’s go to your Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was my hero back then. I got the ice to love Prince. I was a massive fan. Yeah, I have friends, for sure. For sure. I’m. And my grandmother, my grandmother, your mother said my grandmother or my mother had a very special relationship with her. It is a bit of a copout, but but you know, it is, it is what it is. What do you remember? Oh, it is a really funny lady, really caring, but funny, funny. One of the funniest people I’ve ever come across. Do you know what was that cartoon show? Penelope Pit Stop.

[01:03:37] And that dastardly and morally wrong.

[01:03:40] Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, and the get off that laugh that the dog might be like my grandmother, whatever she was say she was, she would laugh like that. Or, you know, she’d she’d be so funny that, you know, that’s what I always remember her as the laughing, laughing, laughing, laughing. It’s been nice, buddy. It’s been nice.

[01:04:02] It’s been good to catch up and there’s going to be, yeah, the resurrection of the Prav and pay again.

[01:04:09] We’re going to do this podcast

[01:04:10] Together this year, for sure,

[01:04:12] Right? Let’s hope.

[01:04:13] My focus, you know, my my focus is definitely is definitely changing for twenty twenty two. So, you know, they’ll definitely be more present. Anyone who knows that I’ve been online prior to that, I completely disappeared from Facebook and Instagram, right? Those who know me will know why I went into a hole and just went as I do, you know, 100 percent into this project. And as a result of that, against my best advice that I would give to others, put my health. Second, you know, and things like that. And so things are going to go into a different gear now and you’ll see more of me.

[01:05:03] It’s lovely to have you back, buddy, you know, and I think going forward, we’ve been working on a bunch of stuff that enlighten and I’ve been thinking, You know, why don’t I give something back to this community? Because, you know, a lot of times I’m on a course or something and people come up to me and say, I listen to every single episode. And, you know, if you’re listening to the end of this one, then good because I’m going to be making some announcements with enlightened and making sure this community benefits from those enhancements, giving some free stuff out there. Good. All right, buddy. Well, I’ll see you in twenty twenty two, I guess. I guess that’s the way it’s going to be. It is, but it is. We’re here.

[01:05:45] We’re at the end. I’ve signed off for the year. Officially, I haven’t. That’s all that’s me doing. I’ve got to give back to my family, right? I’ve certainly neglected them over the last three months, so it’s time to it’s time to kiss and make up.

[01:06:01] Nice. All right. All right. My lovely, lovely having you back.

[01:06:03] But this is Dental Leaders, the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry. Your hosts Payman Langroudi and Prav Solanki.

[01:06:21] Thanks for listening, guys. If you got this far, you must have listened to the whole thing and just a huge thank you both from me and pay for actually sticking through and listening to what we had to say and what our guest has had to say, because I’m assuming you’ve got some value out of it.

[01:06:36] If you did get some value out of it, think about subscribing and if you would share this with a friend who you think might get some value out of it too. Thank you so, so, so much for listening. Thanks.

[01:06:46] And don’t forget our six star rating.


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