It is official: I am buying my dad out. I am telling you about this because I think there might be a lot of dentists out there wondering about the process. I have a financial adviser that I pay quarterly to be the point man when it comes to things like this. He watches our practice. He knows our practice.
When we told the adviser that we were going to do this, he put a package together. The package includes all the numbers of our practice, production, overhead, profit, salaries, P/L. It also includes a business plan, my W-2s for the last 5 years, and all that stuff that I try not to get too involved with.
After we put the packed together, we had to think about whom we would allow to compete for our loan. We have been customers of a certain large bank since my father started this practice (it was a smaller bank then), so we started there. There is a bank literally across the street from my office. The manager has been a patient since before I was here, and a couple staff members there are also patients. There is a guy from my church that everyone knows around town. He is boisterous, fun, and very excited about working with me, so we put him in the mix. I have another patient that is high up at another bank, so he’s in the mix. There is also one more that my financial adviser has a long time relationship with.
We sent the package to these five financial institutions, and my life has not been pleasant since. I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about making payments. I am grouchy at work because I think about overhead like I never have before. I used to make fun of dentists that micromanage their offices and here I am doing it. I hear myself saying to my assistant, "Do you really need to put out that many cotton rolls for this procedure?"
"Two drops? Really?! Two drops? Do you really think we are going to need two drops of Clearfil for this procedure? Of course you don't know. Because you don't care. Why would you? You don't have THIS HUGE LOAN HANGING OVER YOUR HEAD FOR THE NEXT SEVEN YEARS!!! Of course you don't care about how many drops you put in the dappen dish!"
Are these words really coming out of my mouth? Did I really just go up to the front and tell everyone to get back to work and stop talking and laughing? What is happening to me? Is this what becoming the 100% owner feels like?
I start to look at all the products we have. I look at the 6-year-old computers and just look the other way. I look at the rug that needs to be replaced. I am seeing everything as a monkey on my back. I know it is not supposed to be this way. I know that this is supposed to a happy time. I know that this was the natural progression of my career. I knew five years ago that this was coming. But why is signing the papers changing me? Why do I go home and mope?
It has even made me less tolerant of my kids. "Are these your broken crayons? Who do you think has to pay for all these crayons? Do you even care? Of course you don't, because you don't have this THIS HUGE LOAN HANGING OVER YOUR HEAD FOR THE NEXT SEVEN YEARS!!! Of course you don't care about how much crayons cost!" Man, kids these days.
Things look expensive at home, too. Cars, dishwashers, rugs that are 10 years old. I know owning a house costs money. I know that things need to be replaced, but they all seem to need replacing as I am getting ready to sign this big loan.
The loan is, relatively, not that much and if the office stays the same, things should be fine. But if we slip a little… Ahhh, I am starting to sweat just writing that.
Things at the office are okay, but we are not doing that great. We are getting very nice people in and patients that really appreciate what we are doing here. I have always said that that is my motivation. But, now that all this going to be mine (or, now that I am on the hook for all this), it feels different. I just want to sign the papers and get it over with. I want to get a couple of months of paying it back under my belt and maybe this headache will go away.
On a more pleasant note, I was approved by all five banks. Two of them have been very competitive. The rate I am borrowing this money at is very low, so I’ve got that going for me. But this doesn't unwind me at all. I wish I had all this money in the bank so I didn't have to borrow. I wish I was on the other end where I was deciding what to do with my money and where to invest. Should I buy real estate or a mountain home? Not this. This is too stressful.
Have a great weekend,
Do you know how much crayons cost nowadays?