How to finance your dental squat
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The UK is well supplied with dentists. It is an essential service that everyone needs - and it can be extremely lucrative. So how can you set up a squat practice?
A full-time dentist's income is usually from £70,000 upward, whilst high earning associates can earn £200,000 plus. As a result, taking over an existing practice can be prohibitively expensive - if you can even find one for sale.
The alternative is to set up a new ‘squat’ practice. But it will still mean substantial investment. Paying for premises, staff, equipment and everyday running costs might still need more than £100,000 worth of investment in the first year alone - but at Rangewell we understand the challenges and can help you find the solutions.
Understanding your funding options
Setting up a squat practice can let you cut the cost of running your own dental business, but you need to ensure you have the right type of funding for each purpose. This means finding the right type of funding to:
- Acquire premises
- Acquire equipment and assets
- Provide working capital
- Market your new practice
- Deal with tax
Funding for your premises
Premises in a good location, ideally with parking and public transport nearby, will be the first cost for any dental squat.
The traditional solution - rooms above high street retail premises - may still be a good choice today, offering the ideal combination of a location that is easy for patients to find and reach, with costs far lower than ground floor premises.
Look at the local population and how well this suits your business plans. For example, in a commuter town, evening appointments for city workers may be popular. Consider parking and disabled access, and your need for fresh air - your patients and equipment like your compressor need ventilation. Don't forget the appeal of the building. An attractive building that does not look clinical might be more attractive to your patients.
You will need a minimum of around 120 square ft for your treatment room, and probably twice that for a waiting room. You should factor in space for storage, reception and circulation, and you will have a substantial square footage to pay for.
However, it could be a sound plan to get more space than you need immediately. You will not want to move your practice once you have set it up, and another room for a partner could let you grow your patient list, while a dedicated room for a hygienist could help increase turnover. Cutting corners on your premises can be limiting, because a small practice can stay small and unprofitable. finally, remember, in most cases, you will need to apply for building regulation consent to use premises for a surgery. You council planning department will be able to help.
You may need to borrow for the deposit on a long-term lease - because the property you need is likely to be in demand.
Alternatively, once you have established your practice, you might want to consider a Commercial Mortgage. Commercial Mortgages can help you buy your surgery or even an existing practice.
Commercial Property Finance will always be arranged on an individual basis. Get our help finding the most competitive lender.
Funding for your equipment
Your practice will be judged on appearances. Your patients will instantly see the difference between cheap plastic chairs and quality leather seating, carefully chosen decor and internet art - and assess your practice accordingly.
They may be less judgemental of the dental equipment you use - but cutting corners in your surgery is likely to be a false economy in the long, if not the medium-term.
The list of equipment your surgery requires is growing, and so are the costs. Your equipment needs may include:
- Dental lighting
- Decontamination equipment
- Digital X-Rays
- IT equipment – from handheld tablets to a centralised system for reception, together with operating licences and renewals, training and maintenance
At Rangewell we have found that Asset Funding can provide the most cost-effective solutions for most kinds of equipment you will use as a dental professional. Leasing and Hire Purchase let you spread the cost of the equipment you need allowing for fixed monthly repayments enabling you to budget with confidence whilst enhancing your cash flow.
If you need equipment that you want to go on giving service for years, Hire Purchase can provide the simple solution. You pay a deposit plus monthly instalments over a fixed term, between 12 and 72 months, after which the equipment becomes yours. Payments are fixed, making it easy to plan ahead, and to arrange an agreement that is tailored to your monthly turnover and budget.
If you want to use the latest equipment without the responsibility of owning it, leasing will give you the freedom and flexibility
you need. There is usually no upfront cost to find, meaning that you can bring the latest equipment into your surgery without delay.
Leases can make higher cost items, such as digital x-ray systems, more affordable by spreading the cost across their economic life. At the end of the agreement, the asset may either become yours or be returned to the lease company. You pay a monthly rental charge to use the asset, which will cover all the costs such as maintenance and repairs. It means an operating lease ideal for sophisticated technical apparatus which has a limited life, or which you may want to replace when new technology becomes available – helping you keep ahead of your competitors, and letting you offer your patients the latest treatments.
New or used?
Good quality used equipment can be a sound investment, especially if you are setting up a new practice and funds are tight. However, many dental professionals miss out on the potential savings because they believe they need to find cash to pay for it.
At Rangewell we can help you spread the cost of used equipment with Asset Finance. The terms and rates we can secure are often better than those offered by equipment suppliers, and we may be able to help arrange a single agreement to cover all your equipment needs.
Working Capital Loans
Dentists are always in demand - but simply opening the door on your first day will not see a line of patients file in. You may have to fund all the outgoings of your practice for months until you achieve the patient numbers you need to cover them.
Working Capital Finance is designed to provide the working capital you need. It's often used to provide cash to pay staff and suppliers while business is slow during the early weeks and months of a new practice, or during a period of growth. It is usually designed to be repaid in the short- to medium-term, once the practice is fully on its feet.
Market your new practice
It is essential that as a practice owner and business manager, you invest in marketing. Inadequate marketing is one of the key reasons for the failure of start-ups. People need to know where you are and what you offer. the local press can be important to spread your sales message, but a good quality website is essential and you should give consideration to search engine optimisation. Setting the website up before the practice opens should be a priority.
Your website does not have to be elaborate, but you must have a professional-looking site that shows your practice, and your contact details. A map might be useful to ensure that potential patients can find you.
The costs of your marketing will probably be £10,000 or more in your first year, so you might look at an Unsecured Loan to provide them.
It is not something you can skimp on. Without marketing, you will have no patients - and without patients, your squat practice will not last long.
Tax is an issue for every new business. A large quarterly VAT or annual tax demand is inevitable if your business is doing well, and it can cause problems with your cashflow, particularly when it falls at the same time as other costs.
Tax Loans help you to spread the cost of your tax demands into affordable monthly payments, helping ensure that your business does not have to go through a cashflow drought, and can help you avoid issues with HMRC and potential financial penalties.
Benefits of a Tax Loan include:
- Better control of your cash flow
- Fixed, predictable monthly payments
- Quick and simple to arrange - ideal if you have an urgent demand to deal with
REAL EXAMPLES OF WHAT WE CAN DO
Find the most competitive loan to let a small practice to acquire a lease on an existing surgery
Help a squat practice finance the purchase of a suite of new medical equipment
Source a Professional Loan to allow a newly qualified dentist to buy a partnership in an existing practice
Find the most competitive finance to allow a new practice to buy used, non-invasive equipment and spread the cost
Help a dental professional arrange ‘jigsaw’ funding to allow her to acquire an existing practice
Finding financial solutions for dental professionals
As a dental professional, there are many financial solutions that you can call on. But finding the most appropriate solution for your needs takes a thorough understanding of both of the lending market, and the products available on it.
At Rangewell we have the expertise you need. We know the lenders who can offer the most competitive rates for the dental profession, and we can help you find the most appropriate solution for particular needs.
But not all lenders will offer the most competitive terms. Looking for the most competitive deal for your squat practice, and across the entire market, takes time and expertise - time which you probably don’t have. We know the lenders who can offer the most competitive rates for the dental profession, for all types of finance, including Professional Loans, Unsecured and Secured Loans, Invoice Finance, Asset Finance, Merchant Cash Advance, Commercial Mortgages, Growth Finance and more.
If you are looking at the finance you need to grow your dental practice, you need to look at the finance you need first. Call us now to get our experts looking with you.
The funding you can find includes:
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Helping you build your profits
Lending tailored to your needsAt Rangewell we can help you find the most appropriate finance for any funding need your dental practice faces.
Funding scaled to your practiceFunding solutions are available for your practice whatever its size, and whether you need individual items or a complete surgery costing hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Building a cutting-edge practiceYou need to offer the latest treatment - including cosmetic treatments - to bring in patients. We can help you find ways to afford the equipment you need.
Reducing risk with Asset FundingIf your practice was to become unable to make the payments on equipment funding, the lender could simply repossess the equipment to cover their loss. No other assets are at risk.
Releasing the value in your businessA Goodwill Loan can allow you to benefit from the work you have out into building your business, without putting your business at risk.
Specialist lendersSome Asset Funding providers specialise in particular sectors. At Rangewell, we can help you find the most appropriate lenders for your dental practice.
Download Rangewell’s free and detailed guide to Business Lending for Dentists
What type of commercial loans are available with practice financing?
What kinds of dental finance are there - including personal goodwill loans, practice financing, hire purchase, leasing, tax efficient borrowing solutions, credit lines and fixed rate equipment finance - from specialist lenders to give you peace of mind on loan products for any purpose.
How can Dental Finance benefit my dental practice?
How can they provide extra funds for you - without reducing funds available for your business?
Why you must find the right lender to cut costs
Is it important to use lenders that are authorised and regulated by the financial conduct authority for business loans?
The downsides of borrowing
What finance options are available for the dental industry for pieces of equipment - can I own equipment outright or is it or is it highly recommended to head down the route of leasing your equipment?
Do Asset Finance solutions incude dental equipment leasing?
What paperwork will you need?
Can terms be as long as 25 years for financing my practice premises?
Can I apply for finance to help with practice cash flow?
Guarantees and security
Is is better to use finance brokers when looking for practice finance?
Key Terms to check
An additional commitmentBorrowing may be a long-term commitment, with ongoing monthly repayments which will affect your cashflow.
You may need to repayIf you sell your business, you may need to repay your borrowing.
Borrowing may be a personal liabilityLending will be secured on your practice, but you may be personally responsible for repayment with some types of loan.
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