Colorado “Life Planning” Visit

We customarily invite the new client and his/her spouse to arrive in Colorado early enough so that we are able to share a meal together the evening prior to beginning the one and one-half day client process. This gives us an opportunity to meet together socially and to begin to get to know one another. Our clients report that the quality of the planning process is greatly enhanced when they are away from home. They can see their lives much more clearly from a distance rather than at home with all of the everyday distractions that take place there. We want to learn about our client’s history, learn about their current situation, and find out where they ideally want to be in their preferred future.

  • On the first day we meet from 9:00 a.m. until approximately 4:30 p.m. During the morning, our discussions focus on the personal history of both the client and his/her spouse. We want to know about their individual life journeys. We want to hear their individual aspirations for the future. It is often surprising to find out that their aspirations can be quite different. This can be a real eye-opener for the participants, especially if they have made incorrect assumptions about the other person’s aspirations. We need both the client and spouse aspiring to be on the same path and going for the same vision and outcomes.
  • The afternoon of the first day, we shift our focus to the dental practice with a review of the history of the practice and a discussion of the client’s current practice situation. We begin to create a plan that fits with their view of an ideal future for the practice. We want them to make business plans that will also be congruent with their life plans so that they will be happy and fulfilled in both important areas.
  • Prior to the Planning Session, we will have completed a thorough review of the client’s personal and practice financials along with Tax Returns for the prior three years. We will be prepared to ask questions and to make observations and recommendations. We need to know the financial health of the practice. If a phased transition is planned, we will evaluate the practice’s capacity to add another dentist to the mix.
  • We also want to learn about their team members. We will discuss each individual and their specific contributions to the success of the practice. We want to know what sort of role the client sees the team playing in the transition process. We believe strongly in including the team throughout a transition process.
  • We will do an overhead analysis for the client by looking at their existing chart of accounts and expenses in each category. We will make recommendations to improve both the productivity and the profitability of the practice.
  • We want to know the transition history of the client and the practice. Have they had prior associates or partners? If so, how were the relationships structured? How does the client feel about the experience(s)? If the associate or partner is no longer in the practice, why did the relationship end? What lessons have been learned from the experience that will apply in the next transition?
  • We want to know if the client has worked with other consultants. With whom and for what purpose? Was the experience beneficial to the client and the team? Were expectations exceeded, met or not met?
  • We look at how the client envisions practicing for the next five years. Will it be status quo or are there new areas of clinical continuing education emphasis? Will the client continue to practice at the current pace or adjust that pace over the next five years?
  • We discuss both the timing and the manner of exit that the client is currently considering and routinely offer other options.
  • We determine if there is an adequate plan in place for transitioning the practice in an unplanned crisis such as illness, disability or death. We feel it is extremely important to have a crisis plan in place at ALL times.
  • The meeting on the second day will be from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. We will discuss any new ideas that have come to the participants since we adjourned yesterday. We observe that our clients often come in with new and clearer thinking after processing together the prior evening.
  • We then focus on putting a specific action plan together with timetables and monitors for achievement of these action steps.
  • The next step is for us to make an on-site visit to the client’s practice and community. We typically do this soon after the Colorado Planning Visit and will then be ready to act on the client’s new transition plan.