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A fresh start for an old dental practice

When Dr Nick Daley found his dream dental practice to buy, he completely refitted and changed it to make it his own.

  7 minutes


The road to Dr Nick Daley fulfilling his dream of having his own dental practice was a particularly long one. It was a 26-year journey of many detours, but it was worth the wait.

Dr Daley, 45, first attended the University of Sydney in 1991, studying health science and graduating from the School of Dentistry in 2010 (in between degrees was a career in telecommunications). Since then he worked as an associate dentist in Sydney’s CBD while in the back of his mind he always had the ambition of owning his own practice. Before taking that major leap into practice ownership, Dr Daley wanted to be ready. Even when early last year he found the well-established Cronulla Beach Dental practice in the famous Sydney beachside suburb that “ticked all the boxes”, he still wanted to take his time in getting everything for his new business in order.

Changing the perfect practice

“I was at a point where I was looking to do my own thing, and from the first time I saw this practice, I was interested as it was the right fit for me,” Dr Daley explains.

“The business side of it all seemed strong, but it was the things like the history of the building and the practice, its position on the street and the fact this place is so full of light that just did it for me. I’m definitely someone who likes a good aspect and natural light in my workplace, and this practice had plenty of that.”

Dr Daley turned to BOQ Specialist’s Luke Truscott to help guide him through the various stages of buying the established business from Dr Anna O’Shea, who had been its principal for over 40 years. The deal was that Dr Daley would buy the business, but undertake a whole range of renovations before opening up as his own practice.

“Luke has done this a thousand times and knows all the ins and outs of doing a deal like this,” Dr Daley says. “As he knows dentistry so well, I knew I had a strong ally on my side.

“The best thing about Luke was he was so clear about what was achievable and what was not, so the communication was always very open between us. That made the whole process a smooth one.”

Moving in, shutting down

Through BOQ Specialist, the deal was struck that Dr Daley would buy the business from Dr O’Shea, who agreed to stay on and work alongside him.

Taking on a well-established business with a strong existing patient base, Dr Daley knew he could have just moved in and got to work once the papers were signed, but he instead decided upon settlement to close up for almost five weeks, strip the premises back to its bare bones and complete an entirely new refit of the practice, with state-of-the-art equipment and fixtures.

“It just made sense to me that if I was going to start at a new place, now was the time to bite the bullet, close the place down for a month, refurbish it, and then build it up from there,” Dr Daley says.

“I just wanted to get everything in order and even though the place was fine when I bought it, I knew in a few years’ time it would need an upgrade. So, I decided let’s just get it done now, and get the entire place up to date.”

In went new chairs, equipment, cabinetry, floors, fittings and window coverings. Dr Daley also invested in an OPG (orthopantomogram) machine.

“That was so we could perform X-rays in house,” he adds. “Basically, I wanted everything brought up to speed and to get the systems right. I wanted us to put our best foot forward.”

Come together

It was in the final week of the refurbishment—just one week before the re-opening date in early June 2017—that Dr Daley dropped in to inspect the project.

As he looked around, he recalls it marked a turning point in his attitude towards embarking on the next stage of his career.

“It’s when I saw it all coming together and taking shape that I thought, ‘yes, that’s exactly how I envisioned it’, and I got so excited about what’s really possible in taking on your own business,” he says. “It was such a good feeling, and I knew it had been the right thing for this business as well.”

Almost 12 months since he took over the practice, Dr Daley reports business has been going well.

“We’re at a point where we have the right set-up with the right staff, and things are working well,” he says. “I enjoy my job and I'm excited it turned out exactly as I had planned. Dr O’Shea also continues to work here and that’s been important to learn from her. I just want to have a very good-quality dental practice that offers a comprehensive service to a whole range of patients.”


Thinking about starting or growing a practice? Click on the link to find out more about our tailored financial solutions for buying your first location. Ready to take the next step? Contact us to find out how we can tailor a practice finance solution for you, or call us on 1300 160 160.

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