There’s always a learning curve when a practitioner of a particular skillset makes the leap into business ownership. For Dr. Anna Minnema, co-owner of Preferred Dental Partners in Horicon and Beaver Dam, it was a matter of the right opportunity at the right time.
“I was practicing for a bigger corporation, not looking to buy a practice,” she said. “But a recruiter reached out to me about Preferred Dental Partners. When I looked into them, I found a clinic that was very education-forward and patient focused. It was a clinic that wanted to do the best for everyone.”
Anna officially bought the clinic in 2019 from its founding partners, Dr. Jean Esser and Dr. James Amstadt. In 2022, another dentist, Dr. Megan Oldridge became a partner. Becoming owners has been a challenge, Anna said, but she and Megan have found a balance of profit and service.
“When you’re an owner, there’s a trickle-down effect,” she said. “We’re responsible for our patients and our employees. We want everyone to feel good about coming into work and make it possible for them to earn a good living.”
Financially, Anna and Megan work to balance their spending with their production to service the debt of buying the practice. They keep a constant eye on P&L, using lines of credit from Horicon Bank to keep cashflow healthy and lower overhead.
Craig Much serves as Preferred Dental Partners’s Horicon banker. His long-running relationship with the clinic has helped its new owners make the most of the transition.
“When Dr. Jean left, she told us, ‘You will go through Horicon bank,’” Anna said. “And she was right, it was a no-brainer. They know us beyond the numbers. They know our history and who we are.”
Less than a year into their ownership, COVID struck. While Anna homeschooled her children, the clinic was forced to shut down, aside from a single doctor seeing emergency patients only. Horicon helped them obtain PPP loans and make interest-only payments on their business loans for a few months.
“That got us through. When we re-opened, we did a ton of business because everyone had been eating badly,” Anna said. “With Horicon and our banker Craig, I always know it’ll be alright. They’re always easy to get ahold of, and it’s nice to walk in a branch and hear ‘Hey Anna!’”
Anna also conducts her personal banking and mortgage through Horicon.
For the next few years, Anna and Megan will focus on growing the practice and paying off their commercial loans. Then, they plan to make a few physical upgrades to the practice.
“As dentists ourselves, I think we recognize the value of this clinic’s culture and its role in helping our patients,” Anna said. “Horicon supports us in maintaining that culture while also running a profitable business."