After working hard and building your dental practice from scratch, you might be eager to go to work each day and enjoy your interactions with the patients you brought together. You might be happy to see your staff, some of whom might have become your friends. You might not be thinking about leaving them, but you should.
According to the ADA, dentists are waiting longer than ever to retire, but most don’t need to wait as long as they do. Instead, they continue to work because they dread the idea of leaving, and part of that dread can stem from the thought of selling the practice.
Building trust for a smooth transition
Dentists looking to sell their practices can do so any number of ways, and trust plays a crucial role in all of them. Your staff have come to trust and depend upon you, and you may want to reward their trust by ensuring the new owner will also appreciate their service. Similarly, the trust you’ve earned with your patients play an important part in the way a CPA might estimate your practice’s market value. Damaging that trust can damage the value of your practice.
One common way you can build trust with your staff and patients as you look to transition is to hire an associate dentist. Then you can aim toward the eventual sale of your business over the course of three steps:
- Test the fit. Bringing the associate dentist into the team allows you to see if the fit is good for you, the associate dentist, your staff and your patients.
- Arrange a buy-in. If the associate dentist is a good fit, you can arrange a buy-in. The associate dentist will buy part of the business, and you may discuss the terms of the eventual sale. You might even restructure your business to reflect the new ownership.
- Final sale. When you’re ready to retire or take on your next challenge, you can sell the rest of your practice.
There are many other ways to approach the sale of your dental practice, but this three-step approach can work well for your staff and your patients. However, it can take years to execute properly.
Enjoy the rewards of your career
As a dentist, you are more likely than most to enjoy a lucrative and rewarding professional career. But there will eventually come a time to change your focus and enjoy other parts of your life. Thinking ahead about how to sell your business may help you secure a better profit while doing right by the people who have put their trust in you.