Have you chosen a successor for your business?

On Behalf of | Mar 20, 2024 | Estate Planning

For many providers, their dental practice is more than just a job; it’s a culmination of years of training, dedication and the establishment of a trusted relationship with their patients. But as all things do, medical practices eventually face transitions. This principle applies to any small business.

Whether you’re nearing retirement, exploring new opportunities or simply want to help ensure the long-term stability of your practice, choosing a successor is a crucial step that you’ll want to thoughtfully consider and formalize as soon as you can.

The importance of succession planning

Succession planning isn’t just about finding a new professional to fill your shoes. It’s about helping ensure a smooth handover that potentially minimizes disruption for your patients, staff and the overall reputation of your practice. A well-planned succession allows you to maintain continuity of care. This is because patients develop trust with their providers, and a carefully chosen successor can provide a familiar and consistent experience.

When considering successors, you should try to ensure you have candidates who can help your dental practice retain staff and patients. A clear succession plan reduces uncertainty and encourages both staff and patients to stay with the practice.

Most importantly, the candidate you settle for should have the capacity to preserve the practice’s legacy. By selecting someone who shares your values and approach to medicine, you can help ensure your practice continues to thrive.

Finding the right candidate

The ideal successor possesses a combination of clinical expertise, business acumen and a personality that aligns with your practice philosophy. Here are some qualifications to consider:

  • Qualifications and experience: Look for a licensed physician with a strong track record in your field of medicine.
  • Compatibility with your practice: Does the candidate share your practice’s approach to patient care?
  • Leadership skills: The successor will need to manage staff, build relationships with colleagues and help to ensure the smooth operation of the practice.
  • Business acumen: Understanding insurance coding, billing and practice management is essential for success.
  • Communication skills: Excellent communication is vital for building trust with patients and staff.

Beyond qualifications, consider your existing team. Has a talented young doctor within your practice been showing leadership potential? Nurturing their skills and offering mentorship opportunities could be a great way to prepare them for a future leadership role.

Choosing a successor is a strategic decision that requires careful planning and consideration. By taking the time to identify the right candidate and seeking necessary legal guidance, you can preserve the legacy of your practice and otherwise meet the needs of your practice in this regard.