You don’t need to be of the retiree age to consider selling your dental practice. But before you decide if you’re ready to pass the reins to a potential buyer, like with any major life decision, there is a number of questions you should ask yourself and factors to consider.
Am I ready for a change?
This might seem like a logical first question to ask, but going from your own boss to retirement or potentially working for someone else is a big shift in emotional change, as well as financial. A likely first step will be to talk with your financial advisor or CPA to help you determine if you can afford your next move by having a realistic expectation of what your practice is worth. Then, you’ll want to consider whether or not your change—whether it be retirement or working for someone else—will suit the lifestyle you envision for yourself. Acknowledging any risk upfront will help save a lot of time, money, and heartache in the end.
What is my timeframe?
Especially if retirement age is looming, setting a timeline for when you’d like your deal to be signed on the dotted line will help keep you on track. Expect a sale to take anywhere from one to five years, depending on the type of transition you choose. There’s a sweet spot between selling too early and selling too late when it comes to profits and employee satisfaction. If time allows, consider making updates to your office and its equipment, even perhaps expanding your services, to make it more desirable to a potential buyer.
How will this affect my employees and clients?
Part of getting into the dental industry is the customer (and even coworker) service. It’s natural to grow attached to those who have been loyal to you on both sides of the front desk. A retirement may not come as a surprise to most, but any other reason to sell will need to be communicated clearly to both your clients and employees as there’s a chance you’ll still have a relationship with them post-sale, depending on the type of transition you choose. If your timeline allows, staying on part-time after the sale will help ensure a smooth transition and put your clients, former coworkers, and the new owner at ease.