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General | 19.8.2014 | Comments Off

When meeting with dentists in the Mid-Atlantic area to discuss selling their practice I am often asked “when do I know it’s the right time to sell my practice?”  This article will discuss some of the reasons I have encountered from dentists selling their practices.

 

When Does A Dentist Know It’s Time To Sell Their Practice?

 

  1. HEALTH- Unfortunately there are times when I have met with dentists that a serious illness has forced them to sell their practice.  Depending on the seriousness of the illness, the seller may need to get organized very quickly to complete a successful dental practice sale.  There are many situations when using a knowledgeable advisor is helpful with a dental practice sale, but when “time is of the essence”, it is really critical!
  2.  Burn Out- There have been times when I have met with younger dentists that they just don’t enjoy what’s involved with having a dental practice anymore.  Sometimes it is the managerial and administrative responsibilities and other times it’s just the fact that they are tired of doing clinical dentistry.  It is important for the seller to make some changes in practice or schedule until a successful sale can be expedited.
  3.  PERSUE OTHER INTERESTS- I have spoken to dentists with many different hobbies and interests.  Over time what was once a hobby becomes more important than dentistry and creates more fulfillment than the practice of dentistry.  Sometimes the dentist will continue to work part time as a dentist.  In essence the new venture becomes the priority and dentistry becomes the hobby.
  4. FINANCIAL FREEDOM- When a dentist has achieved extreme financial success at a younger age it gives them the option of selling the practice.  One of the many reasons we work is to put ourselves in a financial position to retire.  I have spoken to dentists in this position and selling their practice to slow down or do other things becomes the option they chose.  It’s interesting to note that I have seen some of these dentists go back to working hard and other dentists that really enjoy slowing down indefinitely.
  5. NORMAL RETIEMENT AGE, “IT’S TIME! – This is the most common situation I encounter as I speak with dentists that want to sell their practices.  The dentist has been practicing for over 30 years and thinks it is the right time.  Ideally the selling dentist has had a fulfilling career, reached financial independence and is mentally ready to sell the practice to a chosen successor.

When I meet with dentists who are contemplating selling their dental practices, I often sense that they are uncertain as to whether they are ready to sell or not.  While there are situations such as bad health that force a dentist to sell their practice, most other situations are an elective decision to sell.  From personal experience and from talking to other dentists that have decided to sell their practices, I can only tell you that you will know when you are ready.  It’s a gut feeling and you will have a sense of relief when the decision to sell is made.  The words I have heard most commonly from dentists selling their practices are “I’m done”.

I’m sure there are other reasons that dentists decide to sell their practices, but these reasons have been the most common reasons I have experienced.

Once a dentist has made the decision to sell their practice I am always asked “what is my dental practice worth”.  That will be the subject of my next article.  Stay tuned…..

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