Selling your Dental Practice? Two Roles You Need Your Dental Practice Broker to Fill.
by Joe Mcgonigal, DDSmatch MidAtlantic
There’s no shortage of articles or blog posts suggesting you need to build a strong team of advisors as you start to plan your practice transition. But what does ‘strong’ mean? How do you determine who’s truly capable and who isn’t?
When it comes to your broker, they need to play to critical roles – each requiring a different set of skills.
Developing a transition plan is a process, not an event, and an effective process requires a facilitator. Long before your dental practice is ever listed for sale, it’s critical to find someone who’s willing to invest the time to understand the goals and outcomes that are most important to you regarding your transition. When involved this early in the process, a good facilitator is able to stay neutral and not give his/her opinion.
They ask questions that help you evaluate alternative options, consider different perspectives, and weigh various options. If you’re starting the process of planning the sale of your dental practice early, these conversations should explore a variety of opportunities or possibilities. You’ll have plenty of time to refine them as you go (again, assuming you start early enough).
You know you’re working with a good facilitator if:
• The conversation is focused on what’s important to you
• The pace is comfortable and not rushed
• Your broker starts more questions with ‘what if’ or ‘have you considered’ versus ‘you have to’ or ‘here’s what you need to do’
• You feel listened to
• You don’t feel ‘forced’ down a specific path
Once a transition plan has been developed and agreed to by everyone, you’ll need a broker with the technical expertise to execute it. These are the skills most people think of when they hear the the word ‘broker’ – someone that knows how to market your practice, generate a pool of qualified candidates, negotiate offers, and get you through the closing process as stress-free as possible.
Even though that list of tasks fits into one sentence, they can be incredibly complex depending on the situation.
Is real estate involved?
Are you planning to continue working post-transaction?
Is this a partnership buy-in?
A broker with the right technical know-how allows you to continue doing what you do best – clinical dentistry – while they manage the many details that go into executing a successful transition. It’s not hard to find someone to ‘sell’ your practice, but is that what you’re really looking for? Most doctors I work with have much higher expectations for the transition of their patients, their staff, and their legacy.
Invest the time to find the right partner with the right skills and this process can be an enjoyable part of your business ownership journey.