When is it time to say when and sell your dental practice? Dentists typically reach this point when they are ready to close the chapter on their dental careers and transition to their next phase of life.
However, most dentists do not wake up one day and decide they are ready to retire their hand-pieces. Most struggle with the notion of turning their practices over to someone else. They worry about their patients, they think long and hard about their role in the community, and they concern themselves about the fate of their staff.
One dentist I know labored over the decision for years, stressing about how his patients might react until one day a patient asked him, “Doctor, when are you finally going to retire? Haven’t you served us long enough?” The dentist put his practice up for sale a few months later.
The other difficulty with selling your practice is facing the word “retirement.” Harry Emerson-Fosdick once said, “Don’t simply retire from something; have something to retire to.” Countless times I have witnessed dentists come to terms with a practice transition as soon as they discovered what they would retire to, as soon as they could clearly picture their next phase of life.
This not only goes for when you are planning to retire, but it also holds true for when you are selling to get out of private practice to move on to something else. A clear vision of the next phase in life is essential.
Coming to a decision to sell your dental practice typically takes time. The decision involves sleepless nights, lots of what-if scenarios, and concerns about those you will leave behind. But ultimately the decision comes down to being able to envision your next phase in life. Does it look enticing? Only then will you know when to say when.