Many questions – and emotions – arise when the topics of retirement and the potential sale of a dental practice come up. While it may not be obvious at first glance, marketing and branding will play major roles in facilitating the sale and transition.
The importance of branding should not be minimized. Branding distinguishes a practice from its competitors. Some dentists may mistakenly believe that branding is just for group practices or large corporations. But in reality, it serves to enhance the practice’s local affinity, small business sensibility, and professional feel.
Any dentist within 10 years of retirement needs to consider whether having his or her own name on the shingle makes for the best exit strategy. It’s key to be able to maximize the practice’s value when it’s time to sell, and having all of its brand equity wrapped up in the primary dentist’s name means that one of the practice’s major assets isn’t transferrable.
Additionally, branding strategy is not something that can be created overnight. It takes time and effort to build and sustain a strong brand that inspires recognition and loyalty in patients and the community. So, there is no time like the present to begin building your dental practice brand! Even dentists who are just starting to think about retirement will benefit from honing their branding strategy now.
Every dental practice owner desires to find a suitable buyer of their practice – one who will maintain the quality of care, someone the dentist feels comfortable handing off their patients of record to. Having a solid branding strategy already in place will attract more qualified and desirable buyers to the practice, thereby easing the transition.
Just as you coach your patients on the benefits of preventative care, put your recommendations to work for your dental practice. Don’t wait until retirement is just a few years away to develop a marketing strategy. Having a plan in place ahead of time is one way of ensuring a smooth transition for you and your patients.