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What Went Wrong: I Tried to Sell My Practice to My Child

For many, dentistry is a family business. Children grow up helping around the office and eventually work side-by-side with their parents, ultimately taking over. Handing a practice over to an adult child can be exhilarating and rewarding. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always go quite as planned. 

Let’s look at a few scenarios where these parent-to-child practice transitions failed. I’ll then offer tips on avoiding some common pitfalls.

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Topics: what went wrong, Real Talk

What Went Wrong: The Quality of Care Wasn’t Up to My Standard

When you’re considering buying or joining a practice, there’s a lot on your plate! You’re reviewing financials, insurance mix, schedules, local competition… the list goes on. 

At ADAPT, we talk a lot about how important philosophy of care is for making successful matches. However, another element is just as crucial: quality of care.  

Every dentist talks about delivering the highest standard of care. And while there are multiple ways to get a great result, that “great result” can look different to each dentist.  

Let’s examine what went wrong when a buyer discovered she strove for a higher standard than the seller.

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Topics: what went wrong, Real Talk

What Went Wrong: I Got Too Comfortable in My Associateship

I have said it before, and I will say it again: now is a fantastic time to buy a practice! Today’s low interest rates, motivated buyers, and comprehensive support network can help you launch the next phase of your career.

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Topics: purchase a practice, what went wrong

What Went Wrong: I Sabotaged the Sale

Posted by Betsy Krekling, ADA Advisor on 5/12/21 9:00 AM

All too often, I see buyers and sellers alike sabotage what could have been a perfect transition. Sometimes, it just was not meant to be. Other times, an earlier mistake stops the entire process. By then, it’s often too late to fix — especially if the mistake has sowed distrust or doubt. 

Let’s look at three scenarios where a sale was torpedoed and explore how things could have turned out better.

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Topics: what went wrong

What Went Wrong: Life Happened – And I Had to Sell!

As I talk to dentists preparing for career transitions, some are simply taking the next step on their long-planned path. But others are facing an unplanned change after “life happened” and made them rethink their priorities and goals.


Sometimes it’s a positive reason, like wanting to spend more time with grandchildren or pursue a non-dentistry passion. Other times, a health issue (whether their own or a family member’s) forces a shift. Maybe an elderly parent needs full-time care. Or they’re navigating a divorce or major life change. Sometimes it’s simply burnout.

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Topics: what went wrong

What Went Wrong: My Staff Left After I Bought the Practice

When a doctor considers buying a practice, they look beyond the building and the equipment. After all, the patients and staff make a practice!

A strong, loyal patient pool is the most valuable asset in a sale, and long-term, well-trained staff are worth their weight in gold.

But if staff are unhappy with a transition — even if they stick around — patients are more likely to leave. So how can a new owner retain staff and patients after the transition?

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Topics: what went wrong

What Went Wrong: My Transition Fell Through After Months of Planning

Sometimes even the best-intentioned transitions fall apart. All too often, this happens because both parties overlooked the basics: clear communication and putting everything in writing. A few key actions can minimize the back and forth while keeping your transition on schedule.

Read on for one scenario in which a buyer and seller just couldn’t make it work, then learn how you can avoid similar problems.

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Topics: what went wrong

What Went Wrong: The Practice Wasn’t Ready for an Associate

Dental practices can grow slowly over several years – then suddenly reach a tipping point where an owner feels they need to hire an associate ASAP. But it is important to prepare the practice before hiring anyone.

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Topics: "find an associateship", what went wrong

What Went Wrong: My Path to Retirement Got Way Too Bumpy

This is part of the “What Went Wrong Wednesdays” series, in which we explore common problems of practice transitions – and offer tips to help you avoid them.

 

Retirement should be a well thought-out event that you take ownership of. To truly take control of your future, retirement planning should start years – even decades – before you anticipate finishing your career.

Here are two scenarios that illustrate what happened when a doctor did not completely think through their exit plans, along with suggestions to help you avoid the same fate.

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Topics: retiring, selling a practice, what went wrong

What Went Wrong: I Overlooked the #1 Thing That Mattered Most

This is part of the “What Went Wrong Wednesdays” series, in which we explore common problems of practice transitions – and offer tips to help you avoid them.

At ADA Practice Transitions, we place a heavy emphasis on making sure incoming doctors share a similar philosophy of care as the practice owner. While it may not be immediately apparent, having a shared approach is critical to the success of your future career or retirement plan, even if you are planning to sell and walk away.

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Topics: owner dentist, retiring, purchase a practice, selling a practice, what went wrong

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