Once your dental practice has matured, there are a lot of questions you must ask yourself about the future. Questions like “How do I grow my customer base?” or “Is it time to hire a dental transitions firm and move on to the next stage of my career?” But one of the most common questions that dentists ask themselves is, “Is it the right time to bring in an associate?”
If this is a consideration for your practice, confirm that you’re doing so for the correct reasons. Keep reading to learn some common reasons practice owners bring in another doctor when they shouldn’t and when it is a good time to bring in some assistance.
Don’t Create a Practice Within a Practice
There are two major mistakes dentists make when bringing in an associate, and both reasons results in the new employee changing the patient base from the one you already have. Bringing in a younger doctor is one of the most common blunders dentists make.
It’s no mystery that younger clientele enjoy seeing a doctor closer to their age, but after some time, your associate will realize that he doesn’t need your practice. This will lead to him leaving to make more money. It varies, but practices have lost as much as 75% of their patient base in instances where the new doctor starts his own practice.
The second reason practices errantly bring in another dentist is too maximize a facility. Most doctors only work four days a week and rarely on nights or weekends. It’s true that a new set of young, eager hands could fill in some of the time you’re not in the office, but the issue of creating a “practice within a practice” arises. Eventually, the associate will realize he could be more profitable by opening his own location.
However, there are two scenarios when you should bring in some help. The core ideology is to integrate the new doctor into your client base instead of having them create their own.
A great time to add an associate is when your practice is overwhelmingly busy. If your office is booked months in advance, and you’re losing clients because you don’t have the time to see them all, bringing someone in can relieve stress and increase revenue. The associate you’ve hired will immediately be busy and grateful for the opportunity.
An equally beneficial time to bring in another doctor is when you are ready to start phasing out of your career and into retirement. Whether you desire to only work a couple days a week, or step back completely, the new associate will have his work cut out for him. He will appreciate the work and the ability to learn from an experienced practice owner. Often in this situation, the strong relationship will lead to a buyout or partnership when you’re ready to retire.
Don’t add an associate at the wrong time and ruin the practice you’ve worked so hard to build. Make sure you bring in help because you need it, not because you think it’ll fix your problems. For help transitioning your practice, contact our experts at US Dental Transitions today. Founded by a dentist, we’ve worked with dentists at all stages of live, and guarantee to match you with a buyer who fits your practice’s values — including mergers and acquisitions sales.