Dental Practice Exit Strategies: How to Choose the Right Goal

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For many dentists, your practice means more than just a paycheck or a job. Your practice represents years of hard work, commitment, and sacrifices. There are decades of memories. That’s why selling your practice is such an emotional decision. When the sale price represents such a big piece of your life, you want to get the most out of it.

Regardless of your desire to sell your practice or exit dentistry altogether, your transition plan is an important piece of the process. The success of your transition is directly linked to your plan; how do you know what’s successful if you don’t have a plan that details what success is? As part of our series on Dental Practice Exit Strategy, we’re going to discuss transition goals.

The first step in any good transition plan is goal-setting. You want to write down all your goals for the transition. Here are a few examples:

  • Achieve a sale price of $1.4 million.
  • Sell within three months/by a certain date.
  • Transition practice leadership to an associate dentist.
  • Guarantee employment for current staff.

Don’t hold back; write down everything that matters to you. There is no right or wrong area to focus on. If you’re struggling with what to focus on, ask yourself the following questions:

  • When do I want to sell?
  • Why am I selling?
  • Are there other factors driving this decision?
  • Who is affected by the sale, and how?
  • Is my practice financially fit and updated? If not, am I prepared to take necessary steps to improve it?   


The next step is prioritizing your goals. If your health or other immovable target is driving the transition, choose goals that reflect as such. This means you will have less control over, say, guaranteeing staff jobs after the sale. If your ultimate goal is selling at a premium, you should spend time maximizing the financial return.

After you set and prioritize your goals, it’s time to implement them! Your broker will help you break down action steps to help you achieve your future reality. You’ll still need to track your own progress on a monthly and quarterly basis. Set small goals and use a calendar, and delegate where you can to save time. Your broker can give you realistic timeframes on achieving different objectives, such as setting employment contracts or improving collections by ten percent.

Make sure to research the current marketplace thoroughly. Be aware of the going rate in your area, as many buyers are motivated by location. This information can heavily influence your sale, especially if maximizing sale price or selling quickly are important goals.

Finally, share your goals with your transition team. It’s their job to help you reach them, and they will give you the tools and leverage your time better than if you try to go it alone.


N/L Transitions can help you determine appropriate goals and make a plan to achieve them. For questions on goal-setting for your upcoming dental practice transition, contact us here.