You might feel a little uneasy about starting the discussion about selling your medical practice. Your practice is your baby, and the thought of letting go can be overwhelming.
However, the truth is that failing to plan is a plan to fail when it comes to your practice exit strategy. Everyone thinks of their future, but they don’t always take active steps in the present to prepare for what they want tomorrow.
But the time will come when you must step away. You need to have a plan to leave your practice — regardless of your age, experience, or long-term career goals — out of respect to your employees, in an effort to prioritize patient care, and to ensure your family’s well-being. Here are several reasons why you should start the succession planning conversation today.
You have increasing family obligations
Owners can run medical practices and have families but balancing the two can be difficult. If obligations, such as caring for an ill family member, or your children’s educational or extracurricular commitments are taking time away from your practice, you could experience a negative shift in the dynamic of your practice. If you don’t have a team in place that can run the practice without you for a few days, consider bringing in reinforcements.
Bringing in a physician partner or strategic partners, such as a management services organization or private equity firm, can help free up time for your family while still allowing you to actively contribute to your practice’s growth. These types of partnerships don’t require you to immediately exit from your practice and allow you to discuss future end goals with your new partner(s).
You have personal health issues
Personal health issues are pulling you way from the practice. When your personal health is in decline, it can be difficult to continue business as usual. As the practice owner, you don’t need the undue stress caused by juggling an illness and the medical practice. Furthermore, your priorities might change if you find your health or the health of a loved one declining.
Your view on where your time needs to be spent might shift from a focus on growing your practice to strengthening your personal relationships. Spending time away from the practice may be best for you personally, but it will have a direct negative effect on your practice’s revenue and daily operations. This makes the goal of achieving maximum value more challenging. Therefore, having a succession plan is essential.
You don’t have a successor
You’re a great leader, and you run your practice like a well-oiled machine. But what happens when you’re gone? If you find your employed physicians aren’t interested in taking over, or if you don’t have any employed physicians, you need to know what you will do when it’s time to leave your practice.