October 1, 2015
by Sally McKenzie, DrBicuspid.com contributing writer
Dental practice mergers often make sense. Merging with another established practice in your area offers plenty of benefits, from reducing competition to expanding your patient base to gaining more referral sources — all factors that can lead to growth and increased profits.
But a practice merger isn’t a business transaction you should jump into lightly. There’s a lot that goes into a successful merger, and joining forces with another practice will lead to significant changes that both you and your team members must be prepared for.
Think a merger might be best for your practice? Here are a few tips to help ensure your merger is a success.
Analyze both practices
Once you find the right practice to merge with, an analysis of both the seller and the buyer’s business operations, employees, and job descriptions must be done. What if the two practices have different software, different philosophies, and different job descriptions? From there, develop a business plan of action that combines the best of both practice systems.
Create a new identity
When you merge your practice with another, it’s no longer just your vision and your goals that you have to think about. Work together to expand your vision from “mine” to “ours,” and create a new practice identity from this shared vision. Remember for a successful merger, you have to meld the best of both practice’s systems and employees.
Communicate with your team members
When your employees hear the word merger, they might start fearing for their jobs. Make sure your team members understand why you’ve decided this is the best move for your practice.
It’s also important to get employees involved in creating the practice’s new identity and to keep them up-to-date on everything that’s happening. Make them feel involved in the process, not like they’re outsiders waiting to be told their fate.
If you aren’t transparent, your team members will likely become disengaged from the practice — and that not only means their performance will suffer (which could cost you patients), it also means they might start looking for new jobs. Bottom line, while focusing on financial and business systems is important during the merger process, you simply can’t forget about the human factor.
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