Announcing the sale of a dental practice -- or any business that deals with multiple members of the public -- takes planning and coordination. When announcing the sale of a business, timing is important. You will want to make sure employees, key customers and suppliers learn of the sale before the general public. You also will want to coordinate the announcement with the new owner to ensure that you both present an appropriate message. As a medical professional, you also likely will have legal obligations related to communicating how your patients' medical records will be maintained in the future.
Check with your state licensing agency to determine what forms of notice the law requires. Some states require formal legal notices to be published in newspapers, and may require specific statements to be made about how medical records will be kept confidential in the future.
Gather your employees and tell them of the sale. You don't want employees to learn of the sale from people outside the business. Plan ahead for what you want to say to your employees, and be prepared to answer questions.
Send a letter to your patients. As a dental office, you should have easy access to the addresses of your patients. Send them a letter -- or an e-mail if they have stated that as a preference -- announcing that you've sold the business. Include the information required by law, but also try to anticipate questions they will have, such as information about the new owner, how ongoing care and records will be handled, and the policy for dealing with outstanding payments that are due to the dental office. Make sure your staff is prepared to answer questions when patients come into the office.
Contact key suppliers. If you deal with a relatively small number of suppliers, you may want to contact them personally and then follow up with a more formal letter to document the end of the business relationship. If you deal with a large number of suppliers, a letter alone is appropriate. Suppliers likely will have a different set of questions than patients, such as whether billing addresses have changed, which party is responsible for balances due, and whether there are any other management changes taking place at the practice.
Announce the sale to the general public. Write a short, straightforward press release that can be sent to newspapers, radio stations, television stations or online sites that cover business news in your area. Also explore buying an ad with local media to announce the sale and thank the community for its support.
Involve the new owner in all of the details of announcing the sale. Ensuring that you both agree with the message is important.
When writing a news release announcing the sale of the business, keep it brief but be sure to include information on how a reporter can contact you for more details.
- dental image by Andrey Kiselev from Fotolia.com