If you haven’t read the first part, please do so here: https://practiceownership.com.au/business-partnership-profit-split-in-a-dental-practice/
In the first part we covered profit splits and the issues they may cause.
The other aspects that cause issues amongst business partners are practice management tasks.
Often, one partner will feel things are not fair because while the other partner may bill more than them, they are doing all thing tasks to run the practice and feel there needs to be some compensation for that. This may be true and extra remuneration may be warranted, but generally speaking, this can and does also lead to problems if not handled correctly.
I think there are three broad solutions:
1. Get a practice manager that handles everything.
This point is self explanatory. Will lead to very few, if any issues between partners.
2. Decide on an hourly remuneration rate that is based on the hours of practice management that one partner does and is paid at a practice management rate, NOT a dentist rate.
This is not as ideal as the first solution but shouldn’t lead to any issues if discussed at the start and reviewed at certain time intervals (perhaps yearly). Practically speaking, you decide on a rate for management tasks e.g $30/hour and the business pays the person doing the tasks for however many hours per week they spend on the tasks. Ideally, this should be a short term solution till you find a PM that can do this for you.
I’ve seen issues arise if one partner starts to do too much and feels like the other partner is getting a free ride. My recommendation if this happens is to:
A) ask the other partner to do some of the tasks and spread it evenly (see part three below)
B) negotiate an increase in your remuneration such that you no longer feel you are being taken advantage of.
C) Hire a PM
3. You split the management tasks evenly and no one takes payment
Again this is not as ideal as just having a practice manager. I’ve seen issues arise if one partner goes on maternity for example or has extended time off. Or even when one aspect of management starts to take a long time and discrepancies arise.
I hope you have enjoyed this post. Please like, share or give your thoughts below on any other solutions that may have worked for you?
Our next practice ownership seminar is coming up in Sydney in March next year. It is now open for registration. We cover this topic and go into further depth as well as provide much more information on everything to do with buying or starting-up a dental practice, these seminars have sold out in previous years so please register ASAP.
We also offer a practice purchase assessment which will do this analysis for you as well as other expert guidance in various areas of practice ownership. Please see the below link for more information.