How I Max The Price I Get When I Sell My Podiatry Practice?

Nov 18, 2019

It's tax time here in Ireland and I was in with my accountant recently and we were discussing long term planning like pension, retirement etc. 

The conversation moved to eventual sale of my Podiatry Business. I can't see my kids taking over and I have no intention of working for ever so at some stage I will want to sell it on. My accountant told me a tale of another client of his a dentist who built up his clinic over 35 years to be a very profitable clinic. 

To get it ready for sale he took on another associate dentist who worked 3 days a week while he cut back to 2 days a week. The intention was to sell the clinic on to the associate after about 18 - 24 months and retire with the fruits of his 35 years labour. Things did not work out that way though. 

When it came time for the sale the associate balked at the price and decided to was way cheaper to open up a clinic in the next town 3 miles away. What happened to our dentist friend I hear you ask. Well he never got a buyer and all he got after 32 years of work was the sale price of the equipment. 

Did you know that 85% of small business's that go up for sale never do so and instead are just closed or the owner is forced to keep going. 

The question you need to be asking yourself is how can I get the best price for my clinic. Well there a few steps you need to do. 

Step 1. 

Begin to systemise everything in your clinic. The more you make everything in your clinic about the way its done in your clinic and NOT about any particular staff member the easier ti will be to carry on regardless of who leaves. If our dentist friend had done this then we the associate left they would have been replaced by  another easily who would follow the systems. 

Step 2 

Fire yourself. Yes fire yourself. Most podiatry clinics are all about the principal Podiatrist, the owner. All decisions go through them. Often they do all the high profile treatments not allowing their more junior staff do this for fear that they will learn all of their techniques and move down the road. The truth is that doing is in fact going to make it more likely that your staff will leave. I would prefer to have my staff be trained and leave when ready than not trained and stay all day every day. 

Replacing yourself progressively for all tasks will mean when it comes time to sell the business can run without you regardless of who runs it making it a far more attractive and profitable business. 

Step 3. 

Make sure your numbers are in order. At the end of the day the price you achieve when you sell or if you can sell at all will come down to the numbers, ie the profit generated. You will need ot make sure that the number as crystal clear and make complete sense. You cannot ask for money for profit that does not exist or does not appear on your books because of some sort of accounting slight of hand. 

Step 4

Have a plan. Just like if you were to sell your car you wouldn't just throw it up and facebook. You would have a plan. You would clean the car, make it as presentable as possible. You would research the prices achieved for similar cars and when it comes to sell it have all the documents on order. Similarly when it comes to selling your clinic you need to plan it well in advance. In fact as soon as you start your clinic you should be getting it ready to sell. I'm not suggesting that you will sell it early but the sooner your do the work to make it as attractive as possible to another buyer the better the price you will get when you are ready to sell. 

 

Selling our clinic is something that most of us only think of as we near retirement or is forced on us due to change in circumstance. When I work with my coaching clients I get them to focus from day 1 on getting it ready for eventual sale. 

You should take the exact same approach. 

Begin today. 

Lorcan O Donaile, Podiatry Business Coach.