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When is the best time to sell your healthcare practice?

Posted by practicesales on December 14, 2016
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For whatever reason, you’ve decided to sell your healthcare practice.  Sometimes the reason is out of your control and sometimes it’s a decision you have arrived at. Some Common reasons for selling are:

  • Retirement – you’ve done the hard yards and now it’s time to put your feet up
  • Relocation – you might have a hankering for a tree change or a sea change
  • Starting a Family – owning a business might be too time consuming
  • Burn-out – you’ve lost interest, or you have a new interest/project
  • You need the money – you got an unexpected debt you need to pay
  • Family issues – the most painful reason, whether it’s due to divorce or illness

Whatever the reason these things can pop up when you least expect it and often mean you want to sell the clinic fast and this can make you feel a little desperate.

The fact is though – most healthcare practices and clinics in general do not sell quickly. Expect somewhere between three and six months. Occasionally a clinic will come on the market and will sell within weeks however, the opposite can also be true. Some simply don’t sell for whatever reason and the owner is forced to close the doors. Patience is required.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, however the best way to sell a practice is to plan ahead. The best time to sell a healthcare practice is after there has been a period of sustainable growth. For example, over a period of three or so years, your clinic is showing a steady upward trend. SELL, SELL, SELL! while you are still on the high.

A common mistake is to put the clinic on the market after you’ve lost interest. As soon as this happens there is usually a decline in turnover and this will put buyers off and drastically reduce the size of the offers.

Location also plays a large role in how fast a practice will sell. It is a fact with healthcare practices, that the more rural the practice is, the longer it takes to sell. This is because the number of buyers is smaller. It’s all about finding the right one.

To recap….

  • The best time to sell is when your practice is trading on a high.
  • Plan ahead
  • Be realistic with your expectations.

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