Foresight is a wonderful thing, and getting a few things in order before you put your healthcare clinic on the market will make the entire process a lot easier to deal with.
If you can get the following in order, it should be plain sailing to your next venture.
Get your paperwork in order
It is a fact that many healthcare clinic owners haven’t a clue how much their clinic is really worth. If you’re considering selling your clinic you’re going to need a valuation. Valuing your practice accurately requires the following information:
- Up to date Profit & Loss statements for the last three years
- BAS statements
- Owners / directors wages and superannuation details
- Practice income and expenses for the current financial year
- Patient statistics, – New Patient numbers, weekly visits etc
- List of chattels and stock
- Lease agreement
- Photographs of your practice (photography tips)
- Floor plan if available
First impressions always matter. Prospective buyers will want to inspect your practice and you need to show your practice off in the best possible light. They want to imagine themselves working there.
- Keep clutter tidied away.
- Ensure your signage is clean.
- Does your practice need a lick of paint?
- Are your windows and floors clean?
- Take your personal items home.
Document your Policies and Procedures that exist as guidelines. Documenting the different functions of the business will create a manual. This helps reassure a buyer that they’ll be able to operate the business in your absence. Draw up position descriptions (if you haven’t already done so). Each employee should have a thorough understanding of their role with a set of tasks outlined in order to achieve the outcome for that role.
Decide whether or not to tell your staff
We believe honesty is the best policy but you may have specific reasons why you don’t want your staff to know. This really depends on the size your clinic and the relationship you have with your staff.
Some vendors like to keep the sale process confidential until such time as an offer has been accepted. This way employees and associates are given some notice of the change of ownership, but are not left in limbo throughout the sale process.
Get rid of obsolete stock
Have a fire sale and get rid of any obsolete or slow moving stock. This will improve you figures and eliminate inventory hassles during the sales process.
Ensure your lease agreement is not due to expire. If they are, consider renegotiating prior to selling the business.
Be prepared for inspections
Be flexible if you can. Prospects are usually working as well and have limited times to visit. This can be easier if you have told staff as they are often willing to show prospects around as well.
Meet the market
A typical situation we have seen time and time again is where we have undertaken a clinic valuation and recommended a selling price and the vendor wants much more. Each time this situation has occurred, the feedback from prospects is negative i.e. “Clinic is overpriced”, or “Clinic not earning enough to justify the asking price”. A prospective buyer will always negotiate the sale price you set for your business, because they only want to pay what they perceive to be the value of your business. Keep emotions out of it, stay objective and be realistic.
Finally – Be patient
Selling a business can be a very exasperating and stressful experience, but it needn’t be.
Some typical stress triggers are:
- You have spent a good portion of your life building up your clinic and you can see the potential, why doesn’t anyone else?
- You have made the decision to sell it and in your head you’ve already moved on and started planning the next phase of your life. This can make you inpatient to get on with it.
Keep in mind, prospective buyers need to do their due diligence and will often have a myriad of questions. They are making a big decision about their future and want to be confident the information is accurate. Be prepared to answer questions in a timely manner. If you don’t, you could lose their interest.
If you are aware of the stress triggers up front and understand the need for patience you will deal with the sales process with no problems.