So you are thinking about selling your veterinary practice? You’ve either had your time, are looking to retire or just looking to hand over the reins.
No matter what stage of life you are in or your reasons for selling, there are some standard things to consider first.
How do you know when it’s the right time?
Most practice owners know once it’s time to move on.
There may be no more love for the practice. You may be continually disgruntled at staff, financial pressures or the stress is affecting your personal life.
Or it may just be time to follow new endeavours.
Once the decision is made, it’s time to start looking at the practicalities of selling your vet practice.
Do you know what your practice is worth?
Firstly have you spoken with your accountant about the implications of selling?
This is your first port of call.
Is the current financial year a good time to sell for you? Or have you had a good year and holding off until the new financial year may be more viable?
Secondly, have you had your practice valued by a qualified valuator?
If the answer is no, then this is step number two.
An evaluator will assess your current business model and your assets along with past and present performance to give an indication of the sale price for potential buyers.
Invest in an evaluator who has experience in the veterinary sector and understands your business. Their analysis of your business will be a handy tool when potential buyers are trying to haggle the price down.
Managing the sale process
Do you have a potential buyer lined up or will you engage the services of a broker to conduct the sale?
No matter which you choose, you will need a team in your corner to manage the process.
It’s time to get the right people in your corner to effectively navigate and complete the sale on your behalf. This will include a solicitor, your accountant and a broker to manage the sale.
Stepping out of the process allows you to separate the sale of your practice from emotion – which can get hard to do when push comes to shove.
This is also a good time to identify your lead staff member who you can actively start handing over the day-to-day operations of the business.
Navigating the handover
The success of the sale of your practice can also be measured by the success of the handover in the months following the sale.
Providing thorough policy and processes documents will help the new owners to settle in and take over the business.
This is especially relevant if the sale includes retaining your staff.
Some staff may choose to leave upon sale of a practice. They may be personally committed to you as an owner as opposed to the practice.
However, having staff stay on can ensure the continued success of the practice thanks to their knowledge and customer rapport.
Prior to selling, start handing over responsibility to your key senior staff. If you have been a hands-on owner who manages the accounts, ordering and HR – start to delegate.
The more responsibility your staff have and the more valued they feel, the greater the likelihood of staying on with the new owners. Actively encourage their loyalty to the practice as opposed to their loyalty to you as an owner.
There are many things to consider when looking to sell your vet practice. This is just the tip of the iceberg to help you start considering your next steps.
If you’d like to chat to us about your options for selling your veterinary clinic, give our team a call. We are experts in assisting veterinarians purchase and manage their clinics across Australia.