Did you know there were close to 116,000 practicing veterinarians during 2019 in the US? Going by the report published by MARS Veterinary Health, we need an additional 55,000 veterinarians by 2030 to meet the demands of companion animal healthcare. Even as new veterinary graduates continue to enter the job market, there will be a shortage of about 24,000 veterinarians.
How do you sell your veterinary practice?
Selling your veterinary practice can be a significant yet complex decision. You can achieve a successful sale transaction with careful planning and the right approach. As you follow the steps listed below, you can make the sale smooth and profitable.
Understanding the goals of your sale
Every sale has a purpose. You may wish to move to a different geography after you sell your veterinary practice. Or you may want to retire and exit the market. Whatever your reason, you should remain true to the goals of your practice sale. The sale of your veterinary practice is not the end. Perhaps it is the beginning of the next chapter in your life.
Understanding the market
As we highlighted above, there is an acute shortage of veterinary practitioners in the US. Thanks to the law of supply and demand, your veterinary practice valuation is already going through the roof. To arrive at an approximate value you should research recent sales of similar practices in your geography. While factors like location, size of operations and profitability affect the final value, this exercise will give you a ballpark figure to start with.
Putting your house in order
Before any sale, you would spruce up your product to fetch the highest value possible. Similarly, you must ensure that your tax returns, local approvals, and financial statements are up-to-date. Be transparent with all your forthcomings to build trust with the potential buyers. Buyers will ask for due diligence before handing you their money. Organizing documents like business licenses, permits, and contracts in one place for easy access makes sense.
Optimizing online presence of your veterinary practice
Before your prospective buyer contacts you, they will look you up online. A professionally designed, up-to-date, mobile-friendly website goes a long way in building the first impressions about your practice. Investing in SEO strategies can help you rank in the top results for search engine searches. It impresses not only potential buyers but also attracts new clients.
Understanding the buyer’s perspective can help you prepare well for the potential sale. You could consult experts like veterinary practice brokers, accountants, and lawyers who specialize in consulting veterinary practices. They can provide valuable inputs on how a sale can be structured. They can help avoid compromises on deal-breaking points, helping you get the maximum sale value.
Planning to market your veterinary practice
The first step to putting your practice on the block is to spread the word about it. You could use several modes of marketing like social media, traditional publications, or visit networking events to identify potential buyers.
News of a potential sale can spread really quickly. It has the potential to make your staff and clients anxious. You should practice discretion when discussing details of your potential sale.
Negotiations and deliberations during the sale
Spend extra time and effort considering key transaction points like terms of sale, price, payment plans, and transition period. This will help minimize disruption and allow for a smooth transition. You should start the transition as soon as the sale deal is closed. Inform your staff and clients and introduce the new owners to all the stakeholders.
Make sure you stick to your selling goals. You must not hesitate to hold out for a deal that best suits your selling goals. Executing the sale with precision will free you up to enjoy retirement, pursue other ventures, or take time off.