When you are looking to purchase a practice there are certain aspects to think about:
1. You need to know what type of practice you're looking for: Are you looking for a large practice with associates or are you looking to be an owner/operator and purchase a solo practice which you can run on your own. Are you flexible on this? What is your management experience and experience running a business? The bigger the business you purchase, the more “moving parts” there can be.
2. Where are you looking to purchase a practice? What are your lifestyle needs? In the major cities there is major competition for most practices. This means higher costs. Are you willing to move outside of the major cities where there is less competition and therefore often lower appraised prices for generally the same practice? This would involve relocating yourself/your family or there would be considerable commuting each day. It is important to weigh both the pros and cons as they relate to you and your family, as well as your overall career plans.
3. How much are you willing to spend? And would you be comfortable with that amount of debt? A business can be fluid, and change from year to year. Ensure you are comfortable with the debt load you will be entering into based on your offer, especially when in a competitive practice purchase situation to which you may offer above appraised value.
When you have decided on the area that you're interested in, it is wise to explore all the different avenues to purchase a practice. One should search the different brokerages, magazines, as well as online classifieds through organizations and associations in order to fully explore what is available. No one specific source has information about all the practices for sale.
It is now a sellers’ market and there is tremendous competition for good practices in most areas that are not considered very rural. It is important for you to be prepared and understand this going in.
There are a number of important factors for you to consider before you actually put in an offer to purchase a practice.
When you initially find a practice for sale, either on a website or through a magazine ad, the first step will be to contact the salesperson or representative involved with the sale of that specific practice. They will then provide you with the requirements to obtain more information, as well as instructions on the next steps moving forward. Depending on the practice and the requests made by the vendor, the sale process can differ from practice to practice. Ensure you find out the steps you will be required to take as they pertain to the practice you are inquiring about.
You have now followed the steps provided to you and the day has come to view the practice on your private and confidential appointment slot. On many occasions these showings are held at a time when multiple individuals are able to attend, usually in intervals of 15 minutes to one hour, depending on the practice and the individual showing the practice. In order to maintain confidentiality, only one interested party would be allowed in the practice at a time, hence your private and confidential appointment booking. You will have an opportunity to walk through the practice on a guided tour and gain a general idea of the layout and type of equipment being utilized. Time permitting you may have an opportunity to review the schedule and some of the charts while discussing the appraisal with the sales representative.
Once your appointment is complete and you exit the facility, you will typically receive a copy of the full professional appraisal performed on the practice. This is often provided in the evening of the day of your appointment, or the day after, to which you can review in detail and discuss with your advisers such as your banker, accountant lawyer, etc…. If this is the practice that calls out to you saying "buy me, buy me", you would be wise to act fairly quickly. As a professional courtesy, our firm can prepare an offer to purchase the practice for you (at no cost to you) and it would include a number of conditions for you, including conditions regarding financing, due diligence and your lawyer review as standard conditions that will need to be satisfied should your offer be conditionally accepted.
You would be well advised to utilize the services of experienced accountants, lawyers and bankers who specialize in your specific profession. This will make your buying experience much smooth and precise. If you require referrals, our firm has numerous contacts you can choose from or perhaps your colleagues would have contacts they have dealt with in the past. We do not take any type of referral fees or compensation. We simply want to ensure you deal with advisors who understand your profession and “speak your language”
Any of our sales individuals would be glad to spend time with you to discuss the buying process and provide you with more detailed information. Call us for a no obligation meeting to learn how you can successfully purchase the practice that is right for you.