What Do Buyers Really Want?
We talk to many doctors who want to sell their practices, some right away, some years from now (good job thinking ahead!), and some need it to happen yesterday. They almost all have some ideas of what they think the most attractive aspects of their practice are, the big selling points, what they think potential buyers will see and fall in love with- collections, visit numbers, attractiveness of the clinic, areas of potential growth…
We also talk to many buyers who think they know what they are looking for. Some criteria are the same for all of them (makes lots of money!), some are unique, wanting specific locations or demographics.
All of these factors are important, but none of them are the MOST important (no, not even collections or net income!) The most important factor to buyers, whether they consciously realize it or not, is can the new owner duplicate or exceed the clinics previous success, and what procedures will be in place to make that happen? Because no matter how attractive or successful a practice is, the new buyer wants- and expects- to do at least as good as the previous stats. And really, he or she really wants- and expects- to do even better.
So as a seller, you need to be looking at your previous successes and determine exactly how to duplicate them. Put it into writing- exactly what advertising, staff procedures and treatment protocols made that happen. Make them step by step, writing it out in detail- because the things that are common knowledge and part of your clinic culture are all unknowns to the new doctor.
Best case scenario: If you have the time, make this standard in your office before you even list your practice. If you are a buyer, keep this at the forefront of your mind. This is what you want to be looking for, and tailor your questions to the current owner to cover this. Ultimately, this is what will best forecast how much money you will take home after all overhead is paid.