It’s never too early to start planning for your future and preparing your veterinary practice exit strategy.

A veterinary practice exit strategy will help a veterinarian maximize the return on their investment and make sure the practice sells more quickly when the time is right.

The thought of leaving your practice may be uncomfortable,
but the doctor who is well-prepared, with a veterinary practice exit strategy,
will be able to do it when they are ready.

10 STEPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL EXIT STRATEGY:

1

CONSIDER A REAL ESTATE OPINION VERSUS APPRAISAL

If you are uncertain about the value of your real estate you may want to consider a real estate opinion from a local, commercial, real estate broker. An opinion should not have the same time and cost constraints as a real estate appraisal. Paying a small fee for an opinion from your local, commercial, real estate broker may give you confidence that your asking price for the real estate is in line with the current local commercial real estate market.

2

PROPERTY IS SALE-READY

Make sure that all issues regarding the real estate are resolved and the property is sale-ready. Encroachments, environmental issues, zoning, or permitting problems should be addressed. The presence (or disposal) of X-ray processing chemicals is an example of an environmental issue that can complicate a sale.

3

REPORTS OF FINANCIALS

Make sure that your accounting system is up-to-date and can generate accurate reports for a complete picture of your financial health. Your broker will advise you on the specific documentation that you will eventually need to provide.

4

UNDERSTAND THE LOCAL MARKET

Take note of doctors in your area who might be interested in buying your practice. It is also wise to discuss an associate buy-in, or a merger with a competitor.

5

SET UP A SYSTEM OF DOCTORS

Set up a reliable system of relief doctors, associate rotations, and emergency and specialist referrals.

6

CONSIDER YOUR PRACTICE’S EQUIPMENT

PS Broker will help you maximize your return on equipment, but here are some general principles. Don’t enter into any new equipment leases as you approach your exit date; leases can be paid off at closing or assumed, and can include a hefty early pay-off fee. Upgrades to your equipment may be sensible, but care must be taken to avoid investments that won’t really help the bottom line. The same thing applies to improvements in the real estate. Make improvements and updates that make sense, but do so carefully.

8

RESEARCH YOUR FACILITY’S LEASE OPTIONS

If your practice is in a leased facility, it’s good to have a multi-year lease that is renewable and transferable, plus a landlord who is willing to work with a new owner.  Any expansion opportunities offered by the landlord, or other potential changes, should be documented.

9

MAKE AN EQUIPMENT LIST

Compile an equipment list, and keep it up to date.  It should include model and serial numbers.

10

MANAGE INVENTORY

Inventory should be kept low because in most cases inventory is included in the asking price, and it is usually enough inventory to get a new owner through a month and a half without reordering. Any inventory over a few months the owner must sell, leave on the shelves, return to supplies, or take it with them. Avoid buying anything in large quantities, even if a great discount is being offered to buy in a larger quantity.
“After practicing veterinary medicine for 39 years in my private practice, it was time to look for someone to pass the practice on to. I still wanted to maintain the culture and philosophy of the practice that I had worked all these years to foster. I initially contacted PS Broker because of their reputation in our field and working solely with veterinary practices. After meeting with them, I felt comfortable I had made the right choice. What I was not prepared for was their depth of knowledge and experience of the veterinary field and how to market my practice. Every person I worked with at PS broker was so talented and amazing. Everyone worked hard to analyze my practice and find the right people to buy my practice without my practice losing its identity. I had no idea of the things required to market and sell my practice. Their contacts in the field amazed me and allowed for a wide exposure to interested individuals. They had ideas and strategies I never would have dreamed of. I also appreciated their confidentiality and the fact that I did not have to field offers on my own. I felt I was in very good hands and dealt with a group of people that felt more like a family. They turned what could have been a daunting experience into an interesting journey. They helped me secure my future as I start transitioning to retirement. I can’t thank them enough.”

Dr. Livingstone (New Mexico)

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Our team is committed to providing excellent services to our customers in both buying and selling veterinary practices.
With over 30 years of experience, we know how to make your transition streamlined, efficient, and enjoyable. Call us today!