There are many reasons a clinic owner might put their clinic up for sale regardless of whether they have had it for a short or a long time, including something as basic as just needing as break, a lifestyle choice, taking advantage of a cash payment from the sale or retirement just to name a few. Or, there might be a more dire reason, like a fundamental problem with the practice such as not being able to replace key clinical staff members who have recently left or growing competition that is squeezing their profits. If you’re about to buy a clinic, you’ll need to know exactly why the clinic you are considering buying is no longer feasible for the current owners.
You should ask the current clinic owners what challenges they’ve encountered, what they’ve done to try to rectify these issues, and if those efforts have worked or not. During every conversation with the current clinic owner, you should ask yourself, “Do I have what it takes to meet the hurdles and challenges in this practice with different or better solutions?”
Make sure that you keep a close eye on the following when you are looking to purchase the clinic:
• No or a poorly conceptualized clinic business plan
• Local competitors within at least a 5kms radius & further if it is a rural practice
• Existing clinic debts
• Location problems such as poor visibility, poor access, no public transport nearby, etc.
• No or poor branding
• Outdated equipment
• Are the staff likely to stay on or not?
Make sure you know as much as you can about the existing clinic such as; successes, failures, challenges, and future opportunities for growth. In addition to speaking with the owner do online research, ask questions to your association and speak to other local practices. They’ll give you an honest view of how the clinic is doing (except for maybe the local competitors), without the bias of the seller of the clinic trying to convince you to buy.