Practices on the market can be available for a variety of reasons. You may not be privileged to the real reason or reasons the selling chiropractor is motivated to sell, but here are the five most common:
While others can help you determine if the asking price is commensurate with the value of the equipment you’re purchasing and any leases you’ll be assuming, there is something far more difficult to place a value on: good will.
“Shucks boy, I’m sure you can reactivate 30% or more of them once you get your sea legs.”
Sounds appealing. Even possible. And better yet, the retiring chiropractor is willing to carry the paper, so no hoop jumping at the bank since Mom andÂ Dad are helping with the down payment.Â Slow down. Get answers to the following questions:
1. Does the selling chiropractor have a personality practice or a patient education practice? All too many offices are based on the charisma and personal charm of the chiropractor. Coming from years of experience, a high level of technical certainty and the confidence of knowing just about everyone in town, you have big shoes to fill.
2. Will the selling chiropractor invest in a smooth transition? This may not be possible if an emergency is prompting the sale. But if I were buying a practice, I would insist on no less than a 90-day transition period. That means being side by side in the practice, every day, with every patient. Besides the introduction to each patient, the selling chiropractor should explain what he or she is doing with each patient and why. Yes, it may sound technical in front of the patient, but that’s the point. You want patients to see a clear hand off so they can expect similar care from you.
3. Will the selling chiropractor anoint you? One of the key ingredients of the transition period is for the selling chiropractor to talk you up in front of patients. “When she adjusted me I knew my patients would love her!” “These new chiropractors are coming out of school twice the chiropractor I was when I graduated.” You get the idea. It must be genuine and authentic. And it needs to be delivered with an Oscar award-winning performance.
The fact is, all too many practitioners are simply trying to cash out because the practice environment has changed so much in the last 15 years. If those bulging inactive files are all insurance cases that discontinued care once their benefits were used up, there is very little “good will” to buy. Good will is when patients understand and want chiropractic so much, they’ll pay cash for their care. Count how many of those patients there are. That’s how much good will you’re really buying!