Deciding to sell your veterinary practice can be a tough and emotionally taxing decision, considering the number of years you have toiled to set it up, grow it, and develop it’s hard-earned excellent reputation.
There are more than 100,000 veterinary practitioners in USA (As per this 2017 market research). Many of these practitioners are running their veterinary practice individually and are on the verge of retirement in the upcoming years. If their practices are not sold to younger veterinarians, this may result in a decline in veterinary practices in the upcoming years, eventually impacting animal healthcare and treatments.
Let’s take a look at the top 5 reasons why veterinary practitioners decide to sell:
1. Retirement Planning- If you’re over sixty and wish to take some time off from work and devote it to leisurely activities like traveling, golfing, and fishing, it's’ probably time for you to consider selling your veterinary practice. For many decades, your veterinary practice has taken up most of your time and energy. You may now want to lead a relaxed and stress-free life. If so, this may be the time to dedicate your future time and efforts to your family and your own well-being.
2. Accidents /Illness- A major illness or accidental injury can hamper you from devoting adequate time and efforts to your veterinary practice. It will also drain you financially, physically, and, of course, mentally. It will make it difficult for you to run your veterinary practice, thus, hampering your business.
3. Death- Nothing can be more devastating than the death of the veterinary practitioner themselves. It will lead to closure of the veterinary practice with immediate negative effect. The loss of a veterinary practitioner may lead to legal procedures involving the sale of the veterinary business at a severely discounted price robbing the veterinarian’s family of the true value of the practice.
4. Burnout - Veterinary practice involves long hours, continuous phone calls, high stress and, many times, low incomes, as well. Even for the most passionate veterinary practitioners, these challenges may sometimes build up to a complete burnout. When this happens, veterinarians may decide to quit the veterinary practice and just take some time off for themselves. They often decide to either take a break or sell their veterinary practice.
5. Entrepreneurial adventures - Many times, veterinary practitioners get bitten by an entrepreneurial bug and are tempted to try out other exciting entrepreneurial ventures. Since no one can dedicate 100% of their working energy and hours to two different projects, a practice sale often occurs. Entrepreneurial veterinarians often continue for a while as a veterinarian in the practice they just sold or act as a consultant while their other entrepreneurial business is still finding its feet.
Whatever your reason for deciding to sell your veterinary practice, you must be prepared with rock-solid financial backup to help you survive the uncertainty ahead. Whether you think you will be selling in the near future or not, it is a good idea to be prepared with a five-year plan for your business to keep it sale-ready under all circumstances.