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Buying A Veterinary Practice

What the Sales Brokerage Process Looks Like: A Step-by-Step Guide

Jun 19, 2017 5:45:04 PM

shutterstock_601182698.jpgThere are four basic steps to closing. It sounds simple, but each step is extremely comprehensive. Here's what the sales brokerage process looks like from the point of view of experienced veterinary sales brokers.

1. Information Gathering

The initial meetings and questionnaire are designed to gather helpful information so that a sale is designed and arranged to best meet your needs. We will discuss your motivations to sell your practice, whether it is based on a retirement plan, a sudden health issue, or preparation for a long-term exit strategy. During these visits, we will become familiar with your staff, patients, and clients to get an in-depth understanding of your practice. We gather information about the facility, including such details as size and location. Once we are fully familiar with your motivations, operations, and facility, an action plan is developed, containing the specific measures that will be taken to find a qualified buyer.

2. Valuation

The bulk of required financial information is provided by tax returns and financial management documents, which are used to establish historical baselines and trends for your practice. The compiled information is evaluated, and necessary adjustments are added to the financial statements. These adjustments may include personal or non-recurring expenses that detract from an accurate picture of your practice's profit. Many professionals consider valuation of veterinary practices more of an art than a science, as there are many variables involved. You, as an established veterinarian, are selling what has already happened, while the buyer is purchasing an anticipated flow of future income, which is then discounted to its value today. While an initial value can be obtained using established valuation methods, a fair market price must include numerous factors, such as location, equipment, and staff.

3. Marketing

We have access to an active buyer database that contains thousands of prospective buyers looking for veterinary practices. We also take advantage of a variety of marketing avenues that include both traditional and modern methods. These approaches include mail and phone campaigns, journal advertisements, and social media ads. Your confidentiality will be ensured by signed non-disclosure agreements. Your practice will be highlighted using an interactive profile and a virtual tour. Buyer prospects, who have been screened, will be able to view the details of your practice, including the facility, staff, wages, equipment, expenses, profitability price, demographics, and earnings potential.

4. Closing

Our marketing endeavors often result in multiple buyers offering letters of intent. During this period, the buyers will perform a comprehensive appraisal of the practice by closely examining the financial and legal documents you have provided. It is not unusual for the closing process to involve offers, counteroffers, and negotiations before a final agreement is reached between both parties and a closing date is set.

The sales broker process simplifies the complexities of selling your practice, and while the process is demanding, you will be freed from much of the legwork and consistently informed of the developments. This leaves you the time to continue doing what you do best.

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