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Selling Your Practice: 5 Tips for how to choose the right partner

Written by Eric Krell, Regional Vice President


So you have made the decision to sell your practice but you are not quite ready to completely retire.  You have timeously sacrificed for years to see that your practice not only survives but thrives.  You will need to make sure that the company you decide to partner with is the right fit. But how do go about doing this.  This is a big decision.


Tip #1:  Have a plan for future growth post-closing.

First, what are you looking to do with your practice?  The future of your practice does not stop at closing.  You need to have a plan for the future.  If you and your potential partner do not have a plan or have at least discussed plans for the partnership post close then you have no idea where you are headed.  Do you want to grow by adding clinics and also grow same store growth?  Do you want to have more professional development opportunities for you and your staff?  Do you want a better life work balance?  Do you want to protect the legacy you’ve created and groom the next generation of leadership?


Tip #2:  Have a plan for your staff and be able to clearly present the plan at closing.

What about your staff?  You have invested in them and them in you.  You want to make sure that post-closing they remain happy and more importantly energized to put into action your growth plan.  During a sale and transition of structure, it is not unusual to have one or two associates that just do not fit in to the new model.  That is okay.  If they don’t fit, move on sooner than later.  What is the plan for the staff?  Typically, a larger business has a much better benefits package as they can negotiate better rates.  This was a huge upside for my staff post-closing.  In addition, with a growth strategy in place there is often more opportunity for staff to be promoted into leadership positions.  This was a huge upside for my clinical staff.  I had lost great PTs over the years because I did not have a path for promotion.


Tip #3:  Do your research by talking of others that have partnered.

Do your homework. Truly look at the partnership as a joining of forces.  The partnership is stronger with both of you.  If it is not, it may not be right.

You should ask for references of other’s that have partnered and speak to them candidly about any potential fears you may have.  Ask difficult questions, like did you feel supported during the transition?  What did and didn’t go as planned?  Are you happy and would you do it all over again?  Do you feel supported?  Talk to as many people as you can and at some point, during the process you will have to develop trust. Always keep in mind, that few sales transaction ever go as planned – for both the seller and buyer. Expect the unexpected and know that your future partner wants to get to the finish line as much as you do.


Tip #4:  Lose your ego.

When you sell your practice and form a partnership, there cannot be any egos involved.  Each partner must recognize the experience and expertise each brings to the table. More than likely, that’s the very reason you are both talking to each other. You have experience they need and they have resources you need. That’s what makes the partnership strong.  Each party needs and benefits from the other. Don’t let your ego prevent you from seeing the true value that a partner can bring to you and your team.


Tip #5:  Do your values align.

What are the values of the company and do they align with yours.  If your future partner does not have a clear Mission, Vision and stated Values that reach all levels of the company you might want to move on.  Many companies have a Mission and Vision however it is merely for show.  Do they live out the mission and vision and how do the values of the company guide decision making?  What values are important to you and are they the same with your future partner?  Make sure they align to ensure a smooth transition and good future working relationship.


Selling your practice is a big decision and making the right choice for the future and legacy of what you have built is critical.  Take your time, do your homework and enjoy the success once you’ve made your decision!

Thinking about selling your physical therapy practice or exploring a partnership?

Whether a complete sale of your practice or retaining equity through a partnership, Upstream will help you decide the best path forward while ensuring the highest valuation for your practice.