Andy Acton, director and co-owner of Frank Taylor & Associates, explains more….
- If someone (private approach, corporate, anyone!) knocks on your door do not accept their offer without getting the value independently checked yourself. Independently, means you find and appoint the valuer yourself and not be guided by the prospective purchaser to a valuer they suggest.
- Don’t immediately tell your staff you are planning to sell. A conversation that starts ‘I am planning on selling my practice. I don’t know who to or when it will happen but don’t worry’ is guaranteed to get your team to worry. There is the right time and way to handle this sensitive issue.
- Don’t buy lots of expensive new equipment to impress a buyer. This spend will be immediately depreciated and may not be the sort of equipment that would suit your buyer.
- Don’t assume all sales agents operate the same way – some take payment from the buyer whilst having a duty of care to the seller which creates a conflict of interest.
- Don’t give your associate an open ended opportunity to buy your practice. Impose a time limit and when this is reached engage a reputable sales agent to take it forward on your behalf if there has been no significant progress. The lack of competition is unhealthy and is often taken advantage of.
- Don’t book your cruise too early! Selling can take months and keeping calm through the process is important so that you can stay focused and not make emotional decisions.
- Don’t allow your solicitor to dictate the pace of the transaction – they take ‘instructions’ from you. You need to drive the deal and make sure your deal is a priority.
- Don’t listen to stories about banks not lending to dentists to buy practices. Utter tosh! FTA Finance arranged over £120m of loans in the past year.
- Don’t underestimate the personal commitment and resolve required to get through the process. It will be time consuming and could be stressful. This can be minimised with good quality advisers around you. Anyone who tells you it will be easy and quick are either lying or haven’t the experience to know the reality.
- Don’t assume your landlord will be accommodating about extending your lease, even if you are on good terms. Very often they are slow to deal with it and I have seen cases where a landlord has been paid up to £50,000 to extend a lease from 3 years remaining to 15 years.
If you follow these tips it will dramatically improve our chances of achieving a successful sale.