So you’ve decided to seriously look into selling your healthcare clinic. Assuming you’re doing this for a positive reason that will improve your quality of life or send you on to the next stage in your career path, the key question is, how do you increase the value of your clinic so you can command top dollar in the sale?
Determining your current value is the first step in this process, and clinic businesses should use EBITDA to find out how much their business is worth. Here’s how to value your clinic using EBITDA.
But once you have a reliable number for the current value of your clinic, what do you do if you were hoping for a higher figure? And, what can you do to increase your multiple – the number that multiplies by your EBITDA to determine your sales price?
These and many related questions were discussed in a recent episode of New Patient Secrets, as a virtual roundtable of industry experts and clinic owners spent an hour talking about everything related to selling medical clinics like dental, chiropractic, physiotherapy, and massage clinics.
Here are the top seven ways to increase the value of your health clinic.
7 Specific Ways to Increase the Value of Your Clinic
1. Increase Your EBITDA
To increase the paper value of your clinic in the eyes of a buyer, the simplest plan is to reduce expenses, increase cash flow, or both. This increases the E in EBITDA, which stands for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.
How do you do that?
Look for places where there is potential for more revenue. For example, do you have capacity to hire another clinician? If your current team is booked out for weeks, maybe you need to add another one. More patients equals more revenue, as long as the growth outpaces the salary of the new hire.
You might also be able to increase your hours. With a new clinician, maybe you can be open later in the day, earlier in the morning, and on weekends. That allows you to make appointments for people who need more scheduling flexibility.
Maybe your prices are just too low. Raising your prices just 5% will result in significant earnings growth because your expenses won’t have changed.
As for expenses, do the same thing. Look for ways money is being spent that perhaps it doesn’t need to be. Maybe you’re spending too much on ineffective marketing, and you should dial that back and first get your phone answer rates, booking rates, and other call metrics up.
More revenue and reduced costs – that’s a recipe for increasing the value of your clinic.
2. Make the Clinic Business Not Dependent on You
Buyers get antsy when a business they’re considering buying appears to be too owner-dependent.
Are you still doing all the marketing? What about the hiring, the evaluations, the inventory management, the front desk training, and the bookkeeping? The more stuff that still depends on you, the harder it will be to keep the clinic going once you leave.
Tons of businesses, not just health clinics, are too owner-dependent. It’s a very common problem that prevents many otherwise great businesses from selling for as big a sale price as they could have gotten.
Your clinic should be able to operate smoothly even if you are on the other side of the world.
If this describes your clinic, you’ll need to start examining your processes and how you’re using your time. Start looking for tasks you can delegate. Use the other ideas in the article and implement the ones that will help your business thrive without you.
The EBITDA Formula For Determining The Value of Your Clinic
3. Establish Reliable Systems, Automation, Culture
Automation is a beautiful thing. When a patient books an appointment, what happens? You can set up auto-reminders that go out by email and by text. You can automate post-appointment follow-up emails, requests for online reviews, emails about sticking with their plan of care – tons of communication can be automated if you take advantage of the tools that are out there.
A buyer will love to see that kind of automation in place, because it means the clinic will keep functioning after you leave.
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A thriving, positive, revenue-growth and service-focused culture is another valuable asset. If your company culture isn’t what it could be, this is another way to increase the value of your clinic.
How do you know the health of your clinic’s culture? Think of it this way:
If the buyer were to interview five random people from your team about what they liked or didn’t like about working there, what do you think they would say? If that thought terrifies you, then your culture needs work. If you don’t know the answer, then your culture needs work.
There are all kinds of ways to improve your clinic’s culture. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
4. Develop a Great Management Team
It’s up to you to determine how many clinicians and front desk people you should hire, how to hire well, and how to train well on your systems and processes if you want to increase the value of your clinic.
A great management team will sustain your vision and implement your plans. They will take ownership of the clinic, especially when you give them the power to do so, even if it means they make a few mistakes along the way. As if you wouldn’t ever make any mistakes either, right?
The more autonomy you give them, within effective systems you know will produce good results, the more effective your team will become at managing your clinic.
This is very attractive to a buyer, because it means they won’t have to hire anybody to ‘take over’ the operation of the clinic.
5. Get Multiple Offers
There’s a lot that could be said about this one, but the bottom line is this:
Don’t just take the first offer you get. So many times, clinic owners make this mistake, and end up taking a lower offer than they could have gotten had they given the process more time.
More offers gives you more negotiating power. But it also gives you a greater sense of what’s out there. Do you realize how many different types of people and companies buy physiotherapy, dental, chiropractic, and massage therapy clinics?
People buying clinics now include superstar clinicians who own other clinics already, local competitors, new graduates coming out of school, national corporations, independent contractors, private equity groups, and even pharmacies.
There’s a lot. The more of them you can inform about your potential sale, the more offers will come in.
And you might not always go for the highest monetary offer. Selling to a big national corporation, for example, may raise eyebrows and put off some of your team. This is another reason to know your clinic’s culture though. Will they care who buys the clinic? You should have an idea about how they would react to different types of buyers.
Check out this swipe post to learn when is the best time to sell your clinic.
6. Prepare a Pitch Deck
Sell your personal story, not just the clinic. Get the buyer excited and intrigued by how your clinic came to be as successful as it is.
Learn how to talk about your clinic in a way that makes it sound like a great business to own. And get a set of slides developed to go with your presentation that tells your story as well as shares the financials and other relevant information.
7. Give Yourself Time
Lastly, don’t rush it. Preparing a business for sale isn’t something you do during the commercial breaks of a hockey game.
If you really want to increase the value of your clinic using the ideas on this list, it will take time. Some of these ideas will take you a couple years to fully implement and start seeing the benefits. There is no magic bullet, quick fix that will dramatically increase your clinic’s value.
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That’s why you want to start thinking about selling several years before you plan to actually do it. Because that gives you time that you will probably need, if you want to increase and maximize the value.
As mentioned earlier, this topic was discussed in great depth by a virtual roundtable of clinic owners, coaches, and other experts in a recent episode of New Patient Secrets, a free webinar series created specifically for clinic owners like you.
1. How do you increase revenue in a healthcare clinic?
Increase your revenue by generating more cash flow and reducing expenses. Consider hiring a new clinician or expanding your hours so you can book more patients. Increase your prices. Reduce your marketing budget and work on increasing your phone answer rates and booking rates.
2. What makes a clinic attractive to a buyer?
The ultimate sale opportunity for a buyer is a turnkey clinic operation. The front desk and management are well-trained and deliver great service. The clinicians are pros and deliver great care. Operations are automated. The culture is positive. And the revenue growth is steady and increasing.
3. Should a clinic owner take the first sales offer they receive?
Almost never. You should always attempt to get multiple offers. It will give you leverage in negotiations. It will also show you what’s possible, and the things that are important to different types of buyers, as well as to your team. It’s not always just about the sales price.
Who is Rick Lau and CallHero?
Rick has built three 10 million dollar healthcare businesses over the past 15 years including a network of 127 clinics with over 1400 employees. He is one of the most sought-after mentors for clinic owners in Canada and USA where he helps owners double, triple, and even quadruple their profits by optimizing their clinic operations using his proven systems and leadership strategies. Plus, he has spent over millions in google and facebook ads during his career.
You can follow him on Instagram