Graham sold part of his practice through Draper Hinks several years ago. It did not go smoothly and he ended up having to sue the buyer. But that is another story. I recently met up with Graham to ask him for his top tips when selling a practice.
Don’t expect it to go smoothly. Expect there to be delays and frustrations along the way.
Find a buyer you like. If you like them, then the clients will like them.
Have a thick skin. Don’t get upset when clients leave and don’t go with your recommendation for your successor.
Do not get too attached to your staff. It is too easy to be more anxious and worried about your staff than about what you get from the deal. Yes you want to be loyal to your staff but you are the one that has employed them year in year out and looked after them. Try to be hard-nosed about the staff transferring.
Check out the buyer. Ask around. Do a bank reference check. Do as much due diligence as you can. Don’t be taken in by a buyer who says everything you want to hear without doing background checks. It does matter.
Don’t go for the first person that comes along. Try to meet a few potential buyers so that you can contrast and compare. The first one may be the right one but if you can meet other potential purchasers then you will be more confident of your choice.
Pass on all the records to the buyer. Give the buyer all the files but retain the right to examine the records if the need arises.
Get a good solicitor to review the contract. You may not want to appoint a solicitor but it is a good idea to get one to review the contract before signing so that you are secure in the knowledge that all aspects have been covered.
If you are thinking of selling your practice then email me Nicola Draper at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy to discuss your situation in confidence any time.