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    5 tips to prepare for selling your practice

    Start formulating an exit strategy years before you plan to sell

    The decision to own your own optometric practice is likely one of the biggest decisions you have made in your lifetime. Deciding where to practice, establishing how to care for your patients, and obtaining financing for the practice purchase are all life-changing decisions. And the decisions you will make regarding your exit strategy will most likely be just as challenging and possibly even more difficult.

    An exit strategy

    Optometrists often struggle with how to go about slowing down in their careers as they mature. As I’m sure you know, it is not uncommon in our field for optometrists to practice until they can no longer physically see patients any longer. I know some of these optometrists truly love their profession, and that is why they continue to practice well into their 70s, 80s, and sometimes even into their 90s. However, could it be that they don’t know the best way to form an exit strategy? Or could it be that they choose to continue practicing because they cannot afford to retire? Whatever the reason, there should be careful planning with the help of your attorney, CPA, and possibly an optometric consultant.

    Related: Top 10 practice management mistakes

    Most optometrists who own their practices are solo practitioners, so their options for slowing down as they get older are very limited. They can hire an associate and cut back their hours. Or they can sell the practice outright and either continue working part-time in the practice or retire completely. Unfortunately, many solo practitioners decide to cut back their clinic hours without bringing in an associate optometrist, and their annual revenue declines as a result. This situation makes it very difficult to find a prospective buyer and even more difficult to get the desired purchase price for the practice seller. To help you with these tough decisions, I’ve compiled the top five things you should know about the preparation of selling your practice.

    1. Know your goals

    Dirk Massie, OD
    Dr. Dirk Massie has two practice locations in the St. Louis metro area. He is the primary consultant at Premier Doctor Consultants.

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