If you fear that your only chiropractic practice sale and transition options include you leaving the profession to lead a life of boredom that takes you away from serving the patients you love, there’s good news in this post!
Do you love chiropractic but hate the hassles of running a small business, dealing with staff, insurance paperwork or other practice management hassles? Do you get energized seeing patients but feel dragged down by the details of practice ownership? Do you wonder if there’s a way where you could keep practicing chiropractic — but leave all the nonsense behind?
If you are silently shouting “YES” – you are definitely not alone!
There’s not a week that goes by that I do not speak to at least several chiropractors who express similar feelings and are wondering what chiropractic practice sale and transition options might provide a way for them to “have it both ways.”
Don’t Let the Downsides Destroy Your Passion
Most commonly, the DC’s state that they enjoy being a doctor and taking care of patients – but all the “necessary evils” are dragging them down. Some chiropractors find their passion for practice declines in the face of documentation, diagnosis codes or insurance pre-authorizations. Others are brought low by having to come up with creative marketing ideas, messing with social media or ways to drum up more new patients. Still other DC’s discover that managing staff, paying taxes, payroll or other tasks related to running the business drains their fuel supply and leaves them little gas left to take care of patients.
While the sources of stress may vary for each chiropractor, two things are certain. The first bit of bad news is that, we are not alone. Many medical doctors and dentists express similar dissatisfaction with the state of healthcare and all the “non-doctor” activities that accompany practice today. The second is the good news that there are choices available to combat these circumstances before they destroy your passion for helping patients and cause good doctors to exit our profession.
If you love serving your patients, here’s my quick suggestion: don’t let the downsides of our profession destroy your passion for chiropractic!
Chiropractic Practice Sale and Transition Options to Consider Instead
Before you quit chiropractic or watch your blood pressure boil, you should first know that your dilemma does not need to be solved by you shutting down your business never to help another patient again.
In fact, while a practice sale may be a solid step towards a new path, it does not need to lead to a retirement from practice in the “traditional manner” where you are sitting around watching re-runs in your recliner, snoozing your way through days that monotonously roll from one into the next.
Instead, here are some options and alternatives you can and should consider:
Sell & Switch – If you’re an older doc looking to slow down or reduce the burdens of business management, it’s also possible to achieve a similar goal set up by the corporates (but on an individual) level through what we call the “Sell & Switch” model. Here, you literally Sell your practice to the buyer and “switch” roles by working with or for them after the sale. This transition strategy works great for both older docs who are looking to slow down or sell but not get out of the profession entirely. Interestingly enough, this strategy is also greater for younger docs who are looking for ownership – but want to minimize the risk of patient attrition when the old doctor leaves and who want to grow the business by increasing production (with both doctors working) and learn from the many years of business and management experience the exiting owner has.
Sell & Shift — if you find yourself trapped in a practice paradigm you can’t stand, you can use your practice sale to propel you into a more satisfying model. For example, I’ve spoken to many DCs who feel that they are increasingly tired of the insurance model, yet they feel that they would lose a great deal of patients (and revenue) if they ripped off the insurance band-aid and went towards a cash practice. Certainly, I can appreciate their fears and would acknowledge that there is a danger in doing a 180 degree shift with your practice and patient base.
It also seems unnecessarily risky when, there’s another option available that we like to call the Sell & Shift. Here, you sell the practice that you are currently operating as it is. Then with the sale proceeds, you SHIFT gears and move to a different practice paradigm and model that is more appealing to you.
So for example, if the insurance work is draining you of practice happiness, sell off the business and go build (or buy) a cash practice elsewhere! Obviously the buyer of your existing practice will want you to sign a non-compete so you won’t open up across the street and take all your cash patients with you. But if you’re willing (or eager) to work outside those boundaries, then you can sell to escape the hassles of your current practice, have some “seed money” to help you start your new business and be on a much better path that you can happily enjoy for years to come!
Sell & Slice — over the last several years, we’ve also worked with more chiropractors who felt the frustrations of their existing practice paradigm and started to move in a different direction — without exiting their business. A few years down the road, they now have a very unique business that basically has two distinct practices under one umbrella.
While some docs appreciate the diversity of running one business that, for example, provides both traditional, musculoskeletal based chiropractic care AND the “other side” that provides functional medicine – not everyone can simultaneously steer their ship in a desirable direction with two very different oars in the water.
We’ve seen docs in this position who initially started a weight loss program, or added online nutritional work, functional neurology, DOT Exams or Regenerative Medicine— and that portion of the business build more momentum (and revenue) than the part of the practice that has existed for years.
Rather than frustrate yourself trying to run a business that’s basically going in two different directions, consider what we’ve affectionately called the “Sell & Slice” option whereby we sell off the piece or part of the business that you don’t want to focus on to someone who does!
Instead of just letting that portion of your business fizzle out — sell it off while it is still valuable and focus on the part of the practice where your passion is!
Getting a fair market valuation is a key component to the success of these ventures because your buyer only wants to pay for the “piece” of the practice that you are selling (not the whole part) so some of the ballpark “rules of thumb” for valuing a chiropractic will not apply — but with some expert help (which we would be happy to assist you with), you can get a fair price for the portion of your business that you do not want and the buyer can get a good deal on an established practice that works for them too!
The Silver Lining with The Struggles
There are some who will read this and think I am oversimplifying everything or minimizing “the struggle” that it is to be a chiropractor today.
I do understand that we are in a challenging time in our profession. But I also have an advantage of a broad perspective, thanks to the fact that I speak to many different chiropractors across a wide segment of our profession.
And they are not all struggling. Many are thriving, many are making good decisions for their practice, for their patients and their profitability. And many are going in new directions in order to achieve this.
More importantly, with every struggle there is a silver lining in that cloud that is simply called: opportunity.
If you are getting frustrated after years in practice, you have an opportunity. Even better, the GREAT news is that there are MORE =Chiropractic Practice Sale and Transition Options for DC’s Who Love Chiropractic, But Hate the Hassles than ever before!
I’ve addressed 3 very popular options today — but there are others that you can take advantage of as well.
So whether sell the practice to switch roles, shift practice paradigms, or slice off the portion that you no longer wish to focus on – you can successfully steer yourself and your business towards and happier and healthier direction.
My strong recommendation for those who are struggling is todo what you must before you drive your business into the ground and hate the very profession that you lovingly entered many years ago.
Even if you have fewer years under your chiropractic belt, know this: the challenges you are facing today do not have to be permanent. You can learn from your experience and watch others who re-invented themselves and move on.
I realize that these options may not be suitable for everyone, but a growing number of chiropractors are taking advantage of the opportunity to sell their practice and steer themselves towards a better life.
If a “traditional” exit route (sell your practice & retire or relocate) is something you are considering or if one of these “non-traditional” options (Sell & Switch, Sell & Shift or Sell & Slice) is the road you’d consider traveling, we’d be happy to help get you there! Contact us today to help you Sell Your Practice.
If you need to learn more before you move, check out our FREE Practice Sale & Transition Webinars where you can better understand how to maximize your practice value and minimize costly mistakes!