So, you’ve decided to sell your practice? Congratulations are in order, as making the decision to go forward with selling is often one of the highest hurdles to overcome. Now comes the easy part: hard work.
We recently told you about the five things you should be doing if you’re thinking about selling. Sometimes the hardest advice for my clients to follow is the concept of building momentum as part of your pre-sale improvements.
When you get a house ready to sell, you fix up any leaky pipes and install new carpeting, but with a business, your pre-sale improvements need to be more than just static elements. No matter how successful your business already may be, an interested buyer will want to see a business that is not only thriving, but growing. To accomplish this, you need to get your growth chart as steep as possible in a short period of time.
A lot of people don’t take advantage of this profitable pre-sale strategy, since making the choice to sell feels a lot like resting on your laurels. I’ve done a great job building and growing this practice, so now it’s time to sit back and let it sell itself. Right? Wrong! By building momentum up to the moment of a contract, you add another layer to your negotiating power.
Remix Your Marketing Strategies
If you do your own marketing, now is the time to hire help with this. If you already have outside help, explain that you are ready to sink some money into an aggressive short-term marketing campaign. It may seem counter intuitive to spend money on attracting patients you may not even get the chance to meet, but even a small curve upward will add value to your practice and give you more of an upper hand in your negotiations.
Think of adding any marketing services you don’t already take advantage of:
- Website optimization
- Social media networking and advertising
- Google ads
- Search engine optimization and content marketing
- Email marketing
- Online reputation marketing
If you’ve resisted putting a lot of money into marketing in the past, just remember this is a finite expense. You are already on a path toward selling. Just as marble counter-top and stainless-steel appliances get a house sold faster, an influx of new patients will make your practice feel like a winning prospect.
Reach Out and Recall Lapsed Patients
People always need dental work, and people always skip appointments when money is tight. If reaching out to patients and giving them a helping hand is not already part of your MO, create new promotions to get them back into the office. This can be as easy as a personal phone call campaign from your front office staff, or an email and text message outreach blitz. The right message can make all the difference.
Assess Your Fees
If you’ve been in business for a number of years and haven’t compared your fee schedule to that of comparable practices, now is the time to do this. If you’ve already been assessing your fees annually, as experts recommend, now is the time to dig deep and go beyond a cursory examination.
To get detailed up-to-date local information you may need to pay a one-time fee for this type of report. But again, depending on your situation, this may be worth it. For example, Sikka Software offers a free local snapshot report for one zip code and up to 10 procedure codes, but can give you a wider range of zip codes and up to 600 code comparisons for a small fee. There are several services that can help you with this. Start with the free ones and pay more if your results offer surprises.
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