What buyers are looking for in a clinic: An Interview with a trade buyer.

24 Dec 2021

Could you please tell us a little about yourself?

My name is Andy Byrne, and I’ve been a physiotherapist for 17 years, 14 of which have been spent in private practice. I’ve managed clinics and now I’m the owner of True Physio. I’m a unique physiotherapist in that I enjoy running a business and have attempted to learn more about business and leadership from the beginning of my career.

Have you been in business for a long time?

True Physio was founded in February of 2018, so it has been nearly four years. Time flies, as anyone who manages a business will tell you.

How many clinics have you purchased and where are they located?

 We are a unique physiotherapy practice in that we have acquired all of our clinics rather than start each one from scratch. Our plan was always to build a clinic group, so we decided on an acquisition strategy from day 1.

We currently have clinics in Manchester, Lancaster, Skipton, and Bingley.

When you’re considering buying a clinic, what do you look for?

Our ideal clinic is well-established with a solid reputation and a prominent, visible location. We’re open to doing some work on the building, but we don’t make changes for changes sake. The businesses we buy are often surprised by how little we alter on day one, and this is usually because we buy clinics that are already good. We just tweak them to make them even better.

If you had to choose only one factor in selecting whether or not to buy a clinic, what would it be?

For us, the most important factor is whether it can continue to exist without the current owner. This is the biggest challenge with most physio clinics that are owned by the original founder, who wishes to retire. If the owners see the patients and runs the show, when they leave, there isn’t much left worth buying.

What are the ‘red flags’ that make you hesitate to make an offer on a clinic?

As stated above, a clinic that would practically shut down if the owner left is very unattractive. A clinic may be lucrative, but if the primary earner and the person who propels the clinic forward goes, it isn’t worth much to us.

How long does it take you from the first contact to the closing of a deal?

It can take anything from two to five months, depending on the complexity. The larger the company and the more locations it has, the longer it normally takes. However, the length of time it takes is usually determined by how soon the seller gives all the necessary information and how swiftly the solicitors act. We work with a fantastic firm that is very responsive, but if the seller’s solicitors are not, things can take a long time!

How critical is a clinic handover, and what do you normally request?

The handover can be very quick if all the systems and processes are documented and known by the staff. If the seller is a major fee earner, the handover will take longer because we can’t afford to lose them until a successor is founder. So far, we’ve mostly purchased clinics where the proprietors were no longer actively involved in the business and the transfer took less than a week. Simply put, we’ll be satisfied as soon as we have everything, we need to run the clinic as it is now. We can then make our own changes whenever it is convenient for us.

Helping facilitate major change for healthcare businesses

© Verilo. All Rights Reserved. Powered by FL1 Digital