Many of us have aspired to play golf at the highest level of the PGA tour, yet we find that breaking into the single digit handicap is much more difficult than the professionals make it look on television. As with any business, sport, or profession there is always more to being successful then what appears on the surface. To be the best, you must be surrounded by the best. In golf the golfer is the one that gets all the accolades for their accomplishments, but it is more than the golfer that makes him or her successful. What do all the top money leaders on the PGA tour have in common? Great caddies. It is no secret on tour that your caddy can make the difference between 100th in the world and 1st in the world. Caddies are experts in different types of grass, experts in reading greens, experts in the dynamics of wind and rain, experts in crowd control, they are doing all the little things as the professional golfer focuses on putting a good swing on the ball. Just like a top money leader on the PGA tour needs a great caddie, so does an optometrist looking to buy or sell a practice. Many practice transitions have failed because the right team members were not in place to create success. Here are the 3 most important team members any optometrist must have in buying or selling a practice.
- Financial Advisor – A good financial advisor will make sure that the seller has the necessary funds in place to support their retirement. She will also ensure the buyer can afford to purchase the practice based on life goals. She will assist the buyer in making sure they get off to a great start in money management. She will relieve the buyer or seller of the pressures of managing their 401k, investment properties, college funds, and savings goals. The optometrist is most effective and efficient practicing optometry.
- CPA – A good certified public accountant will assess the financial health of the practice to determine if now is a good time to buy or sell. He will direct the buyer and seller regarding the tax implications of a stock transaction or a cash transaction. The tax laws are always changing and an accountant that keeps up will save you money as he adapts to the changes that occur in small business taxes, not to mention keeping you out of trouble with the IRS.
- Attorney – Not all attorneys are created equal and with that, I would highly recommend that you interview an attorney that you are considering. Your attorney must know the laws associated with small business and understand medical business. A good attorney will be the seal for ensuring a healthy relationship between the buyer and seller. Practice transitions are not always smooth so you must be proactive in putting all the verbal discussion into writing. As communication increases through good contracts, the likelihood of a smooth win-win practice transition goes up.
I have been guilty of believing that with enough studying and asking others questions I could do almost anything on my own. As a previously competitive golfer at a high level, I have played tournaments with caddies and I have played without them. The caddy always gave me the extra edge that I needed to raise my game to the next level and put my name on the leader board. If you want to lead in the profession of optometry business then build a team that will take you to the next level.
Please leave comments recommending good “players” in your area of the country that other optometrists would benefit from knowing.