Top 5 Questions to Ask When Selling Your Veterinary Practice

As a veterinary practice owner, you’ve poured yourself into building your practice. You’ve pursued your passion, providing compassionate, quality care for your community, and supported the growth of your team. But you’re now at an inflection point – You’re considering selling your veterinary practice.

Maybe you’re eyeing retirement, or fighting burnout. Perhaps you want a new direction with your career, or you’ve grown tired of the administration aspect of owning a practice versus focusing on providing great pet care. Entering into a partnership with a veterinary group may offer a viable path forward. But finding the right partner is critical. How do you cut through the noise to identify the group that best aligns with your vision for your practice’s future when everyone seems to be saying the same thing?

For many, selling your veterinary practice is a deeply personal and emotional endeavor. It is also a major investment decision that is tied to your financial security. Consider the following questions as a guide to help you evaluate the most important characteristics of any group interested in your practice. These should help identify the groups that align closely with what you’re looking for and with what your practice needs to continue to thrive.

1. What is their ‘Why’?’ Why do they exist?

Understanding what the veterinary group values will give you more clarity into what you can expect from them in your future interactions. Many veterinary consolidators are trying to grow their stable of practices as quickly as possible and view each practice as a short-term investment that can be turned around quickly for another sale. Others are looking to grow sustainably, invest in support and benefits for the practices, and improve the quality of care for pets and the experience for the people who love them.

The first step in any engagement with a potential partner is asking why they do what they do and why they’re interested in your practice. Ask questions about their strategy and cut to the heart of the relationship by exploring the ‘why’ upfront. You don’t want to waste time or get too far down the road before discovering the partnership isn’t a good fit.

Does the potential partner align with your vision for the future of the practice? Does the group you’re dealing with work earnestly to address your concerns? Remember, there is more to it than just the purchase price.

VetEvolve exists to create positive change in the veterinary profession to enhance the lives of pets and people. Our community is dedicated to living out our core values: serve, trust, and evolve.

2. How will this group care for my team through the partnership process and beyond?

One of the top concerns when selling your veterinary practice is the uncertainty about how your current team will be affected. Appreciation of your team and the role they’ve played in the practice’s success speaks to who you are and the culture you’ve created.

Will the new partner protect and support the team in place? Are they transparent about what kind of changes could take place? Will they build on the culture already in place? Are they committed to evolving the practice to meet the challenges of today, through team support, new technology, and improved levels of care?

VetEvolve focuses on building relationships and inspiring growth throughout our partner practices. Our leaders are dedicated to making sure every veterinary professional at every stage has the support they need—when they need it. We never lose sight of why our job is important—we empower our teams to deliver consistently high-quality care for pets. Your staff will have additional opportunities for professional development and advancement while working in a well-maintained positive culture. We aim to promote ethical growth within individuals and the practice as a whole, allowing us to take care of your current employees while hiring, developing, and retaining additional talent as your practice grows.

3. How will this group develop its doctors’ skill sets so that my practice thrives for many years to come?

Doctors are the cornerstones of their practices. How will the partner invest in their future, as a leader in the practice, in developing new skills, and in pursuing further interests in veterinary medicine?

Inquire about Continuing Education (CE) opportunities, including options such as tuition reimbursement or visiting other partner practices to learn from other veterinary medicine leaders. Is there a strong culture of incorporating new veterinary graduates and students, through mentorship and externship programs?

At VetEvolve, our job is to understand and provide the unique elements that make each individual on our team want to stay here for a long time. We take a unique approach focused on the people we work with and their happiness, giving them the resources they need to work toward overall physical, mental, and financial health. We’re committed to enriching veterinarians’ lives in and outside of work through our Annual Reward Fund, tuition assistance, investment in team development, continuing education allowance, one-on-one support, and flexibility.

4. What will support from this group really look like, and how will it meet the needs of my practice?

Better inventory programs, administration assistance, and promises of “clinical autonomy” are table stakes. How will this group support you day-to-day? Do they have their own team of subject matter experts, from HR and marketing to IT and accounting, or are they outsourcing to vendors (the same ones you could use)?

How often will someone from the organization be on site? Are they invested in the community work you do? Does the group consistently deliver on promises made?

VetEvolve will ensure your business’s sustainable success, give you financial liquidity, increase your cash flow, reduce your workload, decrease the burden of management activities, and increase your focus on medicine. Our team of experts can help you reach new heights and our emphasis on relationships means you’ll never go without personalized support.

5. What are your primary objectives for partnering with a veterinary group? What is most important to you?

We’ve asked you to find out the ‘why’ of the groups you may be selling your veterinary practice to, but do you remember your own? Think back to when you first decided to explore an external partner—back before price points, profit margins, multiples, and EDBITA complicated the thought process.

Your ‘why’ should inform who you sell to and what you want to achieve after the sale. Do you want to hand off all business operations and focus entirely on practicing veterinary medicine? Do you want a reduced schedule at the practice? Or do you want a plan to remove you entirely from the business after a transition period? These details should be settled in the early stages of negotiation; it’s your sale and you have control over the process. Don’t settle for a partner who tells you otherwise.

VetEvolve’s people-focused buying approach has made us well-known for creating customized transition plans, successfully transitioning associate contracts, and making changeovers as smooth as possible overall. We recognize every veterinary practice’s uniqueness and create customized solutions that fit each practice’s individual needs.

Consider VetEvolve As a Partner for Your Veterinary Practice

Selling is a big decision and there is no one who knows your hospital, clients, or staff better than you. Diving into the questions above will help you consider the pros and cons of each possible partner, and decide which group best aligns with your vision for the future of your practice.

At VetEvolve, our people-centric approach always puts support for veterinary professionals—DVMs and their teams—at the top of our priorities. Selling and transitioning your veterinary practice is a milestone. Unlike other veterinary practice partners, VetEvolve helps you transition on your terms.

We’d love the opportunity to discuss why we might be the perfect partner for you. We’ll give your practice the attention it deserves and create a transition plan customized to meet your goals for the future.

At VetEvolve, it’s all about you. Get in touch with our team today.