Practice Ownership: Are You Ready?

Nov 19, 2018 | Business Development

If you’ve set your sights on owning a practice, you’re not alone. The dream and challenge of serving the community while steering your own ship brings out the entrepreneur in many a provider — to great success.

Ownership also comes with risks, however, making it crucial to know what you’re getting into and what it takes to succeed. Read on for key factors to keep in mind on your potential journey to practice ownership.


What It Takes

Are you ready to be responsible for the continued operation of a business? Ready to work 24-7-365 instead of 9 to 5? The entrepreneurial life requires the drive to bring your vision to life, to build something enduring, to adapt to change, and to develop people and processes to accomplish important personal, professional, and financial goals.

Count on wearing multiple hats — chief executive officer, for example, the leader and top decision maker responsible overall for people, processes, and performance. But also:

  • Salesperson, representing the brand, engaging the community, creating flow, and attracting great employees
  • Finance person, overseeing cash inflow and outflow, managing current and future needs, paying employees and debts first, and compensating yourself last
  • Marketer, setting brand direction, understanding your market, investing in effective strategies, determining key measures of success, evaluating results, planning, executing, and adjusting
  • Human resources manager, handling employee engagement, managing staff performance, understanding regulations, and ensuring compliance
  • Practitioner, generating revenue, developing patient relationships, improving processes and performance, and “keeping the lights on”

Ultimately, entrepreneurial success comes down to being driven to achieve results, having the desire to develop people and processes, being able to adapt and lean into change, and possessing the self-awareness not only to identify weaknesses but to supplement them with personal development or reliance on those who can help.


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Take the Self-Assessment

Are you prepared to wear the six hats of business ownership? Use our easy self-assessment tool to better understand where you may need further development. On a scale from 1 to 5, rate your level of comfort with each ownership role:

  • CEO
  • Salesperson
  • Finance person
  • Marketer
  • Human resources manager
  • Practitioner

1 = Not comfortable
5 = Very comfortable



Benefits and Risks


Potential Rewards

  • Freedom, including being your own boss, setting the direction of the organization, deciding how to serve patients, and partnering with other businesses and organizations
  • Flexibility, especially through Audigy’s Ownership Maturity Model, which facilitates effective succession planning and allows you to focus on the business while your team works in the business
  • Influence, with the potential to impact the quality of care in your community by providing a higher level of care that differentiates your practice from the competition
  • Additional income beyond a typical salary, because owners have access to the funds from the practice’s profitability


Possible Liabilities

  • Reputational damage to the owner or business, should a scandal of any sort affect an individual within the practice
  • Lawsuits, which — depending on the corporate structure of the business — could affect the owner’s or the practice’s assets but whose risk and responsibility ultimately falls to the owner
  • Security breaches of data such as social security numbers, dates of birth, and other personally identifiable patient information collected in a typical audiology practice
  • Unavoidable hazards such as hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, earthquakes, and other events beyond human control that are potentially damaging
  • Illness, disability, or death, which can seriously affect a practice that’s deeply dependent on the revenue generation of the owner


Ownership Methods


Equity Earn-In

  • Involves the gifting of equity to an individual typically based on the achievement of defined performance metrics
  • Usually time-based — a three-, four-, or five-year plan, for example
  • Can be vested or unvested during the earn-in period
  • Vested — legal ownership of equity share
  • Unvested — not legally owned by the equity earner until a determined vesting event
  • Vesting event — typically at end of earn-in period or when the defined performance metrics are fully achieved


Equity Buy-In

  • Equity or legal ownership in the business is sold to an individual inside or outside the practice
  • Any and all buy-ins are immediately vested


Whether you dream of owning an audiology practice or already live the dream and want to groom a potential new owner for your business, Audigy can help. From Leadership Boot Camp, our New Owner Training Program, and other educational opportunities to mentorship through our Strategic Business Unit, we have the platforms, processes, and team to help make your goal a reality. Contact us today!