Workplace Guide: To buy or not to buy?

Running and owning a practice is not for the faint of heart. However, with proper planning and the right backing, the experience can be profitable and rewarding. Adam Bernstein reports

Tim and Polly Dulley of Aves Optometrists in Essex

Apart from setting up from scratch, a commonly used route to ownership is to buy an existing practice. However, as Dominic Watson, a consultant at broker Myers La Roche, comments: ‘The biggest barrier to entry for most is the availability of suitable opportunities within a reasonable timeframe. In reality, most are not able to up sticks and relocate.’

As a result, it can take many years to find a suitable independent practice. Funding is another issue to deal with. But here, Watson reckons that this is a red herring pushed by ‘acquisitive chains’ to persuade owners to sell their businesses on part-cash, part deferred payment schedule as it helps their growth.

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