Welcome to Audiology Business Central
There is no hiding from it, the UK Audiology market is changing fast. New technology, cost pressures on the delivery of NHS hearing services and the entrance of significant new operators - with amazing marketing skills and massive expansion plans - mean that the UK audiology sector is in a massive state of flux.
Armed with the right knowledge and advice, we can assist in ensuring you thrive in this ever-changing market, providing a range of services for all audiology professionals.
In September 2017, Audiology Business Central carried out our inaugural survey of audiology professionals in the UK.
- What is the range of earnings for hearing professionals in the private sector and NHS?
- Which skills have the most impact on pay and reward levels?
- What is the biggest worry for the owners of private practices?
You can find answers to these questions and more about issues and trends in the audiology sector by downloading the report.
Thank you. Here’s your download link:
Download the Audiology Salary Survey 2017
For most owners, the sale of a practice represents a lifetime of work and the value locked within forms a significant part of their ultimate retirement fund. Yet too often, when it comes to selling their prize asset, healthcare business owners are reactive, rather than proactive; Planning is either far too late or non-existent and decision making flawed, with owners forgoing the power of market forces and being sucked in to ‘save money’ by going down the “webuyanypractice.com” route and talking exclusively to the first party that approaches them. Pretty much every week, my team and I are contacted by a healthcare business owner who has had their fingers burnt by what seemed initially like a good practice sale option, only in the absence of the right guidance or leverage, for the original sale terms to be chipped away during the course of negotiations to the point where they are practically giving away their business. Alternatively, owners come to us too late having run down their operations to such an extent that they are no longer saleable and have become liabilities to dispose of, rather than assets to sell. I am always therefore delighted when I get the opportunity to talk on the subject – as I did last week at the Moller Centre, Cambridge – and to articulate to practice owners what a significant difference a bit of forward planning and niche industry-specific guidance can make. As the slide in the photo highlights, failing to prepare your route to market can result in at best a sub-optimal outcome and at worst can be catastrophic.
3 Key Reasons to Get Involved In the UK Audiology Salary Survey 2017
Are you being paid enough? Or if you are an employer, are the reward packages you pay your clinical and support staff sufficient to prevent them being poached?
In September 2017 Audiology Business Central will be carrying out a comprehensive study of compensation and benefits within the UK audiology profession.
In a sector experiencing numerous disruptive factors (new technology, pressure on NHS funding, significant new high street competition and the demographic challenges of an ageing population) we believe this information will be invaluable for all hearcare professionals.
Audiology Business Central will be collecting data via an online questionnaire hosted between 6 September and Friday 27 October 2017. In compiling our survey we will collect and use data on salaries, benefits, bonuses and commissions across the different roles and working patterns within the profession. We will also be exploring the key issues faced by audiology professionals in 2017.
The short survey takes an average of just 2 minutes of your time to complete and all individual responses to the survey will remain fully confidential. Here are 3 compelling reasons why you should take part:
1. All professionals who contribute data to the survey will receive a free copy of the full report and findings.
2. We have 2 fantastic prizes to give away
⦁ All employed professionals who take part will be entered into a free prize draw with the chance to win an Apple IPad.
⦁ All employers who contribute data will be entered into a separate free prize draw with the chance to win a choice of either £1,000 of professional business consultancy services or an Apple iPad.
3. The findings of our report will be highly valuable for:
⦁ Employees contemplating investment in training to develop new additional specialisms and skills.
⦁ Employers looking to make informed decisions about recruiting hearing professionals.
⦁ HCPC accredited staff currently working within the public sector/NHS considering a move to the private sector (and vice versa) seeking to compare/contrast earning power between audiology roles in the private vs the public sector.
⦁ Hearing professionals weighing up the pros and cons of employment versus practice ownership, or collaboration in a joint venture partnership.
⦁ Employees actively seeking or considering new employment opportunities.
⦁ Practice owners looking to streamline their operations and operating model.
⦁ Employers looking to ensure that reward packages for existing hearing professionals are correctly aligned to ensure optimised retention rates for high quality staff in an increasingly competitive market.
Terms and Conditions of Survey
Before taking part in our survey, please read our terms and conditions carefully and agree to the following:
- All of your personal information will remain confidential, although it will be stored to allow us to contact you in the future. Please advise us if you do not want to be contacted.
- The responses to the survey questions that you provide will be used in an aggregated manner, to allow us to create a report based on our findings, and will not be linked to your personal information.
- The report will be shared with all participants, as well as on our website and any other social media channels we choose.
- The winner of the prize draw(s) will be selected completely at random.
- The report will be released to coincide with the British Audiology Academy (BAA) exhibition at the Bournemouth International Centre (16-17 November).
- Visitors to the exhibition will also be eligible to enter the prize draw.
- The prize draw winners will be announced at the above show, on our stand (52).
- Audiology Business Central reserves the right to exclude a participant from the survey and/or prize draw at our discretion.
Selling an audiology practice is one of the most significant events in a business owners’ professional life. Yet far too often, insufficient planning results in a poor outcome for what often amounts to a life’s work. A classic example of a trap owners fall into is illustrated by a practice I reviewed recently. If the owner had sold three years ago they would have received a significant price for their practice but instead they reduced their clinical time and scaled the business back. The income they received for the three extra year’s work plus the price the practice achieved on completion of the sale was less than they would have received in 2014. In effect they worked for 3 years for nothing and ended up with a poorer outcome.
The starting point when planning retirement is to understand your numbers. What will your practice realistically achieve when sold? Based on this can you afford to sell? If so, when? There are so many myths and misconceptions about practice values that give owners a false sense of security. The reality is that there is no single simple individual measure that dictates value. Practices do not sell for some specific percentage of turnover and they do not simply sell for a standard multiple of profit. Some practices change hands for as little as £1. Others achieve a sale price which is greater than the turnover. There can also be a steep differential between the perceived ‘technical’ value and the true realisable value. Practice sales work like any other transaction: they are market driven. Two practices with identical operational aspects and mirrored profit levels may achieve very different prices on disposal due to their location. Ultimately, it is all about supply and demand. There are many hot spots where practices are snapped up within days of going on the market. Sadly there are also areas where it is difficult to find a buyer at all – irrespective of the business appeal and performance. For example, an audiology practice in a coastal or island location is likely to take significantly longer to sell than one in a large city such as Birmingham or London. This means that practice owners need to start the sale process sooner rather than later.
A frequently overlooked consideration is the different strategies that may be applied to the sale of multi-branch operations. Sold separately the value of individual branches may be worth more than the sum of the whole business. Many owners find that a phased sale over a period of time can work very well depending upon their reason for sale.
When planning your exit, you should identify areas of opportunity to improve the value of the practice when it eventually is placed on the market. There are a vast range of measures that can be introduced any may be applicable in your practice these may include:
- Improving the customer/patient Journey
- Increasing staff training
- Ensuring that your services and hearing aids sell for the right price
- A practice make over to make it visually more attractive
- More delegation to assure the buyer that goodwill will transfer
- Improved use of practice management system to boost productivity
Which of these initiatives are appropriate to a particular practice will depend upon the timescale available and the culture and positioning of the practice. For example I would not recommend paying for an expensive shop fit immediately prior to a sale. Too many owners seem to be following advice from television shows! Selling a practice is very different from selling a house. You only get a return on a shop fit when the business improvement translates through to the balance sheet. Likewise, it may be better to leave the practice decoration as it is, demonstrating that it will successfully generate the profits shown in the accounts. Purchasers can see the true picture and are likely to see an area for further improved business performance.
The focal point is ensuring everything possible is in good order. If your property is rented then you need a clear strategy on the timing of your lease relative to the sale. A buyer will need sufficient security of tenure but the seller does not want to be lumbered with significant post-sale liabilities. Ensure that accounts are transparent going forward to provide prospective future buyers with trust and confidence to proceed. Make sure that your practice policies and documents are current to avoid issues with the regulatory authorities such as the CCG or the local fire and rescue authority. Staff should also be issued with up to date contracts of employment to avoid delays in a business transfer further down the line.
The world is moving faster than ever and the value of both your practice and your pension can change very quickly. It therefore pays to stay fully informed. Your health, or the health of a loved one, can also change towards the autumn of a practice owner’s tenure and time can quickly become more important than having a maximized pension. The Ideal time to take stock and get your plan in place is two to five years before you sell.
For a free and confidential discussion about selling your practice call us now via 0161 929 8389
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