From acquiring an existing business to leasing an office, there are many different routes a healthcare or professional services provider can go when they want to grow or expand their business. But where do they start, and who do they go to for assistance?
“It’s important to have a good team in place when you’re looking to acquire a business or lease a space,” says Eric Jones, VP, commercial lending at First Federal Lakewood. “The right banking partner can help facilitate the lending request with ease and can connect the client with industry experts such as CPAs, attorneys and brokers who know their industry in and out.
“This makes the process seamless and takes the stress and burden off the borrower.”
Smart Business spoke with Jones about what business owners in the healthcare and professional services space need to know when choosing a banking partner to acquire or lease a business.
What do these types of business owners need to know about acquiring or leasing a space?
For healthcare professionals and professional services providers, acquiring or leasing a space has many considerations.
Healthcare providers looking to acquire an existing practice must consider what the office space includes. What does the equipment look like in the office? Will there be any additional equipment or office additions that will need to be built out? Working with the existing healthcare professional to put a plan in place is crucial to the success of the acquisition.
For professional service providers, your banker will be able to guide you through the process of the loan for the building or office you want to acquire or lease. Additionally, they can help you outline a business plan if you don’t have one available.
What should a healthcare and professional service provider come prepared with when working with a lender?
Being prepared is key when coming to work with a lender. If you’re looking to acquire a practice or professional services business, make sure to bring tax returns, a balance sheet and a business plan.
If a business plan isn’t available, your banker can help guide you on how to put one together.
Healthcare professionals should come prepared with information regarding the office you plan on acquiring. This means being familiar with the staff and, if applicable, having a solid transition plan if the existing healthcare provider is staying or leaving.
What should a healthcare and professional service provider look for in a banking relationship?
It’s important to find a banker with knowledge of your business’s industry to work with you. They can help you find unique ways to finance various parts of a business, from equipment to buy-ins and buy-outs.
Additionally, when looking for a banker to build a relationship with, find a banking partner who knows and understands your industry and who has a good reputation with clients. Does this person help their clients get the loan and continue to provide the service they need after the loan is finished? Does this person have a good reputation with their previous clients? Asking these questions will help put you on the right track to a successful banking relationship.
If you’re working with a banker who doesn’t have experience with your industry, they might not know about the software you need or the unique ways you can finance an equipment purchase or finance an acquisition.
When choosing a banker, look for someone you can build a relationship with, who you can work with throughout the life of your loan, and a bank that is nimble and flexible when it comes to working with your business. ●
INSIGHTS Banking & Finance is brought to you by First Federal Lakewood.