What led you into the process of selling the practice?
I wasn’t actively looking to sell my practice when I first heard about the Atlas Group, but like any business owner I always looked at positioning the practice for sale to give me an exit strategy at some point in the future. I received some marketing information from John and was interested and thought it was worth a conversation just to see who he was and what the Atlas Group was and didn’t really think I’d end up selling but conversations continued and it became more obvious there was synergy between us and that he would give good support and a good legacy to the practice and the practitioners and the administrative staff and I felt comfortable continuing conversations and it ended up in us making an agreement.
Did you have any concerns on the way in?
The things I had to consider were how my staff would be looked after. Whether there would be opportunities for them, whether the patients would continue to be looked after in the same way as we always had, whether the quality of the treatments would persist. I think those are the things always uppermost in your mind because your practice is your baby, and you want everything to continue in a very similar way or at least improve rather than be in any way reduced or diminished by the sale. I think those are the things most people would worry about when considering this process.
What made you decide to sell to Atlas?
There were several factors that make me decide this was a good move both for me and for the practice. I think in terms of the practice continuation, one thing as a business owner that I was aware of is that I was always the one making all the decisions about the direction of the practice, creating service development and pathways. That is something that is a bit of a blocker to career development for other staff so it was nice to think that actually if I wasn’t there that would give an opportunity for others to develop further in their career towards management and practice management themselves if that was their interest, so that was a positive thought.
Also, as I’ve said, the confidence that the ethos of the practice would remain the same. Another thing I hadn’t considered was big but I think is now, is that the name of the practice stays the same, it’s not been changed and therefore the reputation that we’ve built locally persists and that is a legacy that hopefully will continue for Cranfold.
How did completing the sale feel on day 1, compare with a year on?
When the sale first completed last year, there was a mixture of excitement, personal satisfaction that I’d actually achieved something from the business having worked in it for 23 years because you’re never sure if you actually will achieve a business sale and that’s a very validating feeling. Also, a little bit of apprehension around how staff would take the news, whether it would unsettle people and whether they would be worried for their future. I think over the year, working together, it’s been managed well, and I think people now feel comfortable. I certainly feel that the practice is in good hands. Staff have evolved in their roles and they’ve taken the opportunities to learn more of the systems and more of the implementation and I think Cranfold is in very good hands and I’m happy with the way it has grown and become more independent.
I’m happy it will continue to thrive even when I’m not there.