April 20, 2021

Start Planning Your Exit Now! With Eric Miller Of Econologics

PTO 142 Eric Miller | Planning Your Exit

 

Exit planning can never begin too early ("begin with the end in mind," right?). In this episode, Nathan Shields sits down with Eric Miller of Econologics Financial Advisors to discuss some of the minor things you can do to plan for your eventual exit. What are the biggest questions you need to ask yourself? When should you start planning? How should you organize your business financials? It's going to happen sometime, so it's best to take the time to do it now, and especially when things are going well, instead of waiting for the time when you HAVE to make an exit. 

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Listen to the podcast here:

Start Planning Your Exit Now! With Eric Miller Of Econologics

In this episode, we've got a special event because I'm doing a dual episode. I'm recording for the podcast and also doing a Facebook Live event with Eric Miller of Econologics. Eric, thanks for being on this first groundbreaking episode with me. 

It’s my pleasure. I'm feeling like almost a star, but not quite. 

You're a big deal. It’s awesome to have you. For our audience, we're doing these Facebook Live events with Eric Miller. We have these planned out for once a month over the next few months on different topics related to PT ownership. I've got Facebook Live events with Will Humphreys planned. Those might or might not go out on the show. Some things are showing up on the show, a lot of stuff is showing up on the Facebook group page. Check it out, Physical Therapy Owners Club. Eric, the reason we wanted to get together is to focus on what people are asking, and that is some support in exit planning. Where do you want to start the conversation?  

At some point, everybody is going to exit out of their practice. Click To Tweet

Exit planning is a big deal. At some point, everybody is going to exit out of their practice. Whether you're starting in your ownership journey, you're mid-career or you’re 3 to 5 years away, it is something that you have to confront. It's something that you have to deal with. It's better to have a plan of exactly how you're going to exit out. Know that before because then you can build your business to how and what the exit is going to look like. It's not something that you do when you got a year left. It's something that you should start doing right away, even if you're just starting your practice ownership journey. 

I had a call from a friend. He was calling because he had been approached by some previous physical therapists who worked for him who were interested in buying his practice. A few weeks later, he got an email, a postcard or something about someone else who's also looking to purchase PT practices. He's like, “What do I do? How do I handle this stuff?” I'm like, “You've got to sit down and consider what your ideal scene is.” It'd be nice if he had that, not necessarily how the exit was going to happen, but what his ideal scene was. What does an exit look like? What are some of the things that he wants? Does he have the next thing to go to? Does he want to work his way part-time out of it or does he want to have any management responsibility at all? Some of these things that don't take a lot of mental effort need to be considered when you're talking about exiting. 

The two biggest questions you got to ask yourself, number one, am I emotionally ready to exit out of my practice? That's a key question because you do not want to exit out when you are in that burnout phase. If you're feeling that whole concept of burnout, if you're feeling overwhelmed, that is the absolute last time that you want to think about exiting out your practice. 

Why is that? Go into that a little bit. 

If you're burnt out, that's usually a condition where you're not getting a full exchange from the practice. You're putting all this work and effort into it and you're not getting the compensation back that you should, whether it's money, time or whatever it is. That's probably a function of something out in the business. It's not as profitable as it should be. It's not growing as it should be. Your staff isn't coordinated. If you're in that condition emotionally, then that's more than likely going to show up in the numbers. That's going to bring down the value of the business.  

I have many stories of people that have come to me and said, “I'm done, Eric. I'm burnt out. I got an offer that seems reasonable to me. I'm going to take it.” I try with all my might to say, “Don't sell right now when you're in that kind of state.” It's always the wrong thing to do. Never make a financial decision when you're in exasperation, worry, anxiety or fear. Never make a major financial decision when you're in that condition. What ends up happening is you correct the problems and you get back, “I'm in love with my practice again or maybe I wasn't.” That's the time to sell when you feel like you're going out on top because more than likely, the value or the money that you're getting is going to be like, “This is why I do it,” then that's going to reflect when you sell the practice.  

PTO 142 Eric Miller | Planning Your Exit
Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine

I've got two PT owners that contrast each other. One, I started working some time ago, he was at that stage. He's like, “I'm burned out. I'm done. I don't know why I want to do this. Maybe I should just sell out.” After working with him, he's at a point where he's now working twenty hours a week. He's got ways to work even less treating patients. He's like, “I'm sitting here in my back office and I can hear what's going on out there. They're solving problems on their own. Things are getting handled.” Isn't that such a great feeling to see that transition and where he's at? It's so exciting and fulfilling. 

That's the nirvana that everybody's looking for as an owner. 

I've got another client who I started working with. During our coaching, he had ramped up his business even through COVID. 2020 was the best year he'd ever had with numbers he'd never seen before. Someone approached him about selling out. I was hesitant and I said, “Are you sure this is what you want to do? Does it fall in line with your purpose? Does it fulfill your ideal scene? What are you going to do after the sale?” Sure enough, he had this amazingly producing clinic and it checked all the other boxes. He's like, “When I sell, it not only gives me this money, but it allows me to fulfill this other dream that I have. I can pursue that full-time. I can see that being equally, if not more, financially viable than my PT practice.” Everything fell in place. That was such a cool scenario to see go through because he had a high-revving practice and it was performing well. He got to a point where it was doing well and he saw that aligning with someone else who was going to buy it was going to even take it to the next level. That allowed him to then move on. 

That goes to the second question because number one is your emotional readiness, and then your financial readiness. You have to look at it as your practice is always going to be worth more to you to keep it than actually sell it, especially if it's a fairly profitable practice. The amount of cashflow that you're going to get from the practice, that's always going to be more. You have to ask yourself, “The value that I'm going to get from the practice combined with what I currently have in outside investments, is that going to get me the number that I need to live the life that I want to live and let me do the things that I want to do?” 

No one should be relying on the sale of the practice for their "retirement." While you do own it, you got to make sure that you're utilizing the business to create other income sources as well. There is a number. Everyone has a number. What's your number? "If I got this much compared to what I currently have in savings, that's enough for me to create an income source from there that I can live the life that I want to live." Make sure that it's the life that you want to live, not some scarce amount that barely gets you by. To start with, those are just the two main questions before you start thinking about an exit. Are you emotionally ready to do it? Are you financially ready to exit out? 

Never make a financial decision when you're in exasperation, worry, anxiety, or fear. Click To Tweet

When you think about that number, you being a financial adviser, you know the industry. That's where financial advisors will say, “What's your number?” It's this number and then multiply the rate of return that you could get on it because of the stock market. Do you use that or do you go off with something else?  

I got a simple equation on how to do this. It’s probably too simple. First off, you got to start with how much income do you need? What would be the desired income amount that you need to have? Let's say it's $25,000 a month, “I want to have $25,000 a month.” That's $300,000 a year. How much am I going to need in total assets earning a 5% rate of return because maybe we can find places that can get that? I'm sure we can. How much am I going to need in total assets at a 5% rate of return to give me $300,000 a year? The number is simple. It's $6 million. $6 million at 5% is $300,000 if you don't want to touch the principal, which most people don't. That's a simple equation.  

I need to create a scenario where my outside investments, my practice value, and my real estate is close to that $6 million mark so that I can convert that all to an income stream at 5% of $300,000 a year. It's that simple. It gives you a target to shoot for. The worst thing you want to do is underestimate that. Whatever your income number is, that's what it is. You then build from there, and it does give you a pretty good target to shoot for. It's not easy, but it can be done.  

I don't know which direction you wanted to go next. I was thinking some people don't know what EBITDA is or how to value their practice. Is there something more important that you'd rather talk about, or do you want to talk about EBITDA? 

We can go into exit options. I will say this though. Your earnings do matter a lot. The difference between one that's well managed and has a 20% profit margin, and one that is not well managed and only has a 10% profit margin. The value between those two companies is probably about $500,000 or $600,000 difference because of the way that your earnings affect the sale. That's not the only thing a buyer would want to see. You've been through a sale, it's not the only thing that they want to see, but it does matter. You do have to make sure that you are profitable. You do have to make sure that there are earnings there that you can show so that someone that's going to buy it is like, “There's something here for me to buy, and I'm going to give you full value for it because there's this profit that I can see.” 

Is it safe to say that you're not going to be able to sell your company for what you want if your profit margin is in the single digits? 

PTO 142 Eric Miller | Planning Your Exit
Planning Your Exit: There are 2 million words of the tax code. Nobody's going to know everything. That's where having a good tax team, tax strategist, tax attorney, CPA is important, especially when you're doing an exit.

 

Yeah. Your home life is not going to be fun because there's no profit there for you to channel to the house. You're spending all this time on a risky asset, and the return isn't what it should be. The value that you're going to get for it is going to be low. We talk a lot about that, and the way to handle that is you have to incorporate your profits and treat them as expenses. Build them into however you do your financial planning for your business. How much does this practice need to make a month? I have to incorporate my profits to myself, however much that is, 10%, 15% or 20%. You got to build them in as expenses and treat them like bills. When you do that, it does put that extra demand on the business to make it make more to cover these expenses. That's the trick. If you can do that consistently, you're going to have a practice that has some value not only to you but when you sell it, it's going to have value to whoever the new buyer is going to be. 

When I first heard this concept, it blew my mind. Unfortunately, I heard of that concept after I sold my practices. Thinking back, I’m like, “If I had set aside 10% of my gross revenues as an expense line for the previous fifteen years, my financial situation would be so much different.”  

You tell that to people and sometimes they almost go into grief because they're like, “I could have had so much money,” but it's never too late. The fundamental most successful financial action that any owner can do is to set that system up where that 10% owner compensation right off the top goes to your household for creating other income sources and no other reason. Not for boats, not for second homes, but to create other income streams. You then get into the financial planning aspect of, what do I do? Where does it go? How do you invest it? That's a secondary thing, but that does so much good for the value of your practice and your household. I can't emphasize that enough. 

One of my coaching clients read Profit First. If you want to read a book about it, Mike Michalowicz has the Profit First book. He walks you through the importance of it. Simply enough, we've already summarized the book. You can start with 1%. If 10% is too much, start with 1% and sit down weekly, “What did we collect last week,” and then on Monday, put that money aside into a separate account. Do that on a regular basis, and build it from 1% to 2% to 3%, until you get to 10%. What my client found was as he did this, even through the COVID times, he set aside 10% every week. At the end of the year, he was like, “I've got this little account of $40,000 all of a sudden that’s just sitting there.”  

You do have control over the outcome and the value of your business. Click To Tweet

It doesn't take much. The amount of money that everyone would have if they did that, if they put it in consistently and they didn't touch it is going to blow them away. You got to do it on a gradient because you don't want to overwhelm the organization with a big expense like that right away when it's not ready for it. You have to do it on a grading. Make it systematic and automatic so you're not thinking about it. Those are the two most important functions there. It does a lot of good for your balance sheet, for the profitability of your business, and for your household. It's amazing. 

If people are thinking, “I want to sell probably in the next 5 to 6 years. I will be emotionally prepared. That's plenty of time for me to fine-tune my stuff, get my revenues and my profit margin up.” Where would you direct them after that? 

You have to decide what your sale options are going to be because you do have choices. There are seven different exit options that you have. I know you're going to ask me to recite all of them, and I'm trying to remember all of them. 

If you can come up with the top few, that’s fine.  

If I come up with seven, that would be the deal. Number one, you could die with your boots on. You could be one of those guys that die with their boots on. That's an exit strategy. You could close the doors, which some people have done, unfortunately. That's an exit strategy. You could sell to a competitor. That would be an option as well. Someone locally that you could sell to. You could gift the practice if you have a child that maybe wants to take it over and you don't need the income that much. You can gift the practice to somebody else.  

You could sell to an associate. Do some kind of a management buy-in or a buyout of some kind. You could sell to corporate, which is pretty popular nowadays. You could sell to your employees through what's called an ESOP plan. Not many people do that because you need to have a lot of earnings and profit to do that. For most of you who are thinking about exiting, it's either going to be selling to a corporate or another PT, maybe a competitor, or some kind of internal buyout where maybe one of your associates buys you out in some way, shape or form. Those are the strategies that you got to look at. 

It's worth looking forward to what might be the ideal situation for you. We had proposals to purchase our practice 3 or 4 times before we actually did, and it always started conversations about, “Are we okay with managing a clinic for somebody else? Do we want to be an employee again? If we are employees, what are our job responsibilities and what are we okay with?” The reason why we turned down a couple of them was, they come to us with a 70/30 buyout. They pay us 70% of the purchase price, and then we retain 30% stock, but then we were expected to be clinic directors or even managers of multiple clinics as full-time jobs with a salary. We were expected to be employees in that regard. That didn't sit well with us. We didn't open up our clinics to be employees again. That made it easy for us when we actually did sell to say, “This is what we want to see. We don't want to be treating patients anymore. We will stick around for some transition but you're going to pay us so much upfront. This much in stock is what we're willing. There aren't any earnouts. It's cut and dry.” 

PTO 142 Eric Miller | Planning Your Exit
Planning Your Exit: There are little things that you can do every day to put more order into the business to increase the value.

 

Earnouts are bad. I would recommend not doing earnouts. 

Talk to us about that a little bit.  

When you make a decision, you're basing on a formula that you don't have much control over anymore because once someone buys more than 51% of your company, they make the rules at that point in time. They can adjust what they look at profitability as. You don't have much control or say over. You'd have to have iron-clad legal agreements prior to that of how they will calculate that before I would do any kind of earnout like that. At the same time, you don't know what the environment is going to be like. 

What if another pandemic comes through? 

Exactly. You're basing it on some kind of a prediction that we're going to stay exactly where we're at. Some may but look, no one saw this coming. People who were based on earnouts are probably like, “I'm going to go back and renegotiate that.” If you're done, just be done. The way that you did it is trying to get as much as you can upfront. If you do have to leave 10%, if you do have to stay on for maybe a year, then that's fine. That's why it's so important to have your next game. I would try to get as much as I can upfront because again, you don't have any control over that corporate group. Maybe they're awesome. Maybe you will get this huge multiple down the line like they all promise that you're going to get. I just haven't seen it manifest where it's four times what it actually was. I’m not saying that it can't happen. I'm just saying that would be money where I would be like, “I don't need it. I'm going to roll the dice. I believe in the industry, so I'm going to reinvest this portion back into this PT stock, but I don't need it. I'm not depending upon it.  

I'm glad you said that because my friend who called me said that someone's proposal wasn't necessarily a letter of interest, but he talked about earnouts. I don't get a good feeling about earnouts.  

Your intuition is right. I'm sure there are examples where it's worked for people. I just haven't seen it be successful just because you're not as motivated when you decide to sell to work for somebody else. Now, you have to. I don't think the outcome is going to be as profitable for you. 

What can you tell owners about maybe carrying the note on a practice? 

Them selling to someone else? 

Some associates. 

You have to be open to that. It can be a good thing for a number of reasons. Number one is the tax situation. When you do seller financing, it's an installment sale. It's over a period of time. Whether it's 5, 7 or 10 years. The nice thing is you can structure it any way that you want to. That would certainly minimize the capital gain tax that you have to pay because you’re not paid in the year in which you got receipt of whatever part of the sale was. It can be good from a capital gains point of view or from a tax standpoint.  

Also, if you're going to do the seller financing, if you're willing to carry the note, you can charge an interest rate more than what a bank would because you're not Bank of Nathan. You’re not Bank of America. You can charge that 6.5%, 7% or 7.5% by carrying the note. Is it more than what that person would be able to get if they were able to get a banknote? Probably, but there's a lot that goes into getting funding and getting financing. If you're trying to make a deal quickly, maybe it's worth it to be able to protect the cashflow and not have this huge note on your back. 

Thinking about possible associates that might not have significant backing to come to the table with. 

Exactly, because most of them aren't going to have $700,000, $2.5 million or whatever amount you would need to buy the practice sitting in a bank account unless they got a rich uncle that they can borrow from. Most of them aren’t so you're going to have to be open to the concept of seller financing if you want to get a deal done. Make sure that you mentor them. It can work. I've seen it work where you got to mentor the new owners. They're going to go through their own trials and tribulations but if you can train them up, give them a hat that they have to wear, and show them how to run the business, then the risk on you should be pretty low of carrying the note if you've done all the right things. 

Especially for those guys who have established a clinic that's been around for 10, 15 or 20 years, and it's on automatic where an associate with fresh blood could come in and say, “There are some things that we could freshen up. We could bring things a little bit more up to speed. We could do some more innovative things with marketing.” It's primed for them to even push it further than you might have the energy yourself. 

Now, you have it as an income source for the next 10 years, 7 years or whatever it is, and you're making 6% or 7% of your money. It's not easy making 6% or 7% on investments now. If someone can figure that out, please show me. It's not like the old days where you could stick 5% in the money market and get 5%. You can't do that anymore. It’s almost zero on yields on bank accounts now. They are penalizing savers.  

If someone's looking at a potential sale or maybe they're going through it as they're reading this, what do they need to do to minimize the capital gains tax? Is there much they need to consider? 

Most people, when they start their business, there's a certain amount of capital that you put in. They call that your basis. If you bought a stock for a certain dollar amount, whatever you purchase this for is your basis. If I'm going to sell my practice, what is my capital gains tax going to be? If I have a $50,000 basis and I sell my practice for $2.5 million, I'm going to have to pay capital gains tax of $2.4 million or $2.5 million. Depending on what state you're in, especially if you're in California, New Jersey, New York, or some of these high state taxes, it's not 20%. It's probably going to be 28%, 31%, 33%. It's a big chunk of money.  

The value is based upon a multiple of your earnings.  Click To Tweet

There are some techniques that you can utilize to minimize capital gain or defer the capital gain. I'm not going to kill you with technical terms but one of them is what's called a Monetized Installment Sale, which is a legitimate method that you can use to transfer the gain of the tax 30 years down the line. You get to invest more of the proceeds. You get more of the proceeds upfront. You still owe the tax but you don't own it for 30 years. You get the benefit of having more money upfront to invest knowing that you pushed your tax bill off 30 years down the line. That's a strategy that we've done with several practices that have sold. If someone tells you there's nothing you can do about your capital gains tax, keep asking questions because there's always something that you can do to minimize that liability. 

Where would you recommend people go besides the guru that is Eric Miller? I went through my sale and I asked my CPA. I said, “What can we do to avoid this?” He's like, “This is what you get.” I found out after talking to you guys that I could have done something.  

You have to be on things like this and find resources where you can ask someone like me. We align ourselves with tax strategists that find these loopholes. They find these strategies in the tax code that you can utilize. They're all legal. They're all designed for tax avoidance, not tax evasion. The mindset that I have is that I'm trying to avoid paying tax. I'm not trying to evade them. I’m not trying to do anything illegal. I don't want to have to maximum fund the IRS. You have to talk with a number of tax strategists. You can start calling me but you can certainly find them somewhere. 

I like the mindset. I read a book once. I don't remember who it was from, unfortunately. He said, “The IRS tells you how to not pay those taxes or how to kick it down the road.” They tell you that you have to know the IRS code well enough on how to do it. 

People rely too much on their accountants to know that. It’s not that accountants are incompetent. They're there to make sure your taxes are filed on time and they're done right. They're not necessarily looking for multiple strategies to save you on taxes. That isn't their mindset. There are two million words on the tax code. Nobody's going to know everything. That's where having a good tax team, tax strategist, tax attorney and CPA is important, especially when you're doing an exit. 

What do you tell the owner that's sitting there, no matter what situation they're in? I'm emotionally prepared. I've got this running well. I'm setting aside 10% in revenues or maybe I've got a good stash or I got a good profit margin already. Things are going well. I'm not sure exactly how I'm going to exit. I'll probably sell to a corporate entity. What do you recommend they start doing? What are some of the actionable steps they can start working on to improve things?  

You can always improve your personnel readiness. A buyer is buying a business and that's made up of people. They want to see that you have personnel who are working together and coordinated, that there are some systems, that people can get trained, and the tenure and culture of the staff are good. I did have a client that lost a sale because a corporate came in there and found out that there was some toxicity in the workplace and they're like, “We're done. We don't want anything to do with it.” It does make a difference. Working on your team building and the culture of your organization is key. Your online presence is important, making sure that you are involved in the community, making sure that you are looked at as a beacon of help in the community. That's key. Someone is going to want to buy that. That's good PR.  

That's good to know. That didn't weigh much on us back in 2018. Nowadays, it's significantly different. Social media strategy is important. They want to see that.  

You're going to need to have that as part of your marketing. Your income sources. Making sure that you have good contracts and your profit margins are high. Maybe you have additional services that are easy to deliver and you're creating a demand for them. That's important to have. Your corporate documents and all your corporate records, if you haven’t done that. Everyone is like, “What does that mean?” 

“What do you mean by corporate documents?”  

"You guys are all corporations and you’re actual businesses." Having those up to date, I would recommend especially if you have partners, have your operating agreements up to date so before the sale, no one is coming back and saying, “It says right here that I don't have to allow this sale.” I would make sure I get all my corporate documents up to date and current. All my legal stuff is up to date and I'm compliant. Maybe have someone audit your contracts and audit what you're doing. These are all the things that buyers are going to look at. You've been through the process. They go through it with a fine-tooth comb. These are all things you can be proactive at before the sale. It makes the process smoother and easier. 

The thing that holds up the sale outside of lawyers is the request for documents. Most owners out there, I would assume, don't have all of their insurance contracts on file. That can be hard to get from an insurance company. They're not anxious to give you the contracts that you have between businesses. Getting those on file takes time. All the agreements that you have with individual employees, they want all those. They want all your LLC documents. They want to know that you’re a business in good standing with a certificate from the state. They want all of the licenses. They want to know about every single audit that might have happened or questionable events that might have come across the state board. Anything that you might think, “I can get that anytime I want.” Have it on file. Get organized.  

We spent hours sitting with the accountants of the buyer going over month-to-month financial reports. It’s like, “What happened here? What happened there?” We had to bring our bookkeeper on the conference call and share, “Why did you itemize it this way and in that way?” Not only did we look at the financial reports for hours, but we also talked about the payer mix. How many are you seeing from Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield and workers comp? They want to know all of that breakdown. It's amazing when you're dealing with corporate entities like that. 

All those things, you can get in order. You should have your profit and loss statements readily at hand. You should be able to print those off fairly quickly. You should know how to read a balance sheet. You don't have to be an expert at it but at least understand what it represents. All those documents should be kept up to date and current and in good standing. To your point, you got to get in the mind of a buyer. This is what they're going to ask. If you can show that there's a lot of order and there's no chaos, it's going to make the process go smoother and the value would be higher.  

You can increase that multiple if it's based on multiple EBITDA. If you can hand over the book with a leadership team to run it for you, that's huge. People pay more for that. 

That's the difference between getting 3 to 4 multiple and getting more like a 6 to 8 multiple. 

They want to know that you have systems and procedures in place written out. They want to see them. They want to see your compliance documents in place for OSHA, HIPAA and Medicare. They want to see that you've done the training and when. They want to see all of that stuff. It’s not a joke. 

Your lease agreements too. If you're leasing your buildings, they're going to want to see those. Make sure you have favorable lease agreements. Most of these big corporates don't buy the buildings. They buy the practice. If you do have the opportunity to own your building, definitely own the building, especially if it's a nice building that you can grow into. The lease agreements that they sign are usually pretty good. They're usually ten years, maybe fifteen-year leases that they'll sign with 2% to 3% increases and triple net leases. They're good investment opportunities too. If you can own your building, definitely do it.  

Depending on the size of your practice, that might be a greater windfall than the practice itself. 

In some cases, it is. Especially when you look at how much rent and income that you're going to get from this thing. It becomes a good investment after that because the cap rates on them end up being 8.5%, 9%. It's like, “Where else am I going to get that return out of my money?” It's not a bad investment. 

Anything else you want to share with us as we're talking about exit planning?  

The big thing is that you do have control over the outcome and the value of your business. There are little things that you can do every day to put more order into the business to increase the value. It doesn't take much to get your earnings number up. Remember, the value is based upon a multiple of your earnings.  

When you say earnings, do you mean net profit? 

Yes. Every $10,000 of additional earnings is not worth $10,000 of profit to you. On a seven multiple, it's worth $70,000 of increased value of your business. Do you see what I mean? If you can increase your earnings by $100,000, add a seven multiple. That's a $700,000 increase to the value of your business that you've done. It doesn't take that long to do that. Anybody can do that by doing some of the simple things that we've said. I would pay attention to that. Look at your business as an investment and treat it as such. Leave it better than you found it. That's always a good saying to say. 

Not to make this a shameless plug but what benefit does a business coach have for people who are hoping to maximize the profits? 

There's no shame in that. I've had many clients that have not had business consultants and I've had many clients that have had business consultants. The difference between the two is night and day. A consultant or an advisor is there to put your attention on an area that maybe you're not looking at. When they put your attention on that area, you can look at it and say, “What do I need to do to fix this or get it better?” That's where the value of a good consultant is, as long as they're giving you the right areas to look at, the areas that are going to have the biggest impact on the value of your business, and to be able to increase revenues, decrease expenses, and all those things. That's the value of a business consultant because they provide that thing.  

The same thing with me as an advisor, my job is to put your attention on the financial aspect of that and what are the most important areas that are going to get you into personal financial freedom. It's invaluable to have a business consultant. It's an investment. If your practice is increasing and it's growing, it's because you're getting good advice and people are holding you accountable for that. Look at the numbers. It's an investment and it's not much. 

You have to be honest with yourself. If you have gone through all this training to become a physical therapist but somehow think that means you can be a good business owner, you're deceiving yourself. You got no training in owning your business. If you think that going out there and throwing up your shingle and providing great therapy is going to make a great business, I don't think you're going to achieve the goals that you want. 

We talked about the three roles that you have, your practitioner role, your owner role, and your executive role. Most PTs learn their practitioner role in the school. No one learned how to be an owner. That comes from knowing what your responsibilities are. How to be a good executive comes through training and finding other good executives and what they did. How did they manage their staff? What statistics did they use? What were their key performance indicators? All these things that that you can do as a good executive. The owner is there to make sure that the practice value is high, the culture of the organization is good, and that there's a purpose for the business and everybody knows what that purpose is. That's primarily what an owner is there to do.  

Thanks for sharing. I appreciate you taking the time. 

Anytime. We can roll on any topic that these guys want to talk about. 

I love talking about money. It's always cool to hook up with you. I appreciate your time again. If people wanted to contact the guru who is Eric Miller, how would they do that? 

No one learned how to be an owner. That comes from knowing what your responsibilities are. Click To Tweet

Go to WealthForPTs.com or you can go to our website, Econologics.com. We got plenty of material downloads and financial success guides that are built specifically for you as a physical therapist.  

Do you still have your financial status survey onboard? 

Yes, we still have an assessment that we have people take. You can go on there and you can get a snapshot of what your financial scene looks like. We don't ask any personal financial questions. It's yes, no or maybe. It's deadly accurate though as far as giving you an indicator of where you stand financially. It's like a credit score. If you're feeling frisky, you can go online and take that too. 

It delves into a lot of stuff, not just where your business is but what you have established at home and your wills and all that stuff. It covers the whole gamut. Thanks for taking the time. I appreciate it. 

It was fun. Let's do it again. 

We'll do.  

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About Eric Miller

PTO 142 Eric Miller | Planning Your ExitEric Miller has been in the financial planning industry for over 20 years. He’s a co-owner of Econologics Financial Advisors – awarded an Inc. 5000 honoree for 2019. As the Chief Financial Advisor for the firm, Eric has had the good fortune to have over 10,000 financial conversations with private practice owners in various healthcare industry and helped guide them into a more optimum financial condition using a proven system.

 

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