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Closing Shop 101: An Introduction to the “Exit Strategy”

by Kimberly on May 25, 2010 · 4 comments

It’s inevitable. You’re a therapist with your own buzzing private practice. You built it from the ground-up, taken one simple idea and created a fulfilling career out of it. You have a caseload of loyal clients, beautiful marketing materials, and a schedule that’s perfect for you.

But then something changes. You get a job out-of-town. A parent gets sick and you need to take care of him/her. You get pregnant and need time off. A major change happens in your life and all of sudden you need to close shop.

What do you do?

The Exit Strategy

This is something I have recently faced. I currently have a part-time private practice in northern Colorado. In April, my husband got a new job that will, in the next month, take us to Warrensburg, Missouri. It’s a great move for us: we’ll be closer to family, I’ll get to go back to school for my doctorate, he gets a promotion. But all of a sudden, I’m faced with needing to figure out what to do with my private practice.

I needed an Exit Strategy.

An exit strategy basically outlines how you plan to close down your small business (or in this case, your private practice). Whether you’re ready now or not, every business owner should consider the inevitable and be aware of their exit strategy choices.

The Newest Music Therapy Maven Series: Closing Shop 101

The good news is that you do have options. Over the next month or so, we’ll discuss common exit strategies for therapists in private practice: selling (or acquisition), liquidation (closing shop), and “piece-mealing.” There are also some special considerations as therapists who need to help our clients through the transition–we’ll cover some of those in the final week.

Finally, not all exit strategies are for permanent situations. What happens if you get pregnant and need to take a couple months off for maternity leave? Or if a family member gets sick and you need to time off to care for him or her? We’ll also spend a week or two covering some short-term “exit strategy” options.

As with most things shared on this blog, the information is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the advice from your attorney and your accountant, both of whom you should consult when deciding your best option.

However, my intent is that this series will at least inform you of your different options, so that you have an idea of what to expect.

If you have any specific questions you’d like to see covered in this series, please leave a comment in the field below or contact me directly.

NEXT WEEK: First up–How to Sell your Practice


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Alex Bettencourt May 25, 2010 at 11:44 am

I have been involved with Exit Planning for the past 25 years now, and I’m always surprised on how some people handle their Exit Strategies gracefully and logically, and some just don’t. It looks like you had yours under control.

If you have a business, you need to have an Exit Plan. It’s inevitable.

If you want to Grow your business while Planning an exit, contact me at ABettencourt (at) ExitPlanPros (dot) com or visit our blog: for more info
.-= Alex Bettencourt ´s last blog ..Selling a Business – Do I Need an Audit? =-.

Kimberly May 26, 2010 at 9:05 am

Thank you, Alex! It’s amazing how much of an “art” it is to handle a transition like this. Appreciate you sharing your site as a resource! ~Kimberly

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