Email Etiquette

At some point, you will have to use your email to communicate both internally and externally. When writing an email, always consider your audience and your intended purpose. Adjust your writing to the situation and who is going to be reading your email. Emails sent to work colleagues should be more formal than emails sent to family and close friends. When you are communicating via email, it’s important to make sure that your message is clear and concise. Here are the top ten tips when it comes to sending and replying to emails.

  • Use the subject line. Your subject line must match the email. Let the receiver know what to expect. The average person receives 121 emails per day. An email with a relevant, specific subject is easier and more likely to be read.
  • Proofread. Use uppercase and lowercase letters accordingly and check your spelling and punctuation. Using all uppercase letters may seem like you are shouting, which is considered rude. If you need to, use the asterisk or exclamation point to emphasize keywords. The emails you send are a reflection of you, so always read over your emails before sending them.
  • Not all email addresses include someone’s name and their company, so it’s important to include a signature. Leave your first and last name and the company you are with.
  • Do not automatically assume that the person who is reading your email knows who you are, so briefly introduce yourself. “Hi, my name is (First and Last name) and I’m with so and so company.” If need be, include contact information, such as a callback telephone number.
  • Respond in a timely manner. Depending on the nature of the email, try to respond within 24 – 48 hours. If you are going to be out of the office, utilize the auto-reply
  • Avoid sending one line emails. “Great.”; “Thanks.”; “Okay.” This can irritate the receiver, and will most likely result in your email being immediately deleted. These do not advance the conversation in any way and it also may not be an acceptable reply for some.
  • Keep it clean. Sending emoticons in a professional business email can come off as unprofessional. Also, avoid using slang and shortcuts/abbreviations.
  • Try to limit the amount of attachments to a maximum of two per email, and give a warning when you’re sending large attachments. Sending unannounced large attachments can fill up the receiver’s inbox. Ask “Would you mind if I sent you this attachment?”
  • Beware of the “reply all” feature. Do not hit “reply all” unless every single person on the thread needs to know.
  • Do not send emails when angry or upset. Ask yourself why you are sending the email in the first place. If it’s not an urgent matter, wait. Emotions are usually short-lived. If you wait it out, your anger will start to go away and you can rewrite the email in a calmer state.

Another thing to remember is that emails are not private. Some things are better discussed in person rather than digitally. If you really need to speak with someone about an urgent matter, see them in person, if possible.

Maintaining a professional image involves proper correspondence – your email behavior has the potential to damage your professional reputation. Following proper email, etiquette is essential in order to prevent miscommunication.

 

Written by Dami Falade

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Selling Your Medical Practice: Seven Things to Consider

When considering selling your medical practice, take some time to prepare. You want the sale of your medical practice to be appealing to the buyer(s). Follow these suggestions to maximize the selling price of your practice.

Practice values are typically comprised of three categories:

1. Tangible assets: Real estate, office equipment, and furniture
2. Accounts receivable: All revenue owed to the practice at the time of the sale
3. Goodwill: Practice reputation, trained staff, established patient base, revenue potential

Here are some things to consider to maximize the value of your practice.

Patient Retention is Key

Be willing to stay on for 6-24 months after closing to minimize attrition (loss of patient base). This will work to your advantage if you are working toward an earn-out. Remember, the higher the risk on the acquisition, the lower the value. Minimize risk by sticking around during the transition and helping the patient feel comfortable with the changes while providing continuity of care.

Know Your Timing

The best time to sell is when your practice is doing its best; not when it’s underperforming and you’re tired of trying to keep it afloat. Recognize the difference between actual value and potential value. Just because your practice may have the potential to tap into new markets and increase revenue doesn’t mean the buyer is going to pay you the associated value.

Financials are important

If you’re not already, then familiarize yourself with the financials of your practice. Normalize your financial reports. If you’re a full-time physician who has been paying yourself $50k/year; realize when the buyer reviews payroll expenses, they will adjust that cost in their analysis to reflect a compensation of fair market value, which will lower your net income.

Understand the True Value

Many valuations are based on a multiple of EBITDA (Earnings Before Interests, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization). That means for every dollar you spend at the practice, it will cost you the equivalent of that dollar times the multiple used to help determine the purchase price. Every time you spend a dollar, ask yourself if your return on that dollar will produce enough of a benefit by the time you’re ready to sell. If not, try to go without if possible

Improve Profits

It’s necessary to minimize costs. Consider reducing payroll expenses. Start with eliminating or, at least, decreasing overtime earned by employees. Decrease material costs. Think about carrying fewer supplies on hand and then order more frequently. It’s likely that the potential buyer will review several years of performance to determine value, but the trailing twelve months (TTM) will be the most important. Think “lean” and think “efficient.” Make sure you’ve done everything you can to make the last twelve months as profitable as possible. Just as important as minimizing costs, is maximizing revenues. Be sure your providers are documenting everything that they do. Then, make sure you appropriately bill for everything documented. You don’t want to miss out on reimbursement for services provided.

Current Contracts

Understand your current contracts and whether they are assignable or not. This is of utmost importance and may impact the value of your practice. Don’t forget about the leases on buildings you currently occupy. The buyer cannot operate the business without the proper right to occupy the space. Transactions can be delayed by landlord negotiations. To mitigate the likelihood that a lease assignment may impact the timing of your transaction, you should begin discussing the transition with your landlord as early in the process as possible.

Expect Change After the Sale

Expect some things to change after the sale is complete. Recognize you’re no longer in charge and be ok with this. Change is almost always difficult, but just because it’s difficult, does not mean that it is a bad thing. Understand the new owner is going to do everything possible to increase revenue and profitability. This usually means doing some things differently. But remember, these changes often lead to better opportunities for you and the staff.

Selling your practice takes some time to prepare if you want to maximize its value. Don’t wait until you’re ready to sell to begin the preparations. If you have additional questions about selling your practice, feel free to reach out to me through this form. I’m happy to walk you through a preliminary valuation of your practice and answer any questions you may have.

DarrenCoeProfileDarren Coe is the Vice President of Business Development – Mergers and Acquisitions for Nova Medical Centers.

With more than 16 years of experience in the healthcare industry, Mr. Coe oversees and manages the growth and development related to mergers and acquisitions; including market analysis, due diligence management, valuation analysis, M&A financial forecasts, and negotiations of contract terms and pricing.

Prior to joining Nova Medical in 2014, Mr. Coe served in numerous leadership positions in operations and business development at Work Care Occupational Health, Cogent Health, and WorkingRx. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and his MBA from the University of Utah.