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Lifecycle of a health services practice

Explore the key opportunities at every stage

Stage 1: Post Grad
Year 1-3

What does the time horizon of starting a new practice look like?


Now is the time to think about managing cash flow: tuition credits, student debts, and how to plan ahead for savings vs. debt reduction—all while thinking about opening your own practice.

Consider associateships for the opportunity to gain experience in a practice and learn how to best manage all the moving parts. This means hands-on training for practical clinical skills, as well as training to be a business owner.

BDO can help

vet examining a dog

Stage 2: Purchasing
Year 4-7

As a new entrepreneur, what are your needs for debt and personal cash flow?


At this point, your cash flow projections include paying for your practice and maintaining your desired lifestyle. What type of structure is best to fit this lifestyle? Is it a clinic, hospital, research centre? And how do personal and professional investments like RRSPs, TFSAs, and RESPs come into play?

When applying for funding to purchase a practice, banks favour a balance between debt and savings—so prioritize saving wherever possible.

BDO can help

Stage 3: Growth
Year 7-20

During these critical years, what steps can you take to improve profitability?


The growth phase is a time to concentrate on the technical part of your practice: new equipment, setting up offices, and expanding your footprint.

Such activities are great opportunities to discuss government incentive strategies that might help combat restrictions like that of COVID-19.

Above all, now is the time to start planning for a future for you and your family. You don’t need to be in your retirement years to start planning for them.

BDO can help

mature optometrist

Stage 4: Maturity
Year 21+

How would current market conditions impact investments or selling the practice?


As a mature practice, now is the time to think about goals for retirement, how savings can be leveraged, and what the time horizon looks like. How can you plan for remuneration and succession, while managing wealth and investment mixes?

It’s also time to think about the future sale of your practice. Will a senior associate take over, or will it be sold into a conglomerate network? And how can you set up tax planning now for a future sale?

BDO can help

Stage 5: Retirement
Final years

After all your planning and hard work start to wind down, what’s next?


As you approach your final professional years, you can start reviewing formal plans to exit. Do things need to be adjusted as a result of a shorter runway? How predictable is income; and is it sufficient to maintain your desired lifestyle? Is the corporation in good hands?

Now is the time to consider the weight of expenses like health and travel. It’s also time to take care of housekeeping items like insurance, updating wills, and redistributing wealth.

BDO can help

How BDO can help

From recent graduate, to someone looking to retire—we explore the key opportunities at every stage of a health service practice’s lifecycle. As we build our professional relationship and your practice, we’re here to provide guidance so you achieve your goals every step of the way. As your business matures, priorities and markets may change. We’re here to pivot and evolve with you so your practice grows the way you want it to.

Find out how

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