Interview with Dr. Lisa Jenks – Episode 326

In today's episode, Dr. Lisa Jenks returns to the podcast to describe what she did to prepare to sell her MedSpa, a major milestone in her entrepreneurial journey.

Dr. Jenks' initial interviews with John, in 2018 and 2020, delved into the founding and growing of her MedSpa business. This episode unveils the third major milestone in the life cycle of her business.

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Physician Entrepreneurs: Building a Business Beyond Clinical Practice

In this interview, Dr. Lisa Jenks shares her inspiring journey from emergency medicine to founding and selling a successful MedSpa business. Dr. Jenks recounts the challenges of entrepreneurship, emphasizing the importance of meticulous financial management, maintaining tight operations, and the necessity of good business practices.

She also highlights the rewarding aspects, such as creating a valuable asset, contributing to the growing field of med spas, and achieving a seamless transition into retirement.

Prepare to Sell Your Healthcare Business: Insights from Dr. Lisa Jenks

Dr. Lisa Jenks describes crucial insights you must understand as you prepare to sell any business.

  1. Financial Management:
    Dr. Jenks places a high premium on meticulous financial management as a cornerstone of successfully selling a healthcare business. She stresses the importance of impeccable financial records, guided by a skilled financial advisor. A robust financial foundation, including well-documented operational systems and inventory management, enhances the perceived value of the business and streamlines the selling process.
  2. Flawless Business Practices:
    To maintain a tight ship throughout the life of the business, she encourages constant vigilance. She highlights the subtle yet persistent rise of expenses if not kept in check. Lisa reminds us that potential buyers are keenly observant of how a business is run. This emphasis ensures that the business's value is in its profitability, bolstered by streamlined and efficient operations.
  3. Unforeseen Time Commitment:
    Dr. Jenks candidly shares her experience regarding the time commitment inherent in the sales process. She points out that the process is more protracted and paperwork-intensive than many entrepreneurs anticipate. From the initial discussions with potential buyers to the finalization of contracts, the timeline can extend over many months. Dr. Jenks notes that having a realistic expectation of this time commitment is crucial. Moreover, she highlights the need for patience as negotiations unfold.


Dr. Lisa Jenks can be reached via email at, and her work number is 719-579-6890. Additionally, you can explore more about Genesis MedSpa on their website: Feel free to connect for her insights into the world of MedSpa ownership and how to prepare to sell your business.

NOTE: Look below for a transcript of today's episode. 

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Transcription PNC Podcast Episode 326

How to Prepare to Sell Your Growing Healthcare Business - Interview with Dr. Lisa Jenks

John: I've always been fascinated by physicians who left clinical practice to build a business of their own. And while it can entail some long hours and usually a sizable investment of cash to get any sort of major business going, I think to be able to control your own business and to create a valuable asset is definitely something to think about. That's why I'm so pleased to be able to welcome Dr. Lisa Jenks back to the podcast today. Hi Lisa.

Dr. Lisa Jenks: Hi, John. Thanks for having me back. I've been looking forward to this.

John: I'm just in the middle of so many weird things that are similar to this. My wife owns a business that she's in the process of selling and this whole concept of physicians building some business that's related to healthcare, related to medical care where you have the expertise. And then at what point does it become an idea that, "Oh, I'm going to sell that because it is a valuable asset?" Just remind us about your transition from emergency medicine to starting the med spa, all those years back. I think that was more than 15 years ago, wasn't it?

Dr. Lisa Jenks: It was. Yes, I started life as an emergency room physician, which I loved. But when baby three came along several decades ago, I threw in the towel. It was just unsustainable. I stayed home for a few years and then opened Genesis in 2007 and sold it in June of this year.

John: Wow. That is a very long story scrunched down into one sentence. But it's fantastic. Time flies and before you know it, we've got to make decisions like that. If I remember correctly, and I'll encourage the listeners to go back to our previous two episodes. I think one was in 2018 and one in 2020. They can get a lot more detail about the startup and the management of it. But give us a little taste of what you envisioned at the beginning and did you think about selling at the beginning when you opened it?

Dr. Lisa Jenks: John, I am embarrassed to tell you how naive I was when I opened my own business. I had no idea what it would entail, and I don't think at that point I was thinking about the end game. I was just thinking about what I could do within medicine, but with not within traditional medicine that would allow me to have a work-life balance and still feel like a doctor. And I decided to open a med spa and really didn't think through it very much.

About three or four years after I opened, another physician who was a pathologist started working very part-time for me. And another one or two years after that, she started buying into the business with the end goal being at that point that she would eventually take over. However, in 2020 for various reasons, she had me buy her shares back and she transitioned out of Genesis.

That was my original plan. And then in 2020 that proved not to come to fruition. And right about the time of 2020, certainly 2021, PE firms started acquiring med spas across the country. And it wasn't unusual for me to get two or three emails a month from a PE firm asking if I was willing to talk to them. And just about a year ago, 18 months ago, I started to think, "Okay, maybe I should talk to a couple of these guys." Because I knew that within the next three to five years I would like to sell, especially if the buyers would want me to stay on for two to three years. And so, then I started thinking more seriously about talking to these PE firms.

John: Nice. Well, when you talked about at the beginning, you had never thought about it. I think most of the people that I've talked to, physicians and non-physicians, when they're starting a new business, it's because they have this idea they want to do it. They want the freedom, although it does take a lot of work, running their own thing, and they never really think about that.

Now, if you talk to people like brokers, they'll tell you, "Well, from the day you start your business, you should think about how you're going to sell it." But very few people in my experience do that really. That's very common. Yeah, this is a very interesting story. Then it became apparent. Of course, you've been so involved in the med spa industry, I'm sure it all matured while you were doing this. And then there's meetings and all of a sudden you start hearing about, "Oh yeah, these private equity firms are buying people out, or people are selling, or maybe they're merging." I don't know. Were those kinds of things talked about in the meetings you would go to when you were with your cohorts who do the med spa business?

Dr. Lisa Jenks: Yes, they were, to some degree. Yes. But I think most of what really made me aware of how this was moving forward with PE firms across the country is, like I say, I just started getting a lot of emails and a lot of interest being shown towards Genesis.

John: Now, are there other entities from what you've learned since this all began, that have been looking at buying med spas or do maybe others? I guess I look at it like the urgent care business. That's how I can compare it. I know that in the old days, everyone just started their own little urgent care and somebody would put two or three together. And then lo and behold, about five or 10 years ago, now you're getting these mega groups where there's 20 and there's 50, and now there's a hundred of these things, and some are bought up by investors, but some are just bought up by larger networks that want to get bigger. Have you heard of other opportunities for those who are interested in maybe leaving or selling their med spa?

Dr. Lisa Jenks: Absolutely. I definitely know here in Colorado of multiple instances where, for example, there's a dermatologist who does aesthetic derm in Vail, and she recently bought a med spa, an existing med spa in Grand Junction. And I know that that has happened here in Colorado Springs in Denver, where a successful med spa owner buys another med spa either in the same area or the town over. But I think most of what's going on right now is PE acquisitions.

John: Tell me about that, when that first started and you said, "Okay, I think I'm going to talk to a couple of these just to learn what I can learn and figure out what's going on." What did you learn at that point that you didn't expect? Or were there things you thought, "Oh, I got to change things a little bit now because they're looking for X, Y, and Z that maybe I only have X and Z or something?"

Dr. Lisa Jenks: The thing that I learned is how long the process takes.

John: Okay.

Dr. Lisa Jenks: How much paperwork it involves and how important it is to have a good, good financial banker on your side who can help you go through your numbers. I have been really fortunate because I have worked with a phenomenal bookkeeper, accountant, and business advisor pretty much since I opened Genesis.

And to anyone who runs any business, and certainly once you start thinking about selling, having your financials just in absolute impeccable order is so, so important. And I feel very grateful that mine have been, and that made the process easier.

Keeping track of inventory and having a history of having done that, is so, so important. And having all of your operational systems written down is critically important too. So, those were the things that I was really proud and happy to realize that I had in good shape.

John: Now when this whole process started, and you were considering this, you had a pretty large team at that point already. Is that correct? From what I remember, you had all kinds of professionals working with you.

Dr. Lisa Jenks: Well, I have for the last, whatever, five years or so, had a staff of 17.

John: Okay.

Dr. Lisa Jenks: And then, as I say, just had a business advisor, outside bookkeeper and outside accountant working alongside of me ever since my inception.

John: Now, did you change anything once you really started getting serious about selling? Was there something you had to change or did you have plans that maybe you either accelerated or decelerate? Did that affect that process?

Dr. Lisa Jenks: One thing that I changed, on the advice of my business advisor, I increased the hours of my nurse injectors and decreased my hours a little bit. And the reason that I did that is I did not want new owners or potential buyers, potential owners, looking at my business and thinking that everything depended upon me being here. That I was the one bringing in all of the income. And because I've worked full time in the practice, I am responsible for a large amount of the income, but obviously new buyers know that I'm selling because I want to not be here in the near future. And so, having them able to look and see that other people are bringing in large amounts of the income is important. That was the one thing that I changed probably in 2020.

John: Okay. That makes sense. Yeah. This is kind of like the issue that comes up with trying to sell a medical practice, let's say a family physician or a pediatrician. They're generating all the income. So, what is the asset really worth? Without you committing to stay for the next 10 years it's not much you.

Dr. Lisa Jenks: Exactly.

John: Because you're going to have to hire your replacement or they're going to have to. Luckily the planning in businesses like you're doing, you can leverage yourself and to where you're supervising and other people are doing a lot of the face-to-face work. That definitely helps a lot.

Dr. Lisa Jenks: Yes, yes. And I'm sure you know that the way this works for businesses is they take your income minus things like taxes and interest and they multiply it by a certain multiple. And that varies from industry to industry is what that multiple typically is. And that's the rough idea of what you're selling price is.

To have a good financial banker that can help with this is really critical as well. For example, I give my staff, I've always given my staff a certain number of free services as part of their wages for working here. And we always subtract that from our income on our P&L. Because then to the IRS, it looks like I'm making less money, which is what I want to have happen in a perfectly legal way. But a good financial banker will then look at potential buyers and say, "You don't have to continue giving these free services. And if you had not, if you choose not to, then your potential income would be even more than the P&L is showing." So, having somebody to guide me through things like that was incredibly helpful.

John: Now, I know with some businesses that sell, a small businesses in particular, they'll use a broker, but it sounds like you didn't need to use a broker because you had enough of that expertise in your banker and your advisors and the other people you were working with.

Dr. Lisa Jenks: Well, that and these PE firms were searching me out. And I think if I had two years from now, been really, really ready to retire and nobody is contacting me, I would've had to have gone to a broker to try and put me in touch with interested buyers. It worked out very well. Yes, yes.

John: Good planning on your part.

Dr. Lisa Jenks: Thank you.

John: I think the planning is getting into a business that's very growing and popular. And luckily, definitely there were buyers out there looking to get what you had created. I was going to ask you what you would do differently at the beginning, but it sounds like you've covered everything in terms of how to prepare for the sale. Just good business practices, good policies and procedures, making sure everything's written down as far as how things are run. And once all your ducks are in a row.

Dr. Lisa Jenks: Another important thing, it's easy as a business owner to fall into a sense of complacency, especially if you're running in the black and if you feel like you're growing a little bit every year. But it's so important just to maintain a tight ship and it constantly astounds me how easy it is for expenses to just balloon a little bit and then balloon a little bit more. And it's nothing big, it's nothing extravagant. It's not that any of the staff are buying things that they shouldn't buy necessarily, but if you, as the business owner aren't really keeping track of all of that and aren't perhaps calling the phone company once a year to argue against the 20% increase that they're trying to give you, how the expenses can take over.

And so, I think just keeping those as low as possible at all times, which is tough when you're running a business and you want to provide your staff and your customers with the very best experience that you can, which takes money to do, but really, really trying to run a tight ship is so important.

John: You alluded to this earlier, but what was the whole process, the time of it? Did it take a year? Did it take two years, nine months? Where did you fall?

Dr. Lisa Jenks: August of 2022, they first approached me and they were a relatively small company. They seemed very personable. I had several phone conversations with them. They talked about their philosophy of maintaining the atmosphere. They buy successful med spas and they want to help them be more successful. They don't want to come in and change everything. And I really like that attitude. Then I sent them all of my financials, and we signed an agreement that I would not talk to other companies for, I think it was 90 days or 120 days while we went through the process. And probably December or so came up with a mutually agreeable price, but then it was not until June that all of the paperwork, all of the details got hammered out and it was June 9th that the actual sale occurred.

John: Well, the nice thing about selling to let's say private equity firm rather than let's say someone else that owns a little network or something, is they're going to have the process down pretty well from their previous purchases and they can pretty much demand it. This is what we'll do and this is what we need to see. If we can see this and we feel good about it, then we'll buy it. It's a little different when you're working with let's say someone else who owned two or three med spas and were doing things however they were doing it and never bought another one.

Dr. Lisa Jenks: Exactly. And this has been great for my staff. I was not able to offer health insurance to my staff, and this company is offering health insurance. Their benefits package is a little bit better as far as vacation and PTO and things like that. So, that's been nice to see.

John: Very nice. And it doesn't sound like... I would expect about a year on average for a relatively smooth just from the people I've spoken with.

Dr. Lisa Jenks: I think it went very well. And our plan is that I signed a contract to continue working about 25 hours a week for two years, and then we will reassess. And I'm working both as medical director and then also still seeing patients and doing what I love to do. But this has just worked out great. The money from the sale has allowed me to do some fun things like buy a cabin up in the mountains and spend more time with my grand babies. And yet I was not ready to completely stop working. So, this has just been a really, really nice way for me to ease into retirement.

John: Now, did you get a sense that if you were in let's say a lot bigger of a hurry to leave, did they seem to be flexible to do maybe a year or six months? Were they pushing for an extended period where you're there or was that pretty flexible?

Dr. Lisa Jenks: That's a great question and I'm not sure I know the answer to that because I think they were the ones that floated two years, and I was like, yeah, that sounds great. So we really didn't have any discussion or debate about that. I'm not sure what would've happened if I had said, "Sorry, you've only got me for six months." Or if I had said I want to be here five years, I don't know. They may not have wanted either one of those, or they may have been fine with either one of those. I don't know.

John: It sounds like the timing was just perfect though, because you were both looking at the same number in terms of "Oh yeah, this will work out." The only reason I ask is because for some people, it's like when you're in medicine and you get burnt out, you reach a point where you're done and you want to sell. And we think it takes a long time to get out of your practice when you've been in it for several years, but most people can get out in six months or less if they really push it. But you cannot get out of your own business in less than a year unless you have someone lined up ahead of time to buy it and they're going to want you to stay for a while. So, you just had everything worked out so great. You're just the prime example of how to sell your business.

Dr. Lisa Jenks: Well, thank you. It really did. I feel very, very blessed. And it did, the timing could not have been better.

John: I think this is just a great inspiration for physicians who have maybe thought about the idea, "Well, can I do my own business?" And really just hearing your story reminds us, "Okay, not only can I find something good that I want to do, that I'll enjoy doing, that'll pay well. And if I think in advance I'll have this asset I can sell at the end." I think it inspires all of us to kind of plan ahead and say, "This might be a definite option."

Dr. Lisa Jenks: Well, thank you. And I hope that anybody who has questions or wants to talk to me more will feel free to contact me. My email is And my work number here is 719-579-6890. I love, love, love talking to anyone about starting a med spa, running a med spa, and now I can speak to selling to a med spa.

John: Fantastic. I appreciate you sharing that. The website for the spas is, and they can use that phone number. I'll put all this in my show notes. They can use your email. They could find you on LinkedIn. And what else are you up to? I know in the past you were doing some mentoring, coaching, that kind of thing. So, tell us more a little bit about that, which is obviously part and parcel of your involvement as a med spa owner.

Dr. Lisa Jenks: One weekend a month I hold classes here at Genesis, and alternate months between teaching injectables, meaning neurotoxins and fillers and then teaching PDO threading. And I love doing that. The students for the class range from estheticians to MDs and everybody in between. They're very small classes, a lot of hands-on. And so, those are really, really fun and I would love to tell anybody who's interested more about that.

And then I do some consulting and mentoring, John. I love doing that. It hasn't really taken off as much as I had hoped perhaps it would in the early days, but I do every so often get emails from doctors who are wanting to start med spas and we'll have conversations with them. Some of them even have flown out to shadow me here at Genesis and just see a little bit more about what this world is like, which I really enjoy.

John: Well, that'd be a fantastic resource. If I was thinking of starting a med spa, that would be perfect. The old shadowing, like we did when we were in med school or thinking of going to med school and really see how things run. That'd be fantastic. And they can reach you just through the phone number and the emails that you talked about a minute ago.

Dr. Lisa Jenks: Yes.

John: All right. Well, I just want to say congratulations. You're making this fantastic transition, as you will, as you want to. Whether you retire or not retire, who knows what you'll do 3, 4, 5 years down the road. But this is really again, it's an inspiration to all of us. I appreciate you taking the time to come today.

Dr. Lisa Jenks: Well, thank you. I appreciate you inviting me and allowing me to share this exciting news with everybody.

John: It's been great. I was going to say who knew when you were going to emergency medicine residency that someday you'd be a business owner and med spa practitioner?

Dr. Lisa Jenks: I can tell you I sold my med spa for way, way, way more money than I would've sold my ER scrubs to the next doc coming in when I retired.

John: Yeah, there would've been no equity in that business. All right, Lisa, thanks a lot and maybe we'll follow up again sometime down the road but it's been a pleasure.

Dr. Lisa Jenks: Thanks so much, John. It's always good talking to you. Bye.

John: Bye-Bye.


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