If you’re planning on starting a veterinary practice — a million and one thoughts are likely racing through your head. Trust me, I know the feeling — but as long as you remain focused on the task at hand, everything will begin to fall into place.
Although highly specialized in terms of your objectives, opening your own practice needs to be viewed like any other business. In order to succeed, you’ll need to plan ahead and adjust your goals based on your evolving objectives.
If one thing is certain, you have an exciting journey ahead. As long as you break this one large (yet exciting) goal into smaller, more attainable steps, you’ll be well on your way.
First, you’ll need to consider the following…
There is no doubt that it takes a certain type of individual to start a veterinary practice. Although you may be a veterinary first and foremost, you also display key entrepreneur qualities — including a high level of passion and willingness to take educated risks.
Of course, your overall mission is to build a profitable business — but at the heart of it all, you will also want to build a practice that provides excellent service and quality medicine. In order to achieve these challenging, yet attainable goals, you’ll need to take a few key steps.
1. Write a business plan
Whether you’re opening a veterinary practice or a restaurant, every business owner needs to plan ahead. With only a loose strategy in place, how will you ever implement your current objectives? Begin to ask yourself some of the following questions:
- What is my core mission and how will I achieve success?
- What will I offer my clients — and more importantly, who will my clients be?
- What will be my edge over the competition?
- How will I market my new practice and what will my sales strategy be?
If you are looking for ideas and some key examples, the Australian Veterinary Practice Management Association offers a thorough guide that you can check out here.
2. Establish your location and team
When choosing a location, you need to think about the current demand. This will be one of the most important considerations in terms of sustainable success. Also, make sure you do some market research. Find out more about the local demographics, so you can find a location that will meet the needs of your target market.
When it comes to your team, think about not only your immediate staff, but also the professionals who will provide key services. In most cases, a new veterinary practice will require assistance from experts such as a local attorney, an insurance representative, a financial advisor and even a strategic mentor who has already taken this exciting journey.
3. Seek funding opportunities
Right now, you need to make a list that includes all of your start-up requirements. Some examples include:
- Legal services
- Systems for bookkeeping, scheduling, etc.
- Initial operating costs
You need to be practical in terms of your expenses and projected cash flow. To begin, prepare a 12-month projection. Estimate your potential revenue, expenses, debt financing and your minimum salary.
Next, explore all of your options — including possible grants. Look into grants that cover aspects of animal research, focusing on both private and public opportunities. When lending money, always be mindful of three key areas: the principal, the term and the interest rate.
At the end of the day, you need to make decisions based on what’s best for you and your practice. Your goal is to meet the needs of your clients, so be sure to automate as many systems as possible. This will free up precious time and energy, so that you can focus on what really matters — taking care of those who do not have a voice.
EasyDVM Practice Software is a cloud-based veterinary practice management software system. We pride ourselves in offering a system that is user-friendly, easy to learn for new team members, full-featured and elegant in its simplicity. Best of all, all devices, multiple users, all your clients and patients, always affordable.