4 Steps To Starting A Vets Practice
The pandemic took America’s love affair with pets to another level. Americans adopted millions of pets, as they sought solace in a bond with pets. This has created a massive opportunity for veterinarians to open up successful vet practices. Here are 4 steps you need to take to start a vet practice.
Develop a Business Plan
The first thing you need to do is to develop a business plan. A business plan defines what your value proposition is, what your target market is, what your budget is, how much money you expect to make, among other things.
Think of a business plan as a map. It guides you from concept to execution. It will help you clarify how your practice is going to make any money. You also need it for external investors, who will want to know how you plan on running your business and when they can expect a return on their money.
Get the Right Location
Ideally, you want to have a practice that is easy to access and where there is a large community of pet owners that you can tap into. You want to make it easy to get clients. Additionally, you don’t want competition. Competition is the death of business. Competition means that your fees will be forced downwards and you will struggle for profitability. So look at a community’s vet to population ratio to see if the area has many vets. You want as little competition as possible in an area with lots of pets. In other words, you want under-serviced areas.
If you are operating in an area with lots of competition, then you will be a “price taker”, which means you can’t set your fees, you accept the fees the market states. You want to be a price-setter and that only happens when you don’t face a lot of competition.
Once you’ve developed your business plan and found the right location, you can look for funding. There are two sources of funding: debt and equity. Frequently, if you don’t have collateral, it will be impossible to get a loan. So more often than not, you are looking at getting equity partners. That is, you want people who will give you money in exchange for equity in your practice.
Build the Practice
When clients go to an animal hospital, they expect to get the best possible care. You can have the right location, and funding, but if you can’t guarantee a high quality of care, you may be able to get clients, but you won’t be able to keep them. Remember, the purpose of a business is to create and keep a customer. You can only keep a customer if the quality of care is high.
The team you get will really drive your ability to deliver that high quality of care that you need to keep clients. You want people who are competent, but also people who have a good manner. Clients should feel welcome and cared for when they go to your practice.