- Take your time getting comfortable as a practitioner
Before starting your own practice, it’s probably a good idea to gain some experience as a veterinarian because starting a business requires a lot of preparation. You should ensure that your skills are fully developed and that you are familiar with client interaction. Do check out the best veterinary clinic brokers near you.
“I would definitely recommend first becoming a little more familiar with veterinary medicine,” the author declares.
- Learn some business basics
You are eager to put what you’ve learned in school to use in your own practice. However, having a solid business foundation is just as important as having proficiency in veterinary medicine.
Dr. Douglas makes the observation that since you are also the owner, “you need to wear two hats.”
While some veterinary programs have successfully integrated business courses into their curriculum or even provided a DVM/MBA program, many have failed to do so. This poses a problem because many veterinarians are unaware that they lack a solid business education. Before making the leap, they frequently find themselves wishing they had learned more about practice ownership.
- Start your research
It’s time to start researching once you’ve honed your business and veterinary skills. Particularly crucial is locating the right spot. You need to decide whether you want to buy a practice, rent an existing location, or start from scratch and build a new clinic. In most cases, this decision is heavily influenced by financial factors (more on that in a moment), but you should also consider your rivals
- Assemble your go-to team
You need to put together a group of experts who are capable of getting your business off the ground before you even consider hiring staff. You can’t do everything on your own, even if you have a solid business foundation. Dr. Douglas suggests getting in touch with a business consultant, an attorney, an insurance agent, and an accountant. You might even want to talk to other vets.
She says, “I think it’s good to talk to other practice owners,” adding that talking to people at all stages of their careers is smart.
- Get your financial plan in order
We mentioned that a veterinarian’s decision to build their own clinic or use an existing one is frequently influenced by financial factors. Although starting from scratch gives you more control, it will also cost more. The actual facility must be built, equipment must be purchased, and customers must be brought in. You can connect with pet owners by purchasing an established practice.
“If you have a loyal customer base, you already have cash coming in.”
- Develop a marketing strategy
You must devise a marketing strategy because opening your practice doors without clients is not very beneficial. There are numerous low-cost choices. Dr. Douglas claims that she began by organizing events and distributing flyers.
- Hire the people you need
It can be difficult to figure out how many people you need to hire. It really depends on the practice, but you should make sure that you hire enough people to give you the help you need. It’s easy to hire too few team members, which will probably mean you spend too much time on non-veterinarian responsibilities.