What Does It Take to Start a Veterinary Practice?

What Does It Take to Start a Veterinary Practice?

Posted by Positive Impressions on Sep 3rd 2021

Starting a veterinary practice is a huge undertaking where you need to make an endless list of decisions before everything falls into place. You may even be browsing our website, so you can get a handle on the costs of direct marketing, memorial item and paper goods. Here are a few tips we’ve gathered from experience veterinarians that can making your clinic launch a little easier.

Get Some Experience as a Practitioner

If you’re just leaving veterinary school, going all in can be overwhelming. While you may want to start a practice immediately, working for an established clinic cuts down on the amount of work you need to do. This lets you concentrate on your basic care skills, while learning the ins and outs of daily operations.

Hands-on experience also lets you see what you want for your practice. Do you want to offer a different level of care? Do you see a niche that isn’t being filled? Is there a qualification you should get to address these underserved areas? What issues do you see cropping up in day-to-day operations, and how can you address them?

Working this way also helps you build your own clientele, so you have a base to start your business. This is helpful for early growth, and it strengthens your business plan.

Learn More About the Business Side of the Pet Health Industry

You learned all about animal health care in college, but you probably didn’t spend much time learning about the business side of the trade. You may not need to get an MBA, but taking some small business classes will help you manage day-to-day operations and set a sustainable course for your practice.

If you want to move toward practice management, there are colleges that offer dual DVM/MBA programs. Even if you don’t want to tackle another major, these programs offer courses that apply directly to veterinary practice management.

Create a Business Support Team

The biggest barrier to starting a clinic is money. You’ll probably need at least $100,000 for equipment, furniture, clinic space rental, etc. To get a loan, you need a solid business plan. Along the way, you’ll have to cover all the minutiae of operations, including licensing, insurance and accreditation. This often requires professional help, and in turn, you can use this experience to put together a team that can manage your operations when you open.

There are 6 key roles you need to fill:

- An accountant to manage expenses and handle financial paperwork

- An attorney to work on contracts and deal with litigation

- An insurance agent to provide coverage for your practice and employees

- A business consultant to help fine tune your business model, target market and marketing efforts

- An architect who can modify your space to work as a veterinary office

- A financial officer you can work with to get the funding you need to start your business

As your practice grows, you can use the services of these people to cover everything from payroll taxes to expansion.

Do You Want to Start a New Practice, or Take Over an Established Practice?

Having your own practice doesn’t necessarily mean you have to start from scratch. By buying out a practice from a retiring physician, you get an established clientele, as well as a working office. However, it also means you’re locked into a way of doing things for a while, as you need to accommodate the existing customers.

Starting a new clinic is a ton of work, but it gives you the flexibility of building it the way you want. This is usually the best option for specialized care.

We Make It Easy to Get Promotional Items, Paper Goods and More

Are you looking for a way to help your new practice stand out? Positive Impressions, LLC has a wide range of products to fit your needs, including appointment reminder cards, holiday cards, magnetic business cards, and more. Along with marketing products, we also carry everything you need to label prescriptions, lab results, and kennel cages. We offer custom printing for most of the items we carry, so you can add your clinic’s contact information to our stock designs, or fully customize your print with your own graphics. Check out our website to see what we have to offer, and visit us on Facebook to see our current specials.

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