Are you pursuing a career in veterinary medicine? It can be challenging, especially if you’re young and don’t know where to start. Med school has finished, but real life has just begun. At some point, you might start thinking about opening a veterinary practice. And that’s when the situation gets complicated.
A veterinary practice can be your first step on the road to success. After all, you’re probably thinking if you have the necessary knowledge and love animals, there won’t be a problem finding clients. However, it’s not as simple as it seems.
Yes, being a good specialist is essential for your practice to succeed. Nevertheless, there are many more factors that can impact your future. Business management, marketing, using appropriate software, communication with customers – those are just a few among many factors that can influence your business. And today, we’ll cover the most important ones.
Do you want to know how to start a successful veterinary practice? Read on and make the first step on the road to your dream.
Use All the Help You Can Get
You’re only starting this journey, and it’s natural to seek help. Find relatives or friends who have a business and ask them for advice. If you’re only just starting working as a veterinarian, look for ways to expand your knowledge. Take a course or start working as a part-time vet. Or look for the veterinary software that will make your journey more manageable.
Learn all the time – whenever you have a possibility to hear an experienced specialist’s advice, ask them for it.
Do Your Research
Of course, you can’t start a business just like that. You need to learn some business basics, as without it, the chance of failure is extremely high. If you didn’t attend a business course at school, take it now – offline or online. Fortunately, there are so many resources to help you learn available these days, such as blogs like Ronen Simantov, which is full of business articles. No matter where you are, or what level of experience you have, there will be something out there for you. Read books on the topic, subscribe to blogs, watch YouTube videos and read articles on popular vet questions – for example, why may dogs act weirdly. Make the learning process easy and exciting.
Only after that can you start doing the research. Where are you going to practice? Finding the right location is essential, and it can answer many questions. How many competitors are there in your area? How will your practice differ from theirs?
Of course, you also need to decide whether you want to buy the place, rent it, or build it from scratch. If you’re buying, make sure someone assesses the facility first to avoid unexpected issues.
Make a Plan
When you know everything you need, it’s time to write down your plan. Make sure to include the following information in it:
- What type of practice will it be?
- What do you need to buy/rent/build a facility or purchase an existing practice?
- What is your budget, and what income are you expecting?
- Do you have an established clientele? If not, where will you find the clients?
- What medical equipment will you have?
- How many employees do you need?
- What is your marketing plan?
Hire the Team
After you’ve got everything prepared, it’s time to make your dream come true. However, there’s still one task that can be very tricky – hiring the staff. If you hire too many people, the costs can be a little over the budget, and if there are too few team members, you’ll probably spend much time and energy doing somebody else’s duties.
The solution is easy. If your practice has many clients, you’ll need at least one other veterinarian apart from yourself. Then, hire at least one technician and assistant per doctor. And don’t forget about a receptionist! Make sure your team members have all the necessary knowledge – for example, that your assistant can advise a client on getting rid of fleas in dogs.
Don’t Expect It To Go Smoothly
You’re making the first steps on your road to success – don’t wait for it to happen immediately. It’s not very likely that everything will go as planned – and that’s okay! You need to be prepared to deal with any possible issues, whatever they may be. Give it at least a few years until your practice starts operating smoothly.
A Final Note
Opening a veterinary practice can be one of the most exciting things in your life. However, first, you need the business to succeed to gain financial and personal benefits. And that’s when it gets tricky.
Fortunately, to avoid most of the challenges, all you need to do is prepare properly. Make sure to do the necessary research, develop a thorough plan, don’t hesitate to ask for help, and hire the people you need. And don’t expect everything to go smoothly right away. Life is unpredictable, and it’s your first business. Be prepared for numerous bumps in the road, but never give up.