Veterinarians can earn a decent living working for a private practice. Becoming a business owner by opening your own vet clinic is attractive since it can result in higher pay for you and provide a broader source of income. Yet you need more than just clinical skills to run a vet clinic. Here are a few tips on how to start a successful vet clinic.
The first step to starting a successful vet clinic is gaining the necessary skills. If you want to set your clinic in New Hampshire, for instance, create a list of the best vet tech schools in NH so you can decide where you’ll go to school. This will give you a solid foundation for becoming a vet.
Most veterinary schools require you to have a bachelor’s degree, while many require advanced science courses. The GRE is a standard requirement for veterinary medicine programs, but not all schools require it. Another common requirement is that you’ve had experience working with animals, though this could be met through volunteering with animals. You’ll need to winnow down your list of vet tech schools down to those you qualify for, so you only apply to your likely options. Once admitted, you should earn a doctor of veterinary medicine. Once you’re licensed, you’re ready to start working as a vet in a private clinic.
You need to create a business plan before you start doing the work of actually building the clinic. What type of animals will you care for? How much could you earn from the business? If you need to go into debt to build the clinic, will you be able to service that debt? Don’t forget to check your personal credit and determine what you need for your day-to-day living expenses.
Having a solid business plan will give you more weight with lenders if you need to borrow money for your new business. They’ll be especially concerned about your timeline, your financial forecasts, and debt service plan. While this sounds like a lot of work, lenders are more likely to approve a loan if you have both a good business plan and a growth strategy to maximize the odds of it happening on the timeline you’ve outlined.
If you don’t already have them, start getting licensing, approvals, permits and other paperwork in order. These requirements can vary based on the clinic’s location and your specialty, which is why you want to have the name of good, experienced legal counsel before you start.
You’ll need to find a clinic location that meets your needs, both in terms of size and cost. Determine if you’re going to lease the facility or buy it. As you go through the process of securing the clinic location, don’t forget to research zoning and noise ordinances. Once you have a lease or purchase agreement for the clinic, you can start buying equipment. Then you can start hiring employees to run your new clinic.
Due diligence and thorough planning maximize the odds that you’ll have a thriving veterinary clinic without running yourself ragged trying to do all the work yourself. By having the right experts by your side, you’ll have taken the right steps from the start to protect your time, your assets, and your future.