Taking the dive into practice ownership is a complicated decision. Not only does it require a thorough understanding of your abilities as a leader and veterinarian, it also requires that you learn many of the skills that are required of business people in other industries. For instance, how to hire skilled employees and how to manage cash flow. It all begins with deciding how you're going to become a practice owner in the first place.
How to Become an Owner
There are a variety of reasons why you may decide to become a practice owner. Some people set this goal on their own, while others happen upon it after working their way up in an existing practice. Thus, there are also several methods for becoming an owner. For instance, you can decide to purchase a practice outright and take it over completely, or you can buy into a practice as a partial owner. Finally, you may dadecide to create your very own practice from the ground up. If owning a practice is part of your dream, you should spend some time considering which of these routes is most practical given your resources, time and location.
Once you've determined how you are going to become an owner, it's time to start preparing for the actual day-to-day tasks involved in ownership. For one thing, you might consider some basic business management courses to help you get a grasp of the financial implications of your actions. You should also work on finding licensed professionals who can help you take on taxes and other legal concerns. Next, it's time to look in the mirror and figure out what kind of manager you're going to be and what systems you are going to put in place to keep your practice running smoothly.
Owning a practice is only half the battle, though. Once you own your practice it's up to you to keep bringing customers in, which means you also have to become something of a marketing expert. Many veterinary practices struggle with this part more than anything else. Your branding is going to be a huge part of your success, and the earlier you begin formulating a marketing strategy the better off you'll be. This includes taking to social media and letting people know what makes your practice special.
Preparing for practice ownership is not a task you should put off until the last minute. It's up to you to start preparing as soon as you decide you want to become an owner. It can take years to hone your management style and learn the intricacies of successful marketing. The more time you spend developing your skills professionally, the more likely you are to succeed as an owner once you go out into the world on your own.