In 2019, owning a vet practice is going to take a lot more than just skills in veterinary medicine; you need to have some background knowledge in how to run a business. Financial skills can be the difference between a successful and failed attempt at owning a vet practice particularly given the diverse trends emerging in the vet industry.
As you venture into this, you are likely to find yourself in situations where you have to second guess your every move…something that every vet practice owner always looks to avoid. Unpredictable challenges such as insufficient income, poor planning, lack of cohesion or ineffective management can derail any business. Therefore, if you are planning on owning a vet practice in 2019, you should anticipate these challenges and brace yourself to tackle them efficiently. There are certain measures and steps that if implemented accordingly, should help steer a new or existing vet practice towards a profitable path.
Here are top 5 tips to owning a vet practice in 2019.
Buy a Practice at an Affordable Price
There are two main options to owning a vet practice: starting from scratch or purchasing an existing practice. Starting a new vet practice can be challenging and involves a lot of technicalities. For this reason, many vet owners prefer to buy an existing practice.
When you think of buying an existing practice, the cost might be something of a put-off. However, there are avenues you can explore to help you get the necessary funding. While this is the case for many vet practice owners, it is always important that you buy a practice that has the right valuation.
Make sure you work with professionals that will help you understand the valuation process so you know the practice is valued at the right price considering the key factors and prevailing market conditions.
A practice valued correctly and purchased at the right price will pay for itself as well as the practice purchase debt and continue to grow. An industry professional can help you evaluate your finances and determine the right price range for you.
On average, vet Veterinarians purchase a practice 5 to 10 years after obtaining their DVM license. However, statistics show that it can be more beneficial to start a vet practice earlier. Buying young, 3 to 5 years, helps you stay in the business a lot longer because you will be able to learn new things, keep up with new trends and also pay any loans earlier.
This leaves your practice with a lot of profitable years ahead helping you make a better living and have a better quality of life.
Avoid Non-Compete Agreements Where Necessary
As mentioned previously, most veterinarians begin their careers working as an associate for an established practice. This helps you get the necessary skills and experience to run your own vet practice in the future. During this period, it is not unusual for associates to find themselves with Non-Compete agreements that can span several miles and many years after they leave the practice. While these agreements are put in place to protect the practice, its doctors and patient base from being recruited away to other practices, it’s important to consider the terms of such an agreement before accepting an offer that includes one. If a non-compete includes your ideal area to later own a practice it’s important to understand those long-term implications.
Incorporate Continuing Education and Relief Work in Your Initial Jobs
If you are looking forward to owning a vet practice, you should be doing everything to prepare for that moment. This includes choosing the right jobs straight out of vet school because you want to get the right kind of exposure that will give you the pre-requisite skills of a practice owner and vet medicine professional.
Continuing education will help you learn new skills and how to tackle difficult challenges as the owner of a vet practice. Also consider taking on out of the box opportunities outside of your regular job. Look out for relief works or extra shifts at an emergency clinic. This will help to expand your experience and supplement your salary both of which will be instrumental in your goal of owning a vet practice.
Financial Literacy and Business Skills Are Crucial on Top of your Professional Veterinary Skills
One of the basic skills that any entrepreneur should have is outstanding business skills. One must be able to make well informed and smart financial decisions based on the goals of your business.
As a practice owner, you will be responsible for taking charge of hiring staff and making all the important business decisions. If you have no basic understanding of business practices, you can enroll in a short business course while preparing to take ownership of your new vet practice.
Owning a vet practice can be challenging but it is still a decent investment if well managed. As a vet-practice owner, you will have to deal with various licensing issues, certifications, taxations and business valuations. All these are necessary but you can learn to handle them in no time.
Incorporate great leadership and management skills to realize the goals of your practice. You have to learn to listen and lead your team of professionals to work as a unit to get the most out of them. Most importantly, try to build your employees so that they can build your vet practice business.
All the above tips will help you develop quality business plans that will enable you to steer your practice for greater profit margins.