As the closing date approaches for buying a veterinary practice, you need to be prepared to take over the responsibilities of ownership. However, no entrepreneur goes into business hoping to keep everything exactly as it was. Instead, most new owners use the practice they are buying as a foundation, and plan on making some changes to the practice over time to make it even better. There are four main categories that you should consider when buying a veterinary practice to make sure you have a solid strategy:
Your financial strategy will need to include a thorough understanding of the existing cash flow and profitability of the practice, as well as long term goals for the practice once you take over. You should be looking for ways to maximize profitability by streamlining processes and finding new ways to serve your clients.
Your management strategy will be one of the most important elements of buying a veterinary practice. The existing staff will be looking to you to guide them through the transition, and will need reassurances when it comes to the stability of the practice as a whole. If not handled correctly, buyouts can cause some employee turnover, but great management can go a long way toward keeping team members happy and in place, while also encouraging them to improve on their daily performance.
One of your primary focuses as you take over the practice is to begin plotting your growth. Few veterinary practices invest in quality marketing, and instead rely heavily on word of mouth and referrals. However, there are now more marketing tools available every day to help you bring in new business and reach new areas of the market that were previously untapped.
Finally it's time for you to start thinking about what improvements you are going to make around the office to provide better service to your clients. While this may mean moving into a larger facility at some point down the road, you don't necessarily need to move. In reality, many new owners give the practice a facelift by repainting, buying new furniture, and investing in some new equipment.
Once you have a strategy for each of these four areas of the practice you will be well on your way to a successful purchase. After buying a veterinary practice, you will have the ability to implement your strategy a little at a time until it becomes the practice you've always dreamed of.