Want to start an animal clinic in your area? The process can be as complicated as starting a clinic for people. Here are several tips that will help you get there:
Assess the Competition
First of all, you need to know who else has veterinary clinics in the area. You can provide the best services, and get good returns, if you open your clinic in an area where there are no others. Assess the demand in the area to see if existing animal clinics are meeting it. Remember that starting a clinic is just like launching a new business. You need to take a business perspective rather than a vet’s perspective.
Invest in the Right Equipment
Your clinic needs the right equipment from the get go. Some new vets find it difficult to get the supplies they need. If this is the case, ask other more experienced vets about where they are getting their equipment. You must emphasize hygiene here. Buy top-of-the-line steam sterilizers and similar equipment from online suppliers like Melag Australia, instead of buying second-hand. Also, retiring vets may have equipment that you can just get for free.
Consider a Specialisation
It can be quite impossible to serve all animals and pets in an area. So, it’s worthwhile to consider if you want to specialise in one species. For example, if the location you like has lots of dog clinics, you can consider opening one for cats. You can also open a dog-cat clinic and promote services for other pets, like hamsters, as well. Try to offer services that the residents in the area do not receive from other places. The survival of your clinic will depend on the type of services you can offer.
Set Convenient Hours
The hours you set for your clinic is extremely important for determining the number of patients it attracts. Most vets want to set hours that are convenient for them, but if you want to stay ahead of the competition, set hours that are the most convenient for your customers. You can maintain longer afternoon hours and cut back on morning hours. You can adjust your personal life around these hours if you are comfortable with that.
Get Advice from an Experienced Vet
Don’t jump into the business without getting expert advice, especially if you have limited experience working at clinics. The best solution is the get advice from experienced vets. It helps to have a mentor to make your clinic into a success. Vets with experience will be able to give your realistic advice regarding costs, insurance coverage, malpractice coverage, and so on. You can also get advice from peers who are going through similar processes as you are.
Contact Animal Shelters
Most clinics get a majority of their business from animal shelters that don’t have in-house vets. Keeping in touch with local animal shelters is important for extending your skills as a vet beyond running a for-profit clinic. You can provide subsidised services for shelters as community service. Also, you will need support from shelters to house stray animals some people will eventually bring to your pet clinic.
Last but not least, you should also consider getting some social media exposure for your clinic and any attached shelters. Nothing will attract more clients than cute animal pictures on a Facebook page or a blog.