There are around 30.2 million small businesses in America, all unique in their own way. If you are dreaming of starting a business, it can feel daunting. There is a lot of information out there, and it’s no secret that there’s a lot of risks involved.
However, anything is possible, and if you’re thinking of starting your own veterinary clinic but need a quick start guide—you’ve come to the right place! We’ll go over all of the basics you need to know to help get your goals realized.
Ready to learn more? Let’s get started.
Ready, Set, Plan
Before you start looking for places to set up shop, you’ll need a clear plan of what your business will be. This will help you map out the specifics of your business and tackle any problems ahead of time.
You’ll need to consider the costs of starting a business, how much you can charge customers, your target market, and what the name will be.
Think of the Finances
The first thing you need to consider is the location. This will be a huge factor in determining the success of your business. You don’t want to be in an area that is full of clinics but you also don’t want to stray too far from an area populated with pets or farm animals.
You might want to consult a veterinary consultant before beginning your plan; they can help you discuss the different options for location. You’ll also need to budget for a variety of supplies, including:
- Lab equipment
- Marketing materials
- Kennel equipment
- Examination and waiting rooms setup
- Bookkeeping setup
- Management Software
- Medical equipment
- Veterinarian bags
Once you can save up for these supplies, you could potentially purchase a book of clients from an established vet. This is an expensive business to open, so it’s worth taking out a loan to make sure you can cover all of the expenses.
There are also ongoing expenses to keep track of. This includes a steady supply of prescription medicine and having a monthly budget for a marketing strategy as your business grows.
The most important expense is payroll. Your employees are there to make sure the business runs smoothly, and they need to be treated like the valuable asset they are. This will not only make your staff feel happy, but it will reward your company as well.
Your visit fees can range anywhere from $45 to $150. This depends on the demographic of your area. A good idea is to look at how much other veterinary clinics are charging and compare your fees to that.
Form a Legal Entity
Now that you have a solid start-up plan laid out, it’s time to make things official by forming a legal entity. The most common business structure types include:
- Sole proprietorship
- Limited liability company
If you decide to form an LLC or corporation, you’re protected from being held personally liable if your practice is sued. You can easily start an LLC by yourself and pay the low state costs or hire a service for an additional fee.
Register for Taxes
Once you form a legal entity, you’ll need to register for various federal and state taxes before opening for business. You can apply for an EIN through the IRS website.
There are different options for how your business will be taxed, depending on the structure you chose. There are specific state taxes that might apply to your business as well. Be sure to do the research on the specific laws for your state.
Open a Business Bank Account
One of the most essential steps in opening your own business is using dedicated business credit and banking accounts. You don’t want your personal assets to be at risk if your business gets sued.
Building your business credit can also help you get more financing in your business’ name which will only help it become more successful.
Permits and Licenses
You don’t want to deal with substantial fines or risking your business being shut down, and that’s why acquiring the right permits and licenses is crucial.
For veterinary science, most states require that you obtain a veterinary license from board certification. Additional state permits and licenses may be needed to run a veterinarian business. You’ll need to look at your state’s specific rules when it comes to licenses and permits.
If you need more information, checking with your town, city, or county clerk’s office can point you in the right direction.
Establish Your Brand
Now that all the building blocks are laid out for getting your business up and running, you can start working on your brand. This is what your business stands for and how potential customers will perceive it. Having a strong brand will separate you from others.
You don’t need to tackle the branding of your company alone. There are plenty of people who help with branding as their careers, and you’ll be better off working with a professional to create something unique.
Once you’re up and running, you’ll want to let the surrounding pet-owners know that you’re open. Be sure to have a website as well as a social media presence. These are great ways of letting people know about your practice and inviting them to check you out.
Opening Your Own Veterinary Clinic
The last thing you want to do is look back at your life and regret not taking more risks. Starting a company might feel like a scary investment but with enough dedication, you’ll be able to change your life for the better.
When it comes to opening your own veterinary clinic, you should know some basic business foundations before diving deeper. After reading this guide, you should feel confident to take your first step into success.
Looking for more articles like this? Be sure to check out the pet news section of our blog!