Veterinarians and Job SatisfactionMay 3, 2023
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Buying an Existing Veterinary Practice or Starting a New One from Scratch
With a veterinary degree in your pocket, it’s time to shift focus to your career. How exciting! Entering the veterinary profession can lead down a variety of paths, including joining an established vet practice, or venturing out to establish your own.
Ownership also has its challenges, but the advantages heavily outweigh them. Having your own practice gives you the security and opportunity to build your name. If you decide to go the ownership route, you’ll need to make one big decision: whether to buy an already established practice or start your own from scratch.
Making an informed decision needs to come from a thorough analysis of your financial situation. There are also your personal preferences, your experience, and market conditions that you should take into account.
Let’s cover the pros of buying an existing vet practice and starting your own.
Why You Should Buy an Established Vet Practice
There are many reasons why you should consider investing in an up-and-running vet practice. Perhaps the owner is retiring or they want less responsibility. No matter their reason for selling, it’s a good idea to consider stepping in and taking over.
Here are other important reasons why you should think about this ownership option:
- Established brand. One of the key advantages is that you’d be taking over the veterinary practice with a well-known name in the neighborhood. With the name comes loyal clients, and it can be easier to gain new customers and build upon the existing client base. It’s much harder to build your own from the ground up.
- Experienced team. Usually, when you purchase an established practice, you’re also acquiring the full team. The positive aspect of this is that the staff members are already trained and functioning well together – you can avoid the painstaking process of interviewing and hiring the new staff.
- Implemented processes. From administration to operational systems, the established practices are already up-and-running. Having these processes in place can decrease ramp-up time, and the team can help you ease into the new managerial role.
Overall, this option carries a lot less risk. The only capital you may need, besides purchasing the practice, is for slight renovations and repairs, if any. There may be a need for an equipment and technology upgrade depending on the current state of the practice. The majority of your investment would go into marketing and expanding the client base.
Why You Should Consider Starting Your Own Vet Practice
While it can be more challenging and time-intensive, there are several advantages to building your own business from scratch. You can assemble your own staff and hire people you know or maybe previously worked with, and set up your practice exactly how you want it from the ground up.
When is it a good idea to start your own practice?
- You’re an established name in the industry. If you already have considerable experience and invaluable connections, it’s a good business move to start your practice. Your reputation precedes you and it would be much easier for you to make your own brand than it would be for a fresh college graduate who yet needs to prove themselves.
- You have what it takes to run a business. If you possess an entrepreneurial spirit – go for it! Maybe you were in a management position before or you’ve decided to pursue additional business classes; whatever may be the case, if you feel like starting on this journey is the best course of action for you then give it a shot.
- You want to open a practice in the underserved area. Not only is this a great business opportunity, but you could also be a candidate for loan repayment programs, such as VMLRP. Becoming a new vet practice in a shortage area can bring in a lot of customers and considerably lower your marketing efforts due to word-of-mouth.
As you can see, there are many deciding factors when it comes to becoming a vet practice owner. We advise you to seek professional advice from experienced brokers and financial advisors. Figuring out the first steps after the practice acquisition are also extremely important and having a trusted business advisor by your side will help you navigate the exciting journey that awaits you.
Looking to buy a vet practice? We can help.
PS Broker is a brokerage specializing in veterinary practices. With over two decades of experience buying and selling vet practices, we can assist you in executing the most significant transaction of your career.
From practice valuation to assisting sellers as veterinary practice advisors and brokers on a national level, we have the credentials you want in your corner when it’s time to buy the veterinary practice of your dreams.
Read more about veterinary practice ownership:
- 5 Tips to Remember When Buying Vet Practice
- Starting Your Practice: Different Types of Veterinary Jobs to Know
- 10 Marketing Ideas for Your Veterinary Practice
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