In the world of veterinary medicine, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that approximately 79% of people in the industry are employed in veterinary service establishments, but only 13% are self-employed. Finances seem to be one of the major hurdles to overcome for those who wish to be in that 13%. Here are some ideas to help you beat the odds and start your own veterinary practice.
Rent Rather Than Buy
Experts in the animal industry quote the costs of starting a new veterinary practice at $1,000,000 or more. If you choose to rent veterinary supplies rather than buy them outright, you minimize and stabilize your office equipment costs. In addition, many suppliers also include maintenance, upgrade and rent-to-own clauses in their agreements, so you always have the best equipment in the best condition to work with.
While the cost of a standard stationary office might be prohibitive, the cost of creating a mobile veterinary clinic is closer to $250,000. You can convert a van or trailer to a mobile office equipped with all but the most complicated machines and supplies.
Another option to consider is partnering with an established practice. If the current owner is thinking of retirement, a partnership would allow you to experience the ins and outs of running a business. Your partner can then slowly step back from day-to-day operations, confident that the practice will survive and thrive under new management.
Another form of partnership might be to create a satellite office of an established practice. Such expansion would allow the practice to serve more customers over a wider area. For extra cost savings, many office functions can be shared.
There are many creative ways to create the business environment you want for your career. Whatever obstacles you may face, you can find a way to make things happen.