Opening their own practice is the dream of every student who follows the path of veterinary medicine. The love and interest towards animals lead them to make more and more efforts to be able to help the non-speaking creatures.
Most of those who specialize in veterinary medicine start their careers through an internship where they learn not only how to apply the studied theory to the concrete cases presented in the vet offices, but also elements related to the administrative part of a veterinary office.
From here to starting your own business is just one step, but a rather big one, because there are certain conditions that must be met for a veterinary medical office to run properly. These conditions refer to the space for performing the services, the necessary equipment, and the documents related to starting the business.
What Is The Average Cost Of Starting Your Own Veterinary Practice?
You should expect to spend around $255,000 to open a mobile veterinary practice, while for a small vet clinic, you will need more than $1 million. In the following lines, we are going to talk about what this cost includes and the factors that influence it.
Location plays a key role in the cost of opening a vet clinic. It not only influences the sum of money you are going to pay for the property. The place where you choose to start your veterinary practice will also affect your utility expenses and future costs.
Plan on investing in a large variety of equipment when starting your own practice. For example, vet clinics need expensive equipment for prevention and treatments such as Digital X-Ray Imaging Machines, scales, supplies for administering treatments and collecting laboratory samples, lighting, tools for physical examination, IV pumps, exam and procedure tables, medication, autoclaves and sterilizers, anesthesia machines, and many more instruments depending on the size of your veterinary practice.
Expect the equipment costs to be a large portion of your overall expenses when starting your own veterinary practice.
Another important cost for any veterinary practice is represented by the staff salaries. You have to decide how many employees you will need and how much you are going to pay them to keep clinic operations running smoothly. Here is how much you should expect to pay for the salaries of some of the employees of a veterinary practice:
- You: depending on how much you plan to reinvest into your business and your lifestyle needs;
- Veterinary Receptionist: $32,000;
- Veterinary Technician: $38,000;
- Veterinary Assistant: $33,500;
- Veterinary Hospital Manager: $54,000.
Basic Insurance Requirements
Before opening a veterinary practice, you will want to research various insurance policies for your business as there are many available options. However, you should get at minimum a general liability policy, that costs some hundred dollars to some thousand dollars per year. This way your clinic will be protected from possible lawsuits that may appear while you are treating animals.
Advertising and Marketing Costs
Vet clinics should consider attracting more and more clients to increase their profits. Be prepared to spend around 1.2% of your projected gross revenue for hiring a marketing agency.
Each U.S. state has specific requirements for those who practice veterinary medicine. You willneed to get certifications in certain procedures such as surgery or you might need to pass a licensing exam by taking the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE) test.
Building Your Business Entity
Another required step in opening a veterinary practice is to register your veterinary business. The costs will vary depending on the type of business structure and location. However, there are two necessary steps to take for your vet clinic to be recognized as an official enterprise. One is to form a legal entity, that will vary from one state to another, and the other is to register the business for taxes.
Regardless of what type of business you decide to register as (for example, corporation, sole proprietorship, limited liability company, or general partnership), you should check the official website of your state to find more information about it.
As you probably noticed in this article, there are some important things you need to consider when starting your own veterinary practice. It is a great investment, but also a rewarding and exciting venture.
But first of all, a novice entrepreneur must determine the level of demand and the market situation to know whether it is financially viable to open his own veterinary clinic in a certain area.
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