Below are some keys to know when to start your own practice.
1. How long have you worked at a veterinarian practice? At minimum, you would need to work 5 years and build some rapport with clients. By doing so if you leave you have a good chance of some clients following you to your new practice. I would also network with people in the community and you could also work with a local marketing firm to help get your new practice recognized. Another great option is to meet with your local chamber of commerce. Usually, at least once a year they will put on an event to help local businesses meet with the citizens in that area. The best overall method is word of mouth. That is why building your relationship with clients is key to starting your own practice.
2. Can you do anything to set you apart from the competition? This could be extra certifications you could acquire or specializing in large animals. The customer experience is another way to differentiate yourself. I can't tell you how many times my wife and I have picked a business simply because they had excellent Google Reviews. Most people are usually passionate about great/poor service. If you go out of your way to help they will notice and pass that along. If you or your office staff is rude rest assured they will let everyone know to avoid your practice. I know this is simple but 95% of businesses fail in this one key area. Look at brands that people love or have a massive loyalty to. Southwest Airlines, Discount Tire, Toms Shoes, Chick-fil-A. All of these brands have great customer service!
3. How many vet practices are located in a 5-10 mile area? As a pet owner when there is something wrong with our border collie we want to be able to get to our vet fast. Obviously, the less veterinarian practices in your area the more people will come to your office. I am not saying you need to open your practice in the country but be mindful of your location. You can't work 24/7 but having the option for people to contact you or your office after hours for an emergency will give people peace of mind that your/your office is always available and willing to help in a crisis.
I hope some of these items help. Good luck on the journey!
Dr Gretchen’s Answer
Dr Gretchen Pearson, DVM