7 Tips for Starting a Veterinary Practice
Starting a veterinary practice? Opening a new clinic can be a challenging yet exciting endeavor. To become a successful veterinary practice, you must play your cards right. In order to have a solid business plan accompanied by great results, it’s important to weigh out all your options.
We’ll discuss a few essential tips for new veterinary practices to help them grow and achieve their business goals. You’ll be more confident to open your practice once you go through our helpful advice.
1. Find the Perfect Location
There are several things a veterinary practice owner should consider before leasing a property for their business. First, you must ask yourself how many competitors are already in the area. If there are plenty of veterinary clinics in the area you’re targeting, you have to position your veterinary business in a unique light. Targeting a saturated area will be challenging.
If there aren’t many veterinarians in that area, you’re in luck because you can position yourself as the go-to expert in veterinary medicine in that town or city. Your vet practice can make its mark in the area with a solid business plan.
Why is this important? New businesses should decipher if they think they have a chance to outperform the competition or if they can work collaboratively with other local businesses. Your location sets the bar for the type of clientele you can expect and how challenging it will be to get new clients.
2. Pros and Cons of Different Locations
Next, you should ask yourself if your veterinary practices can cater to the foot traffic expected in an area. If you choose a place in a busy urban neighborhood, will your veterinary practice be able to handle walk-in appointments? Are frequent guests coming in to ask questions?
If you choose a quieter suburban community, you can expect more patients to make their appointments in advance. Or the overall environment may be much quieter and maintain a slower pace. You should be honest and determine what you and your team are ready to handle. After all, you wouldn’t want to be overwhelmed and give clients subpar clinical services.
Another thing you should consider is the cost of opening your practice in a specific area. Your location will impact your business expenses immensely. If you’re a small business owner with a limited budget, it might not be ideal for you to open a huge practice in a big city right off the bat. If you have an existing practice, you might be in a better financial position to open a new clinic in a bigger and busier area.
In addition, your location can impact your access to suppliers. It would be more cost effective for your practice to source supplies from the local area. You should determine if the place you’re eyeing grants you access to good-quality pet product suppliers. If you choose a neighborhood that’s a bit far from suppliers, you will have to factor in the additional shipping cost to secure the products you need to keep your business running.
Your location determines the opportunities you can take advantage of to grow your business. It can also impact the costs of opening and maintaining your new clinic. It can even affect your accounting and tax filing.
3. Explore all of Your Marketing Options
Whether a startup or a seasoned business owner, your marketing strategy can make or break your new veterinary practice.
Here are some traditional marketing tactics you can explore as your open your new practice:
- Business cards
- Print ads
- Television commercials
Traditional marketing strategies remain to be practical and relevant today. If you’re opening a new practice in an area with predominantly older clients, these people might not be tech-savvy. Therefore, giving out brochures and buying print ads may be a practical way to get your business noticed by these types of pet owners.
Moreover, traditional marketing allows your practice to reach people anywhere, not just people using their devices. If there’s a shopping center or a park near your practice location, handing out flyers might be an effective way of reaching more people.
4. Digital Marketing Ideas To Try
While there’s nothing wrong with traditional marketing tactics, you should get out of your comfort zone and explore digital marketing to grow your business. You should leave no stone unturned and maximize all the tools.
Here are some digital marketing strategies your business can try to set up a successful veterinary practice:
- E-mail marketing
- Social media
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Pay-per-click advertising
- Video Marketing
- Claiming your business listings
- Content marketing
- Online reputation management
- Influencer marketing
While engaging in traditional marketing tactics has its strengths, it also has some limitations. Digital marketing allows you to push the envelope and position your business as an industry leader, someone your clients can trust. You might even be able to reach out to people outside your local community. In addition, digital marketing will enable you to strengthen your relationships with customers and possibly build loyal communities.
With a good marketing plan that uses both traditional and digital marketing strategies, you can make the most of your resources and position your business in the best possible light as a veterinary clinic owner. There are plenty of incredible opportunities in digital marketing, and your business is missing out if you don’t explore the possibilities of going digital.
5. Create a Winning Website
So just how important is your website? Your veterinary website can be your ticket to business success. What practice owners should understand is that your veterinary website serves as your digital profile. It should highlight your best services, and provide information for veterinary medicine, or an online store.
Your website is instrumental in positioning your practice as an expert in veterinary medicine. So you have to make your website count. If you want to make future clients consider your practice professional and trustworthy, your website should reflect everything you intend your company to represent and beyond.
Fortunately, you don’t have to start from scratch when creating a winning website for your veterinary practice. There are plenty of professional-looking themes you can explore to make your clinic look like a place any pet parent can trust.
Creating a winning website is more than just having a professional aesthetic. A modern website is equipped with the right tools that can help you boost your business and increase your patient conversion.
For example, a great, hardworking website would make it easy for website visitors to find your social media platforms. This feature can be instrumental in increasing your social media following. You can also have a feature that encourages people to sign up for your newsletter. This particular feature would help expand your email marketing database.
No matter how beautiful or packed with cool features your website is, if it takes too long to load, many people might not spend time exploring what your website has to offer. So you should be strategic with every aspect of your veterinary practice’s website.
6. Opening Week: Have a Plan for Your Staff
First, it should be noted that hiring the right staff and veterinary assistants absolutely matters. You need motivated people who can make a good impression, as your staff’s performance can impact how your clients perceive your business. Take your time reviewing each candidate’s personal resume and the personal assets they can bring to the table.
The quality of your customer service can make or break your new business. Plus, you should give your staff proper training so they’re ready to entertain your clients. You can equip your veterinary team with the right training to provide your customers with the best service possible.
Regardless if your staff is in the reception area or a dedicated nurse, you should have a script ready. Your staff should be ready for possible questions new clients might be asking.
It goes without saying that your staff should be polite and kind when dealing with customers. Moreover, your staff should be familiar with the type of services you’re offering and answer any basic questions clients may ask them. They should be helpful in assisting people in booking a new appointment at your clinic or have a general understanding of what kind of services your clinic specializes in.
Think About Your Online Reputation
In this digital age, anyone can leave a bad review, and if your staff is clueless about your services and what you do, your potential clients might get turned off and talk badly about your clinic online. First impressions truly matter nowadays as some unflattering words about your clinic can leave a lasting bad impression on other people, and might discourage others from visiting your practice.
Aside from proper training and providing a script, it would be a great idea if you and your staff have a daily huddle to avoid confusion or mishaps. Communication is key to ensuring everyone on your team is up to date with the latest updates within your practice. This daily meeting would also be a great opportunity for other staff members to share their experiences that others can learn from.
When your staff is well-trained and updated on everything that is to know about your practice, you can be confident that they can leave a good impression. Moreover, you empower them to provide exceptional customer service.
7. Prepare Video Materials
In this digital age that’s full of distractions, it can be challenging to get people’s attention. This is where video marketing comes on. Videos can also make it easier for people to understand what you do.
Use your business skills and apply them to making informational videos that explain in detail some of the main benefits of your more nuanced services. It would be a great idea to have an introductory video that informs people about who you are and what you do. This explainer video can also be instrumental in making it easier for people to find your clinic.
What’s great about video content is that you can use them for various channels. You can post your videos on our website, social media platforms, or even in your clinic itself. Plus, you can also open your own YouTube channel if you like.
Explore making educational videos that highlight some of your best clinical skills. Suppose you want to position your veterinary practice as an expert in veterinary medicine. In that case, you should be able to showcase how your team can provide pet owners with the best services. Educational videos help position your practice in a trustworthy light.
You can explore and produce videos about past success stories. Featuring case studies demonstrates how your clinic has the potential to help pet parents with their fur babies’ conditions. Moreover, these types of videos show that you can walk the talk and be of service to pets everywhere.
Follow other veterinary clinics on social media for ideas, inspiration, and comradery. Maybe show behind-the-scenes action of your small business administration and business life.
BONUS TIP: Hire professionals that provide dedicated business banking to assist your financial needs.
Opening Your Vet Clinic With Stellar Resources
Starting a veterinary practice can be an exciting journey! Are you ready? With everything you have on your plate, you may not have the bandwidth to apply all these tips. We recommend starting a veterinary practice with all the best resources to guide you on this exciting endeavor.
VetMatrix specializes in marketing for practice owners in the veterinary industry. Our team of experts can help you maximize your digital marketing efforts and turn your other business goals into realized great success. From website creation to top-tier market research, our team can assist new practice owners establish business legitimacy online. For more information on digital marketing packages get in touch with a veterinary consultant and marketing expert, call 800.792.8384 or click here.