If you have decided that you are going to take the plunge and start your own vet business, you are probably feeling excited yet nervous at the same time! Starting any sort of business is overwhelming, yet there is a lot to think about when it comes to a veterinary practice. With that being said, in this blog post, we are going to provide you with some crucial tips and pieces of advice to get your vet clinic up and running in the best possible way.
Create a business plan
There is only one place to begin, and this is by putting together a business plan. We are sure that you already have all of the medical know-how, but you also need to have good business sense as well. It is not just about focusing on patient care. Of course, this is the main priority. However, if you do not make sure your practice is open and funded, you’re not going to be able to care for anyone, so you need to make sure your idea is a viable one and that you continue to run it in a successful manner.
Putting together a ‘launch’ team
You would not build a home by yourself, would you? Yes, you may have the ultimate control, but you would surely hire a number of people to carry out certain jobs to ensure the best possible outcome, such as designers, plumbers, and contractors. The same notion goes when it comes to your vet clinic. For example, you may need a marketing manager, accountant, financial planner, or interior designer. It all depends on your goals and your current skill set.
There are a number of different tasks you are going to need to complete in order to set up your vet clinic. Therefore, by considering these tasks, you are then going to be best placed to determine what sort of assistance you are going to require.
Here are some of the steps you are going to need to take…
- You will need to create a presence online. Harnessing the power of social media marketing and digital marketing is imperative so that you can reach new potential pet owners and increase your authority in the industry.
- Before you can even do this, though, you will need to establish your brand. What is it that makes your vet clinic stand out from the rest? Why should people choose you?
- You are also going to need to acquire all of the necessary licenses are permits for providing pet healthcare and opening a business.
- You may need to secure funding as well so that you can afford all of the expenses relating to setting up and maintaining a successful vet practice.
- Accounting practices need to be established. This begins with opening a business bank account and then keeping detailed and accurate documentation of expenditures and income.
- You need to register for taxes too, letting the government know you are compliant with all monetary regulations.
- Finally, you will, of course, need to register your new practice as a legal entity. You will need to have the right insurance plans in place as well. You can compare policies online, yet if you do not have a lot of experience it is worth speaking with an advisor who can recommend the right coverage for your new vet clinic.
Ordering supplies and equipment
You are going to need a lot of supplies and equipment for a veterinary clinic. We will talk you through some of the main ones below.
Choosing the right microscope for your needs
Veterinary equipment should always include a good quality microscope for viewing specimens and for diagnostic purposes generally. When you are making a relatively major purchase like this for your surgery or laboratory, what factors should you consider?
One thing to note when considering any high-value vet supplies you purchase is that you don’t necessarily need to opt for the most expensive model on the market. However, nor should you automatically go for the cheapest. Instead, think about what you will use the microscope for, how frequently and how many people will have access to it; and invest a proportionate amount of money accordingly. If immersion oils are routinely used to improve the resolution and brightness of samples, for example, the microscope may see more wear and tear than otherwise. Alternatively, a microscope that comes with higher resolution lenses may obviate the need for using such oils in some circumstances.
Check what accessories come with the model you are thinking of buying. Are there spares of parts that might be needed in the short term, such as a new lamp and fuse? How many microscope slides are included? Analyze the length and terms of any warranty offered. Can you return the item within a certain period if you realize it is not suitable for your requirements? What support is offered by the seller if a fault occurs with the product?
Selecting blood collection tubes
There is a wide range of veterinary blood tubes available, catering to the abundance of different blood tests that can be carried out on pets. This includes hematology tests, such as leukocytes (LEUK) and packed cell volume (PVC), as well as biochemistry tests, such as alkaline phosphatase (ALKP) and blood glucose (GLUC), and specific tests, comprehensive blood tests, and pre-op blood tests.
There is a lot to consider when purchasing such veterinary consumables, as you need to ensure the tubes are the right size and that they are easy to identify. Most tubes come color-coded to indicate the presence or absence of an anticoagulant, and the type of anticoagulant enclosed. Popular blood collection tubes veterinary include serum tubes, plasma Tubes, and EDTA tubes. The latter has been designed to collect blood for fibrinogen, cytology, and for hematology testing on small animals.
So, let’s take a look at the other types of popular veterinary blood collection tubes that were mentioned, starting with plasma tubes. This is the type of vet tube you need if you are looking for something to use in clinical chemistry tests that are not going to be impacted by Lithium Heparin, as these tubes have the Lithium Heparin anticoagulant inside. These tubes can be purchased with or without gel. If they do not contain gel, the plasma needs to be pipetted off immediately. If they do contain a separation gel, you can simply pour off the plasma into a plain sample tube, ready for testing. With plasma tubes, the blood can instantly be centrifuged once it has been collected.
Serum tubes are also popular and can come with or without gel. These tubes are designed to encourage the formation of clots and retraction from the sides of the tube. It is vital that these tubes aren’t kept in a refrigerator, but instead in a dark and warm place, as this will ensure maximum expression of the serum and clot formation. While these may be three of the most popular blood collection tubes, there are plenty of other options available. These include sodium citrate tubes, plain screw-top bottles, either made from plastic of glass, as well as fluoride-oxalate tubes and micro-centrifuge tubes.
Tips on using blood collection tubes at your vet clinic
When using these tubes, there are a few things you need to be aware of. Firstly, you need to make sure that you do not over-fill or under-fill the container. The tube should be filled to the line. Over-filling can cause clot formation while under-filling can result in false low PCV/MHct readings and red cell shrinkage.
You also need to ensure that the blood is immediately transferred to the tube once it has been withdrawn, otherwise, blood clots could form before the blood has been transferred. Finally, to ensure hemolysis does not occur, make sure the needle is removed before you dispense the blood from the syringe.
Make sure you connect with other reputable businesses and provide a full service
As a vet, you will find that you will be an important point of contact for all pet owners and soon-to-be pet owners. If they have a query about an email or they need questions answered, they will often get in touch, even if this is not in your complete line of work. However, it is important to be there for people; good relationships are the backbone of any successful vet clinic. Team up with reputable sellers so you can be sure that your customers are getting their animals from trusted people. For example, for those looking for Lab puppies, they can see them here. This is a good way of promoting genuine and trusted sellers while also promoting your own business, as they will recommend you as their vet of choice in return.
So there you have it: some useful tips and advice on how to open your own vet clinic. If you have been dreaming of opening a veterinary practice for quite some time now, we hope that the information in this blog post has been useful for you. Good luck with your new venture!