5 Important Points For Veterinarians
To Consider When Expanding Their Practice
There are lots of reasons that expanding your practice may be a smart and timely move. However, after years of experience working with veterinarians all across the country, we've found that there are five main points worth considering during this process. If you're thinking about an expansion or new build for your practice, be sure to consider these points first.
#1) Consider Your WHY
When we work with doctors who are considering an expansion, the number one problem they are facing is running out of space. They are finding themselves “bumping butts” when they work! Although a lot of doctors think that working in tight spaces lends well to efficiency, quite often we see the opposite scenario play out. In fact, one of the best signs of spacial inefficiency is if you are having to schedule appointments at least two weeks out. Chances are, this is an indicator that you're not able to service your clients adequately in your existing space.
Are you wanting to offer new services? This is a great reason to consider expansion. Sometimes you simply need a bigger footprint to offer additional services to your community.
Are you starting to plan for an exit strategy? It may sound counterintuitive, but an expansion can be a great way to increase business to bring more doctors into your practice and set yourself up a strategic exit plan when you're ready to retire.
These points may seem obvious, but your personal WHY can be the driving force not only of your design but how the project will be funded.
#2) Consider Your LOCATION
Is your currently location the most lucrative spot for you to serve your existing community? If you think so, then do you have enough land to expand your current facility? Sometimes purchasing and renovating an existing building may be the most affordable option. This can be tricky to navigate and requires some insight from those experienced in zoning requirements or your city's transportation regulations for road access.
Apart from the physical land and current facility location, it's important to consider whether your community has a large enough demographic to support a larger veterinary practice. This is something we specialize in and create a custom report about for each client based on a specific analyzation of relevant demographics from their city or town.
#3) Consider Your ZONING Requirements
Especially if you're considering expanding your practice and your services, zoning regulations can be the trickiest part of the build out. For instance, what type of veterinary hospital and operations you plan to offer will determine how extensive the governmental process is for your approval.
#4) Consider WHO You Work With
An expansion or new build will require working with a large team of specialists throughout the process. Some of these people such as an, Accountant or an Attorney, are probably already involved in your business in some capacity. But in addition to the Design/Builder and Architect for your project, you will also need a Realtor, Lender, Civil Engineer, and a Contractor at various times throughout the build. Depending on any additional governmental conditions, you may also need expediters or other specialty individuals at various points in the project.
With so many moving parts, that's why it is imperative that you hire someone who is specialized in build outs or new builds in the veterinary industry.
#5) Consider The UNFORSEEN
As the old saying goes, be prepared to expect the unexpected. Regardless of how many projects have been completed, every new one has its own identity and path. While many aspects are predictable, there are several things that are constantly changing. Zoning codes, building codes, and community boards can change or have a greater impact on your business as it changes.
Apart from human error or change, don't rule out the unexpected “acts of God” that tend to put a kink in time sensitive plans. From COVID to hurricanes or even an unseasonably wet year, you need to be flexible with certain deadlines so that you can make the best decisions accordingly. When things happen that are completely out of your control, allow for a bit of wiggle room so that you're not forced into making poor decisions to meet a deadline.