While brick-and-mortar veterinary clinics are still going strong, they’re no longer the only game in town, as mobile vet clinics are on the rise. If you’ve been planning to open your own vet clinic, going the mobile route is an exciting alternative that gives you flexibility about your service area and can drastically reduce your costs.
Why Start a Mobile Vet Clinic?
The most significant advantage with a mobile vet clinic is how much money you can save, both in startup costs and operational expenses. For a mobile clinic, you just need a vehicle with sufficient space, generally either a trailer or a van, and the requisite veterinary equipment. You can purchase your vehicle and your equipment separately or get a vehicle that comes equipped with everything you need. Overall, the costs to start up a mobile vet are about a quarter of the costs to start a small brick-and-mortar clinic.
It typically costs less to run a mobile vet, as you’re not dealing with the overhead expenses that come from having a physical location for your business. You may save on employee wages, as a mobile clinic only needs a vet tech to assist with animal care and handle administrative tasks.
As beneficial as a mobile vet clinic can be for you, it can also benefit your community, especially if you operate in a rural area without a brick-and-mortar clinic nearby. If vet services aren’t readily accessible in a community, you’re doing it a huge service by filling that need.
Required Licensing and Permits for a Mobile Vet
To become a vet, you can go to an accredited veterinary college and get your doctor of veterinary medicine degree. There’s a North American Veterinary Licensing Exam you must pass, and it’s also important to check if your province has any other licensing requirements. If you go to a non-accredited college, you need to take more exams to get licensed.
Another important consideration with a mobile business is the permits required to operate in your area. Required permits vary depending on where you’re located. Fortunately, the Canada Business Network can help you find out exactly what permits you need for your mobile vet clinic with its permit search tool. Just plug in your location and the type of business you plan to start to see the permits you may need.
Setting Prices and Your Service Area
The final step in getting your mobile vet clinic off the ground is deciding on your service area and how much you plan to charge. It’s wise to figure these out together, because they may affect each other. For example, if you wish to cover a larger service area, you need to adjust your prices accordingly to cover the extra gas and time it takes to reach more remote customers.
Looking at the competition’s pricing can be a big help in setting your own. If your only competition is brick-and-mortar clinics, keep in mind that you can charge a higher rate since you’re making house calls.
A mobile vet is convenient for pet owners and a competitive advantage for you as the business owner. Once you’re set up, you can make excellent profits thanks to lower costs, while also getting the satisfaction of caring for people’s beloved pets.