How To Use Veterinary Practice Financing: 2022 Guide
There are many options available when you get approved for financing. Figuring out how to use veterinary practice financing is a different experience, however, as that money can be more difficult to put into your business than you think:
What makes the most sense? What is the most effective use of money? Is it OK to spend money on certain things and not others?
These types of questions are not unusual, especially for business owners who have never received financing for their clinic before. In this article, you’ll learn about the different ways to use veterinary financing so you can make the right choice for your business.
How to Use Veterinary Practice Financing to Grow Your Business
Utilizing financing options to grow your business makes it easy to expand the practice and minimize your cash flow burden as, instead of paying up-front for a million-dollar construction job or $30,000 piece of equipment, you can take out a financing loan to cover the costs immediately and pay back the total over time. (1)
“If you’re in decent financial shape and have a tight business plan, you have numerous options to get money for a new company, including ones that didn’t exist a few years ago.”
With financing loans, you can purchase equipment, expand the business, cover payroll during lean times, or even make business investments all without putting a dent in your current cash flow. There are many benefits to a financing loan that are unbeatable if your business is in a position to reliably pay that loan back on time and minimize the interest rates incurred.
Do you currently own a business that is running off outdated, obsolete technology?
Not only can this raise workplace stress and decrease efficiency and overall patient turnover on a daily basis, it can also lower the quality of care your practice is able to provide to patients, making it an essential upgrade for practice owners to consider when new technology comes out.
The downside, however, is that it can be difficult to offload old technology and recuperate costs, while new technology and equipment is often prohibitively expensive. Financing this equipment can reduce the immediate cost while allowing you to furnish the clinic with new, updated technology.
Word of mouth is an excellent way for veterinary practices to validate customer loyalty, but it only provides a fraction of most successful veterinary clinic’s new patients in any given year.
Most clinics receive new patients when another clinic closes down or lowers their patient quality standards, and when local populations of pet owners grow.
You may also have an opportunity to grow when you offer new services, providing you with a competitive advantage over other clinics, but unless the clientele know about this new service, it is unlikely you’ll see much growth from just financing new equipment.
Financing loans can also help you make the initial investment into marketing avenues, such as online marketing, a website build, or local advertisement through radio or billboards.
Improve Customer Experience
By improving customer experience, you will gain customer loyalty; this include patient care with the animals, as well as the overall experience for the pet owner once they are in the building.
Ways you can improve customer experience with financing is by remodeling and updating waiting rooms, investing in equipment to decrease patient wait times, and providing more interactive care through technology and attentive staff members.
Overall, a positive customer experience breeds customer loyalty, improving your business’ bottom line as they come to you for all their pets’ needs.
Move to a New Location
Relocating is a messy process for many veterinary clinics. While it is sometimes unavoidable, whether the lease is unable to be renewed, or a better location presents necessary visibility for the business to thrive, it is also costly.
A financing loan can help you secure a new location and minimize downtime during a move to a new location, allowing you to make the process as streamlined as possible and get set back up to offer services in no time, all without harming your current cash flow within the business.
Hire Additional Employees
If your business needs new staff – whether they are permanent or temporary – but you cannot afford the upfront costs to provide new staff with payroll and benefits, you can often use your financing loan to offset those costs.
While this is considered a much riskier use of financing loans on the business’ behalf, it may be used in slow seasons when onboarding new staff for the upcoming busy season. Using financing loans to hire new staff is most often beneficial when the business uses a staffing agency or recruiter who requires a commission based on the staff member’s salary upon placement.
The Benefits of Financing Your Vet Clinic
Your lender’s goal is to provide sufficient capital to help you grow your business enough to pay back the loan and interest, while minimizing their risk of losing the money by extending the loan.
As the owner of a veterinary clinic, you might be skeptical of additional benefits financing can provide. Many business owners look at financing loans as a way to make physical purchases or changes to their business, however, there are other benefits that don’t necessary affect the business in that way.
Examples of these benefits include accessing funds without selling equity – sometimes the only other option for businesses in a bind – or expanding a business sooner rather than later to take advantage of market demand.
Access to Funds Without Selling Equity
Sometimes, it may look like the business’ only option for an influx of cash is to sell owner equity in the business, making the decision-making process more complex and stretching the management structure of the clinic. This is a risky endeavor and should only be done with partners whom you trust to run the business efficiently as your own equity stake is diluted.
Financing loans, however, offer the business an alternative option to selling equity, especially as they become more common. These loans can provide a cash influx to cover various expenses all without requiring you to lose partial ownership of the business.
Wide Range of Terms Available
As lenders make this type of loan more available to small business owners, they are expanding the terms to provide a more competitive offer. Ultimately, competitiveness between lenders is a good thing, as they continue to provide incentives for you and your business in hopes that you will do business with them, rather than your current lender, if you have one.
Not only does this give you more options on the market, but it also gives you potential negotiating power with your current lender. This negotiating power is an excellent tool however, it should be used sparingly so it does not damage your rapport with your primary lender.
Use for Expenses You Haven’t Considered
You might not have considered using a financing loan on medications or break room perishables before, however, financing loans generally allow you to use the capital on anything that is fundamental to the business’ operation.
Fortunately, the bar to qualifying as a necessary business expense is low. If your staff members need coffee in the break room, for example, it may qualify as a necessary expense. While it might not be the wisest thing to spend money on, as you do have to incorporate the overall interest rate into the final costs, it is possible. As the business owner, you are allowed to think outside the equipment-payroll-location box of financing options.
Interest Rates and Highly Competitive
With more and more lenders offering financing loan programs, it incentivizes them to offer competitive interest rates. Financing loans are some of the most commonly sought-out programs for new and established businesses alike, and if your approval odds are high, lenders will be vying for your business.
Depending on the term flexibility of the program and your rapport with the lender, you may be able to negotiate additional benefits and competitive rates. Contact the brokers at BSF today to learn more about loan programs that might be right for you for no additional cost.
Start or Expand Your Business Sooner
Are you looking to start your business, or expand a pre-existing business sooner rather than later? A financing loan can help you get the ball rolling, building that foundation for the expansion or startup, covering up front costs.
Few businesses or business owners have enough cash on hand saved to make an expensive decision like purchasing land for development or furnishing a business from scratch.
Taking out a financing loan may allow you to take the next step in your business or get ahead of forecasted market trends, ideally putting your business in a better position to increase revenue and profit margins, even if your current financial situation will not allow an immediate expansion.
Veterinary Practice Financing Is Easier Than You Think
Financing loans used to be much more difficult to qualify for; however, several lenders have loosened their requirements to assist small businesses and begin encouraging entrepreneurship within the United States.
These lending programs are available from the SBA, conventional lenders, and now private lenders, providing you with a range of financing options depending on your needs and qualifications at the time of application.
Private lenders are more likely to approve loans in the case that you have bad credit or outstanding debts, however, the interest rates are steep, and many require that you put personal assets up for collateral, making it the last resort for many new and potential practice owners.
The SBA is a federally-backed lender to provide assistance for small businesses, however, it requires that alternative sources of funding are pursued first, and requires rigorous documentation of the whole process.
Conventional lenders now offer many loan options for small businesses or new practices, but as the business owner, you must shop around and find the right loan program with your needs, which can be an overwhelming prospect, especially if you’re looking to finance the purchase of your first clinic, rather than injecting capital into an established business.
How Do You Finance a Veterinary Practice?
Finding the right financing loan program for your veterinary practice can be difficult. With so many options on the market today, it has never been easier to qualify for a loan; however, that choice has led many potential entrepreneurs to back out of the idea of owning their own business as choice paralysis takes over.
With lenders having their own language as a part of these loan programs, with terms like APR or refinancing, how do you know which is the right choice for you? (2) Fortunately, the process simplifies when you understand that the qualification process is all about minimizing risk and getting to know you as a business owner.
“The more they know you, your circumstances and your integrity, the more they will trust that you are a good credit risk. The more they trust you, the more likely you will be able to obtain a loan from them.”
Fortunately, the brokers at BSF have made the process simple for you. Give us a call or send an email today and we’ll discuss where your business is today and where it needs to go. We’ll help connect you with the right business for your needs and refer you to lenders that meet your criteria for the financing, helping you every step of the way.
How Much Does a Vet Make with Their Own Practice?
A veterinarian-owner can make a sizable salary once the practice is established. With a sustainable profit margin and stable clientele across the business’ financials, owners can afford to take an owner-salary and set their own rates.
The risk with this is that they can over-extend the take and destabilize the business’ income. However, with the assistance of an accountant and an understanding of how the business’ operating expenses compare on a monthly and annual basis, you can make informed business decisions that increase that salary as the business’ profits allow.
The average owner can expect to take an annual salary of anywhere between $120,000 to $180,000 once the business has achieved profitability. Until that point, however, as is common with startups, you may not be able to take any salary amount without jeopardizing the business. Ownership of a business truly is a high risk, high reward situation.
How Do You Know When You’re Ready to Own Your Practice?
Many veterinarians are discouraged by the level of commitment it takes to become a business owner, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. The passion that propels many veterinarians through school can help them through the formative years of a new business.
After all, once the business is sustained, they stand to make more than the average vet on an annual salary basis, but no business is built by any one individual. It takes a collective effort and the right connections to create a successful business, even purchased as a pre-existing operation.
For more information on buying, selling, and financing veterinary clinics, contact BSF today through phone or email. We’ll help you take the next steps in your business, propelling you forward in this new chapter.
- Forbes.com, How to Get Money to Start a Business
- Forbes.com, How to Get Money to Start a Business
- Huffpost.com, Procuring Business Financing 101
- Huffpost.com, Procuring Business Financing 101