Mobile veterinary clinics provide an answer for two pressing needs: first, the need for pet owners to find convenient and timely veterinary services and, second, the need for veterinarians to find a cost-effective way to provide treatment. A travelling veterinary clinic has dramatically less overhead and fixed cost than a traditional clinic and pet owners have responded enthusiastically to the idea. If you have been thinking about starting a mobile veterinary clinic, you’ll need to consider the idea from several different angles before you begin.
Your Niche and Your Equipment
To start a mobile veterinary clinic, you’ll need to be able to bring all your equipment with you when you travel. You’ll need to think about the size and cost of your vehicle, as well as what equipment can reasonably fit inside. It can be difficult to fit all of the equipment needed for a full-scale veterinary clinic into one van, truck, or trailer, so you may prefer to focus your practice to a particular niche. For example, a “cats only” clinic will not need the same type of equipment that an equine clinic might need. Being successful will mean striking a balance between not biting off more than you can chew and not limiting your client base too drastically.
Team Up With a Traditional Clinic
To grab a market share right away, consider teaming up with a traditional veterinary clinic to provide a mobile service to their customers. You could pitch a mobile clinic as an extension of their office, or simply a mutually beneficial relationship where you refer clients back and forth as appropriate. For example, they could refer you clients who have a difficult time transporting their animals to a stationary clinic and you could refer them cases like surgery that are more difficult to provide in a the back of a truck.
Providing the Best Customer Service
A mobile clinic is a novelty that leaves customers feeling appreciated and that their needs are understood. Make top shelf customer service your strongest selling point by being responsive, adaptive, and attentive to precisely what your clients need. For example, you could schedule appointments outside of traditional business hours for clients who work long days. Utilizing an answering service like Centratel ensures that every call is answered and addressed, no matter the day or time. Offer drop-in days at apartment complexes and other densely populated areas to be even more accessible to your customers. Excellent customer service means excellent word of mouth advertising, the most effective (and elusive) way to earn more clients.
Mobile veterinary clinics are a service with ever growing demand and are a great business model for the right type of person. There are many different ways to set up your mobile practice and many considerations must be taken. No matter what, careful thought and planning must go into starting this type of practice, no different than starting a traditional brick and mortar clinic. Going beyond just equipment, advertising and pricing, the mobile veterinarian must give a lot of forethought to customer service as they do not have the traditional staff of a veterinary clinic office. With the proper planning, dedication and virtual tools available such as telephone answering service, the mobile vet clinic can be a very successful business while at the same time, making a difference in the lives of our four-legged friends.
Centratel is an elite national telephone answering service located in Bend, Oregon. Centratel’s Veterinary Answering Service assists hundreds of Veterinary businesses during and after-hours, throughout the United States and is, by a variety of statistics, the highest quality answering service available among the approximately 1,500 services nationwide.