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Money Matters

practice owner

Unpleasant Consequences

Money Matters

Your practice might not be worth what you expect if you don’t plan for its sale and leave the clinic with enough doctors.

Clients bring in their pets annually for vaccinations but decline your recommendations for preventive care, dental cleanings and lab tests. At some point, a number of those pets show up with fleas, a mouthful of painful teeth or a debilitating disease. While you want to tell the pet owners that neglect led to the problems, […]

average practice

How Average Are You?

Money Matters

Don’t automatically fear the worst if your practice defies industry benchmarks. You might have good reason to be where you are.

I’d bet no one believes they work at an average veterinary hospital. Like most of us believe we are better-than-average drivers, most veterinary practice owners and managers think their hospitals are above average in the quality of patient care, compassionate customer service and treating doctors and employees fairly. But since you are clearly above average, […]

corporate ownership

Your Ownership Choices

Money Matters

Consolidator money is chasing multidoctor practices. If you don’t want to start a clinic from scratch, consider buying an overlooked hospital or obtaining a small stake in a corporate transaction. 

The situation is all too common. You were promised — or you at least expected — the opportunity to become a partner in the veterinary practice where you work, only to be outbid by a corporate consolidator. Is this the end of your dream to own a veterinary hospital? It doesn’t have to be. Let’s […]

chart of accounts

How to Account for Your COGS

Money Matters

A list of codes can be as complex or as straightforward as you want. In the end, it will help you monitor and adjust your expenses and prices.

Imagine this scenario: A practice broker says you will get a much higher price for your veterinary hospital if you reduce your spending on the cost of goods sold (COGS) from 30% of gross fees to 25%. In a practice grossing $2 million, you would need to cut spending from $600,000 annually to $500,000. Alternatively, […]

practice owner

Ownership Is a Great Idea

Money Matters

Nothing is guaranteed, but investing in and running a veterinary hospital can be a win-win financially and for your career.

At some point in their career, all veterinarians in private practice imagine their ideal hospital — from the type and level of medicine practiced to the diagnostic equipment purchased to the experience that clients would expect. To create that ideal practice, you need to own the business. Becoming an owner is achievable regardless of how […]


Know When to Walk Away

Money Matters

If you’re an independent practice owner, don’t rush into a sale to a consolidator. Here’s what to watch for. 

Remember when veterinary practice buyers were scarce and hospital owners were concerned about finding one — or they expected the pool of buyers to be small? Then along came the consolidators, who used outside money to cherry-pick the best of the best practices. Today, as the inventory shrinks, the competition to buy practices has intensified. […]


How Much Profit Is Enough?

Money Matters

How you spend excess money is your decision, not your adviser’s, but make sure you set goals and have a path to attain them.

Not that long ago, many veterinarians considered profit an unworthy goal. After all, they had a higher purpose: a calling to care for animals and prevent and alleviate their suffering. Profit was not a priority. As long as there was enough money to keep the lights on, things were fine. Keeping the lights on, however, […]

payroll systems

The whole picture

Money Matters

A cash stockpile can leave you with a false sense of security if you fail to scrutinize all the systems that keep your practice humming.

When a client presents a patient, how do you assess the animal’s health? Before touching the cat or dog, you might get a feel for its well-being based on coat quality, general body condition and demeanor. Do you stop there? Of course not. If we instead substitute a veterinary practice for the patient, the owners […]

valuation analyst

Who ya gonna call?

Money Matters

Selling a practice isn’t a do-it-yourself endeavor.

Are you thinking about selling your veterinary practice? Are you ready for retirement? In a perfect world, your hospital would be appraised three to five years before you plan to sell so that you know what your practice is worth at that moment and to give you sufficient time to make changes that could increase […]

goodwill buyer

How uncertainty affects valuations

Money Matters

Buyers of veterinary hospitals prize the stability of earnings over time and the seller’s ability to successfully deliver goodwill.

What is the impact on a practice’s valuation during a crisis like COVID-19 when hospitals change how they manage clients and patients and when the usual daily grind is anything but usual? Honestly, not much — at least not yet. The two primary influencers of business value are cash flow and risk, both of which […]