As the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact the nation, veterinary practice owners have been challenged to change existing procedures or find completely new ways of providing animal care while ensuring the safety of their staff and pet owners. Even with these additional burdens, veterinarians remain focused on keeping their practices going.
Despite the uncertainty veterinary professionals face, there are also new opportunities to make meaningful improvements to their practices. Whether you seek to make an immediate impact on your day-to-day operations or pave the path for long-term success, a business loan can help you achieve your goals.
1) Understand the value of cash flow
It’s true: Cash is king. When cash is tight, it can be distracting, but having working capital can empower you to stay focused on providing excellent care and ensuring business success. A cash flow injection can help you cover immediate operational and overhead costs including rent or mortgage, insurance, utilities, and payroll. Cash can be set aside into an emergency fund to cover any unexpected costs that may arise. And having extra cash on hand can help you get through any delays in client payments.
2) Consolidate debt
It might seem counterintuitive to get a loan to pay off debt, but it can help in big way. Consolidating your outstanding debt can simplify your finances by turning multiple payments and due dates into one. This can help decrease the chances of possibly missing a payment and potentially result in a lower monthly cost. Additionally, your credit utilization—how much of your available credit you’ve used—will go down. This can benefit your credit score, as utilization accounts for 30 percent of your overall score.
3) Invest in new equipment
New equipment can deliver safety, efficiency, speed, accuracy, and new revenue streams, not to mention peace of mind for pet owners who want their animals to be treated with the best technology and equipment. Whether you’re looking to update existing equipment or broaden your care offering, now can be a great time to make an investment. Comparing the cost of new equipment to the potential income you can earn over time can help put your return on investment into perspective.
4) Buy into, acquire, or start a new practice
The current economy is causing some practice owners to accelerate their path to retirement, indicating there may be opportunities to invest in or acquire an established veterinary office. Owning a practice or business can be rewarding and offer a newfound sense of freedom and flexibility. Now could also be a good time to start a new practice. The pandemic has sparked a rush of pet adoptions with more people working from home, increasing demand on pet care and services.
5) Enhance in-office comfort
Once restrictions lift and clients are allowed back in the office, they may arrive with a certain level of stress and concern over their pet. Updated exam rooms, new furniture, or an expanded waiting area can enable you to provide your patients with an enhanced experience to match the exceptional care you deliver.
When it comes to improving your practice, most veterinarians can’t afford to wait to invest. As financial relief programs from the government have an uncertain future, a traditional business loan is a steadfast option for those who need funding. Commit to building a healthier financial future for your practice so you can be there when your clients and their pets need you most.
Chris Panebianco is chief marketing officer for Bankers Healthcare Group (BHG), a provider of financial solutions for veterinarians. He is responsible for marketing initiatives to support BHG’s commercial working capital loans, personal financing, commercial and personal credit cards, Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, and collection management. Panebianco has more than 11 years’ experience in financing.