It's never easy to decide whether purchasing or starting a new practice is the right course for you--each option has its own pros and cons. But as you conduct your research into the two alternatives, your path will become increasingly clear. Below are several key points to consider.

The benefits of practice acquisition. Purchasing or buying into an existing practice is generally an easier road to ownership. With an existing practice, you have an established client base and income flow, allowing you to realize profits from day one and adjust practice details over time. With a regular client base, you may be less reliant on marketing to establish cash flow. And, you may find it's easier to attain a loan, as the business has a proven track record upon which the lender can base its decision.

However, purchasing an existing practice may require more work to bring everything in line with your vision and management style. You inherit not only the benefits, but also the problems, such as employees who may require training or discipline, or a floor plan that needs reworking. The practice may require ongoing modifications and repairs in order to become the hospital you truly want.

Practice start-up: The pros and cons. Building your own practice from the ground up gives you the ultimate degree of control in creating the professional environment you want. From the facility itself, to equipment and employees, you're in charge of deciding what works best for you.

But practice start-ups can have plenty of challenges of their own. You will need to hone your ability to sell your veterinary services while employing a significant level of planning, marketing, and management skills. You'll be making numerous decisions about hospital design, equipment purchases, employee hiring, systems and protocols, and client outreach.

Some lenders may be more reluctant to extend credit for a practice start-up, as there is no income history, existing equipment, or property to use as a collateral base. This is particularly true for lenders who are not specialists in professional practice lending.

The good news is that Wells Fargo Practice Finance is a specialist in veterinary practice lending. So if you're thinking of purchasing or starting a practice, talk to us about our customized practice acquisition and start-up financing packages. As an AAHA member, you are automatically eligible for preferred pricing on competitive fixed-rate loans.

Contact us today and we'll send you a free Practice Success Kit, with our latest Strategies for Success newsletter, a New Veterinarian Planner, and an easy-to-use business plan template.

To learn more about Wells Fargo Practice Finance, just call your financing specialist at 866-4MY-PAWS (866-469-7297) or visit us at wellsfargo.com/veterinarians.

All financing is subject to credit approval.
©2014 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Wells Fargo Practice Finance is a division of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.



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