There’s a greater need for veterinary services than ever before, and your veterinary business is going well – almost too well. You’re making a decent profit, but appointments are filled weeks – or even months – in advance, and your staff is constantly working. 

You’ve been thinking about expanding your reach by opening a second full-service veterinary clinic, but you’re nervous about the cost and your ability to hire more doctors and staff. Understanding how to grow a veterinary practice successfully is complicated, and you don’t want to end up overreaching.

One option you may not have fully explored? Buying a satellite clinic that focuses solely on core pet care needs such as vaccinations and other preventative care, maintaining wellness, treating minor illnesses, and providing diagnostic testing.

Why is this a great option? There are a number of reasons.

It’s a Schedule Relief Valve

If you’re constantly overbooked, it may seem like a good problem to have, but it can lead to clients going elsewhere if they’re unable to quickly get the help they need from you.

A satellite clinic helps by enabling you to handle preventative and minor care visits that don’t really require a full-service veterinary clinic or animal hospital. This type of care is critical, but it tends to take up time that could be better spent handling more severe cases. 

Additionally, minor illness care is often not as profitable in the context of a full-service veterinary practice, because it is not making use of any of the expensive equipment or resources full-service practices have at their disposal. Referring minor illness cases to your satellite clinic frees up those resources.

It Can Alleviate Staffing Burnout

No one needs to tell a veterinarian that this kind of work can be emotionally exhausting. Animals constantly arriving in various states of distress. Telling pet parents what kind of treatment is needed only to have them turn it down due to the expense. Having to euthanize patients that you know could be saved. Long hours without proper breaks.

Dealing with these kinds of things day in and day out can quickly lead to burnout for your staff, however, if you have a satellite clinic solely for handling minor illnesses and preventative care, where the outcomes and interactions are likely to be far more positive, it can offer a different kind of relief valve.

You can rotate people in and out of both clinic and hospital so that they have both “harder” and “easier” days, giving them a break when they need it. See how to do this without the need to hire.

It Will Earn You New Customers

Learning how to grow a veterinary practice involves a lot of factors, but one of the most important has to be expanding your client base. A satellite clinic can help you do this by tapping into the larger market of pet parents who just need general, non-emergency care for their animals.

This is a much larger market, and you should be able to offer more, shorter visits at your satellite clinic, because wellness visits don’t take as long. Moreover, when some of those clients do eventually call for more robust care, the satellite clinic will refer them to your main animal hospital, creating a pipeline to continuously grow your client-base.

It Serves as an Affordable Alternative

This is true both for you and for your clients. What does that mean?

In comparison to operating a full-service animal hospital, a satellite clinic focused on minor illness and preventative care is far less expensive to operate. This means you won’t have to worry about hemorrhaging huge sums of money as you build out your client base. 

Speaking of, your clients can benefit, too, because the low overhead of a satellite clinic means that you can offer far more competitive prices and still make a profit. This is key for those budget-conscious clients who struggle to afford care at your primary hospital.

This handy guide shows how opening an Essentials PetCare satellite clinic at a Walmart store is quicker, easier, and especially more affordable than other types of facilities.

Essential Tip: Want a completely turnkey satellite clinic with built-in, affordable brand recognition? Learn how you can become the owner of an Essentials PetCare clinic in your area.