Americans love their pets. And that love is reflected in how much money we spend on them, with veterinary care accounting for one-third of total pet spending. With pet ownership staying steady at from 65–68% of households and pets living longer than ever as owners demand more complex treatment plans, the outlook for U.S. veterinary practices is robust. Sales are forecast to grow at a pace of 7.47% compounded annual rate through 2026—faster than the overall economy’s growth.
There are three ways to benefit from this demand for veterinary services: start a veterinary practice, expand your current practice or acquire a practice. In all three instances, you may find yourself needing a business loan to move forward.
How Business Loans Can Help Veterinary Practices
The increased demand for veterinary services presents opportunities and challenges. Among the latter that are unique to the industry are slow cash flow, continuing education needs and maintaining qualified staff. Addressing those realities is necessary whether you are starting, expanding or acquiring a practice but there are also specific capital needs created in each of those situations:
- Start a new practice: finance construction, fund project expenses, get working capital
- Expand a practice: purchase equipment, remodel the office, add a new location
- Acquire a practice: ensure a smooth transition, get working capital, secure multiple practice financing
The good news is there are plenty of funding options available to support your business dreams.
Funding Options For Veterinarian Practices
Since every veterinary practice is unique, there is no one-size-fits-all funding option to assist with startups, expansions and acquisitions. While traditional SBA loans and bank loans can be difficult to secure, the following four types of alternative business loans may provide an easier path to funding:
- Business Term Loans—Typically ranging from $20,000 and $60,000 but also available in lower and higher amounts, these types of loans have no restrictions on how they can be used but they often go toward funding growth strategies; financing expansions, mergers or acquisitions; and taking advantage of opportunities such as purchasing inventory in bulk.
- Business Lines of Credit—Offering the most flexibility, lines of credit are available to draw from and repay as needed, thus they are ideal for responding to unexpected expenses, purchasing inventory, repairing equipment, investing in growth or filling in cash flow gaps.
- Equipment Financing—With the equipment serving as collateral, these types of loans can be easier to acquire, especially for those just starting out, and can fund the purchase or repair of veterinary equipment such as scales, lighting, IV pumps, anesthesia machines, exam and procedure tables, and digital x-ray imaging and ultrasound machines.
- Hybrid SBA Funding— Basically a fraction of the time and paperwork typically 2-3 weeks but capped to a smaller funding amount of $350,000
How To Apply for Veterinary Practice Business Loans
Because of their high earning potential, stable income and high net worth, veterinarians are often considered ideal candidates for funding. Alternative lenders, in particular, are focused on supporting businesses by saying “yes” to their loan applications but they will certainly review applicants’ credit history, practice history (if applicable) and ability to repay the funding.
Contact Clear Skies Capital today at 800-230-9822 to see if you qualify for a veterinary practice business loan.