When you decided to become a veterinarian, you likely did not go into the field because you wanted to spend a great deal of time focused on business matters like marketing strategies, market share, and competing with other veterinary clinics in your area. Because of this, you may have decided to move your practice from a dense city area where there are numerous veterinary clinics, to an under-served rural area in which there may not be a licensed veterinarian for many miles. If you have decided to set up your veterinary practice in a rural area, there are some steps you will want to take in order to best serve the rural community of livestock and pet owners around you. Get to know some of those steps you so can get started as soon as possible.
Buy Veterinary Ultrasound Systems and X-Ray Systems for In-House Testing
Running a veterinary clinic in a large city does have some decided advantages. One of those advantages is the fact that if you do not have a piece of large equipment like an ultrasound machine, x-ray, CT scan or the like, you can work out a deal with another veterinarian to send patients their way for those lab tests.
In a rural area, though, you will want to have as much of the testing and diagnostic equipment on-hand as possible so that you can do everything in-house. Many of the patients and their owners that you will serve do not necessarily have the means or the time to travel many miles for diagnostic testing.
Be sure to at least buy veterinary ultrasound systems, digital x-ray machines, and digital microscopes for your veterinary practice. Ideally, you would have an ultrasound system for use in the clinic only as well as a portable ultrasound system that you can take to people's properties to assess and examine larger animals like cows and horses. While this equipment can be costly, the benefits that it will give your veterinary practice and the patients you serve will make up for it.
Use Word of Mouth and a Personal Touch Rather than Traditional Marketing Techniques
When you are just about ready to open the doors of your veterinary clinic, your focus may shift toward getting the word out to potential clients and patients. However, in a rural area, the traditional means of advertising may not be as effective. Billboards, television and radio ads, and even online advertising to an extent, may not be worth your money.
Rural communities are so spread out that you will need to make more of a grassroots effort to let people know you are open for business to take care of the animals in the area. Get out and about in some of the towns you serve. Go to dinner at restaurants, go to town meetings, and the like and meet and greet people. Ask the people you interact with if they have any pets (or livestock if they indicate they live on a farm) and let them know about your practice and that you would be happy to help them keep their animals healthy.
Word of mouth travels fast in rural communities while response to traditional advertising does not. You may even want to travel out to some of the farms in the area and introduce yourself or send personalized postcards and flyers to those homes to let them know you are around to provide support and care to the animals they own. Personal and direct marketing are going to be your best friend as you open up your veterinary practice in a rural area.
Keeping these tips in mind, you can be sure that you are able to successfully set up your veterinary practice in a rural area as soon as possible.Share