It’s fair to say most pets don’t love a trip to the vet, which is why in-home vet appointments are becoming increasingly popular. Not only are they more convenient for your customers (and their humans) but the calm, familiar environment can make it easier to treat animals who get nervous in a traditional veterinary clinic.
If you’re thinking of starting a mobile veterinary practice or want to diversify your brick-and-mortar clinic, here are the five steps you need to take to start offering mobile vet appointments.
The first step to offering mobile vet appointments is getting your insurance right. In addition to the standard suite of insurance you need to operate a veterinary practice, including malpractice insurance and special accident coverage, etc., you will need additional policies that cover you for home visits.
Protecting your business against third-party claims of injury or damage to property while visiting clients’ homes is essential. If you’re unsure what insurance coverage you need, seek professional advice — it’s not something you want to get wrong.
Next, you’ll need to decide which services you will offer in-home. It’s not necessarily practical to offer every veterinary service in a mobile option due to the equipment or aftercare required from certain procedures. Consider the resources you have available and how much you have to invest in fitting out a veterinary practice on wheels!
If you’re diversifying your brick-and-mortar veterinary practice, consider offering the following to start with for a quick and easy way to launch your mobile appointments
Once you’ve decided which appointments you will offer in-home, you need to determine your pricing structure. If you run a brick-and-mortar practice and are adding mobile appointments, you might consider adding a small fee to mobile vet appointments to cover travel costs.
If you’re starting a new mobile veterinary practice, you can pass the cost savings of not having to pay for/maintain a physical building onto your customers and offer lower pricing to attract new clients.
Either way, research other veterinary practices (particularly those offering mobile appointments) and compare pricing in your area to determine an appropriate pricing strategy.
Choosing the right scheduling software is the key to successfully offering mobile veterinary services. To handle the complex scheduling requirements that come with organizing appointments (and people) in ever-changing locations, you’ll need scheduling software for vets that’s designed for in-home appointments.
MarketBox is an all-in-one appointment scheduling software specifically designed for businesses offering in-home and mobile services. The software makes it easy to manage provider logistics and enables customers to self-book and pay online quickly and securely. To learn more about MarketBox and how it can help your mobile veterinary practice, book a personalized platform walkthrough today.
Once you’ve got the logistics for your mobile veterinary practice covered, it’s time to start advertising your services. If you run an existing veterinary practice, an email blast out to customers and a notice in the waiting room informing them about your new mobile appointments is an easy way to do it.
If you’re starting a mobile veterinary practice from scratch, running targeted ads on Google and/or social media can be an effective way to advertise your new mobile appointments. Consider also putting up flyers in local dog parks or enquiring with local pet stores about advertising there too.
Before you can start accepting mobile vet appointments, you’ll need to decide which of your vets will offer in-home appointments and when they’re available. If you’re running a hybrid practice, you must balance their time between your physical and mobile clinics.
To streamline scheduling, consider batching days, e.g., Vet A spends Monday-Wednesday in the clinic and Thursday-Friday offering mobile appointments.
Next, you need to set parameters around how far each vet will travel for mobile appointments. If your client base is spread across a large area, consider whether grouping availability by location makes sense to minimize travel time. For example, on Thursdays, Vet A only works downtown; on Fridays, they travel to the city's north side.
Once you know when and where your team will offer mobile appointments, put this information into your chosen veterinary software and let clients populate employee schedules as they book. Easy.
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