How To Start A Mobile Vet Business

Start A Mobile Veterinary Service
💡 Introduction To Starting A Mobile Veterinary Service
🎬 How To Start A Mobile Veterinary Service
🚀 How To Launch Your Mobile Veterinary Service
🌱 How To Grow Your Mobile Veterinary Service
🏃🏼‍♀️ How To Run Your Mobile Veterinary Service

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You've stumbled upon the idea to build a mobile veterinary service and now you're ready to take the next steps.

There's a lot to think about when building a business, so we put together a guide on how to get started, launch, grow and run your mobile veterinary service.

We also provide you with real-life case studies and examples of founders running successful mobile veterinary service (and how much💰 they're making today).

avg revenue (monthly)
$580K
starting costs
$270K
growth channels
Partnerships, Word of mouth
best tools
Instagram, Canva, Squarespace
time investment
Full time
tips
2 Tips

💡 Introduction To Starting A Mobile Veterinary Service

Services To Offer For Your Mobile Vet Business

There are a variety of different services you can offer for your mobile vet business.

Here are some of the most common:

  • Emergency Vet Services
  • Pet Vaccines
  • Preventative Care Services
  • Grooming/upkeep

Here's an example from The Mobile Vet Clinic of the three core services they offer:

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Players

Big Players

Small Players

Search Interest

Let's take a look at the search trends for mobile vet over the last year:

How to name your mobile veterinary service

It's important to find a catchy name for your mobile veterinary service so that you can stand out in your space.

Here are some general tips to consider when naming your mobile veterinary service

  • Avoid hard to spell names: you want something easy to remember and easy to spell for your customers
  • Conduct a search to see if others in the space have the same name
  • Try not to pick a name that limits growth opportunities for your business (ie. if you decide to expand into other product lines)
  • As soon as you have an idea (or ideas) of a few names that you love, register the domain name(s) as soon as possible!

Why is naming your mobile veterinary service so important?

The name of your business will forever play a role in:

  • Your customers first impression
  • Your businesses identity
  • The power behind the type of customer your brand attracts
  • If you're memorable or not

It's important to verify that the domain name is available for your mobile veterinary service.

You can search domain availability here:

Find a domain starting at $0.88

powered by Namecheap

Although .com names are the most common and easiest to remember, there are other options if your .com domain name is not available. Depending on your audience, it may not matter as much as you think.

It's also important to thoroughly check if social media handles are available.

As soon as you resonate with a name (or names), secure the domain and SM handles as soon as possible to ensure they don't get taken.

Read our full guide on how to name your business ➡️ here

Ask Other People

Sometimes, coming up with a name is as easy as asking other people, whether that be friends, family, people at a coffee shop, or in Spyq Sklar case, his own customer!

How we came up with the name Cat Sushi:

So, we put together a quick business plan and set aside some money that we were willing to risk. One of our loyal customers actually came up with the name. We still give them free cat food.

Read the full story ➡️ here

The name "Cat Sushi" checks all the boxes for naming a business:

  • Memorable and funny
  • Short and simple
  • Obvious that they sell treats for cats
  • Fun & unique story - their customer literally came up with the name of their business!

🎬 How To Start A Mobile Veterinary Service

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Write a Business Plan

Writing a business plan from the start is critical for the success of your mobile veterinary service.

Why?

Because this allows you to roadmap exactly what you do, what your overall structure will look like, and where you want to be in the future.

For many entrepreneurs, writing out the business plan helps validate their idea and decide whether or not they should move forward with starting the business.

You may want to consider expanding upon these sections in your business plan:

  • Executive Summary: Brief outline of your product, the market, and growth opportunities
  • Overviews and Objectives: Overview of your business, target customers, and what you need to run your business
  • Products and Services: Specifics on the products and services your business will provide
  • Market Opportunities: Analysis of customer demographics, buyer habits and if your product is in demand
  • Marketing: Outline of your marketing plan and how you plan to differentiate yourself from other customers
  • Competitive analysis: Analysis of your competition and the strengths and weaknesses therein
  • Operations: Hierarchal structure of the company and what it will take to run the business on the day-to-day
  • Leadership Team: Detailing roles and responsibilities of each manager based on their specific skill-set
  • Financial Analysis Understanding of all expenses, operating budgets, and projections for the future.

Learn more about how to write a business plan here

When it comes to setting up your business, you may find yourself in a place where you have to make some financial and legal decisions.

The first thing you'll want to decide on is whether you want to be an LLC, S-Corp, or C-Corp.

These three options are found to be the most common when starting a small business, and all serve to protect your personal assets and also provide you with certain tax benefits.

  • LLC: All income and expenses from the business are reported on the LLC personal income tax return.
  • S corp: Owners pay themselves salaries + receive dividends from profits.
  • C Corp: C Corps are separately taxable entities that file a corporate tax return (Form 1120). No income tax is paid at the corporate level and any tax due is paid at the owners individual expense.

Depending on where you're conducting business, you'll also want to consider securing the proper permits, licenses and liability insurance.

Learn more about securing the right permits and licenses ➜

Need to start an LLC? Create an LLC in minutes with ZenBusiness.

Startup Costs For Your Mobile Veterinary Service

If you are planning to start a mobile veterinary service, the costs are relatively low. This, of course, depends on if you decide to start the business with lean expenses or bringing in a large team and spending more money.

We’ve outlined two common scenarios for “pre-opening” costs of a mobile veterinary service and outline the costs you should expect for each:

  • The estimated minimum starting cost = $20,090
  • The estimated maximum starting cost = $516,100
Startup Expenses: Average expenses incurred when starting a mobile veterinary service. Min Startup Costs: You plan to execute on your own. You’re able to work from home with minimal costs. Max Startup Costs: You have started with 1+ other team members.
Employee & Freelancer Expenses
Payroll: This number depends on if you decide to pay yourself a salary upfront and how many employees you have on payroll. At first, many founders take on all responsibilities until the business is up and running. You can always hire down the road when you understand where you need help. Keep in mind, if you do plan to pay yourself, the average salary founders make is $50K. $0 $4,000
Total Employee & Freelancer Expenses $0 (min) $4,000 (max)
Website Costs
Website builder: The cost of your website will vary depending on which platform you choose. There are many website builders on the market, so it's important you choose the right one for your business and overall goals. To learn more about your options + how to build a great website, check out this article. $15 $100
Web Designer: If you have the necessary skills to design your website, then it may not be necessary for you to hire someone. However, if you do decide to go that route, make sure you establish an understanding of upfront cost, design and what the ongoing costs will be to manage the site. Here is what to expect when hiring a web designer. $0 $6,000
Total Website Costs $15 (min) $6,100 (max)
Retail Business Expenses
Shop Decor: If you plan to operate a physical store, you may want to consider decorating the place with wall decor, furniture, plants etc. $0 $5,000
Total Retail Business Expenses $0 (min) $5,000 (max)
Equipment & Supply Expenses
Cleaning Supplies: To get started, you may want to consider getting basic cleaning supplies. Note, that you may not need to buy all the cleaning tools and supplies at first. You can consider purchasing in bulk down the road. $25 $500
Total Equipment & Supply Expenses $25 (min) $500 (max)
Vehicle Expenses
Mode of Transporation: For your mobile veterinary service you'll need to rent or purchase an operating vehicle such as a van, vessel, RV, or enclosed trailer. $0 $350,000
Fuel: Fuel costs vary on the area that you practice and the length you drive per day. $50 $500
Total Vehicle Expenses $50 (min) $350,500 (max)
Specific Industry Expenses
Vet Equipment/Supplies: To get your mobile vet service started, you will need proper medical supplies, equipment, and pharmaceuticals to run your business. The required equipment is as follows (but not limited to), digital scale, portable x-ray machine, portable ultrasound machine, centrifuge, and dental equipment. Learn more here $20,000 $150,000
Total Specific Industry Expenses $20,000 (min) $150,000 (max)
Total Starting Costs $20,090 (min) $516,100 (max)

Raising Money

Since the startup costs to start mobile veterinary service range between $20,090 - $516,100, there are ways you can raise money to cover these costs.

Here are a few ways you can secure additional funding:

Mobile Vet Service Startup Cost Example

Thankfully, a company that knew me gave me some money for signing a 5-year contract with them. I used this money to start the foundation.

Pharmaceuticals were the biggest expense. I stocked up on supplies knowing that I had one month to pay the bills.

I did go to numerous banks for loans but the banks require that you are in business at least 2 years to get an SBA loan.

So I basically used what I made to pay bills and buy supplies.

We had to use our credit cards more than a few times.

At a year and a half, I got a lucky break. A banker from First Trust decided to ride with me for a day and see what I did. He loved it and wrote me a loan which helped us tremendously. I still use First Trust Bank to this day!

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Lisa Aumiller, on starting housepaws ($580,000/month) full story ➜

Revenue Expectations

We've interviewed several different founders in the mobile veterinary service and asked them how much $ they're making today.

housepaws

  • $6.96M/year in revenue
  • Sells mobile veterinary service
  • Solo founder
  • 82 employees

When it comes to setting up your business, you may find yourself in a place where you have to make some financial and legal decisions.

The first thing you'll want to decide on is whether you want to be an LLC, S-Corp, or C-Corp.

These three options are found to be the most common when starting a small business, and all serve to protect your personal assets and also provide you with certain tax benefits.

  • LLC: All income and expenses from the business are reported on the LLC personal income tax return.
  • S corp: Owners pay themselves salaries + receive dividends from profits.
  • C Corp: C Corps are separately taxable entities that file a corporate tax return (Form 1120). No income tax is paid at the corporate level and any tax due is paid at the owners individual expense.

Depending on where you're conducting business, you'll also want to consider securing the proper permits, licenses and liability insurance.

Learn more about securing the right permits and licenses ➜

Need to start an LLC? Create an LLC in minutes with ZenBusiness.

How To Price Your Mobile Vet

One of the most challenging and critical pieces to starting your mobile veterinary service is determining how much to charge for your mobile vet.

When businesses under-price their product, this can be extremely detrimental to their bottom line and reputation.

Often times, businesses under-price their products to drive demand and volume, but that last thing you want is for customers to view your product/service as "cheap." Additionally, this can have a big impact on the type of customer you attract, which can be difficult to recover from.

On the other hand, when businesses over-price, this tends to be just as damaging to the business.

When customers buy, it's likely that they will explore the internet and look at other competitors to ensure they're getting the best value + deal. This is why it's so important that you research your competition and understand where you land in the marketplace.

Here are some factors to consider when pricing your product:

Understand your customer

It's important that out of the gates, you identify the type of customer you want to attract and how much they're willing to pay for your service. One great way to do this is by surveying your customers. Here are some important items you'll want to takeaway:

  • Customer demographic: Age, gender, location, etc.
  • Buying habits of your customer: What they buy + when they buy
  • Level of price sensitivity with your customer

All of these segments will help you identify the type of customer you're attracting and how to price your product accordingly.

Understand your costs

When pricing your mobile vet, it's critical that you first identify all of your costs and consequently mark up your mobile vet so you can factor in a profit.

The actual cost of your mobile vet may include things like:

  • The actual cost to make the product (ie. raw materials, supplies, manufacturer).
  • Shipping + overhead fees
  • Rent
  • Operating costs to run your business

You may want to consider creating a spreadsheet with every single expense involved in operating/owning your business. This will give you an idea as to what you need to generate in order to at the very least, break-even and will help you price your products to factor in a profit.

Create revenue goals

When determining the price of your mobile vet, you'll want to create goals for revenue + how much profit you want your mobile veterinary service to make.

This process is simpler than you may think:

  1. Think about your breakeven cost (by completing the above step).
  2. Create a revenue goal based on your break-even cost
  3. Evaluate the # of items you plan to sell in a given period (make sure this is a realistic number)
  4. Divide your revenue goal by the number of items you plan to sell

This figure will help determine your estimated price per product in order to meet your revenue goals.

Evaluate your competition

The last piece in determining how to price your mobile vet is by simply looking at your competition.

The best way to do this is by finding like-minded businesses that offer product(s) with similar perceived value. Then, you can compare prices of the different businesses and determine where your mobile vet fits best in the marketplace.

All of these factors play an equal part in pricing your mobile vet, so it's important you evaluate each one individually to come up with an accurate price that will help optimize your business from the start.

🚀 How To Launch Your Mobile Veterinary Service

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Build A Website

Building a website is imperative when launching your business, and with the right tools in place, this can be a simple task to check off the list (without having to hire someone).

  1. Pick a domain name that's easy to remember and easy to type
  2. Choose a Web Hosting Plan (ie. Shopify, Squarespace)
  3. Make sure you choose the right theme and design
  4. Implement the proper page structure (ie. about page, contact page, pricing etc)

To learn more about how to build a stellar website with little stress, we give you all the details on this step-by-step guide.

Web Design

Once you have chosen the domain, web hosting, and platform, it's time to get started with the design phase.

Themes are a great way to produce the fundamental style and identity of your website - this includes everything from your font design to your blog post styles.

One of the best ways to get started is to simply explore the various themes (free or paid depending on what you're looking for) and test them on your site.

If web-design really isn't in the cards for you, you may want to consider outsourcing a web designer to help bring your vision and brand to life.

Traditional Launch Strategies For Your Mobile Veterinary Service:

There are various different ways you can launch your mobile veterinary service successfully.

Here are a few different strategies to get customers excited about your mobile veterinary service:

  • Set up a Facebook page for your business. This is a great way to establish an online presence
  • Host an event in a fun location with drinks & food. This is a great way to get exposure in the local community.
  • Get Press! Pitch your story to the media and you may just land in an amazing publication
  • Live sales to get customers excited
  • Send a hand-written letter in the mail with a discount on your services to the local community/neighborhoods.

Lisa Aumiller, founder of HousePaws launched her business with zero marketing dollars. Here's how:

Our company was founded on personal connection and we make sure that everyone we hire knows that personal connection with our clients and their pets is where it’s at.

Initially, we had no marketing budget, so the rule was we could only invest in our community.

I visited places where people congregate: gyms, hairdressers, cafes, delis, etc. I told everyone about what I was doing. I attended any community event I could go to and set up an “Ask the Vet” table.

To this day we still only engage in community marketing. We go to events, parades, host educational lectures, and we do fun things like doggy swim parties. We love our customers and want to connect with them on that personal level.

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Lisa Aumiller, on starting housepaws ($580,000/month) full story ➜

🌱 How To Grow Your Mobile Veterinary Service

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Grow Your Email List

The more engaged list of emails, the more engaged customers, which ultimately leads to more sales.

One of the best ways to start growing your list is by providing your customer with something free (or discounted) in return.

This could also be anything from:

  • Ebook
  • Fascinating case study
  • Video series
  • Free week of the product
  • Discount on the product

Learn more about how to grow your email list and improve email marketing ➜ here.

Dylan Jacob, founder of Brumate states their email collection tactic that is proven to work:

We use Spin-a-Sale for this (you spin a wheel for a discount code in exchange for subscribing to our email list). This has been the best email-collecting tool we have found because the customer truly feels like they won a prize rather than just a coupon code.

Even if a customer doesn’t convert right away, if we have their email we have a 19% chance of converting them into a future customer whether that is through future promotions, new releases, or simply just sending an email at the right time for a purchase to finally make sense for them.

We also have a return customer rate of over 14%, so one out of every 6 people we convert will end up buying from us again with an average order value of over $60.00.

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Dylan Jacob, on starting BrüMate ($12,000,000/month) full story ➜

Improve Your Email Marketing

Different types of emails

Here are the most common types of email campaigns you can send to your customers and their benefits:

  • Welcome emails - the perfect way to provide information from the start with a clear CTA. Make sure to tell your customer everything they need to know about your product or service.
  • Newsletters - a great way to give customers updates or send out your latest content
  • Product launch emails - the quickest (and easiest) way to increase sales is by selling to current customers. Make sure they're the first on the list to know about your new product
  • Promotional emails - promote discounts, deals coupons etc. Try and make this feel exclusive and for a limited time only
  • Abandoned cart emails - give your customers a reason to complete their purchase!

Here's a great resource for finding curated email designs, for all types of email campaigns!

Email Marketing Tips

Sending a weekly newsletter or roundup to your email list is a great way to stay front of mind for your customers.

Dog owners take pride in staying up to date with the latest trends in the dog world - here are some great ideas for writing content in the space:

  • Training Tips
  • How to make your dog comfortable at home while you’re at work
  • Write a collection of short stories about life as a vet
  • Types of dog food to use

Wag does a great job at personalization with their email marketing.

In the subject line, they always mention the name of your dog with an enticing reason to open the email.

For example, one of the last emails I received from them was a subject line that said:

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Authenticity

As a brand, you want to deliver an experience that authentic, honest and transparent.

Don't make the mistake of giving your audience less credit than they deserve.

Be Authentic

If you go around chasing every trend and only focused on yourself and money, you’re going to lose very quickly.

There have been many times where we have been tempted to do this but stayed true.

Sure we sacrificed sales, but we kept our integrity, played the long game and people saw and appreciated that, and really began emotionally investing in the brand.

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Valentin Ozich, on starting I Love Ugly ($300,000/month) full story ➜

🏃🏼‍♀️ How To Run Your Mobile Veterinary Service

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Provide Great Customer Service

Providing exceptional care and creating relationships with clients is a great way to build your reputation and retain customers.

Whether you are an online business or a physical business, it's highly important to communicate with customers and make them feel like they are the priority.

Just remember: customer service represents your brand, values, vision and YOU as a person.

Customer Service is Key

Providing exceptional care and creating relationships with clients is a great way to build your reputation and retain customers.

It’s really all about building relationships, providing the best possible care, and checking in with clients regularly to be sure their needs and their pets' needs are being met.

Our clients are not just clients…

They are extended family members and friends. Their pets, we treat as we would our own pets. We built our company on relationships. Entrusting someone with your fur kids is HUGE!

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Melodi Landi, on starting Furry Fellas Pet Service LLC ($54,000/month) full story ➜

Outsourcing

If you can afford to hire someone to help support your mobile veterinary service, outsourcing is a great way to save you time and energy.

Most importantly, outsourcing can help you focus on the core growth of your business, versus spending your time on day to day tasks that other people can do just as well!

If you do plan to outsource your work, it's important to be hyper-familiar with the actual work involved.

Why is it important to be hyper-familiar with the work?

  • So you can understand how long it takes
  • So you understand the full process, edge cases, things that can go wrong.
  • So you can explain it in detail to your employee.
  • So you can make sure it actually works (for example - how do you know cold email works for your business if you’re not on the ground floor trying it out?)
  • Understanding the tasks at a deep level will save you a lot of time and money.

Build a Referral Program

Word of mouth is one of the best ways to get the word out about your business and acquire new customers. Especially when you are starting out, it’s important to build a solid referral program to encourage existing customers to help you find new ones.

A great way to do that is by offering a reward (ie. credit on your service or cash) to customers that refer you to their friends and family.

A fantastic referral program will help with clout, credibility, and establishing yourself in the space.

Melodi, founder of Furry Fellas gives advice on competition, referrals and how this translated to $50,000 in sales:

I learned to work with my competitors rather than against them. When you think of business, we often look at other providers offering the same services as only competitors but if you network with those businesses, you can help each other out and refer business back and forth.

In this industry, there is enough business to go around! In 2019, we brought in almost $50,000 due to referrals from competing pet sitting and dog walking businesses.

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Melodi Landi, on starting Furry Fellas Pet Service LLC ($54,000/month) full story ➜

Resources

We put together the best resources on the internet to help you start your mobile veterinary service.

Tools

Books

Web Resources

Videos

Case Studies

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Starter Story,   Founder of Starter Story

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