start_slide_0

Need help navigating through this stage of your Practice Lifecycle? Email Us

Start

Our Goal: Start You On The Right Path

When you’re ready to open a practice of your own, you typically have more questions than answers. Summit Veterinary Advisors is uniquely equipped to help you evaluate the risks and address the issues related to establishing a business. We have built our business on meeting the diverse needs of veterinary practices across the United States and we have an in-depth understanding of the initial steps and challenges of the Practice Lifecycle©. Our vast expertise enables us to deliver the tailor-made solutions you need to meet the goals you have set for yourself and your practice.

To learn more about how you will benefit from our individual service offerings that are designed to start your momentum, click on one of the service links below.

Associate Buy-ins

Whether you are the owner or the associate of a veterinary practice, buy-ins can be a winning solution for both parties.

Many owners choose to exit their veterinary practices in stages, which means they will sell a small piece of ownership to a valued associate or group of associates several years before they actually plan to leave. Such a strategy allows younger doctors to enter ownership sooner and to develop practice management skills alongside the current owner.

In most cases, the process has two steps:

Step 1: sale of a partial interest in the practice is brokered between the owner and the associate or group of associates;

Step 2: occurs a set number of years later. The associate or group of associates purchases the remainder of the practice when the original owner is ready to exit.

This approach creates a smooth and successful transition for the owners, staff and clients.  There are some important considerations, however:

  • What portion of the owner’s interest should initially be sold?
  • How do you determine a price that is fair to both buyer and seller?
  • How do you ensure that the asking price accurately represents what is actually being sold, i.e., a non-controlling ownership interest?
  • Should an associate get a price break for past services?
  • Can an associate get outside financing to buy a piece of a practice?
  • What are the income tax consequences for both the buyer and the seller?

Contact us today to discuss these concerns and learn more about how to properly structure an associate buy-in. We work with both buyers and sellers to structure buy-ins designed to accommodate their specific needs.

Demographic Studies

Are you thinking about opening a new practice?

Let us help you fully understand the unique characteristics of the area(s) you are considering.  Summit offers:

  • Access to detailed professional demographics reports not available on the Internet
  • Reports for any radius or geographic areas that interest you
  • Detailed analysis of demographics and data by experts in veterinary practice

We evaluate data relative to factors that correlate with pet ownership and spending. This means you’ll understand the general demographic trends of the specific area(s) that interest you and the factors that contribute to the potential success of a veterinary hospital.

Questions? Call or Click here

Practice Start-ups and Forecasts

When opening a veterinary practice of your own, it is typical to have more questions than answers. Let Summit help you turn your plans into reality and steer you toward success.

The investment required to start a veterinary practice can be daunting. Summit is uniquely equipped to help you evaluate your risks and address the issues related to establishing a business.

Our years of industry experience have given us critical insight into veterinary practice start up.  Summit team members have gone through this process personally, and we have helped countless others do so as well. We’ll help you assess the financial risks and rewards involved while guiding you through the related business decisions that you will face.

Summit’s forecasts will:

  • Provide objective advice that will help you evaluate the financial risks compared to potential rewards;
  • Help you understand the pros and cons of your decision relative to the amount of investment required;
  • Prepare a worse-case analysis to help you identify potential weak points and assess your tolerance for the risk;
  • Deliver the basic financial information for your business plan, as required by lenders;
  • Strengthen your overall business plan and support your loan applications
  • Create the foundation for your prospective three-year operating budget. This comprehensive spending plan is the single most important tool in helping to ensure the success of your practice.

Start today by contacting Summit Veterinary Advisors.

Structuring Compensation Packages

Striking a balance between what is fair compensation for employees and what is reasonable for your veterinary practice can be a challenge.  A doctor’s reluctance to negotiate financial matters, either for themselves or for their practice, can compound the problem. As a result, doctors or staff can be significantly over- or underpaid for their services, and benefit packages can vary widely from practice to practice.

We have worked with many veterinary hospitals to help both employers and employees negotiate compensation issues. Our experience can help you understand trends in the profession as well as design packages that will motivate behavior consistent with your core values. We can also help you deal with income and payroll tax rules surrounding compensation and benefits, which will keep the practice’s bottom line healthy.

Along the way, we can help you answer questions like these:

  • What are the pros and cons of paying doctors a straight salary, straight production, or a pro-sal combination of both?
  • Should all your doctors be paid under the same method?
  • Should long-term team members continue to get raises when they are doing the same job as when they started?
  • What’s the “normal” percentage of production that specialists are paid in today’s environment?
  • How are practices dealing with health insurance and retirement plan costs?
  • Is there a bonus system that allows receptionists, veterinary technicians, and assistants to share in the practice’s growth and success?
  • How do you get from your current compensation system to one that is fairer to all parties?

The best time to plan is today.

Get started now by contacting Summit Veterinary Advisors.

Monthly Accounting Services

Every business needs help maintaining and managing “the books” at one time or another. Summit is here to fill that role on a temporary basis when you are between bookkeepers, or on an ongoing basis when you want another set of eyes to review the numbers.

Because we work with practices at every stage of the practice ownership lifecycle, we know where to look and what to watch to ensure accuracy and completeness. At Summit, we will work collaboratively with you to ensure you have the best financial information to manage your practice.

We can help your practice with:

  • Reconciliation of bank accounts and credit cards
  • Month-end review of income and expenses
  • Payroll transaction entries
Practice Valuation for Practice Sale

Are you contemplating a partial or complete purchase of an existing veterinary practice?

In many cases, the asking price of the business has been set by the current owner or by a broker who stands to profit from the sale of the business.  Therefore, it is critical that you have the value of the business determined by an impartial third party.  This is where Summit Veterinary Advisors can help.

Our accredited valuation analysts abide by the standards of the National Association of Certified Valuators & Analysts (NACVA), the Institute of Business Appraisers (IBA) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).  These standards require us to perform an in-depth analysis of the business in order to determine the most reasonable and unbiased opinion of value possible.

Our valuation process includes a detailed analysis of the historical financial performance of the business as well as a wide variety of factors that can impact the long-term financial success of a veterinary practice.

Factors considered include:

  • Location and quality of the facility;
  • Local demographics;
  • Competition in the practice area;
  • Quality of the staff and the management systems in place;
  • Long-term stability of the practice;
  • Quality of the existing lease;
  • Service/product mix, and many more.

Our reports not only give you our fair and unbiased opinion of value, they give you a much better understanding of the business you want to purchase.

Questions? Call or Click here to get started now.

Affordability Analysis for Buyers

It is the seller’s responsibility to set an asking price for the veterinary practice. As a buyer, your job is to determine if the asking price is worth the reward that ownership provides.

Summit has a strong reputation for practice valuation; however, a full valuation is more than a buyer really needs in order to make a decision. Instead, we conduct a Summit Affordability Analysis based on historical information from the practice and on the factors that will likely change once you become the owner of the business.

If you are buying a piece of a veterinary practice, it’s possible that very little will change. The current owner or owners will likely continue to draw salaries similar to what they do now, keep the same benefits, and operations will continue as usual.

If you own a minority share, you may not have an opportunity to implement many organizational changes. Our review will ensure that the seller’s valuation reflects that fact in the asking price. If it does not, we will give you specific points to negotiate a reasonable reduction of the list price.

When you purchase 100% of a veterinary practice, you may have the opportunity to quickly make many changes to the operations. We will help you consider your budget and proposed changes in order to determine whether payment of the asking price leaves room for you to invest in the equipment or other improvements you desire. This helps you to avoid paying the seller now for the future growth opportunities that you will create.

In addition to analyzing the asking price, Summit’s Affordability Analysis will identify areas that may need more research, such as exploring facility lease terms and determining reasonable compensation for a seller who will exit the practice in the next few months. The fewer surprises in store when you become a practice owner, the better!

Questions? Call or Click here to get started now.

Budgets and Spending Plans

For many people, the word “budget” brings to mind strict spending limits, and concern for the future. At Summit, we believe that budgets are less about restricting spending and more about investing wisely to promote business growth.

A well-planned budget is a powerful planning tool. Think of it as a master spending plan or your practice’s customized decision-making guide. A budget helps you see future commitments so you know whether you can spend that “extra” cash now, or keep it to cover upcoming expenses.

A budget is also a great way to open a discussion among business partners about practice goals and what it will take to achieve them. Without a budget, you run the risk of overspending or failing to invest enough to grow your practice.

Summit will help you create a budget to:

  • Align your spending with industry standards, where appropriate;
  • Define goals and measure progress toward achieving them;
  • Keep the right amount of cash on hand;
  • Build up an emergency fund;
  • Plan for short-term borrowing, if needed;
  • Identify and address potential problems before they arise.

Learn more by contacting us today.

QuickBooks Set Up and Training

6Summit experts encourage veterinarians and veterinary practice managers to use QuickBooks Pro in-house accounting software to manage their finances. Too often, veterinarians and managers are frustrated in the financial planning process because they must rely upon third party accountants to provide valuable financial reports in a timely fashion. When you handle your financial records within your office, you have faster access to financial data and control over the accounting process.

QuickBooks Pro is user-friendly, and easy to learn with no accounting degree required. System reports are simple to create and meaningful, which means taking your financial pulse no longer requires you to wait for reports from an accountant. Timely information helps you identify and respond to changes immediately, keeping you nimble and up to date with your business trends.

We have a certified QuickBooks Pro Advisor on staff to help you with everything from the initial setup and training to troubleshooting.

Summit can help you:

  • Set up your chart of accounts according to AAHA or AAEP;
  • Understand which numbers are most important to track and why;
  • Establish policy for consistent recording of all financial transactions, including deposits, bills and payroll information;
  • Understand what reports will help you assess the financial health of your veterinary practice and how to interpret them;
  • Determine the difference between assets and equity;
  • Provide recommendations and give you tips on protecting your assets.

The proper setup of your accounting systems ensures that you can extract the most meaningful information when you need it, and it helps you to compare your practice results with industry standards. In short, we’ll put you in control of your finances.

Questions? Call or Click here to get started now.

Human Resources

The people on your veterinary team, including doctors, managers, veterinary technicians, and support staff are key to delivering quality patient care and client satisfaction.

Summit is an industry leader in all aspects of Human Resources. We specialize in helping veterinary practices motivate their team members and keep them delivering top-notch service through:

  • Doctor and staff compensation evaluations
  • Motivation and rewards, including budget-friendly and no-cost options
  • Wage bands for the veterinary practice team
  • Salary negotiations
  • Practice manager coaching and development
  • Personal coaching on effective leadership for practice owners or managers

Make the most of your team by calling Summit Veterinary Advisors today at 303-980-4000.

You and your team have been a lifesaver for me. All your help has been appreciated. It is good to know I can count on Summit Veterinary Advisors.

Debbie McVay
Veterinary Medical Center of Turlock
Turlock , CA