I'm a mobile practitioner hoping to start my own practice. How can I find a lender who will work with me?
Your lending options depend on how much money you have to put into your start-up, says Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member Gary Glassman, CPA, partner with Burzenski and Co. in East Haven, Conn.
Anytime you ask a lender for money, you'll need to put together a business plan that describes your practice, discloses your professional background, and presents a set of financial projections that reflect your ability to repay the loan. You should also include information such as the cost of the project, amount of the loan requested, expected repayment term, and expected interest rate. If you plan to put less than 20 percent of your own funds into the project, you'll likely need a Small Business Administration (SBA) lender.
You have the choice of using a local lender or searching for a veterinary-specific lender—both types of lenders can offer conventional or SBA financing. Many manufacturers of mobile veterinary units also have lenders lined up that you can use. And keep in mind that many veterinary distributors will want to assist with your start-up by offering extended payment terms for initial orders. No matter where you pursue financing, always consider getting at least three or four financing term sheets before you choose a lender that best suits your needs.