Setting up a successful small animal veterinary practice.

Malcolm Wright BVMS. MRCVS
March 2018.
The Author – Malcolm Wright BVMS. MRCVS

Malcolm, having failed his 11 plus and getting only one GCE at 16, his life seemed pretty well mapped out. However, over the next three years while working, he managed to pass enough O levels to give him the chance to sit and pass the required A Levels to get to Glasgow University to study Veterinary Medicine. Qualifying in 1972 he spent the next three years in Newcastle, Devon and London. Personal family circumstances resulted in him returning to Newcastle upon Tyne where opened his first practice on July 28th 1975.
Over the next 10 years it was built up to a 14 vet 6 site group, but as result of the legal restrictions that only veterinary surgeons could own a practice, he decided in 1992 to take on two partner’s to give a way of exiting at some point in the future. Two years after this the profession allowed incorporation and hence ownership to non-vets, great timing!
The practice continued to grow and when he retired in 2000 it was both a veterinary hospital and the largest veterinary group in the Tyne Wear area. Having realised a couple of years previously that 53 was too young to retire he started to think about developing another group which would be functioning when he exited Westway. He formed firstvets Ltd which went on to develop into an 18-vet unit with branches in Glasgow, Durham, West Midlands, Northamptshire and Newcastle.


Chapter 1 Introduction.
Chapter 2 Is it right for you?
Chapter 3 Success and failure.
Chapter 4 Getting started.
Chapter 5 Where to open.
Chapter 6 Getting the right premises.
Chapter 7 Finalising your plan.
Chapter 8 Presenting your plan.
Chapter 9 Funds agreed- what next?
Chapter 10 Staff, hours and fees.
Chapter 11 Sourcing your equipment.
Chapter 12 Getting your clients in.
Chapter 13 Keeping your clients

A personal journal

At the beginning there were a few times when my head dropped, so I wrote down my feelings in a diary.
I have included some pages at the end of each chapter, don’t be put off, everyone goes through these phases, on the way to the light at the end!

Chapter 1.

There is nothing particularly unique………..