You’ve risked, sacrificed and put everything on the line to create a successful business. You’ve worked long days, stayed ahead of technology, attended conferences and built a legacy in your name with multiple people who’ve counted on you. So, how do you move on from everything you’ve created? How do you let go from both a personal and financial perspective? When do you have the time to put aside the day-to-day running of your business to plan for what’s next?

How do you prepare for the next chapter?

Writing a succession plan is one of the most difficult processes you’ll go through as an entrepreneur. It goes against your desire to build something amazing and instead, focuses on an exit strategy. As the owner of a veterinary practice, it can often be quite difficult as the positive relationships you’ve built with your clients are fundamental to who you are as a business person. Ensuring that the reputation of your practice is treated with the utmost respect, enabling it to stay intact long after you’ve chosen to step away, is imperative.

When is the best time to start succession planning?

Succession planning is not a one-time exercise but an ongoing, regularly updated strategy that’s revisited as circumstances change. Don’t wait until it’s time to retire, start planning early so you’re well aware of how, what, when and why. Advanced planning will allow you to make educated decisions that will affect your future and the future of those who’ve helped build this business alongside you.

Your succession plan should take into account an exit that will allow you to benefit financially from your life’s work while leaving a legacy you can be proud of. When you first dreamt of owning your business, you likely thought of the financial rewards down the line. Did you picture yourself sitting on a wrap-around deck at the lake or on the golf course? Were you traveling and chasing adventures or relaxing in the sunshine? Whatever it looked like, creating a well thought out succession plan will allow you to put those dreams into action! It will enable you to see exactly what you’ve built and logically and carefully, decide how your future will unfold.

There’s much to consider when developing a succession plan. Are you making a clean break or will you choose to phase out in stages? Will you sell wholly to a third party or are there partnerships to consider? Whatever choices you make, it’s important to understand the tax implications as well as the legal and financial impacts of your decisions.

A carefully planned succession should be part of your overall business strategy. Knowing where you are financially, both personally and professionally, will give you a clear vision of your current and future goals. Creating your plan early, will lessen the anxiety and ensure the ongoing success of the business you’ve built while allowing you to build a plan for a future, worthy of the business you’ve grown.

A great way to begin understanding your transition options is with VetStrategy. We know how important your clinic is to you and VetStrategy is committed to your future by being part of a succession plan that will give you a clear vision of where you are and where you’re going, with your values in mind.

To learn more about VetStrategy and find out how we can help you, contact Lisa MacIntyre-Smith, Vice President Business Development, at 902-292-4143 or

We look forward to helping you build your strategy.

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