It goes without saying that choosing the road less traveled to Entrepreneurship involves its fair share of risk. Among the sea of veterinary clinics and hospitals, what will make animal owners turn to you over another?
In an era in which customer service is high on the list of priorities for most companies, customer experience as a whole is gaining in importance for the end-user. Wouldn’t it be phenomenal for a client (or potential client) to step into your clinic and automatically get a feel for your service? Before even speaking to a receptionist, the space is a ﬁrst impression that need not be overlooked.
Fancy enough, just as your science revolves around animals, there are people whose science revolves around space, namely interior designers.
As deﬁned, quite accurately, by Wikipedia:
“Interior design is the art and science of enhancing the interiors of a space or building to achieve a healthier and more aesthetically pleasing environment for the end user. An interior designer is someone who plans, researches, coordinates, and manages such projects. Interior design is a multifaceted profession that includes conceptual development, space planning, site inspections, programming, research, communicating with the stakeholders of a project, construction management, and execution of the design.”
Interior design for veterinary practice could henceforth be deﬁned as: enhancing the will and intentions of veterinarians to create an eﬃcient clinical space that feels welcoming to their customers and most importantly, soothing for their patients.
Designers have an awesome job because they are free to pick an interest, pick a cause, pick a passion, and create and elaborate solutions accordingly. Interior designers are generally known for their decorating skills due to popular culture, however, their expertise tends to range above and beyond “picking colors and furniture.”
Interior design is part of a bigger picture: urbanism, landscape architecture, architecture, engineering, industrial design… Each further elaborates an aspect of ﬁnding solutions to optimize living, at a diﬀerent scale; whether it be by conﬁguring cities, buildings, kitchens or teapots! Depending on the ﬁrm and/or designer, services oﬀered will vary according to expertise. Meeting with a designer before the beginning of a project, even if just “to get the ball rolling”, can be beneﬁcial in understanding the process and extent of the commitment a given project represents. One can also be useful for preliminary studies, selection of an existing space to purchase or rent, or for budget discussions. Involving a designer in an ongoing project as early as possible is also cost-eﬀective in the sense that all professional parties (design, architecture, engineering, etc.) can complement each other’s work and allow you to budget more accurately.
In the same way that better design of a zoological park allows for a more adapted captivity of animals, better design of a veterinary clinic or hospital will render a better overall service and experience. In addition to putting the well-being of the patient at the forefront, a good design will also favor an ergonomic space molded to employees and all tasks in which they engage daily. The durability of an interior will also be considered regarding the nature and risk of regular wear, longevity of material, and possible expansion space (for when you get so successful that you will not know where to sit your clients!).
Planning with a professional (or group of professionals) limits errors and unforeseen events. Successful entrepreneurship also means to equip yourself with the adequate resources to carry out your business. In doing so, you will be at ease knowing you are covered on all bases and consequently be able to focus on doing what matters most to you: practicing good medicine.