The Impact of Discounts on Veterinary Practice and Valuation

Dated: October 21 2023

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Advise For Veterinarians, Veterinary Practice Valuations | Veterinary practice valuations and practice value are impacted by discounts. Learn how to affectively balance the pros and cons of discounts.

Veterinarians are dedicated to both animal health and giving back to their communities. One way they achieve this is through various discount types: employee, charitable, marketing, and random discounts.

These discounts not only reflect their generosity but also play a pivotal role in strengthening their practice, building goodwill, and enhancing their community standing. However, these discounts come with pros and cons that can significantly influence the success and valuation of a veterinary practice.

Employee Discounts
Recognizing and appreciating employee commitment is a primary concern in veterinary practice. To show gratitude, practices often offer reduced fees for veterinary services to staff members and their immediate families.


  1. Enhanced staff morale and loyalty.
  2. Attraction of top talent within the industry.
  3. Demonstrating appreciation for their team’s hard work.


  1. Employee discounts can reduce a business’s revenue and profit margins, potentially leading to a decreased valuation. This necessitates a balanced and consistent employee discount policy in accordance with IRS guidelines.
  2. Employee benefits within a veterinary practice are subject to specific IRS regulations, with most benefits considered taxable income unless specific criteria are met.

Charitable Discounts
Veterinarians frequently extend their care to animals in need through charitable discounts, which are typically offered to organizations like humane societies, shelters, and entities such as “Guide Dogs for the Blind.”


  1. Strengthened community ties and goodwill.
  2. Encouragement of responsible pet ownership within these organizations.
  3. The opportunity to provide vital care to animals in need.
  4. A positive image that can lead to increased clientele, positively impacting practice valuation.


  1. Offering discounts can reduce profit margins, potentially leading to a decreased valuation. A balanced, well-managed approach with a consistent and fair discount value is crucial.

Marketing Discounts
Marketing discounts serve as a strategic approach to attracting new clients, retaining existing ones, and promoting specific services. These discounts can take various forms, such as promotional raffles offering “free exam coupons.”


  1. Increased client acquisition.
  2. Higher service utilization.
  3. Improved client loyalty.


  1. Reduced Revenue: Offering free services results in a direct loss of potential revenue, which can negatively affect financial performance and valuation.
  2. Impact on Profit Margins: Offering free services can erode profit margins, as the cost of delivering those services still exists but without corresponding revenue.

Random Discounts
Random discounts are offered when veterinarians feel compelled to provide a discount for various reasons, with the value varying based on circumstances and client needs.


  1. Building client loyalty and trust.
  2. Providing flexibility in addressing client-specific situations.


  1. Excessive random discounts can negatively impact the practice’s financial health and, consequently, its valuation. Striking a balance between compassion and financial sustainability is crucial.
  2. Veterinarians are committed to giving back through various discount mechanisms, including employee, charitable, marketing, and random discounts. While these discounts offer numerous advantages, they also come with potential drawbacks that can affect practice success and valuation.

Careful management and a balanced approach to these discounts are essential for maintaining both the financial stability of the practice and the morale of its dedicated team. Ultimately, the impact of these discounts on a practice’s valuation depends on their effective integration into the overall business strategy.

In summary, the practice of giving back through discounts reflects the compassion and commitment of veterinarians. When harnessed effectively, these discounts can be a force for good, nurturing both the practice and the community it serves.

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Sheila Fitzpatrick

Specializing in Veterinary Practice Brokerage, Commercial Real Estate Leases & Sales, Business Brokerage - "DVMs choice for Veterinary Practice Sales" - Serving You Nationwide! Dr. Sheila Fitzpatrick ....

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