Plan the number of days you operate on the size of the population you will serve and any shelters or rescue organizations that will use your services.
Focus on the number of households (not individuals) earning under $35,000 per year. Plan 500 to 1000 surgeries annually (that’s 20 to 25 surgeries two to four day per month) for every 5000 to 10,000 households (there are an average of 2.7 people in each household) within 40 to 50 miles in each direction. Make sure that you are able to reach out to each community that you expect to serve. Do not expect clients from areas in which you do not have time to flyer, poster or visit. Word-of-mouth takes time.
Find out what other resources are available. Are there local clinics charging $100 or less to spay a pet, or are the services several hundred dollars? If local services are more affordable, your clients may be solely those who are very low-income. Conversely, if spay/neuter is several hundred dollars or there is no clinic nearby, plan to serve a greater number of homes.