Learn to Share
Veterinary teams deserve more than a paycheck. Employees need to know the financials, be thanked, and hear what they can do to improve the practice’s performance and their own.
Going into the pandemic, I expected that veterinary hospitals would be financially devastated. Clients would not bring in their pets, practices would close and employees would be let go. Well, I could not have been more wrong. Veterinary practices are doing very well financially. In fact, many are seeing increases in income like never before. […]
My dog broke his leg
Sure, veterinary practices are super busy, but curtly turning away emergency cases or making pet owners endure long, silent waits won’t endear clients to your hospital. Video or audio visits, anyone?
My 18-month-old, love-of-my-life Great Dane rescue dog broke his leg. Ben was playing in the backyard and caught his right front leg in something, causing a greenstick fracture of his distal radius. This happened in the early afternoon, so I called the veterinary practice where we have been a client for over a year. Now, […]
A client bonding rate of 60% is nothing to celebrate. Use surveys, mystery shoppers, reminders and other tactics to get pet owners to come back to your clinic time after time.
When I present seminars, I talk about all the financial information that can be gleaned from practice management software, but do you know which benchmark I consider most important? Your practice’s bonding rate — the rate of return of clients within 18 months of their last visit. It’s your practice’s success rate. You might know […]
COVID-19 forced veterinary practices to forgo clinic walk-ins and instead move to parking lot transfers. You can make such non-traditional interactions even better for the client.
If you had told me a few months ago that I would walk into a grocery store and see bare shelves, or that I would be required to stay home and wear a mask when I go outside, I would have said you were out of your mind. Yet, that is our new reality as […]
Don’t shortchange yourself
Practice owners, just like their staff, deserve fair compensation. Revenue is key, of course, but you can increase it by regularly adjusting your fee schedules and eliminating giveaways.
I find very disturbing something that is occurring in our profession. It’s practice owners paying their associates more than they pay themselves. Now, don’t get me wrong. I want associate veterinarians to be paid more, and I want all team members to be paid more. Everyone in the veterinary profession has long been underpaid, in […]
It’s self-exam time
All hospitals need an occasional health check. Dive into the numbers, inspect the surroundings and review your digital presence to discover what ails your practice.
Veterinarians recommend that clients bring in their pets at least once a year for a comprehensive physical exam, so maybe it’s time we practice what we preach. When was the last time you did a comprehensive review of your practice and its management? Many practices schedule retreats around the beginning of the year, bringing the […]
Who’s managing your practice?
Employees can’t run on autopilot. They need proper training, oversight and feedback. You’re not doing your job if policies aren’t enforced and necessary discipline isn’t meted out.
I was consulting at a veterinary practice when two team members began arguing and yelling at each other in the pharmacy/laboratory area. Clients sitting in exam rooms could hear them, nearby colleagues were aware of what was going on, and the practice manager could not have been more than 10 feet away in her office. […]
What really, really annoys me
C’mon, veterinarians, you can do better. You need to stop discounting, and clients need to pay for all services rendered. Oh, and two more things: Dress the part and treat your employees properly. Now get to work!
You might not believe me after reading this article, but few things bug me in life. That is especially true with regard to my personal life. I subscribe to the philosophy “Life is too short, so don’t let the little things bother you.” Some things on the business side of my life, however, do bother […]
You’re not a babysitter
Practice managers are hired to manage. Often, the best approach is to direct team members to make decisions and resolve conflicts on their own.
Recently, while consulting at a veterinary practice, I saw the manager being constantly interrupted by team members. Many times, a line of people formed at the door. One team member was requesting a day off, another was asking for authorization to dispense heartworm medication, another was upset about how a co-worker had treated her, and […]
Be an employer of choice
Modest improvements in benefits or pay, or both, can pay off when it comes to recruiting and retaining employees. An incentive program can help.
Has hiring employees gotten harder lately? Not just finding veterinarians, but also veterinary nurses and other team members. Naturally, low unemployment is one reason for the problem. Another is the fact that we have underpaid veterinary employees for quite some time. I don’t think any practice purposefully underpays team members. Instead, we do it because […]