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team members

Plan B

Fearless

In the midst of crisis, turn fear and anxiety into clinic opportunities.

Asking my team members “How are you?” was difficult in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic. The responses typically were accompanied by sagging shoulders and expressions of frustration, sadness or uncertainty. The pandemic waged war on our physical, emotional, and mental and financial health, but we continued to drag ourselves to work to fulfill our […]

crisis

Be a guiding light

Talk the Talk

Communicating resilience, hope, compassion and empathy during a crisis builds strong bonds between a veterinary hospital and its employees and clients.

Ten days after 9/11, I watched “America: A Tribute to Heroes,” a television special featuring many celebrities. Bruce Springsteen gave a moving performance of “My City of Ruins.” The following year, he released his album “The Rising,” which was based in large part on his reflections of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. I like […]

goodwill buyer

How uncertainty affects valuations

Money Matters

Buyers of veterinary hospitals prize the stability of earnings over time and the seller’s ability to successfully deliver goodwill.

What is the impact on a practice’s valuation during a crisis like COVID-19 when hospitals change how they manage clients and patients and when the usual daily grind is anything but usual? Honestly, not much — at least not yet. The two primary influencers of business value are cash flow and risk, both of which […]

buy/sell

Succeed with a succession plan

Legal Lingo

The sale of your practice to a colleague or outside party when you aren’t present is fraught with trouble if detailed instructions aren’t in place.

One of the most challenging exercises that veterinarians go through is planning for what will happen to their business if they die unexpectedly or become disabled. Emotional considerations and the stress of detailing a future business transaction can cloud the process. Unfortunately, COVID-19 highlighted the importance of having both a succession plan and a business […]

retirement

Retirement plans work for you

Financial Wellness

The investment program you and your employees participate in might not be the same one everyone turns to when it’s time to step away from the practice.

The decision to sell a veterinary practice is loaded with financial considerations, but don’t gloss over the need to clearly understand what you want to achieve. Are you tired? Frustrated? Burned out? At retirement age? Overloaded with management duties? Do you want to maximize the sale price or transfer the practice to an associate veterinarian […]

A long-term answer

Creative Disruption

Under a subscription wellness plan, pets and their owners return time and again. Ongoing preventive care is great for the patient, good for compliance and a net gain for practices and their teams.

Secret formulas have been credited with the success of many well-known companies. Think Coca-Cola, KFC, Google with its algorithm and maybe Krusty Krab with its SpongeBob SquarePants Krabby Patty. What otherwise would have been pedestrian brands with limited potential instead became household names. Wouldn’t it be cool if we could mix up a secret formula […]

virtual care

Viva VVCA!

Politics and Policy

The newly established Veterinary Virtual Care Association will develop best practices, define standards and protocols, and do so much more.

In late April, the veterinary world awakened to a new organization: the Veterinary Virtual Care Association. VVCA hopes to do for veterinary medicine what the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) has done for human health care since its founding in 1993. Today, telemedicine, telehealth and virtual care are staples of our personal health care, and to […]

telemedicine veterinary

The future of veterinary practice

Innovation Station

Forced to pivot because of COVID-19, the profession learned more lessons about telemedicine. The pandemic exposed clinics and clients to pet-only visits and could lead to the rebranding of relief work.

It’s anything but business as usual in the veterinary profession. Over the past couple of months and likely for the next several months, practices have adapted to a world that looks very different. While each day brought surprises and challenges, there is a sense that practices have implemented protocols, adjusted hours and staffing, and begun […]

HVAC system

Climate change

Constructive Criticism

HVAC systems do more than just adjust the ambient air temperature. They’re also crucial for controlling odors, humidity and the spread of pathogens.

When clients walk in the door, you want them to sense that the hospital environment is of the same quality as the medicine you practice. Do they notice odors and noise, or is the clinic clean, bright and fresh? How your hospital performs and how it is perceived by clients and team members is influenced […]

practice owners

Don’t shortchange yourself

Practice Smarter

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 […]

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