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Connect with clients of all ages

Socially Acceptable

Modern-day pet owners, whether millennials or baby boomers, often have different needs and expectations. One thing they share is a desire for outstanding service.

After years of consulting with dozens of veterinary practices nationwide, I’ve become very familiar with the threads that tie us together. No matter where we’re born, our political preferences, age or gender, we love and adore pets from the bottom of our hearts. This singular thread allows people from every place and imaginable background to […]

Separation anxiety

Legal Lingo

Noncompete agreements protect the practice when a veterinarian leaves, but they are not always enforceable, so choosing an alternative measure could be a smart move.

Nearly every industry uses employee noncompete agreements, and veterinary practices are no exception. Whether you’re a veterinarian or an administrative professional who has been presented with a noncompete agreement as a condition of employment, or a practice owner considering how to protect your business, you need to know the types of agreements in play, the […]

Made to order

Constructive Criticism

A practice owner had a tough decision to make about her growing but cramped hospital: tear up the inside, knock down some walls or move.

I fielded a call from a client who was trying to decide whether renovating her clinic would make sense. Her caseload was growing, and she had hired another associate veterinarian. Her hospital was in a professional strip center. Adjacent space that was coming available would allow her to expand the clinic by 50 percent. Coincidentally, […]

How to communicate value

Talk the Talk

A consistent message, outstanding education and the latest technology solutions can help bond a client to the practice.

For as long as I can remember, our profession has stressed the importance of communicating the value of our services and products to pet owners. Dad and I talked about it when I was growing up and working at his veterinary hospital. Practice management speakers discussed it with my senior veterinary class. In 2011, the […]

Damage control

Protect and Defend

Animal bailee insurance is a crucial need when you are responsible for the custody, transport or care of patients.

The hospitalization of patients, be it for a few hours or several days, is routine at every veterinary practice. In addition, many hospitals offer grooming and boarding as an extension of their services. From a business liability standpoint, the question then becomes, “What happens if an animal in my possession is injured or dies, is […]

Discounts? No!

Practice Smarter

Marking down prices on veterinary services is the bane of our profession, so consider an alternative approach.

I don’t understand why the veterinary profession discounts its services. To my way of thinking, a business that discounts services is basically saying that customers are being overcharged the rest of the time, so now the services are being charged appropriately. When was the last time you got a discount from your physician, dentist, surgeon […]

Learn to trust the process

Go With the Flow

Meditation can help reduce anxiety, enhance creativity and improve relationships. Getting there might require only 10 minutes a day.

For the record, all the articles published with this column are lessons in what the authors recognize they need to learn and embody. This month’s topic is certainly no exception. In recent years, meditation has expanded into the secular mainstream, even among business leaders seeking to find ways for themselves and their teams to be […]

The road to fearlessness

Fearless

Clients can turn their dog or cat into a well-adjusted travel companion with a little help from you.

Many variables play a role in the formation of anxious or fearful behavior in traveling pets, but when clients receive good information about preparation, desensitization and stress-reducing products, our patients can have a safer and more comfortable experience. It Starts at Home For both dogs and cats, the key to reducing fear, anxiety and stress […]

The future of virtual care

Innovation Station

The changing veterinary-client-patient relationship requirement will open up new opportunities for care.

The American Association of Veterinary State Boards this year released a model telehealth policy for public review and comment. The policy includes a provision allowing for the possibility of establishing a veterinary-client-patient relationship (VCPR) without the necessity of a hands-on examination. Here is the specific language: “A veterinarian using telehealth must take appropriate steps to […]

Uneasy street

VetPartners Corner

A seat-of-the-pants approach isn’t the way to run a practice. You need to construct a detailed strategic plan and then dedicate time to implementing it.

Daggers were shooting out of the eyes of the four veterinary hospital partners. You could have cut the tension with a butter knife. I was there as an impartial facilitator after the partners discovered through a professional valuation that the business representing their blood, sweat and tears was worth basically the ground it sat on […]

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