Leadership

A prescription for change

It’s time to do away with production-based pay and all its ills. The alternative: profit sharing and a formula for robust professional growth.

In years gone by, veterinarians consistently were ranked among the top most-trusted professionals. But public opinion is changing. Today, many consumers think veterinarians are “selling” more services to grow corporate bottom lines. As one client put it, “I felt like I was taken advantage of when I found out after the fact that my veterinarian […]

From manager to momager

Take Charge

How becoming a mother changed my perspective on clients, co-workers and protocol.

In our DINK (dual income, no kids) years, my husband’s and my parenting efforts were channeled solely on our dog, Marlie, an 11-year-old, gentle, playful chocolate Labrador. We took her on vacation, to the beach, on the boat and out for drinks. We invested in training, Tempur-Pedic bedding and annual preventive dentals. After we had […]

Seal the deal

Legal Lingo

Negotiating the purchase or sale of a veterinary practice requires a firm understanding of all the documents.

The number of mergers and acquisitions occurring in the veterinary industry is unquestionably at an all-time high. Corporate chains and aggregators own as much as 15 percent of general companion animal practices, according to estimates, and the percentage is even higher for specialty practices. This means an increasing number of veterinarians are entering the deal […]

Surrender to the present

Go With the Flow

The experience of presence is a doorway into both personal growth and professional development.

We love the veterinary profession. It attracts some of the most passionate, caring and down-to-earth people — people with servant hearts who will give you the shirt off their back and who don’t suffer from superinflated egos. You can’t get much better than that. If you’re reading this, we’re talking about you! It’s also true […]

Gray matters

Getting Technical

Veterinary nurses can help clients address age-related issues in an older pet and make appropriate health care decisions.

I have yet to meet a veterinary professional who doesn’t love meeting puppies and kittens for the first time. It’s a joyous occasion for the team and pet owner and the beginning of what hopefully will be a lifelong relationship. Developing these relationships early on is essential. Regardless of whether the patient comes to us […]

An inside job

Practice Smarter

Preventing embezzlement, or at least lowering the risk, starts with the practice owner and entails strict adherence to policies and procedures.

The latest statistics indicate that 1 in 10 veterinary hospitals loses at least $10,000 to embezzlement in a given year. Have you taken precautions so you don’t become a victim, too? Whenever I or one of my firm’s consultants assist a veterinary hospital, we perform a minor audit of the practice’s end-of-day procedures to look […]

Uh-oh, it’s OSHA

Getting Technical

Don’t be caught unprepared and out of compliance when an inspector shows up. Your employees’ health and safety are at stake.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was established in 1970 under the U.S. Department of Labor to ensure that Americans have safe and healthy work environments. The agency’s rules and regulations apply to veterinary hospitals and all other businesses. Regardless of whether an OSHA standard exists, each workplace is responsible for ensuring that safeguards […]

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 […]

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 […]

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