6 Tips to Help You Manage Your Veterinary Practice

0 Comments Posted by Alyssa Noonan in General on Monday, September 23rd, 2019.

Managing a veterinary practice is a large undertaking and consists of taking over several different roles. Not only do you need to provide quality veterinary care, but you will also require experience and business acumen so that you can turn a sustainable profit. Many veterinarians are intimidated by running their own business for the first time, whether they are just starting out or acquiring an established practice. The key to success when running your own practice is to work smarter, not harder. It is possible to manage a successful practice with the right tools, an experienced staff, and a commitment to the success of your hard work. Check out our tips below to learn more about how you can manage your clinic more effectively.

Update Practice Communications
Adjusting your current technology can drastically improve the quality of the services you provide as well as the experiences your clients have when they interact with you in any capacity, whether online, over the phone, or in person. Things like automating your invoices and billing statements can greatly reduce stress and improve productivity.

There are some basic updates that every veterinary practice should have:

● One phone number – Having multiple numbers listed for multiple locations can be confusing for potential clients and it can also interfere with your Google ranking. Consolidate these lines of communication by having just one central line.
● Have one contact email – Having one email for patients to contact you through can help cut through all the miscommunication that could be caused by having too many inboxes. Don’t let potential leads fall through the cracks.
● Automate billing – don’t miss payments or cause confusion of services by missing invoices. Automate your billing and invoices so that both you and your clients have clear communication throughout the treatment process.
● Create a veterinary website – Creating a professional-looking veterinary website not only gives potential patients more information about you, but it also legitimizes your business. In today’s world, your business basically doesn’t exist if it isn’t online. Hire a company that specializes in veterinary website design to create and potentially even manage your website so that new patients can locate your practice.

Taking these steps will not only help you attract patients, but it will also help you retain them. In the long term, investing in the right technology will help you save money and increase your potential profits.

Set Goals
A commonly overlooked aspect of running a veterinary practice is creating measurable goals. This will help guide you and your employees while you navigate this new chapter, whether you are opening a brand-new veterinary practice or if you are acquiring an existing one. You will also need to know exactly where your practice currently stands. You should have your practice appraised and speak with a veterinary practice advisor to see what areas of your practice you could expand upon. Work with your advisors to determine a suitable business plan for your practice. At the end of the day, you’re running a small business and you will need to be able to turn a profit that can sustain your business for the duration of your career. Setting goals will also help your staff stay on track and maintain your expectations for the practice.

A Happy Team is a Helpful Team
A happy staff is a happy veterinary practice! Keeping your staff happy will improve the overall environment of your practice. Encourage open communication among your staff so that you have a clear understanding of what works and what doesn’t work. Ask them how satisfied they are with their positions and if they recommend any improvements or adjustments. If your employees know that you are there to support them, their performance will reflect that. Your staff will interact with clients the most, so it is really important to be clear with them about the core values and the goals of the practice. Work with your team to develop the right mentality and approach to veterinary care so that everyone is happy with their experience.

Build Your Network
There are plenty of veterinary-specific advisors that can help guide you through the process of running a successful veterinary practice. People like attorneys, lawyers, consultants, and accountants can all be specific to veterinary practices. Look for people who have years of experience helping successful veterinary practices so that your business is getting the attention it deserves. Veterinary practices have specific needs that are not typical for the everyday small business, so it is important that you seek out industry-specific professionals who can give you solid advice.

Use a Patients-First Mindset
Putting your patients’ needs first may seem like common sense, but sometimes it can get lost during a transition. Patient experience is the determining factor of what makes a successful veterinary practice. Your practice’s reputation will be based on online reviews, Facebook recommendations, and word-of-mouth. Everything your practice does should be done with the patient’s experience in mind. Create a warm and welcoming environment for your clients to enjoy with their pets when they come in for a visit. Make your space feel like a home-away-from-home that caters to the needs of every client. Even simple acts such as offering free treats or toys to animals in the waiting room can create a positive impression that clients will remember the next time they need to go to a vet. Don’t try to surprise patients with unexpected bills and communicate openly with them about their pet’s treatments and the costs associated with them. Consider what factors may influence a client to leave a negative review online and try to be proactive in dealing with those obstacles.

Create a Loyal Clientele
Not only is it important to get new clients into your office, but it is also important to keep them coming back. Pet-owners want a veterinarian they can trust who will be able to bond with their pet and provide personalized, compassionate medical care. Go out of your way to create relationships with your clients so that they feel like visiting the vet is like visiting a friend. Loyal clients will be more likely to recommend you to others. You should also check in with them periodically to see how their pet is doing or to remind them about annual check-ups. If a patient knows you care, they will be more likely to return to your office instead of going to another veterinarian who may be closer, more convenient, or cheaper. The quality of your care and the attentiveness of your service will make you stand out from the crowd.

These simple steps will help your veterinary practice run more efficiently and keep your clients coming back. Use this as a guide to run a successful veterinary clinic and keep both your clients and employees happy. Running your own practice is difficult, but with the right management techniques, you can have a hugely successful business.

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