Veterinary News

The Veterinary category is for all Veterinary related posts.

Should You Be Discounting Your Services?

By |April 14th, 2014|

Targeted discounts may help you build your practice, but a culture that permits uncontrolled discounting will have a negative impact on your “bottom line”.  Targeted discounts are designed to drive more business into your practice and often are associated with internal and external marketing strategies.  For example, if your practice is a “start-up” and you want to build your client base quickly, you might offer a free exam to new clients in your first six months of operation to get folks in your community to try out your practice.  If these new clients bond to your practice you will see a revenue stream from this external marketing strategy going forward.  Discounts also can be offered through well-conceived internal marketing strategies such as puppy and kitten preventive care packages or through more complex health care plans, including those for adult and senior pets.  These bundles of services typically are designed to increase client compliance with recommended wellness services and to provide opportunities to offer additional services for the pet throughout the year.  Again, this discounting strategy should bond clients to your practice and build your business.

However, discounting randomly and on a routine basis really can run you into trouble.  Veterinarians are caring and compassionate and wish to do what is best for their clients and their pets.  Often we may fear a client will walk away from recommended services if the estimate is high or we assume (often incorrectly!) that the client will not accept recommended services because he or she does not have the means to pay for them.  If your practice effectively discounts by removing charges from the estimate and/or the final invoice and, accordingly, gives away products and services, overhead expenses and [...]

Weathering your Slow Season

By |March 14th, 2014|

It has been a very tough and slow winter for many veterinary practice owners.  If your veterinary practice is subject to seasonal fluctuations, no matter when they might fall, you’ll need to prepare ahead and make adjustments to ensure your practice remains cash flow positive.  First, consider your cash reserves.  During your busy season, set aside enough in reserves to cover at least one month of operating expenses.  Next, focus on proper expense management.  Can you avoid bringing on new employees or offering raises until business will pick back up?  As you set your team schedule for the seasonal downturn, can you ask a little more of some of your team members and trim staff hours?  On slow days, you may have to ask team members to go home early.  Finally, manage your inventory expenses well throughout the year.  It always is a good idea to keep no more than a 15-30 day supply of product on your shelves and to avoid bulk purchases.  However, if historic numbers suggest that a bulk purchase of a heartworm preventative, for example, REALLY is a good financial move, don’t get yourself in a bind by having a large, delayed payment hit when business is slow.

Of course, you will want to focus on the revenue side as well.  Have you considered offering wellness plans?  These plans should allow you to schedule services during seasonal downturns.  In addition, if your clients pay for the plans monthly, you can spread this revenue stream over the course of the year.  February traditionally is “dental month”.  Maybe you should extend this promotion and feature other promotions to bring more of your clients in during your slow veterinary season.  Have you considered scheduling [...]

Winning Strategies for Effective Inventory Control

By |March 6th, 2014|

Winning Strategies for Effective Inventory Control

Presented by: Karen Osborne, CPA, MBA
Lacher McDonald & Co., CPA’s
Courtesy of: Live Oak Bank

Western Veterinary Conference Recap 2014

By |February 21st, 2014|

Thanks to everyone who stopped by the Live Oak Bank booth at the Western Veterinary Conference! It was a busy conference, and we were glad to get face time with existing and potential customers. We were excited by the number of veterinarians who attended our practice acquisition presentation. We hope you found it interesting and helpful as you prepare for practice ownership. A special thanks to everyone who attended our function at the House of Blues Foundation Room. Your business has allowed Live Oak Bank to have continued success in the veterinary industry.

2014 Veterinarian of the Year Award goes to…

By |February 10th, 2014|

On Saturday, 2/8, Dr. William Draper, owner of The Village Vet practices in Atlanta and surrounding areas, received the 2014 Veterinarian of the Year Award presented by Purina ProPlan & Dogs in Review. He was nominated by Live Oak Bank for his commitment to the profession and his community. Dr. Draper has much to be proud of – The Village Vets presently has three AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) accredited practices that have been consistently honored by Atlanta magazine as “Best Vet” since 2004. He was also recently honored as one of Atlanta’s FIVE STAR Veterinarians; an honor bestowed to only 7% of the area’s practitioners.

It was a special evening for Dr. Draper. He deserved to be honored in-front of industry professionals, peers, friends and his wife. Those of us at Live Oak Bank couldn’t be more proud to have him as a business partner and friend. He has a long, successful career ahead of him.

  • Carol Hart

    Getting the Most from your Veterinary Practice Facebook Page

Getting the Most from your Veterinary Practice Facebook Page

By |February 3rd, 2014|

Is your veterinary practice Facebook page an effective marketing tool?  If existing and potential clients cannot find it, it will do nothing for you.  Make sure the link to your Facebook page is right at the top of your website homepage.  Be sure to promote your Facebook page in your practice and encourage clients to “Like” your page.  Ask clients if you can share photos or references to their pets on your Facebook page.  When your followers go to your Facebook page, will they be appropriately impressed?  Your Facebook page should include content that addresses pet owner concerns, offers humor and keeps your followers up to date on what is happening in your practice.  Be sure to feature photos emphasizing the “human/animal” bond.  Keep your content fresh by making posts at least three times a week.  Looking for content?  Go the AVMA e-newsletter “Animal Health SmartBrief” or the social media calendar on the Veterinary Team Brief website for material.

You also can use your Facebook page to network in your community.  Regularly go to the websites of local organizations you support.  Comment on their posts so their followers will have a link back to your page and, in turn, support these organizations with posts on your own page.  You also might consider including areas on your Facebook page for an appointment scheduler, for clients to post reviews of your practice and for advertising any new services or promotions.  Finally, keep your Facebook posts professional.  Always put your best foot forward and, when making posts, remember you are doing so in a public forum.

Carol Hart, DVM

Keep a Monthly Practice Report Card

By |January 13th, 2014|

Hopefully you’ve set goals designed to achieve practice growth and greater profitability in 2014.  Monitor your progress with a monthly practice report card.  A simple practice report card that puts information from your practice management software reports and your profit and loss statements all in one place will help you track the performance of your practice.  Key areas to monitor include:  revenue; cost of goods sold (inventory expense) as a percentage of your revenue (20-22% is desired); support staffing costs as a percentage of your revenue (20-22% is desired); new clients; and your practice ATC (average transaction charge) and/or the ATC of each of your doctors if yours is a multi-doctor practice.  In addition, look at the percentage of the revenue you derive from each of the following service categories:  dental care; laboratory services; diagnostic imaging and surgical services.  It is fairly simple to create your own “report card” on an Excel spreadsheet.  In the numbered vertical column, list each of the above performance indicators.  On the horizontal, lettered line at the top, create boxes for each month so you can report last years’ data and then add new data for each month going forward in 2014.  Creating a column for year over year variance in each indicator is helpful as well.  If you set up your own report card and enter the data every month you can determine if you are meeting your goals and, if not, create timely strategies to achieve your desired results.

Happy New Year!

By |January 1st, 2014|

Happy New Year from Live Oak Bank! As we enter into 2014, it is a good time to set goals for your practice. What is it that you hope to accomplish in the new year? Do you want to expand your practice? Do you want to launch a marketing campaign to increase your revenues? You should always re-access with each new year and determine how you can be a more successful business owner.

I encourage you to pay frequent visits to our website. Here, you’ll have access to tips and advice from our two veterinarians,  Dr. Carol Hart and Dr. Jessica Trichel, who are on staff full-time at the bank. Please visit our resource center as well for helpful articles, presentations and videos. We provide these resources because we want to see your business thrive. We wish you continued success in 2014!

  • Puppy Transport

    Live Oak Bank’s 2013 contribution to the ASPCA helps save 441 animals

Live Oak Bank’s 2013 contribution to the ASPCA helps save 441 animals

By |December 11th, 2013|

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 – Wilmington, NC – Earlier this year, Live Oak Bank teamed up with the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) to support their Animal Relocation and Transport Initiative, which works with local animal welfare organizations to move animals from overpopulated shelters to destination shelters where they have a significantly greater chance of being adopted.

In May, an initial transport of 70 animals was orchestrated from Louisiana to Florida. Over the summer, 121 animals were moved from a shelter outside of Los Angeles to Oregon and Washington State. Most recently, twelve transports were completed by Leech Lake Legacy in Minnesota, saving 157 dogs, 91 cats and 2 ducks. In total, 441 animals have been saved through the relocation partnership between Live Oak Bank and the ASPCA this year.

“Initially, Live Oak Bank provided financing solely to the veterinary community,” stated Travis York, General Manager for Live Oak Bank’s veterinary division. “Our employees are animal lovers; we are even allowed bring our four-legged friends to work. We have big hearts when it comes to saving animals, so we were excited about supporting the ASPCA’s Animal Relocation and Transport Initiative.”

“Relocation can be the difference between needless euthanasia and successful adoption for an animal,” explained Kristen Limbert, Director of Animal Relocation and Community Outreach for the ASPCA. “Live Oak Bank’s generous gift has made it possible for these participating shelters to save as many lives as possible this year, with additional funds remaining to continue saving lives into 2014.”

About the ASPCA®

Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice [...]

ASPCA-Live Oak Bank Grant provides transport of 250 animals

By |December 11th, 2013|

In mid-September, we received word from the ASPCA (with funding provided by Live Oak Bank) that we had received a $2,500 grant to assist in the cost of transporting animals from Leech Lake and Red Lake reservations to our partner shelters and rescues. Leech Lake Legacy collaborates and partners with Red Lake Rosie’s Rescue on transports from northern Minnesota to the cities. Weekly transports often include animals from Red Lake and Leech Lake reservations, Bemidji Impound, Fosston Impound and Roseau Impound.

Between 9/13/2013 and 11/27/13, the grant money has funded 12 transports from Leech Lake and Red Lake reservations and a total of 250 animals (157 dogs/puppies, 91 cats/kittens and 2 ducks)! We are extremely grateful to the ASPCA/Live Oak Bank!

And today, the final transport funded by the ASPCA/Live Oak Bank grant was for an emergency transport to bring a 12 week old pup named Grant to the cities. The sweet little boy was one of a litter of 3 picked up by Rory, the Leech Lake Community Services Officer last week. All 3 pups had mange so last Saturday were sent up to Red Lake Rosie’s in Red Lake Reservation where they were to be treated for mange. On Monday night we got word that Grant was not doing well so we arranged for him to be transported to Animal Care Clinic in Bemidji. Grant tested positive for parvo. The medical staff gave Grant subQ fluids as he had not eaten or had anything to drink in a couple days. We are extremely fortunate that one of our rescue partners Carver Scott Humane Society has an amazing foster, Jean, who takes so many of our pups with parvo and treats them. An emergency mid-week transport was arranged [...]