Veterinary News

The Veterinary category is for all Veterinary related posts.

Want to Improve Productivity? Improve Employee Engagement

By |June 3rd, 2014|

This is the third column is a series I have written in response to a Conference Board Study that identified human capital as the biggest challenges for CEOs in 2014. The study went on to detail three parts to human capital management:  development, retention and engagement. This column will focus on engagement, what it is, and how you can increase it.

I said in the first column in this series that W.A. Kahn, a professor of organizational behavior, has defined engagement as “… the extent to which a person is psychologically present in work roles.” Said another way, engagement is the degree to which an employee will demonstrate discretionary effort in a situation if given a choice. In any organization, it is fairly typical for a third of the workforce to be engaged, another third of the workforce to be neither engaged nor disengaged, and the other third to be disengaged. If you could get the two thirds of the organization that [...]

Practical Budgeting Tips Webinar

By |June 3rd, 2014|

Practical Budgeting Tips

The webinar was led by Rachel Gaylord, CPA, a Manager with Lacher McDonald & Co., CPA’s. Rachel’s focus is Accounting, Tax, and Practice Management Consulting to the veterinary profession. During the webinar, she will help you understand why a budget is important and discuss practical tips specific to a veterinary practice. The webinar is scheduled for one and a half hours and this includes time for questions from the attendees. Topics covered will include: • Why a budget is important • Identify current spending habits • How to set attainable goals • Distinguish between variable and fixed costs • How to monitor progress

Solve Problems For Clients

By |May 27th, 2014|

Despite your team’s best efforts, there will be times when service errors occur or clients become disgruntled about something.  Empower your staff to address and handle problems for clients when they occur.  Clients will be happier and impressed if your employees can quickly take action to resolve lapses in service or help them with their problems.  For example, if a client needs to pick up or drop off their pet outside the regularly scheduled time period, they will be thrilled when a team members works to accommodate their schedule.  Likewise, when breakdowns in communication occur, clients appreciate an apology and actions to improve communication.

Efforts to create an exceptional client service experience and promote a service-oriented culture are on-going.  Assess your service on a regular basis and formulate action plans to improve service when needed.

Differentiate Your Veterinary Customer Service

By |May 12th, 2014|

Service standards can elevate the level of veterinary customer service and differentiate your business.  Create standards that help to create a positive memory for the pet owner.  Start with a few standards at a time and train everyone on the team to meet the standards.  Develop standards for the most common client interactions such as on the phone, in the exam room and during check-in and check-out times.  Include the entire team in dialogue about standards to capture great ideas, facilitate training and to ensure buy-in.

Avoid creating standards that are scripted phrases which lack authenticity.  For example, train team members to use appropriate phrases such as, “Hi!  This must be Josie-she’s so cute.  Tell me more about what’s going on with her” rather than merely asking “How can I help you?”

To further differentiate your practice with client service, brainstorm ideas with the team on how to cater to the needs of clients and how to exceed client expectations.  This [...]

Client Engagement: Connect With Clients

By |May 1st, 2014|

The first step to enhancing client service is to become a client-centered hospital and make it a goal of the business to consistently deliver exceptional service while always striving to exceed the needs of clients.  Next you must hire employees with positive attitudes who are motivated to provide outstanding service.  Then focus on the following 3 key areas to ensure success in achieving your goal.

Veterinary Client Engagement: Connect With Clients 

One of the best ways to provide tailored, sophisticated service is to connect emotionally with clients and recognize their unique needs.  Don’t lose sight of the client’s perspective when communicating with clients.  Remember to focus on what clients are feeling and what they need from the healthcare team as well as what their pet needs.

Give clients compliments.  Everyone likes to receive compliments so look for opportunities to say something nice to clients.  Always praise clients about how well they take care of their pet because this will reinforce your position [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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.