Growing your veterinary practice is important if you want to succeed in a competitive field. Reaching potential new patients and making your services more accessible is important, but so is thinking about new treatments and technology to provide the best possible care to every patient.
When you make your patients and their owners feel welcomed and deliver the best veterinary care, you can feel confident that you offer a successful combination of services crucial for business growth.
Below are a few tips for growing your veterinary practice to keep ahead of the competition:
Build an Online Presence
Veterinary medicine is much like any other business. When people (and their pets) need the services you provide, they will either choose someone they remember from an advertisement or look online for a veterinarian in their area with good recommendations. When you have a strong online presence, particularly in the local area, your veterinary practice can grow exponentially. Sometimes, all you need is a good mobile-friendly website and a Facebook page or Instagram with regular posts. Be sure to promote the services you provide including boarding or grooming and the types of patients you serve.
Make Excellent Customer Service a Priority
It is important to make your patients and their owners feel valued at all times. A visit to the veterinary office may be a major source of apprehension for many people and their pets, so it comes as no surprise that if someone has a single bad experience, he or she is not likely to return. Making sure that everything you do – from answering the phones to sending out “reminders” via postal mail – is all directed toward making them feel you care. Polite staff, courteous telephone conversations, and even friendly messages sent alongside billing statements can all go a long way to building your reputation as a compassionate and professional veterinarian. Loyal pet owners who value your care will be advocates for your practice when their network asks for a referral.
Word-of-mouth advertising is important even in a digital world. You may want to consider offering discounts or other rewards for referring friends and family to your practice. Perhaps you can offer 10 percent off your patient’s next bill, a free annual exam, or even a gift certificate to a local restaurant in exchange for a handful of referrals.
Keep Up with Technology
Just as techniques and knowledge in the veterinary field continue to evolve, medical equipment and technology are also always changing. Scientists and researchers promote cutting-edge technology every single day, and while some may never find their way into traditional veterinary practices, pay attention to what is going on around you and the new treatments or tools your competitors may be offering. New tools or improved processes to carry out time-tested procedures can put you a step ahead of the competition. In fact, even offering patient financing or pet insurance can make you the better choice for some
Create Measurable Objectives for Growth
Finally, as you put your strategy for growth into practice, set specific and measurable objectives for growth as you refine your financial model. Establish a means to monitor progress and define triggers for action should your strategy need to be tweaked or revisited. By doing so, you give your practice the best possible chance for financial health and robust growth.
Our consultants work closely with our veterinary practice clients to understand their long term goals. Whether it is buying a new practice, adding associates, planning for retirement or financing practice growth, we start with your goals and then look for the best strategy possible. Let us help you plan for your future.
Meet the Author
Partner, Healthcare Business Advisor
Jenny Smerud, CPA
Aldrich CPAs + Advisors LLP
Jenny Smerud specializes in tax planning, consulting, and compliance services for businesses and business owners, primarily in the healthcare sector. Jenny has been practicing as a CPA since 2001 both in public accounting and in private industry. Prior to practicing in tax, Jenny worked in Assurance Services in the Healthcare Division of Ernst & Young…
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