The life of a veterinarian is very rewarding, and you likely enjoy your career. Still, it does have its challenges. If you’re struggling with a specific problem or simply want to improve your practice, read on for the most common problems and how to solve them.
1. Angry Customers
Most pet owners are cordial when their pets are well, but the tables may turn when the news isn’t good. If you want to prevent angry customers, push the importance of veterinary preventive medicine and regular veterinary wellness checkups. When a customer’s emotions are heightened by stressful news, try to stay calm and comforting at all times.
Pricing is a critical issue for veterinarians. If you price too high, your customers are disgruntled. If you price too low, however, your veterinary practice may suffer.
The trick is to find a competitive price that still pays your bills and your employee salaries, and leaves a little for savings. Review your pricing regularly and compare it with your net profit to determine the sweet spot for pricing.
Like most medical jobs, veterinarians deal with daily stress – and so do your employees. You can’t prevent stress completely, but you can manage it with regular breaks in a quiet room and shorter shifts for employees.
4. Disgruntled Employees
Every industry has the potential to upset its employees. Make sure you’re paying your employees what they’re worth, and keep your expectations reasonable. Most importantly, follow the proper procedures to keep your employees safe from diseases and injuries when working with animals.
5. Slow Cash Flow
Nearly all veterinary practices experience slow cash flow. To boost sales when cash is short, create special offers to entice new customers. You might offer a special for pets who are behind on immunizations or provide extra services for puppies and kittens.
6. Continued Education
Veterinary practice is a science, and science is changing constantly. Staying on top of trends and advancements isn’t always easy, but it’s important for your career. To make the job easier, consider learning as you work by watching videos or listening to podcasts.
You’ll face more competition than ever before, thanks to mobile clinics, mega pet stores and internet diagnoses. You can’t possibly defeat all the competition, but you can stay relevant by offering to match the prices of other clinics (when asked), advertising your strengths and focusing on one or more specialties.
8. Lack of Time
You’re probably busier than most people you know. Instead of just accepting that you’ll never have free time again, try to find ways to streamline your business. Maybe you could convert to digital records instead of paper, or perhaps you should hire additional support staff so you can focus on the most important aspects of your business. There are likely numerous ways to make your life easier if you brainstorm a bit.
9. Finding Great Employees
It’s a struggle for any business to find the best employees. To find yours, consider cutting your experience requirements, and focusing instead on finding people who love animals and can learn quickly. Once you find a great employee, do everything you can to keep them – it’s cheaper to retain employees than to find new ones.
10. Low Income Pet Owners
Some pet owners simply don’t have the funds to take care of their pets. It’s heartbreaking, but what can you do? You have your own bills to pay, and many of your customers can afford your services. Here’s one solution: You might offer your services at a reduced rate if your city leaders agree to fund a clinic that provides basic veterinary care to local residents. When it comes to larger treatments like surgeries, there are many financing companies with which you can partner. And if a low income, affordable clinic comes to town, embrace them rather than try to compete with them.
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