Ever look at other practices that seem to be killing it and wonder what their secret is? Obviously, there has to be a foundation of high quality medicine, but beyond that, there are certain intentional things that successful practice owners do to contribute to their continued growth and profitability. The good news is, with a little attention and extra effort, these things can be replicated by just about anyone who is willing to put in the work. If you’re one of them, here are five habits to start working on today that will pay dividends in your clinic’s success in the future.
Don’t compare yourself to your competitors.
Yes, we did just mention looking at other practices, but we don’t mean in a way that necessarily compares or competes. You can (and should) certainly learn from others, but the most successful practice owners don’t constantly hold themselves up against everyone else. Instead, they compare, track and measure their progress against their own performance yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that. They hold themselves accountable and make a commitment to consistently find ways to improve on a day to day basis.
They put their money where their mouth is.
Great practice owners know that talk is cheap, and that actions speak a million times louder than words. They operate their businesses with the utmost integrity, always doing what they said they’d do, whether it’s with their clients, their staff or even people in their personal lives. Be careful to never make promises you can’t keep. Instead, make building and nurturing trust a top priority. As a result, you will be rewarded with loyalty that will enable stability and foster future growth.
They value the people around them.
Read the story of any great leader and you’ll inevitably learn about the incredible people they surrounded themselves with. Some say it takes a village to raise a child. We believe that similarly, it takes a great team to make a veterinary clinic successful. The owners of highly profitable practices understand this, which is why they hire right, provide their staff with the support they need and reward them regularly for a job well-done. Involving everyone in the success of the practice is the best way to fast-track your results.
They are excellent listeners.
A boss directs people what to do. A leader inspires people to not only take action, but to stretch themselves even further. This requires the ability to listen, and not just to hear, but to actually understand. If you spend most of your day barking orders at everyone, there’s a good chance you are missing out on some great ideas that could help bring your business to the next level. Don’t just invite feedback. Encourage it. And more importantly, put it into action whenever and wherever possible.
They are introspective.
Successful practice owners take responsibility for failures just as much as victories. They understand that it’s not all about them, and they recognize that there’s always room for improvement. If things aren’t going great in your practice, it may be time to take step back and examine yourself and your own leadership efforts first. You may discover that by working on bettering yourself – either personally, professionally or both – you’ll be much more equipped to put your practice back on track. Be humble and willing to grow and evolve. As a result, you’ll elevate everyone on your team to do better.
The final important point to remember is that a habit is something that takes time and dedication to develop. If you’ve identified any personal weaknesses in the above areas, the time to turn things around is now. With a daily commitment, little by little, your efforts will turn into positive, permanent change that will put your practice on the path to even greater success.