Whether you’re new to the veterinary industry or have been in the trenches for decades, one thing you learn almost immediately is that practices don’t run on your passion for animals. Despite big dreams, lofty goals and a deep-seeded desire to be successful, many practice owners learn the hard way that profitability doesn’t come easily. If you are struggling in this area, here are five proven strategies that can help improve your efficiency, boost your cost-effectiveness and ultimately increase your bottom line.
Go Paperless – How much time does your staff waste on a daily, weekly or monthly basis sifting through paperwork and digging through files trying to locate the information they need? Switching to a paperless office will save tremendous man hours and also improve both staff and client satisfaction levels at the same time. In other words, everybody wins!
Set and Stick with Schedules – It may seem pretty basic, but if you’re not one who naturally thrives on organization and order, then living by a relatively strict schedule can be a challenge. Yet, without such a setup, it’s easy to let time slip away and as a result, lose track of important tasks, cause delays for others on your team and ultimately risk upsetting clients in the process. Setting a daily schedule – even if there’s some flexibility built in – will help keep everyone on track, productive and efficient.
Embrace Technology – If you aren’t currently taking advantage of the many benefits technology has to offer the modern veterinary clinic, you are missing out (and your competitors may be picking up your slack in the meantime). Having up-to-date computers and providing clients with the ability to do everything from paying by credit card for your services to requesting prescription refills via your website will help streamline much of the day-to-day back and forth and make everyone’s life easier.
Write it Down – Do your team members find that they’re regularly fielding many of the same client questions over the phone? Are the vets in the clinic being interrupted on a regular basis to answer inquiries or verify information? Developing well-written scripts can help phone attendants quickly answer incoming questions without wasting valuable time. Likewise, having documented policies and FAQs with as much detail as possible can help staff help themselves, saving time and reducing frustration.
Delegate – One area where many practice owners or lead veterinarians struggle is in letting go of certain tasks on their to-do list. You may truly believe deep down that nobody can do it as well as you, but in reality, if you hold on to everything, you’re bound to let something fall through the cracks at some point. That is, if you don’t get burnt out in the meantime. Delegation to trusted team members is essential to ensuring that your practice and everyone in it operates at optimum performance.
Often times it’s the little things that can make a huge impact on your business. By implementing even just one or two of the above strategies, you’ll begin moving your practice in the right direction toward improved efficiency and greater profitability in no time.