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Are you happy with your veterinary business in 2013?

Posted in Management @ Feb 28th 2013 - By Judy Gillespie
Outside The Square Blog Feb 2013 V3

I'm not.

It’s not that I’m completely unhappy, but my business isn’t where I want it to be and I feel like I’ve hit a roadblock.

The problem is that in 2012 I worked at 120% - I really couldn’t have worked any harder – yet my business isn’t where I want it to be.

This scared me! What does this mean for my business?  Does it mean it’s just not going to work?  Does it mean I can’t make it work?

I know I can be slow sometimes but it took me a while to realise....

I have to start thinking ‘Outside the Square’.

I can’t keep doing the same things I was doing in 2012!

I can’t work any harder but I can work smarter.

I can’t keep doing things the same way as I did in 2012 - I have to do things differently.

So enough about me – what about you?

Are you happy with where your veterinary business is at in 2013?

I recently came across this episode of John Sheridan's ‘Veterinary Business Video Show’ that although it was published in February 2011, is still completely relevant in 2013.

In the video, John asks if you’re sick of the doom & gloom being constantly spouted by some people in the veterinary industry:

  • Pet numbers are down;
  • Pet ownership is declining;
  • Fees are too high;
  • You must trim costs;
  • You should be worrying about how much owners can or can’t spend on their pets;
  • You need to keep fees at an affordable level.

Sound familiar?

He then makes the interesting statement that he believes the real truth is that..

“..veterinary fees have been far too low for far too long.”

And...“Detailed knowledge of the profession of veterinary medicine and surgery has little or nothing to do with an understanding of the business of delivering these services for clients.

The poor commercial performance of too many practices has little to do with too few clients but everything to do with poor business management”

Wow – two very strong statements!  Do you agree?  If so, then you’re in the same boat as me.

We just can’t work any harder, we’re giving it our all BUT our businesses are not where they need to be in 2013.


We need to start doing things differently - we have to start thinking outside the square!

It’s going to be difficult.

It’s going to be uncomfortable.

We’re going to have to admit that we don’t have all the answers.

We’re going to have to admit that we’re not brilliant at everything.

But we can’t just keep on doing things the same way if it's just not working!


My focus this year is to track down the businesses, products and people that are doing things differently.  I’m going to track down those people that are already doing things ‘Outside the square’ and doing it successfully.  And then I’m going to share what I find with the Vetanswers community.

Then – it’s really up to you as a veterinary business owner.

If you keep on doing the same things you were doing in 2012, you’ll find yourself in the same frustrating place at the end of 2013.

Or, you can join me ‘Outside the Square’ and make the effort to do things differently (no matter how much it hurts!)

You can start by sharing this blog post with others you think need a bit of encouragement to ‘Think Outside the Square’.  The more we come together as a community, the more we can benefit from being a part of a community.

So I’ve been honest, what about you?  Tell me in the comments section below what you would like to change in 2013 – maybe we can help!


Louise Kerr @ Mar 4th 2013 8:52am
Instead of just continuing to saw we need to educate pet owners and pet business professionals I have virtually shut down my grooming and put my money where my mouth is to launch a new education and help site especially for Australian pet owners and pet care professionals. This will help the veterinary industry as the site will discuss ways vets can generate business and also value add to their service with relevant and credible information for their clients.
Judy @ Mar 5th 2013 12:41pm
Thanks Louise. That's an exciting business move! I'm currently collecting a list of businesses who are thinking 'outside the square' that I can interview down the track - consider yourself added to my list!

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