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Practical profitability for your veterinary team

Posted in Management @ Sep 24th 2015 - By Mark Hardwick, CCG/Provet
Practical Profitability For Your Veterinary Team V2

It’s no secret that most of us are in the veterinary industry because we genuinely care and we have a passion for helping our clients and our patients. 

We see it as our duty to educate our clients on preventative health for their pets, and to undertake best practice when our patients are unwell.  For those of us who work primarily at the front line, our focus is purely on the health and welfare of our patients.  We can count ourselves lucky to be able to work in an industry doing what we love, and receiving a pay check at the end of it.

What we don’t often consider however, is the chance that one day there won’t be a pay check. 

If you aren’t an owner or manager, it’s easy to forget that a veterinary practice is still a business, and a fundamental requirement of a business is to make money. 

There are the basic costs of running a business such as:

  • purchasing stock,
  • paying wages,
  • rent and electricity. 

Then there are are:

  • marketing costs,
  • equipment repairs and
  • insurance to think about. 

At the end of the day, if there is any money left over, the owners might pay themselves a wage. 

Ideally, a business is looking to make a profit, to grow, to continually improve.

It’s important then as frontline staff that we also keep the financial needs of the practice as a business in mind as we carry out our day to day duties. 

Here are some key financial management concepts that every member of the practice can contribute to:

1.       New clients.

Every new phone enquiry or potential new client to walk into the practice is a potential source of long term income to the practice.  Consider a new client with a new puppy, from initial puppy vaccines, to wellness checks, nutrition and preventative care over the lifetime of that pet.  It is every team member’s role to foster a positive relationship with new clients to help sustain a long-term client base for the practice.

2.       Stock control

Inventory is the second biggest cost in practice after wages.  There is a lot invested in ensuring that the shelves are full and that there is equipment (disposables) available to carry out daily tasks.  It is important to have an understanding of the impact of having to write-off old stock due to lack of stock rotation, or holding stock that simply doesn’t sell.  While discounting might sound like a great incentive to encourage a purchase, bear in mind that to generate the same gross profit after a discount, you need to significantly increase your sales volume.

3.       Invoicing

Many practices lose a lot of income through simply not invoicing appropriately.  When you don’t charge for what you do, you are literally giving away your time and money. A few commonly missed charges include injection fees, catheters, skin scrapes, suture materials and recheck consultation fees.

Best-practice veterinary care and good financial management must go hand in hand to ensure the long term success of your practice.

Any questions for Mark about practice profitability for your business? Ask them in the Comments section below....

About Mark

Mark has spent the last 15 years in the veterinary industry as a trainer and consultant. A founding Director of AIRC/CCG, his passion is to work with practice owners to build business. Mark specialises in veterinary practice auditing and coaching, in particular, operational efficiencies, strategic planning and financial management. Mark's no-nonsense approach to creating practice profitability sees him in demand as a coach and mentor. Mark is also the General Manager of AIRC/CCG

Click here to visit the Crampton Consulting Group Page in the Vetanswers Business Directory






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