make Vet Answers my homepage

Turning a veterinary practice from a sow's ear to a silk purse

Posted in Sows Ear to Silk Purse Challenge @ Jun 21st 2018 - By Dr Diederik Gelderman, Turbo Charge Your Practice
From Sows Ear To Silk Purse The Challenge

Welcome to the first post in our new series: Turning a veterinary practice from a sow's ear into a silk purse.

This week I received an email from Dr Diederik Gelderman (Turbo Charge Your Practice) which I have to admit, got me a little excited!

Hi Judy

For various reasons, we (Jennifer and I) can't travel as much as we used to.

Therefore when the opportunity popped up to buy a local old, tired, one-vet and run down rural practice - I jumped at the chance.

Due to my age, however, the bank has me on a very heavy repayment schedule, so I'll have to pull all stops out and really invest my skills to make it work.

This will be great for YOU because I'm going to share EXACTLY what I do - Step By Step - including all the numbers and data.

I'm going to do exactly what I do with my inner-circle coaching clients.

Enjoy!! and follow along 

Why so excited?

Well, I read and share a lot of information, tools and resources to help you make your veterinary practice more profitable. But I also hear a lot of "Yes but..." reasons why these tools won't work:

  • Yes, but I don't have the time to do .....
  • Yes, but my practice is too small
  • Yes, but my clients won't pay for those services
  • Yes, but my team don't want to do these things
  • Yes, but I don't have time to train my team
  • Yes, but I don't think that marketing would work in MY veterinary practice
  • Yes, but......

Putting your money where your mouth is!

So when I read what Diederik was planning on doing I thought "Ah Hah - this is what I call putting your money where your mouth is."

Now we can sit back and watch Diederik apply all the tools and skills he passes on to his coaching clients to his own veterinary practice - in real time. I think it's going to be like watching the veterinary industry's own version of The Block and Grand Designs mixed together.....without the cameras and spread out over 12 months!

So grab your popcorn and sit back for the very first edition of From sow's ear to silk purse - The Challenge starring Dr Diederik Gelderman......

Starting point

Over the last 3 years, the gross fee increase has been 0.7% - yes! And inflation runs at 2%-3%

Over the last 3 years, the profit to the owner after fair wages has been 3.5% - he would have received better return putting his money in a fixed term bank account!!

The Plan:

To share exactly how in the next 12 months I'm going to achieve a net profit of over 10% and a growth of 25%

And in the next three years, I'll achieve a DOUBLING in practice turn-over and a profit of 15%+ (target is 23%)

Two of my other goals include increasing dental income to 10% of practice turnover and achieving a 70% vaccination recall.

Step 1: the look and feel of the practice

Your 'modern' client wants to know that YOU are current, modern and know what you are doing. This has nothing to do with stainless steel, bling, fancy gear and the latest in everything but has everything to do with the basic look and feel of the place.

The existing practice had torn and tatty posters (in EVERY room), the paint was peeling, there were cobwebs, a cruddy garden and you couldn't see any signage as you drive by. The practice had no website, no Facebook Page and the staff had no uniforms.


  1. Freshen the place up with a coat of paint
  2. Make the sign more visible (council regulations preclude making the sign bigger)
  3. Attend to the gardens
  4. Make the inside more modern and fresh by removing old fluorescent lighting and replacing with LEDs
  5. New uniforms for the staff - now THIS was a challenge and during discussions with the team there were a number of objections but the fact is, if they want to work here, then there really is no choice
  6. Review the staffing to ensure all are a cultural fit for the practice. Unfortunately, this will mean some changes in the current team as although the staff are lovely, not all will be a perfect fit for the new culture.

Watch this 1:50 minute video to get an idea of the starting point.

Coming up....

In a couple of weeks, Diederik will be offering his 'Through The Eyes Of Your Client' worksheet which is a tool that is normally only shared with his inner-circle coaching clients. This worksheet will step you through EXACTLY how to make your practice look and feel 'client-friendly' from your client's perspective. It's an amazing tool!

Stay tuned for the next instalment of 'From a sow's ear to a silk purse' and if you have any questions for Diederik, ask them in the Comments section below...


You can also click here to read the previous posts in the series: The Sow's Ear to Silk Purse Challenge

About Diederik

Diederik Gelderman BVSc, MVS graduated from the University of Sydney with First Class Honours in 1977.

Besides his veterinary work, Dr Gelderman is also a certified NLP Master Practitioner and Trainer and world-renowned coach to veterinarians wanting to improve their profitability. He has coached and consulted with more than 350 small to medium enterprises in a diverse range of industries, and has also held workshops/seminars around the world, including in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, USA, South Africa and around Europe, both for smaller organisations and through his Turbo Charge Your Practice Workshops.



There are currently no comments.

Add Your Comments

All comments will be submitted to the administrator for approval.

To prevent spam, please type in the code found in the red box to verify you are a real person.
  Required fields

Blog Categories


Recent Blog Entries

follow us on twitter