The Business of Healing Pets, Trupanion’s blog series written by Stith Keiser of Blue Heron Consulting, takes a deep dive into the business side of animal medicine. Look for a new installment each month featuring topics such as business best practices, effective leadership, strategic hiring, and more.
Leadership: Where Does My Business Stand?
Let’s add some objectivity to this series. I’d like to lead you through an exercise that should eventually allow you to achieve:
- Greater work/life balance.
- A more self-sufficient, leveraged team.
- Improved patient care.
- Enhanced client experience.
- Increased profitability, which means more money in your pocket, invested in your hospital, or shared with your team.
So, here we go.
- Consider these questions:
- Why do you do what you do, and why did you choose practice ownership or management? For more on this topic, I encourage you to watch this TED Talk.
- What’s your hospital’s mission, and how do you and your staff make it a reality every day?
- How would you describe your clinic’s culture? Every hospital has one. It’s either one you build with your team or your team builds by default. Is your current culture the culture you want?
- If you’re a multi-doctor practice, what do you have in place to avoid a medical service gap (think standards of care and quality of care between doctors)?
- How do you define ‘preventative care’ and ‘best medicine’ in your practice? Are those definitions shared by your entire team, and do all client interactions start with that foundation?
- Review your 2017 Profit and Loss (P&L) statement as well as your 2017 year-to-date (YTD) P&L and highlight the following:
- Net income—this includes owner compensation for veterinary production (you don’t need to include any distributions paid above and beyond fair doctor compensation, which should equate to about 20% of your, and any partners’, veterinary production).
- Cost of goods sold—all drugs, medical supplies, lab (in-house and reference), nutrition, and disposal.
- Payroll—all wages, benefits, and taxes; include relief vet and contracted specialty wages.
- Use your practice information management software system (all should be capable of pulling this data) to calculate your:
- Average client transaction.
- Average doctor transaction.
Work on these activities over the next few weeks, and we will use the information to further clarify your leadership goals.
Next month: What benchmarks should you consider when comparing where you are and where you want to go?
Stith Keiser is the Chief Executive Officer for Blue Heron Consulting, a group specializing in veterinary practice management coaching. In addition to consulting, Stith is a managing partner at a handful of veterinary practices and collaborates on the advancement of professional development curriculums at several veterinary schools as an adjunct faculty member. In his free time, Stith enjoys spending time with his wife, family, friends, and two dogs, a Red Heeler and black Lab, in the outdoors.