Thursday, December 17, 2009

Make those dreams come true...

"This course has shown me the key steps and ingredients to making my dreams come true. Before, I had plans, but maybe they did, maybe they didn’t, ever come reality. Now I know what the difference is between those that did and those that didn’t. Armed with this information I will be able to really make those dreams come true if I want to.

"I am excited to apply these principles to the programs I want to execute upon my return home."

Dr. Janelle Walker, DVM and Owner, Best Friends Veterinary Medical Center, OR
How to Expand Your Company by Making Planning an Actuality Course Completion

Better control the outcome...

"Since applying the procedures learned during the Management by Statistics course, I have seen firsthand how important it is to keep track of everything that is taking place in our business. It is amazing that when you are able to actually see the various changes week to week, you can better control the outcome. This puts control back into the hands of the business owner instead of at the mercy of whichever state the economy happens to be in.

"It gives us a clear picture of the strengths and weaknesses, and the ability to work on the latter, so that they too will become strengths. Since implementing these skills, we find that the employees are better prepared to face the challenges head-on. Since each and every employee is responsible for their own statistics, we then can merge into a force whose goal is to produce."

Laurie Myers, Director of Administration, Pittsburgh Spay and Vaccination Clinic, PA
Formulas for Business Success Implementation Completion

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A financially stable and growing practice...

“'How to Increase Profits through Proper Financial Planning' was an excellent course in common sense. All of the information was very practical and it’s clear that application of this tech should create a financially stable and growing practice. Getting all the information applied may be a challenge, but well worth it in the end!"

Dr. Beverly Shaw, DVM and Practice Owner, Sunbury Animal Hospital, PA
Financial Planning Course Completion

Monday, December 7, 2009

Identify what the qualities of a good leader are...

"Effective leadership was a really good course for me because it really identifies what the qualities of a good leader are and, if one does not already possess them, what we must do to obtain them in order to become one.

"It means seeing things through; knowing how to give and enforce orders and making sure what one needs to get done actually gets done.

"I can see that as I work on improving these qualities in myself I will accomplish my goals, professionally as well as personally."

Dr. Janelle Walker, DVM and Owner, Best Friends Veterinary Medical Center, OR
Effective Leadership Course

How to make the business continue to succeed...

"I can’t wait to use all that I’ve learned to make our business a success. With the knowledge I’ve gained I’ll be able to find what is not making the business a success and how to correct this and also how to make the business continue to succeed. I think that these formulas will help as much in my personal successes as well as business."

Gabriella Svoreny, Office Manager, Clearwater Animal Hospital, ON

Formulas for Business Success Course

Chaos and coping are becoming less...

"The course I just completed, 'Basic Organization', has helped me immediately discover at least 3 places in my practice that have always been trouble-spots. These spots defied my abilities to fix them, but I believe now I know the proper procedures to correct them. This relates back to 'Basic Organization' and the ability to use the org. board for more than just wall covering (although it is pretty and colorful). Chaos and coping are becoming less, one step at a time."

Dr. Jack Griffiths, DVM and Practice Owner, Orland Veterinary Hospital, CA
Basic Organization Course

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Practice Tip: 'Tis the Season to... Bonus or Not?

Well, here we are again - coming up fast on the season of good will to all, right? But do you REALLY feel that way after your last year’s practice performance or are you or your practice manager feeling exhausted and a bit scrooge like? Importantly, did your practice generate enough profit to give your team a well deserved bonus or was it a year where just one of two staff really shone. It’s always a dilemma.

Management Tip: a key to running a high-morale, efficient, and profitable practice is to always, always, always reward the people that did above and beyond what was expected of them. Why? Because what you validate (def: to make valid, substantiate, confirm, make valuable etc…) you’ll get more of. But this also works in the reverse as well. If you validate low producing staff or a toxic team with a blanket season bonus guess what you get more off? Yep - more of the bad stuff.

So this year look at rewarding in proportion to individual contribution to your success. And hey - maybe your real productive staff have some friends or family that can join your team this next year too!

All the best for the Season from all of us here at VPS!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Get more control of your money...

"This is my favorite course so far because there is so much in it that I can take home and start applying to my business. It does help you get more control of your money and spending and shows you ways to get the things that you have always wanted but never had the extra money to purchase. This is a great course that can be applied to my business and to my personal finances."

Dr. Susan Thompson, DVM and Owner, Tabbs Creek Animal Hospital, NC
Financial Planning

Eye-openers for a practice owner...

"The Ethics for Business Survival course and Personal Integrity addendum were eye-openers for a practice owner of almost 30 years. Holding employees accountable for their actions (or inaction) has been one of the weakest links in my management style chain. I now have a firm grasp of how personal ethics of employees and the executive being willing and capable of assigning conditions to those employees results in so much more than “punishment”, which is how I previously perceived such situations. It can result in their personal redemption by getting their ethics straight and their increased productivity will likely result in expansion of the organization (my practice)."

Dr. Tom Wiles, DVM and Practice Owner, Pittsburgh Spay and Vaccination Clinic, PA
Ethics for Business Survival

A new level of looking forward...

"Great course!!!...

I learned to cross beyond my foibles, to look at the greater picture of running my business and life. In this course I put together the need for statistics, the importance of statistics, and the power that statistics will have in making your everyday life and business decisions. Also, during this study, I transgressed to a new level of looking forward ethically speaking."

Dr. Darrell Horn, DVM and Practice Owner, Florida Veterinary League, FL
Ethics for Business Survival

Monday, November 16, 2009

Create an improved work atmosphere...

"This was a really interesting course because it really helped me to better understand the conditions and how I would apply formulas to each one. I think in better understanding this, along with the application of ethics in business, I will be able to create an improved work atmosphere with better statistical results. I am very excited to start the implementation program."

Dr. Tanya Burtis, DVM and Owner, Waxhaw Animal Hospital, Waxhaw, NC
Ethics for Business Survival

Definitely gives you useful tools...

"What I liked about hiring and handling was that it was a lot more hands-on or practical. I could really see the different scenarios and how they could play out in the workplace.

"Hiring and handling really revisits the tone-scale, but in more detail and shows you what to look for and what to avoid. This course definitely gives you useful tools for hiring staff, dealing with 'real' issues (handling) and potentially firing staff.

"I really enjoyed this course, even though it took me out of my comfort zone a little bit.
Thanks VPS!"

Dr. Jen Beaulieu, Owner and DVM, Lake Side Animal Hospital, Tilton, NH
Hiring and Handling Personnel Addendum

Get dreams into reality...

"One of the biggest practice problems is getting great ideas and never implementing them, or getting great ideas that aren’t appropriate for where the practice is at!

"Writing out the formulas that identify what is needed right then and making a battle plan to have staff members implement it right away gets dreams into reality in the practice. This course and addendum shows the exact steps of how to accomplish that."

Dr. Robin Woodley, Owner and DVM, Kapaau Veterinary Center, Kapaau, HI
Formulas for Business Success Addendum

Monday, November 2, 2009

The tools you need...

"Awesome course. It gives you the tools you need to improve communication and productivity through organization and the use of statistics. I now have the tools to react when my stats go down instead of feeling helpless."

Dr. Ellen Colwell, DVM and Practice Owner, Sykesville Veterinary Clinic, Sykesville, MD
Basic Hat for Employees

Good ideas are carried out...

"I have found that many good ideas never got off the ground because nobody sat down and designed a program. This course has given insight into the reasons for failure and why a well-designed, targeted program will assume that good ideas are carried out over an appropriate time frame and the team is invigorated to see them profitably implemented."

Dr. Sid Griffin, DVM and Practice Co-Owner, Border Vet Animal Health, Carnduff, SK
How to Expand Your Company by Making Planning Become Actuality

Applicable right away...

"MBS is a fun course that is applicable right away. It opened up my eyes to an infinite number of ways to closely monitor my business in a quick glare. It will help me more effectively monitor my staff without being dependent on the natural swings of interpersonal sentiments. I look forward to applying the skills learned".

Dr. Chris Garden, DVM and Practice Owner, Camino Animal Hospital, Camino, CA
Management by Statistics

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Work as a better team...

"This was an excellent course for the basic organization of the company. It helps to achieve goals using statistics and their formulas to improve your operation stats. Also it outlines the responsibilities of employees and how they can work as a better team and organize themselves. This course also tells about communication lines and how you can improve your efficiency and attain your goals or targets."

Dr. Sukhpal Gill, DVM and Co-Owner, Clearwater Animal Hospital, Windsor, ON.
Basic Hat for Employees

Keep the goals of the business in mind...

"In short, Ethics for Business Survival has given me very tangible ways to point out where things have gone wrong by looking at the product and the statistic. By then applying the correct condition formula I, and others, can improve and maintain the success of the company. We will hold each other by ethics to keep the goals of the business in mind."
Jason Burtis, Office Manager and Owner, Waxhaw Animal Hospital, Waxhaw, NC.
Ethics for Business Survival

Getting into the meat of management...

"I felt like this course is getting into the meat of management. It contains actual tools; the conditions and formulas that we will be able to use in our stats. Applying these at our practice should be challenging and rewarding!"

Dr. Karen Miller, DVM and Practice Owner, Lincolnton Animal Hospital, Lincolnton, NC.
Formulas for Business Success

Friday, October 16, 2009

Practice Tip: Practice Profit and Economy of Scale

There’s much talk as to what profit is and how much a practice should be generating. Profit is defined as “The amount received for a commodity or service in excess of the original cost.” ( So it’s basically what’s left over after paying all the expenses – the original costs. And this includes your two different expenses: 1. your Fixed Expenses, i.e. your rent, mortgage payment, insurance etc… and 2. your Variable Expenses, i.e. your DVM costs, staffing costs, supplies, etc… those things you use more of the busier you get.

When a practice is small, your fixed expenses are a large percentage of your gross income and thus eat heavily into any left over profit. In many cases, a practice grossing under 500K, after paying yourself DVM compensation of 25% (the high end of the scale but good for easy math), will have no profit. Your cash flow gets very tight because it’s profit that is needed to pay off bank loans, purchase new equipment and build inventory. In contrast, as a practice grows and “scales up” and the fixed expenses stay the same you find profit magically appears. So it goes without saying that a practice grossing 750K per year will have more profit than the 500K but less than the 1.5M practice. Anything above the 1M and you should be nicely into a 20% profit above your DVM compensation.

The basic phenomenon occurring here is known as an Economy of Scale. An Economy of Scale is the reduction in cost per unit resulting from increased production and efficiency.

The bottom line is that your practice needs to grow to the “next level” to be profitable . This is not just a nicety but necessary for you as a practice owner to realize some personal income above and beyond your DVM salary. Practice ownership should have this reward.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Handle employees effectively in multiple situations...

"The Hiring and Handling Personnel Addendum was enlightening to learn hiring/interview techniques and also how to handle an employee in different situations. This course taught me how to handle employees effectively in multiple situations and how to implement the tone scale to improve most scenarios. This will be a valuable tool in our arsenal to effectively manage our employees and, ultimately, our business."

Dr. Diane Grede, Practice Owner and DVM, Animal Hospital of Oshkosh, Oshkosh, WI.
Hiring and Handling Personnel Addendum

Get my business on the road to success...

"After working through the Formulas for Business Success program I feel like I’m really getting some information that I can 'sink my teeth into', that will get my business on the road to success. It’s pretty obvious that it’s not going to always be an easy road. But it is now a road that can have the detours clearly marked and we will be able to find the goals we were after despite these detours. This course gives me a clear way to keep the road to success clean and well marked and to avoid all the bumps in the road. I’m looking forward to the trip!"

Dr. Doug Hardy, Practice Owner and DVM, James River Animal Hospital, Nixa, MO
Formulas for Business Success

Friday, September 25, 2009

Increase productivity and happiness...

"The ups and downs in life are all manageable. This course has shown me how to deal with the downs in life so that they do not bring me down. By not allowing down conditions to exist you and your company remain in an up position which increases productivity and happiness."
Dr. Steve Pirkey, DVM and Practice Owner, Sachse Animal Hospital, Sachse, TX.
Ups and Downs in Life

Making positive changes...

"This part of the course is being implemented in our clinic and is making positive changes. As a group we are becoming more aware of how statistics, conditions and formulas can help us reach our goals. The organization board, memos and CSWs (Completed Staff Work) are helping us make better use of our time. I’m enjoying putting in practice what I’ve learned."

Hollie Seymour, Senior Tech, James River Animal Hospital, Nixa, MO.
Basic Hat for Employees

A vital tool...

"The course 'Formulas for Business Success' was a real eye-opener for me. Before taking this course I really didn’t have a clear picture of how graphing statistics was going to help us remedy our problems. After learning how to gather data, use it for statistics to create graphs and then assign the correct conditions and formulas to these graphs, I can now understand how it all comes together! It all makes great sense to me now and will be a vital tool necessary to increase our statistics and the success of the business."

Lisa Tharp, Director of Admin, Pittsburgh Spay and Vaccination Clinic, Verona, PA
Formulas for Business Success

Friday, September 18, 2009

Building the foundation...

"I thought the Ethics course did a good job of building the foundation for why people act the way they do and what motivates them. Applying the formulas in both a business and a personal setting will feel better than just going with the flow and stumbling along without a plan."

Sam Bauman, Practice Manager, Jackson Pet Hospital, Jackson, WI

Ethics for Business Survival

Get in control of the conversation...

"The Communication course was great. Learning to control yourself, staying focused with all the distractions that can be thrown at you, it’s a great tool to be in control. I have dealt with clients giving you so much information when doing exams, when you are having a busy day and need to move on. I learned how to stay in charge of the conversation. On the other hand I did not know how to behave with people who I knew wanted to move but I just kept on talking. Another thing I have learned is to train staff members to stay focused and get in control of the conversation with the client when there are 10 other things to do."

Dr. Manjit Jammu, DVM and Practice Owner, Clearwater Animal Hospital, Windsor, ON
Improving Business Through Communication

A new way of thinking about personalities and people and interactions...

"The 'How to Get Along With Others' course has introduced me to a new way of thinking about personalities and people and interactions. It has shown me how I react to different personalities and how to succeed in improving relationships. It has also shown where I fall in the tone-scale and some of the poor responses I choose in dealing with people. I feel I am better prepared to work with my staff now that I can put them in the tone-scale."

Dr. Diane Grede, DVM and Practice Owner, Animal Hospital of Oshkosh, WI
How to Get Along With Others

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

It's fun to see the staff on board...

"This course was great. I never considered myself a 'numbers gal' but I have an anticipation at the end of the week to see our final numbers. Even better if I see our graphs moving up in response to a change! It is also fun to see the staff on board and how they can’t wait to see the numbers either."
Dr. Deb Brown, DVM and Practice Owner, Pequot Lakes Animal Hospital, Pequot Lakes, MN
Management by Statistics

I learned valuable, basic tools....

"This has been my favorite course so far. I am ready to get our staff hatted appropriately and organize work flow. My hope is for an efficient and well-run organization. I learned valuable, basic tools in this course for the better organization of my business."

Dr. Karen Spikes, DVM and Practice Owner, A Animal Clinic, Fort Worth, TX
Basic Organization

Friday, September 4, 2009

No more coping!...

"Basic Organization has given me the guidelines for coordinating the products, sub products, function, posts and flow of particles (clients) so that we can create our valuable final product with less of my time. No more scrambling and no more coping! Our better hatted staff will be a large part of this. I expect to have happier and better paid staff as well."

Dr. Michael Rosen, DVM and Practice Owner, Feline Veterinary Clinic, Church Falls, VA

Basic Organization

This course finally gave me a solution to our problem...

"When I first came to VPS they asked what I saw as being the main problem at our clinic. I told them that our clinic is in mass confusion. Going through this course finally gave me a solution to our problem. If I use an organization board I can start to see trouble spots and cope with them until I have everyone fully hatted in their post. When I get this done then we can really start producing. This is going to raise our morale by leaps and bounds because everyone will feel strong in their hat and this will build confidence. This will work; I know it!"

Kim Earley, Director of Administration, Animal Clinic of Rapid City, Rapid City, SD.
Basic Organization

Aiming to remedy the conditions...

"This Addendum was good because it put reality to the condition I was in as a business owner. Not just making me aware but also aiming to remedy the condition as I learnt it. It forced me to make the change to get better."

Bob Jackowiak, Practice Owner, Alpena Veterinary Clinic, Alpena, MI.
Ethics for Business Survival Addendum

Monday, August 24, 2009

A tremendous help in working towards a better organized clinic...

"This course has been a tremendous help in working towards a better organized clinic. We are able to communicate with each other more clearly. We are able to spot dev-t (Developed Traffic) in more ways each and everyday; in fact the staff are enjoying finding dev-t and stopping it. Less dev-t means less stress."

Dr. Sammie Thompson, DVM and Practice Owner, East Stroudsburg Veterinary Hospital, PA
How to Increase Efficiency in Your Company

This course will be the basis for all the changes we need...

"This course will be the basis for all the changes we need to make to ensure our practice continues being successful. The information in this course is stuff we should all know but don’t know how to connect in real life. I am looking forward to getting home and applying the methods and formulas into our practice - using baby steps of course!!"

Susan Horn, Director of Administration, Florida Veterinary League, FL.
Basic Hat for Employees

I expect my business to improve in many ways...

"The Formulas for Business Success Course gives clean guidelines for both monitoring and controlling a business based on conditions and the formulas for each. I have too often found my business in emergency or danger (without having the words to describe the condition). In the past I then scrambled to improve conditions, doing some things correctly, omitting some important things and taking many incorrect actions. By working with conditions, their formulas and statistics, I expect my business to improve in many ways."

Dr. Michael Rosen, DVM and Practice Owner, Feline Veterinary Clinic, VA.
Formulas for Business Success

Friday, August 14, 2009

This professionalism expands not only one's business but one's reputation...

"This has been an incredible learning experience for me and I can only encourage others who want to stand up and be proud! To do, be, and put into action this course.

To look back and see that I am truly a determined being, creating my massage business for 30 years with a somewhat “what am I doing?!” attitude because I did not have the actual “tools” of running a business ethically, effectively and with less stress more fun and lots of professionalism which is just respect and application for doing a great job rather than just getting by!

Following the precepts in this course, this professionalism expands not only one's business but one’s reputation for going and doing more than one expects.

Since the inception of this course I reached my target for the month and now know how to keep the stats up each month!

Thank you VPS for this course and for your patience in my completing it."

Shelora Dalen, DMT and Massage Studio Owner, Unique Wellness Studio, BC
Basic Hat for Employees

Understanding and managing staff in ways I would not have thought of...

"I thought I knew all the small words in the English vocabulary. Come to find out I didn't. Knowing how to read them and learning how to clear words really makes a difference on how I read and understand sentences. Knowing the three barriers and check outs will help with understanding and managing staff in ways I would not have thought of. Thank You."

Maureen Johns, Office Manager, Florida Veterinary Leauge, FL
Study Skills for Life

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

PRACTICE TIP: Do you really know where your clients are?...

When a practice gets bust our attention turns to addressing client and patient issues and we neglect the very important day to day task of internal marketing. The purpose of internal marketing, vs. external marketing for brand new clients, is to communicate with your existing clients in such a way that they stick to your practice, agree with your preventative healthcare, and don't wander off to your competition (client attrition). This is not a casual thing but a series of proactive activities that lets your clients know that you are there for them and they need to return at scheduled times.

So next time you wonder where your clients are:

1) Scan your practice management software for the number of active clients (not just your Gross Revenue) and see whether or not this is up or down over last month. The bottom line? It needs to be UP!

2) Look around your practice - there should be NOTHING that is offensive to a client or pet that would cause them to resist coming in... Things to look for would be smells, unsightly quarters or staff uniforms, how someone answers the phones, cleanliness, cheerfulness of staff and doctors to name a few...

3) Always, always, always set the next appointment on their way out thether it's for 7 days, 1 month or 6 or 12 months. They don't know what they're doing in a year? Well you do! They're coming back to see you!

Need more info on this subject? Call us to start getting more out of your practice.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Your 2nd Quarter Fee Increase Nudge


Dear Practice Owner: Yes - it’s that time of year again. This is your 2nd Quarter Fee Increase nudge to pull the trigger and increase your fees by 3% across the board. Don’t forget that the cost of living increased this last year, creating a relative drop in your fees. The answer to this problem is small scheduled quarterly fee increases to either or both your front-end fees (I.e. quotable items such as exams, spays, neuters etc…) and back-end fees (I.e. radiographs, lab work, surgery fees etc…).
As of this June 30th 2009 we recommended the following fee increases:

- 3% Front-end fee increase (q6Mo)
- 3% Back-end fee increase (q3Mo)

Next fee increase: Third quarter ending Sept 30, 2009

Thursday, July 9, 2009

We can become the cause for future success...

“Working through the Basic Organization Addendum is a great exercise. I finally feel like we have a solid blueprint upon which we can build out our management program and become the cause for future success.”

Newley Spikes (MBA), Office Manager, A Animal Clinic
Basic Organization Addendum

We feel a lot more confident hiring...

“The biggest successes from the program have been hiring, the training manual ,and staff meetings. We feel a lot more confident hiring and have been able to get the right people on board. The training manual has been a great tool to train the new employee correctly and efficiently. Having weekly staff meetings and talking over the practice vision and goals has helped us function better as a team.”

Jolie Davis, Senior Tech, Pequot Lakes Animal Hospital
Management Basics Implementation

It gives me the pulse of the practice...

“The Management by Statistics is awesome for an analytical like me. It gives me the pulse of the practice and also points to areas that need correction, adjustment, or even accolades for a job well done. It provides a gauge for the staff to measure their successes and failures and see how their efforts affect the whole. Then the treatment plan will be easier to see and the results to support it over time can be seen as well. This course is the ‘how to’ of checking the pulse of the business.”

Dr. Deb Forster, DVM and Practice Owner, Four Paws Veterinary Hospital
Management by Statistics

Monday, June 29, 2009

One must walk before you can run...

"This is a great wrap up course to finally deal with the actual finances of the company. When we started with VPS I was expecting to get this data on day one. Now – so many months later – I understand why it is last. One must walk before you can run. Deal with internal problems of staff, understand conditions and formulas and know how to plan before you can ever be expected to actually understand how to plan financially. Thanks!"

Dr. Russ Drabek, DVM and Practice Owner, Jefferson Animal Clinic
Financial Planning Addendum

A good practical tool to stay focused...

"The Financial Planning Addendum is useful because it establishes your budget on a weekly basis. It’s a way to know how much income you need in order to cover all your
expenses and loans. You build into your budget a set aside (reserve) for future equipment and projects. It’s a good practical tool to stay focused on your goal for the clinic – on a weekly basis, which is easier to work towards.

Carmen Martinez, Director of Administration, Westbird Animal Hospital
Financial Planning Addendum

This is an extremely important aspect to life...

"This course fits well with my experience as a veterinarian and practice owner. Much more than any of my employees, my profession and practice to a large degree is my life. This is an extremely important aspect of life which brings me into contact with many people and their pets. In these contacts I have a chance to provide them with a service which in its best case can be helpful, rewarding, curative, enjoyable, worthwhile, life-giving, compassionate, loving, joyful and many other positives which are too numerous to mention.

"To make my career a success these outcomes must be attained as often as possible which requires personal ethics on my part and also the application of ethics by all my staff. The assignment of statistically based conditions and the applications of formulas to improve the conditions is a way to maintain a high level of service.”

Dr. Lisardo Martinez, DVM and Practice Owner, Westbird Animal Hospital
Ethics for Business Survival

Friday, June 19, 2009

I have relearned some valuable life points...

I felt this was an excellent course for me personally. I definitely picked up some things which will help me professionally, but more importantly I have relearned some valuable life points. This course brought back to the surface some rules we all learn in preschool: ‘If you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all’; ‘Play nice, share your toys, don’t call names’; and my personal favorite ‘You can’t love others until you love yourself’. I knew all these rules but I really needed them brought back into center light.”

Dr. Wes Wood, DVM and Practice Owner
Animal Clinic of Rapid City
How to Get Along With Others

It's been fun to see the change in staff...

"One of the most important lessons learned is that of interviewing new staff members. I can honestly say I have a good idea in the first 5 minutes if I should even give this person a shot! The program is very good in that it leads us slowly through the steps to implement changes with staff. Other than my ‘duds’ it has been fun to see the change in staff regarding our goals and stats. Thank goodness we have a meeting with our consultant each week, or else I would have probably pulled my hair out a long time ago making these changes!"

Dr. Deb Brown, DVM and Practice Owner
Pequot Lakes Animal Hospital
Management Basics Implementation

Monday, June 15, 2009

Make your personalized financial plan...

“This was a great course to follow up the Financial Planning course. This course uses actual stats from your practice and allows you to ‘plug in’ your numbers, decide if your practice is solvent or not and allows you to make your personalized financial plan for your practice. Excellent!”

Dr. Kirk Reese, DVM and Practice Owner
Whitehouse Veterinary Hospital
Financial Planning Addendum

This has made me aware of the type of employee that I am...

"I have learned to do work now and not put it off. This has helped the organization by allowing us to immediately implement policies and procedures that will increase our productivity and efficiency. Overall, this has made me aware of the type of employee that I am, the areas that I do well in and more importantly the areas that I need to work on. I have seen by applying these principles, that by applying them the facility as a whole runs better and more efficiently, and get more pleasure out of working for it."

Lauren Duggar, Director of Administration
Four Paws Veterinary Hospital
Basic Hat for Employees (Online Course)

Be part of the solution...

"Working through this course with our consultant has helped us get going on our implementation process. Our staff now has a better understanding of what we are going and where we are aiming. This program has shown the staff how we can more easily communicate with each other and how they can be part of the solution in the fixing of our practice. The program has also made them ‘hungry’ to get their bonus system in place so as we grow they can also reap the benefits."

Drs. Clair and Sammie Thomposon, DVMs and Practice Owners
East Stroudsburg Veterinary Hospital
Management Basics Implemetation

Friday, June 5, 2009

It's not just making money that's important...

The Financial Planning Course emphasizes the basics that need to be adhered to to make a business solvent. There are some great plans to control expenses, provide a financial cushion in case of emergency and control expenses and spending. It’s not just making money that’s important; it’s how well that money and resources are managed that is essential.

Dr. Carrie Brace, DVM and Practice Owner
Briargate Blvd Animal Hospital
Financial Planning


One of my take-home points for this course, Basic Organization, has been the clarification of the word “basic”. I’d previously incorrectly defined basic as simple, when in actuality “basic” is “most important” or “essential”, and this course has certainly been essential!

Dr. Clair Thompson, DVM and Practice Owner
East Stroudsburg Veterinary Hospital
Basic Organization

Avoid Some Disappointments...

As I progressed through the “Study Skills for Life” module, I gradually related the newly learned techniques to learning situations over my lifetime. I could readily understand that it wasn’t so much the subject material of calculus that challenged my intellect some 40 years ago, but simply the barriers to learning that vexed my freshman college year. Now, as I move forward implementing these learning skills, I am going to be able to make sure that my staff will be able to avoid some disappointments in their careers and lives.

Dr. Tom Wiles, DVM and Practice Owner
Pittsburgh Spay and Vaccination Clinic
Study Skills for Life

Friday, May 29, 2009

Wish I had learned this years ago...

"When I took a first look at the study skills for life, I thought I would breeze through it because it was written in such a simplistic way! I now understand that even though I have a good vocabulary I misunderstand very basic words and this has affected how I communicate. I look forward to getting back to the clinic and putting this new information into practice with the employees. Wish I had learned this years ago.”

Hollie Seymour, Senior Tech
James River Animal Hospital
Study Skills for Life

Turn the Plan and Vision into Reality....

"The Planning and Policy Addendum was an incredible course. This course enabled me to visualize the ideal scene for my practice. With that vision in mind, I was able to write a strategic plan to see the vision more clearly. Then I was able to write a program to help turn the plan and vision into reality. Wow!"

Dr. Robert Burgess, DVM and Practice Owner

God's Creatures Animal Clinic

Planning and Policy Addendum

Saturday, May 16, 2009

This program quickly got my staff knowing where the clinic was going...

“This program quickly got my staff knowing where the clinic was going. They all got to see a little better how the hierarchy is laid out. It helped to differentiate some of the jobs specialties as well as where things overlap. It was a good opportunity to talk about our purpose as well as what they contribute day to day to help us to have happy clients with healthy pets.

“It has helped to organize our training manuals (a work still in progress). Going through this gives us a little better ground of what to train new staff first.

“This program also let me see how many things I do and gave me a nudge to try to turn some of these things over to other people. Not having a Director of Admin while doing this was difficult, but I can see how important it is to get the right person in that position. I look forward to filling the open positions on my organizing board and getting more off my plate.”
Dr. Laura Pampreen, Basic Organization

It is the backbone needed to maintain a team...

“This is an excellent course and I plan to have all my employees take it as soon as possible. It is the backbone needed to maintain a team, with everyone understanding what their jobs and responsibilities are.”
Dr. Robin Woodley, Basic Hat for Employees

Practice Tip 21: Positive Attitude

A positive attitude beats a recession every time...

This may seem odd to some of you but there are practices which are actually expanding by 20% - 40% during the current recession. On close examination you’ll find that common amongst these practices is not luck or “being in the right location” but something much more basic. You’ll find that it’s the owners and their positive attitudes. Success does not always come easy for anyone and in actual fact requires some elbow grease, determination and tenacity towards a goal. Let’s compare this to a couple of other accomplished public figures. Abraham Lincoln was not without his challenges, but he left a legacy that survives today. To quote, “… The difference between history’s boldest accomplishments and it’s most staggering failures is often, simply, the diligent will to persevere.”
Thomas Edison, the grandfather of the iPod (Edison invented the first portable music on demand system for the common people - the gramophone), after 2000 attempts and numerous attempts on his life (suspected of by the gas companies) created the lighting system still in use today. So what do great people that run great countries or great companies or great practices have in common? Their focused tenacity towards survival and winning the game of business ownership.
So next time when the recession gets you down:
1. Shut off the news. It does not reflect what is going on. There’s still lots of pet-owning clients out there that need your help and are willing to pay…
2. Scan your attitude for any non-productive negativity and ditch it! Fast...
3. Set a goal for the week. No matter how bad things look, a good goal acts like a beacon to set your sights on. Align your staff around it.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

It was such a relief to see that someone really understood the concerns of a practice owner...

"It was such a relief to see that someone really understood the concerns of a practice owner. As a brand new practice owner the first webinar gave a lot of hope that we could actually learn how to properly manage our practice and not have to grovel for years trying to figure out a system on our own."
Dr. Bob Jackowiak, Webinar Success Story

“Study Skills for Life” is great at reinforcing how important it is to fully understand each and every part of the material you are studying...

“'Study Skills for Life' is great at reinforcing how important it is to fully understand each and every part of the material you are studying. It is very easy to overlook one part that you do not fully understand and continue, but this causes great problems further down the line, problems that could be easily avoided if you had taken the time to understand the tricky part straight away. I can definitely think of times when I have fallen into this trap. This was the perfect course to start on.”
Alex McKenzie, Study Skills for Life

Saturday, May 2, 2009

This program has helped me realize what activities will work and how to better use those activities to grow business at my practice...

"The program has helped me realize what activities will work and how to better use those activities to grow business at my practice. For example, the use of surveys to help identify client buttons for use in clinic advertising. That advertising needs to not be educational, but get the client to call for an appointment to further address the needs triggered by the button. It has also helped me understand that advertising methods need to concentrate on what works and to keep doing what works.
Initially the quantity of the advertising will be most important with very little to no formal training in business management and promotion prior to this. I have a better understanding of some of the concepts I can take home and make use of. I also see there is a wealth of information on these topics that I need to learn and incorporate to make my business successful and thrive.
I really think the promotional ideas I am taking back to my practice will help me grow rapidly."
Dr. David Lindquist, Power Team Builder

"I feel better with clever and smoother ways...."

“This course will help me as I am discussing things with clients in exam rooms. I feel better with clever and smoother ways of ending conversation, politely, and therefore allowing more efficiency and continued work flow in the practice.”
Dr. Karen Spikes, Improving Business through Communication

Saturday, April 25, 2009

"This is a course I would definitely recommend that all doctors and hospital managers take."

“This program has opened up a whole new way of thinking. I only wish I had these programs to use as I was growing up and as I became a Hospital Manager. This is a course I would definitely recommend that all doctors and hospital managers take. I promise it will make you a whole lot better.”

C.R., Practice Manager

"Thanks VPS - this was exactly what I needed."

“Well, this course brought it all home for me! Unfortunately, it absolutely showed me my failings in financial dealings up to this point! That’s okay; I now have great information which will get us strongly solvent in a comfortable manner. I am so happy to have this information! Thanks VPS – this was exactly what I needed.”

-G.H., DVM, Financial Planning Course

"...this was the single most valuable course I have taken."

“I can honestly say that this was the single most valuable course that I have taken. There was such a tremendous take home message considering we are presently dealing with budgeting problems. I could only wish this occurred earlier in my practice ownership.”

J.H. DVM, Financial Planning Course

Raise Your Fees!




Practice Owner: Yes, it’s that time of year again. Time to pull the trigger and increase your fees. With a recession going on a fee increase often times gets forgotten. But what you may not know is that the cost of living increased this last year, creating a relative drop in your fees. The answer to this problem are small scheduled quarterly fee increases to either or both your front-end fees (I.e. quotable items such as exams, spays, neuters etc…) and back-end fees (I.e. radiographs, lab work, surgery fees etc…).
As of this March 31st 2009 we recommended the following fee increase:

3% Back-end fee increase (q3Mo)
Next fee increase: Second quarter ending June 30th, 2009

For an invitation to our FREE Practice Owner Online Seminar, “Realizing Your Practice Lost Income”, please email back the following information to

Name:__________________ Email:___________________

Practice Name:____________________________________

Saturday, April 4, 2009

"The best is yet to come believe it or not. THANK YOU."

“Never in our wildest dreams did we think we could have a practice income of over $60,000 a week. After a few short months with VPS it has happened. Thank you to all our PBS family for showing us the way and we feel we are only scratching the surface with our clinic and our employees. The best is yet to come believe it or not. THANK YOU.”

S.H. DVM, Clarke Animal Hospital

"I plan to reach a $1 million practice and retire in a few years. Thank you Dr.Parker."

“I came to this meeting just to learn how to build a power team, but we got a lot more information. It covered the organization of the business. This seminar will help me the most to make easier my life - with less work, more things to achieve. I recommend this to anybody that is a 1 man practice and wants to grow. I plan to reach a $1 million practice and retire in a few years. Thank you, Dr. Parker.”

-H.S. DVM, Santis Pet Clinic

Power Team Builder Workshop: "truly an amazing experience."

“Prior to coming (to the workshop) I’d always been somewhat skeptical of “how to” fix, change, enhance by outside consultants. After our first phone conversation I felt comfortable, understood and a person of interest. Finally here was an opportunity to open up for suggestion, criticism, advise on how I as a person, professional and yet human am affecting my hospital, my team, my dream.

“Having now been given true tools to start making changes in myself which in turn will shift the dynamics of the everyday, every moment operations at the hospital are encouraging, inspiring, uplifting and yet satisfying and challenging.

"I leave with a sense of follow through with Joel to be a continual source of guidance and assurance. Exposing myself, my staff and my hospital can be uncomfortable but the care with which Joel extracts the core essentials is comfortably humbling.

“Truly an amazing experience.”
- P.C. DVM, Best Friends Animal Hospital

Practice Lost Income - the key to recession survival

It’s estimated that a poorly managed practice fails to realize it’s full income potential by 20 -50%. Ouch! Now here’s the hook: In affluent times who cares right? Why bother when you are swamped with cases and just trying to keep up and get home before your kids are in bed. But in recession times, like NOW, this attitude is not only wasteful it’s reckless! Let’s have a closer look...

Lost Income: That income that slips through your fingers from poor control and efficiency…
So what to DO?

1. Start by caring about every area in your practice that you can control. - For example, start caring about those clients who are calling in as shoppers - get them in! Start caring about how clients are greeted - everything you do has either a positive or negative promotional impact on your practice. Start caring about spending more time training your staff – so their confidence level is high when they recommend a treatment plan. Start caring about reactivating every single client so they return at least once a year to your practice. Start tracking your metrics of practice performance so you can spot lazy areas right away. Start caring about how well you sell your treatment plans. Start caring about working out always getting paid or exact payment plans. Start caring about doing top-quality medicine - medicine where there is no chance of mistake. Start caring about checking patients before they go out the door and correcting things that are not right. Start asking for referrals. BE INTERESTED IN EVERYTHING ABOUT YOUR PRACTICE!

2. Start promoting your practice - Starting tightening up your reactivation program. Get on the phones and call your clients. They love to hear from you. Many would love you as their own Doctor so call them up! BE INTERESTED IN YOUR CLIENTS.

3. Start tracking your indexes of practice performance - start by tracking the number of office visits and your Average Client Charge. Just looking at these 2 indices every week, comparing current to the last can make a huge difference in your bottom. PLAY YOUR PRACTICE LIKE A GAME.

4. In closing, remember this: THERE IS NO SHORTAGE OF MONEY. People still have lots of money but may be reluctant to spend it. Don’t buy into the doom of the news media. It could lose you lots of income.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

68% of practice owners want happier staff... Who knew?

I recently exhibited at the North American Veterinary Conference in Orlando and spent a good portion of our time interviewing DVM practice owners as to what their Ideal Scene was. What’s an Ideal Scene? Your Ideal Scene is that picture you have of your practice of what would ideal, what would be the perfect practice. This would include all the great things you want such as top notch equipment, 2 months vacation and a nice car but minus all the frustrating and annoying things that you would like to change.

So what did I find out? A whopping 68% of practice owners interviewed responded that the No. 1 thing they wanted was happy staff! For their staff to get along and work together as an organized team. Despite having the best equipment money could buy, they wanted something so intangible yet so important to daily practice life.

So here’s a couple of pointers on whipping together a happy staff:
1. Purpose means everything... Very few staff work solely for money (good thing right?) but work for a strong sense of purpose. Get the purpose of your practice defined in writing and posted on the wall as a reference point for all team members to see.
2. Define your rules of the game... A team needs clear directions and rules to follow otherwise simple daily tasks becomes laborious decision points. Define your standard way of operation with a good Standard Policy & Procedures (SOP ) manual.
3. Stack your deck... Hire upbeat positive attitude people that are willing and care for what is going on. This attitude is hard to train. Hire them like this and they’ll easily train up their technical skills without taxing your resources (and nerves!).
4. Train people “off the job” into great team players... Establish a training center off the busy production lines that actually trains using your SOP manual as the reference points. No more “on the job” verbal training. It just doesn’t work well!
5. Correct with compassion... No one ever corrected anyone with force. Have compassion
and firmness and correct over a foundation of validation. People are valuable. Value them!

Monday, March 2, 2009

When you reward upstatistics you get upstatistics...

A Japanese company ( Toyota ) and an American company (Ford) decided to have a canoe race on the Missouri River. Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race. On the big day, the Japanese won by a mile. The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat.

A management team made up of senior management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action. Their conclusion was the Japanese had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while the American team had 8 people steering and 1 person rowing. Feeling a deeper study was in order, American management hired a consulting company and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion. They advised, of course, that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing. Not sure of how to utilize that information, but wanting to prevent another loss to the Japanese, the rowing team's management structure was totally reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 3 area steering superintendents, and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager. They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 1 person rowing the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called the 'Rowing Team Quality First Program,' with meetings, dinners, and free pens for the rower There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes, and other equipment, extra vacation days for practices and bonuses.

The next year the Japanese won by two miles. Humiliated, the American management laid off the rower for poor performance, halted development of a new canoe, sold the paddles, and canceled all capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses and the next year's racing team was out-sourced to India. Sadly, The End. Here's something else to think about: Ford has spent the last thirty years moving all its factories out of the US, claiming they can't make money paying American wages. TOYOTA has spent the last thirty years building more than a dozen plants inside the US. The last quarter's results: TOYOTA makes 4 billion in profits while Ford racked up 9 billion in losses. Ford folks are still scratching their heads.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A question of management styles...

A question came in our Power Team Builder workshop with regards to what management style was best for the practice? The horizontal, we're all friends working together in harmony, on a level playing field, or the more vertical, commands from the top down from seniors to juniors style? It's a good question isn't it? I think it comes down to what is ultimately the most effective in terms of impectable cusomer and patient service and what creates to best staff morale! We sorted this out by running some timed trials that involved getting a simple task done. The "I'm ok, your ok, we're all friends" style resulted in lots of smiles but poor customer service. It simply took too long with all the politeness and lack of decision as to who was going to do what! The vertical, get it done via friendly orders from seniors to juniors consitentely beat the clock and delivered high speed customer service. The morale from this team was higher from their stellar performance, not from their "taking care of friends" approach. Tip? Try giving some friendly direct orders to your staff. Do ask for their permission - just give them a nice snappy order and see what happens!

Some recent success stories from our Executive Training Academy...

“I really feel this course has really helped me to be able to understand others better, to be able to keep the positive in any situation, and to be able to detect problems in the workplace. I am really happy I attended this course through my stay here. I
experienced some educational dreams. I am really impressed with this course.”

DH, Practice Manager
Course: How to Get Along With Others

“I really liked this course because it taught me how to analyze statistics and what to do to improve them. A lot of the time I may know that a certain area of the business is not doing well but I really did not know what to do about it until I took this course.”

Dr. ST, Practice Owner
Course: Formulas for Business Success

“This course, How to Write Effective Company Policy, was useful to identify the
difference between policy and orders and what can be some pitfalls of not setting
policy which causes confusion among all staff and creates randomness in what we do. If policies are written and hopefully understood they act as a guide to what is
acceptable in the company.”

Dr. CB, Practice Owner
Course: How to Write Effective Company Policy

“This course has taught me how to effectively manage my work and communications with fellow staff so that a maximum of valuable production occurs with a minimum of wasted time and effort.”

JT, Practice Manager
Course: How to Increase Efficiency in Your Company

“A working organizational board for our hospital is a big step to a more efficient
operation where my people can really understand the dynamics of servicing a client and their pet. I am very excited to move ahead from this point.”

Dr. MA, Practice Owner
Course: Basic Organization

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Day 1 in blogisphere...

Good morning! I've been wanting to start a blog like this for quite a while to express the daily, weekly, monthly goings ons that happen around our offices at Veterinary Practice Solutions. I'd like to share our clients wins within the veterinary community and let people that we are making a difference in private practice life. Maybe some of you will find this interesting and maybe not. I'd like to hear from you either way! So... more on this later. START!