Thursday, July 29, 2010

"This course was great!"

“This course was great! With the drills and practicals I have gained the confidence that I can effectively deal with the staff in a fair and productive manner.

To be skilled in dealing with everyday issues is a bonus for the clinic. With the techniques learned, the staff will realize that they are important and management will take them seriously.”

Dawn Brewer, Head Tech
Hiring and Handling Personnel Course

"I think this info will be very helpful in the future..."

“This course helped me to get a better handle on good solid ways to make plans, and then more importantly the way to see it through.
I think this info will be very helpful in the future if we expand or renovate our facility, as well as the smaller day to day issues at the clinic."

Wesley Wood, DVM, Practice Owner
Breaking The Code Course

"These tools will help me with my position at work..."

“In the course “Ups & Downs in Life” I discovered how to spot individuals that come into life and be able to identify and label things that I see or people that I see.

I also gained some knowledge and insight of how to help when someone is an effect from bad influences in their job or being suppressed.

These tools will help me with my position at work but also through life in general."

Colleen Davis, Practice Manager
Ups and Downs in Life Course

"Great ideas that have really come in handy"

“Great ideas that have really come in handy when we recently needed to hire new staff. The course gave us tools to be able to weed out people who could never have fit into our organization.It also cut down on the time it took us to interview and hire. The handling exercise will be really useful dealing with the day to day challenges with communication between practice owners and staff.”

Dr. Steve Duns, DVM, Practice Owner
Hiring and Handling Personnel Addendum

Monday, July 26, 2010

Practice Tip 9 –Implementing Change


How many times have you been to a conference and come back ready to makes changes, then two weeks later to find nothing in place? If you were like me, lots! This getting excited and then experiencing your best laid plan failing is the No.1 reason for “burn out”. Burn-out isn’t caused by working hard and getting lots done - in practice we love working hard with our patients. Burn-out is caused by repeated failed attempts to implement change that collectively add up and drop our morale.

So let’s look at this issue of implementation.
First off, Thomas Edison, the famous inventor and entrepreneur, once stated I have far more respect for the person with a single idea who gets there than for the person with a thousand ideas who does nothing....”. So the world is not devoid of new ideas - it appears to be short on implementation.

Secondly, Albert Einstein, another great thinker, once said that “insanity was doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result”.

So get the idea that repeating this cycle of
1) going to a conference and getting some great ideas,
2) coming back to try and toss these ideas into the fray of your practice and
3) experiencing failure, hasn’t worked in the past and probably won’t work in the future.

The solutions? Change your operating basis - the way in which you implement change in your practice. To do this we use a management tool called planning. And here’s where the old adage of “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail” comes in. No where is this more true than in a busy practice, controlled by the ebb and flow of patients coming in the door.
So try this next time you want to implement a change:

1) Make a plan - any plan is better than no plan so make a plan and stick to it! (Note: most people are easily distracted and not “sticky” enough to their goals)
2) Define what the goal is.
3) Define what the individual steps are and most importantly…
4) Assign these steps to your various staff to get them done…
5) Monitor the progress of each step, dating and signing off each step with initials.

Sounds simple? It is! Try it out and watch what happens.

Questions? Give me a call.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The skills learned here will be used to manage in a way that will produce the expansion every business needs to survive

“The Ethics for Business Survival course is the meat and potatoes course that uses our foundation courses and explains in detail what is needed to determine what, where and how to survive in the business environment. The skills learned here will be used to manage in a way that will produce the expansion every business needs to survive.”

Dr. Evelyn Bock, DVM
Ethics for Business Survival Course

I gained some foundations to having a "GREAT COMPANY"

“In the course “Breaking the Code” the most I got from it was it opened my eyes to the things that we are lacking in our company. We as a whole need to step up and promote professionalism and always deliver our “Senior Policy”. I feel like through this course I gained some foundations to having a “GREAT COMPANY” not just a mediocre company."

Colleen Davis, Practice Manager
Breaking The Code Course

I now have the tools and knowledge...

“The Client Compliance Builder Course gave labels to put on situations that are already happening in my practice. I now have the tools and knowledge to move [clients] through the steps of the sale to reach "closing" and "delivery" of my treatment plans. I never thought of myself as a sales-person but after taking this course I realize life is a series of sales and closing the deal.

This course has shown me that I can be an advocate for the pet by "selling" clients that right treatment plan. We all win!"

Dr. Beth Neuman, DVM
Client Compliance Builder Course

The Executive Revitalization is a great review of Ethics...

“The Executive Revitalization is a great review of Ethics. Every now & again it’s important to look into our surroundings from the outside to allow us to see what is really there. To ensure some particle hasn’t snuck in to cause us problems & slip-ups in any part of our lives. The Revitalization is the perfect tool to do this.”

Dr. Russ Drabek, DVM, Practice Owner
Executive Revitalization Program

Monday, July 19, 2010

Practice Tip 012: Staff Morale


Having high staff morale in a practice is a key successful action of highly successful practices. It makes it fun to come to work when the team has high morale. The problem is, with the field we are in, where patients do have problems and clients do get upset, how do you do this? How do you protect your staff morale?

Firstly most staff work at a veterinary practice because they love animals and really care.

Problem: Not everything in a practice goes according to plan or the way we wish it would. We experience losses that are contrary to our goals. We, working at a practice or in life, develop personal viewpoints on things based on what we perceive are going on… not necessarily what IS going on.

Witness the effect of one grumpy client upon the reception staff, right? The problem is, without having the overall picture of the practice in mind, we can develop a low-morale viewpoint that we are not succeeding in our goal or purpose. Enter in the scene where the staff are then reminded, by the owner or the office manager of all the mistakes that are occurring.

The result? An imploding team that has the viewpoint that all they do is make mistakes and have clients who are grumpy and who don’t want to pay for services.

The solution? Internal Promotion. Promote your successes constantly to your staff. At every opportunity point out what they are doing right, which opens the door to being able to correct them without their morale dropping.

So this next week try these tools and build more positive viewpoints:
Internally promote the practice wins - those successes in surgery, those clients who raved about the practice, those thank-you cards that came in, etc...
Show staff at every opportunity where a patient that came in on a yearly activation and vaccination appointment led to the handling of a dangerous or potentially dangerous medical condition. Once a day, with each staff member, point out one thing they are doing correct. We all like praise and flourish in it...

The result? Viewpoints that are more positive than negative with your staff.
Enjoy a happier, more high morale team

Sounds simple? It is. Try it out and watch what happens.
Questions? Give me a call.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I found this session to be helpful!

“I found the session on “The Ups and Downs in Life” to be helpful in recognizing the anti-social personality. This is an important thing to know, because you would never want to hire or have a relationship with one.”

Lisa Tharp, Dir Admin
Pittsburgh Spay & Vaccination Clinic, PA

It will not be at all hard for me to apply this course.

“I found the “Improving Business through Communication” to be very helpful for me in the clinic and everyday life. It will not be at all hard for me to apply this course. I have found myself already analyzing communication between my conversations and those around me."

Veronica Branch, Dir Admin
Tabbs Creek Animal Hospital, NC

I feel much more comfortable in making plans become an actuality.

“This course has really defined the parts of how to plan for the future & more importantly how to put those plans into action. This has always been a problem for me. So I now feel much more comfortable in making plans become an actuality."

Dr. Rob Stables, DVM
Bow Valley Veterinary Clinic, AB

I really enjoyed this course...

“I really enjoyed this course because it solidified a lot of ideas I already had about human behavior and also taught me far better ways to deal with certain specific situations... I think that the new skills for handling antagonism will be very helpful on a day to day basis because I think this is a tone a lot of people can slide into easily in a work environment. Also, I thought the third party law was very interesting; I have never given a lot of thought about the role of others in a quarrel, but it makes a lot of sense given the quarrels that sometimes start in the workplace.”

Dr. Tanya Burtis, DVM, Practice Owner,
Waxhaw Animal Hospital, NC

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Practice Tip 6 –Fees


I had the luxury of buying a practice in the highest per capita income community of the nation and initially thought (and so did my colleagues) that fees will be no problem. I was very quickly awoken by the fact that this community, despite it’s material wealth, in many cases watched where it spent each and every dollar.

I had to develop a fee guide that would not scare price-shopping clients away but would keep me profitable at the same time. Some of my best clients, that paid 10’s of thousands of dollars over the years, came in on a price shopping call. But remember this too: It’s hard to make up in volume when you charge below cost!

Here’s what works:
Make a list of your most commonly price-shopped items - vaccines, spays, neuters, Advantage etc… These are called your Front-end Items. (Do not include X-rays, lab work, major surgery etc… as clients rarely shop for these). Keep these prices low or a maximum of 10% above the pack (neighboring colleagues) so you don’t block the entrance to your practice. Also, don’t go too low as clients then question your safety and value.

Make a list or your remaining Back-end procedures and break each of these higher ticket items into smaller priced items. Make sure there is a fee for everything you do. If it’s not defined, you won’t charge for it. Charge for these back-end fees at a higher price point (profit).

When making estimates and bills up, bundle the back-end items together to make a larger profitable bill. Most veterinary management software systems allow for creating these bundled items.

When going over the estimate with the client make sure you explain every line, one at a time, checking for understanding with the client. If the client looks confused - then back up. Don’t go too fast. Get the clients agreement on every point. Work out the payment after you have their agreement.

Questions? Give me a call.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I do feel less stressed...

“Sleeping better! I think that’s the main thing. I do feel less stressed; I feel like even if we have a bad week I’m not obsessing about it. I have a plan, I know how to deal with it and I can move forward from there. The next week we’ll see the improvements and I can feel positive about that.”

~ Dr. Ellen Colwell ‘Sykesville Veterinary Clinic’

You're in control of what's going on...

“Optimistic, eternally hopeful, you know. You know, the big thing that motivated us to do this I think is that you’re in control of what’s going on and that the practice is not controlling you.”

~ Dr. Tim Maarhuis ‘Cottonwood Veterinary Practice’

It works for life it works for business; it does work...

“This program is great in a way that the main thing which I’m learning is about the conditions… whether it’s your financial condition, your family condition or your love condition. Everybody wants to have more love; well you put the non-existence formula or lower formula and start working your way up. It works for life it works for business; it does work.”

Dr. Manjit Jammu ‘Clearwater Animal Hospital’

Monday, July 5, 2010

Practice Tip 05 - New Clients


I spoke with a DVM new practice owner that was simply following the “build it and they will come” business adage and painfully waiting for new clients to arrive, all while his practice expense meter ticked away in the background! A nail biter? You bet. A couple of things need correcting with this situation.

First is the viewpoint of the owner. It’s too passive. Fact: simply hanging out your shingle or just physically being there in most cases is not sufficient enough to attract the right amount of attention to your practice. New Clients are the life blood of your practice. You need 30 -40 of them each month for each full time DVM. Don’t ever forget this. (Note: If you have lots of new clients and are the only game in town, then just wait until you get some new hot-shot DVM move in…). So don’t wait! You need to pro-actively market - I.e. do things to turn up the spotlight on your practice and drive new clients in. Your external marketing division is one of your key 7-divisions of practice management.

Secondly, your marketing needs to be effective in bringing new people in. Effectiveness is the key word here. I am not against Yellow Pages or any other form of advertising or promotion if they are effective. So how do you know if your promotion is effective? Count the number of New Clients separately from your regular transactions. Track where they come from. Ask them “where did you find our phone number to call us today?” You may be very surprised. Remember: A healthy practice should be bringing in 30 – 40 new clients a month for each 40-hour a week DVM.

And thirdly know this: an effective marketing program creates a strong emotional response in potential clients by “pushing their button”. A button is something you push that produces a response. The response you want is obviously for new clients to choose you as their veterinarian. What is not so obvious is if you fail to properly align even one aspect of your marketing and presentation – your pricing, positioning, quality, presentation, design, staff friendliness and so on - you won’t hit your clients’ button. And these buttons can vary with different communities. So there’s not just one that is standard. You have to do your own market research in your area.If you are at all interested in learning more about this subject then consider signing up for our 2010 Online New Client Builder workshop. It’s a 3 part workshop that gives you an excellent overview of veterinary external marketing and a step-by-step program to follow.

Friday, July 2, 2010

"The end is now in sight..."

“So the way I went about doing the program was I would do 5 days and then go back and implement and it’s really worked out well, it solidifies it, it makes it real for my staff and myself and forces you to change it. February on is my busiest time... and yet I was able to do it, and I’ve got two kids… But the end is now in sight. That's the most important thing. Is to get your training. You have to be [trained]…you can’t just hire someone and tell them go figure it out.”

Dr. Andy Mencarelli, DVM Practice Owner
Completion of Module 1

"Very valuable to our clinic..."

“I thought the Formulas for Business Success Program (following Management Basics) very valuable to our clinic. We started to use the conditions & then apply the appropriate formulas. This part made Rob & myself much more aware of not only problem areas, but also areas that we were doing right; and were able to strengthen them.”

Candy Stables, DVM, Practice Owner
Formulas for Business Success, Implementation

"Sounds easy and when done correctly, it is!"

“The Financial Planning Implementation was very enlightening. To be able to look at "X" amount of money to spend on a weekly basis and not spend more than 'x' amount of money every week is quite a challenge-but it is quite necessary. It puts the reality of expenditures in the forefront. Everyone in the practice sees the importance of keeping Income up and expenditures down. Sounds easy and when done correctly, it is!”

Russ Drabek, DVM, Practice Owner
Financial Planning Implementation

"Understanding the concepts will be very useful..."

“The Ethics for Business Survival was an excellent way to learn how to identify and plan an action against barriers that were in the way of success as a business person. Understanding the concepts will be very useful back at the veterinary hospital!”

Dr. Evelyn Bock, DVM, Practice Owner
Ethics for Business Survival

"I wonder if this would have helped me..."

“I have never been a fast learner, and seem to always have to work hard to get the information in and have it stick. I wonder if this would have helped me earlier in life, I believe it would have. It does take some discipline but what does not. I see the same in one of my children. I hope that I can use these skills to help them.”

Dr. Glen Jensen, DVM, Practice Owner
Study Skills for Life Course