Monday, September 27, 2010

I feel confident I can apply the formulas...

“‘Formulas for Business Success’ was an awesome course. It really lays out how to apply the formulas to our conditions and utilize them to make the statistics improve. I got a bit more comfortable with interpreting our statistics and changes in them over time. I feel confident I can apply the formulas in my business and in my life!”

Gayle Roberts, DVM; Practice Owner
Northwood Animal Hospital; Irvine, CA
Formulas for Business Success Course

The process makes more and more sense...

“Are you ever totally finished with the Management Basics Implementation Program? This is a program that continues to build and refine the things learned in class at VPS. It is a way to put mass to what you’ve learned as you continue to practice and do the things you’ve read about. And it is not over-whelming. Rather, as you are doing each week, the process makes more and more sense to you and your staff. Your business improves; your organization improves.”

Evelyn Bock, DVM; Practice Owner
Southwick Veterinary Hospital; St. Louis, MO
Management Basics Implementation Program

I suddenly can't imagine managing my business any other way...

“Wow! Wow! Wow! (Did I mention “Wow!”?) :)
I truly feel more equipped than I ever have before! I am confident that our goal of creating a more efficient and successful practice is an attainable goal! Thanks to “Formulas for Business Success”, I now have the tools to maintain up statistics and can work through down statistics. Additionally, I feel that I can more closely manage my staff and equip them with the same knowledge that they are in fact in control of reaching success. I suddenly can’t imagine managing the business any other way. I can hardly wait to get back to the practice to implement this valuable knowledge.”

Julie Camberg, OM
Northwood Animal Hospital; Irvine, CA
Formulas For Business Success Course

One would have the ability to control the direction of conversations...

“If one could have the discipline and presence of mind to take the skills from the Improving Business Through communication course and apply them even half of the time to your daily life, the world would be a better place. One would have the ability to control the direction of conversations and communication; one would be able to clearly discern the meaning and intent of the messages we receive; and one would have the gift of leaving people in a conversation on an ‘up’ note.”

Darlene Donszelmann, DVM; Practice Owner
Chinook Country Veterinary Clinic Ltd.; Olds, AB
Improving Business Through Communication Course

A great start to learning...

“This course really gave me structure that I can apply to the management of our clinic. It allowed me to feel “at cause” over situations that previously I felt I had no control over. A great start to learning how to better run our business.”

Julie Maarhuis, OM
Cottonwood Veterinary Clinic; Chilliwack, BC
Formulas For Business Success Course

Monday, September 20, 2010

Practice Tip 20 – Optimum Client / Patient Flow

Optimum client & patient flow –
An issue of control…

Ever have those wild days where a whole week’s worth of clients and patients showed up and left you and your staff stressed out and leaving late? Then, on top of that, had the rest of the week open? Many of us have experienced these crazy ups and downs in client/patient flows and the ensuing frustrations of increased staff. Over-time expenses and general confusion result in larger than we can handle flow. Some practices experience seasonal fluctuations of as much as 40 – 50 % leaving a practice incurring high over-time expenses in the high season and laying people off in the low season.

Underneath this phenomenon is an issue of control. The definition of control is “your ability to proactively increase or decrease something under your care”. In this case, it’s your ability to proactively increase your number of clients and patients flowing into your practice at any given time. Now I am NOT saying you can control everything. You still will have urgent care cases coming in and last minute drop-offs. But you can use your scheduling and activation marketing to exert a controlling influence to some degree.

Here’s how:

1. Define your high traffic day(s) by looking back over your schedule for the days during the week that were uncommonly busy. Mondays for example are often a very busy day from handling the backlogged weekend problems. Designate this as your “High Traffic Day”.

2. Don’t book elective surgeries on your high traffic day, but instead push these further out into the week when you have more time.

3. Book wellness exams (internal marketing) on non-high traffic days and at times when you are not swamped. Early afternoon is often best. Don’t book first thing in the morning or late afternoon.

4. Block off enough time for procedures. The best way to do this is to define each procedure by 15 minute blocks of time and cross these off in your appointment book or program. Tip: Block off more time than it actually takes you to do the procedure and you’ll end up with extra time to handle the urgent care drop-offs.

Summary: A practice running with poor client/patient control is a stressful practice that costs you money both from incurring over-time expenses and then having staff the next day sitting around with little to do. On top of this, practices running at optimal client/patient flow have fewer missed charges, less mistakes, and a higher Average Client Transaction. Put some control into your practice and you’ll find your optimum client-patient flow.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I believe one can improve...

“This course will help me be more consciously aware of the dynamics of any conversation. Many of the techniques are interactive, but with conscious awareness I believe one can improve and use them more effectively for a given outcome.”

Thomas Morrow, DVM
Critter Creek Veterinary Hospital; Lincoln, CA
Improving Business Through Communication Course

This course gives you all the tools needed...

“This course gives you all the tools needed so that you can manage every part of your business. It gives you the ability to change things right away to prevent problems from continuing. A must for any practice.”

Jim Youngblood, Practice Manager
Spring Creek Animal Hospital; San Antonio, TX
Formulas For Business Success Course

I feel that this is a very important tool...

“I found this course to be one that I can use not just on the job, but in every day life. The skills or tools learned will help me be more patient with people, really listen and validate what they have to say, and also to deal with people when they are upset or mad. I feel that this is a very important tool to have to be successful in your business as well as in life. Thank you.”

Cindee Burns, AHT
Bow Valley Veterinary Clinic; Brooks, AB
Improving Business Through Communication Course

I should be able to create and keep a successful and viable practice

“This addendum further defines the tools I need as a practice owner to identify and utilize statistics in my practice. By developing a weekly battle plan and applying the proper condition formula, I should be able to create and keep a successful and viable practice.”

Sherri Youngblood, DVM
Spring Creek Animal Hospital; San Antonio, TX
Formulas For Business Success - Addendum
“I truly believe I have become a better communicator because of this course. There are certain aspects of a conversation I didn’t clearly understand.
There are definite bridges you come across day to day with different personalities in your practice. It is essential to give full consideration on both ending and beginning of all communication. This course definitely goes thru the cause and effect of every day interaction. I loved it.”

Regina Guzman, OM
Critter Creek Veterinary Hospital; Lincoln, CA
Improving Business through Communication Course

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Practice Tip 22 – Shared Decision Model…

The Share Decision Model and Veterinary Medicine…

I ran across this buzz word, the “Shared Decision Model”, the other day while having a coffee and reading a USA Today article. I laughed! The article was in reference to the human medical profession that is now having to discuss and handle objections (whoa!) to expensive treatment options with their patients!

It quoted a man who brought his Addisonian wife into the ER with stomach pain and his request for only a cortisone injection and not the $1000 (his co-pay) MRI to rule out other abdominal ailments. He was met with contempt by the attending physician, who huffed off yet finally “compromised” to the husbands request and gave the injection.

It’s not that the MRI is in any way shape or form a bad recommendation. On the contrary - it’s good medicine and we offer similar services as veterinarians on a daily basis. The “out-point” or incorrectness is the physician’s attitude on having to “stoop down” and discuss the case and share the decision. As veterinarians, I am proud to say, we do this every day in private practice, right?

Now, how well we do this can make a big difference in the standard of our medicine, our euthanasia rate, and importantly, our Average Client Transaction (ACT) and profit of our practice. We call this shared decision model and the area that goes along with it Client Compliance.

Fact: Clients have the right to know what the costs of their pet’s care. We have the obligation to the pet to offer what is optimal care. Some times what we recommend can exceed their financial qualifications and we have to down-shift and create a new treatment plan. But many times, the client is qualified but just has some concerns or fears (objections) about our plan. This is where our client compliance communication skills come into play.

So before you start dropping your standards of care or giving away free medicine, empower your clients with these simple steps:

1. Present what you feel is the optimum treatment plan before you create the estimate…
2. Create the estimate that fits the clients understanding and wishes…
3. Walk through each line item on the estimate, handling concerns, comments, and objections as they come up.

TIP: Do NOT drop your interest level when the client voices their views!

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

Interested in more information?


Friday, September 10, 2010

This course revealed some things about myself...

“This course revealed to me some things about myself. I am not afraid of people, even strangers. People are fun to watch and even more fun to interact with. I came to realize that I interact well with my staff members and the use of real life scenarios in my major practical at the end showed me this. Jody was a good sport in the role playing and helped me achieve my ends. I have very little fear and am particularly brave in the clinic surroundings.”

Nina Ferguson, Dir Admin
Kamloops Large Animal Veterinary Clinic; Kamloops, BC

Hiring & Handling Personnel

This is an awesome tool...

“This program has taught me how to look at people in a whole different way. I will be able to watch people and their actions and how it will change and change minute by minute. This is an awesome tool that I will use for the rest of my life. Thank you all so much.”

Charlie Robinson
God's Creatures Animal Clinic; Stuart, FL

How To Get Along With Others Course

This is the meat and potatoes...

“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.”

Evelyn Bock, DVM
Southwick Veterinary Hospital; St. Louis, MO
Ethics for Business Survival Course

This is a must have for… well…EVERYONE!

“Wow! (again :) ).
This course truly breaks down the key components of communication in a way that allows one to measure how well they communicate and where they come short. I found the drills to be essentially helpful in pin-pointing and fine-tuning any areas in which I fell short. This course really challenged me in a way that I didn’t expect and I look forward to passing this information forward to my staff and friends. Because communication is such an important element in business and life this is a must have for… well…EVERYONE!”

Julie Camberg, OM
Northwood Animal Hospital; Irvine, CA

Improving Business Through Communication Course

This gives you a very clear picture...

“I think this gives you a very clear picture and understanding on why things are not working within an organization. The number one reason being, of course, the lack of an organization board that is clearly understood by staff member as well as executives. I am excited to get my staff grooved into the org board and even more excited to post my own org board in the practice. It’s just cool!”

Cristina Valas, DVM
The Family Pet Hospital; Ashland, MA
Basic Organization Course

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Practice Tip 21 – Staff Motivation


Motivating staff is a discussion I have with many private practice veterinarians and managers. Here are some of the questions you may find sound familiar:
“How do I get my staff to do the things I need them to do?"
"How do I change them from good to great and beyond to excellence?"
"How do I get staff to take the helm and run the practice for me, allowing me to focus in on what I do best – practice veterinary medicine and surgery?”

Well, the answer to these lie in an artistic mix of

1) finding the correct type of staff member,
2) a good training program and
3) and an ongoing positive leadership style.
Let’s have a look at these elements.


Many veterinarians have no idea of who or what to look for as the basic building block of a good staff member
Fact: You need to stack your deck of staff with the correct type of staff member that, regardless of their actual training, will be self motivated to win. What’s the key factor? They basically care about what they do.


Many veterinarians do not train staff well enough to put them in a position to take the reins and really win.
Fact: “On the job” training of people produces poor results. You need to invest in and develop (like every other successful company out there) a professional training program for your practice


Many veterinarians end up micro-managing staff and complain about lack of staff motivation
Fact: With the right caring staff and a good training program, staff that will be self-motivated and will run the practice for you. You don’t need to micromanage them! Lead with a lot of positive reinforcement and you’ll all win.

So try these steps the next time you need to motivate your team:
1. Start with good, caring people…
2. Train them well and then…
3. Lead them with positive reinforcement to greatness and you and your clients will love them.

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

Questions? Give me a call.

Attend the “Building a Self-motivated Team” Webinar

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I can't wait to...put what I've learnt into action!

“I enjoyed this course more than any so far! I’ve learnt that even though my intentions were good in dealing with employees, I was doing them a disservice! I can’t wait to get back to the clinic and put what I’ve learnt into action!”

Hollie Seymour, Snr Tech
James River Animal Hospital; Nixa, MO
Executive Basics Course

"I feel a lot more confident with these tools."

“I felt like the communication drills were very helpful in allowing me to see exactly how my conversational or communication methods may be received and what new methods I can use to be in better control of the conversation (or communication) that I am part of. I think I have gained certain techniques to end an unwanted exchange without being impolite and to continue the communication in the direction that I would like. I feel a lot more confident with these tools.”

Tanya Burtis, DVM
Waxhaw Animal Hospital; Waxhaw, NC
Improving Business Through Communication Course

I learned to cross beyond my foibles...

“Great course! I learned to cross beyond my foibles, to look at the greater picture of running my business... 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 business decisions...”

Darrell Horn, DVM
Florida Veterinary League; Vero Beach, FL
Ethics for Business Survival Course

I am very excited about completing this course!

“I am very excited about completing this course! I see so many opportunities to implement into our clinic. Instead of everyone doing everything, we can hat specific people with specific duties to lead to our specific product. And the staff will now know what our valuable final product is! I see this course as giving me the tools to install organization into our clinic rather than just coping day to day!”

Diane Grede, DVM
Animal Hospital of Oshkosh; Oshkosh, WA
Basic Organization Course

I can't wait to apply these tools!

“I enjoyed the Basic Hat for employee’s course! I feel I now have the tools to recognize and resolve problems in my place of business by applying the correct formulas! This was a great course, very informative and interesting. I can’t wait to apply these tools!”

Jennifer Petley, OM
Columbia Summit Veterinary Hospital; Kamloops, BC
Basic Hat For Employees Course