Is your practice feeling pot-bound? Growth and expansion are critical to veterinary practices, allowing them to remain profitable while developing their services and providing high quality care; but growing your practice can be easier said than done, especially in difficult economic conditions.
In this article we’ll take a look at five ways you can help your practice reach new heights.
1. Branch out and offer something new
One of the more obvious ways to generate new revenue is to offer a new service. Whether you recruit a specific certificate holder or arrange for a peripatetic specialist to run regular clinics, offering additional services can not only generate direct revenue but also boost client loyalty and satisfaction.
If a more substantial investment is an option, a CT scanner or hydrotherapy facilities can be highly valued services, providing significant income streams while also helping you to recruit and retain clients.
2. Focus on convenience for clients
People are more time poor than ever, and this doesn’t just apply to the veterinary team! Introducing systems that prioritise convenience and streamline administrative tasks can not only save the practice time but also provide a slick and easy experience for your clients.
Simple ideas to help with this include appointment and preventative care reminder systems, online booking systems and having a dedicated staff member (or team) to handle insurance claims and payments. Alongside happier clients, benefits to the practice include fewer missed appointments, increased uptake of preventative healthcare and freed up reception staff.
Prescription management and home delivery is another easy way to make veterinary care convenient, especially for regular preventative treatments. Our Post2Pet service is an affordable, easy to use home delivery service built in consultation with the VMD and run exclusively from your practice, for your clients. By helping your practice to compete with over-the-counter subscription options for parasite prevention, you can boost uptake of appropriate prescription products.
In the long run, offering convenient services will not only improve client engagement and retention but also attract new customers – especially if you advertise the services you offer…
3. Spread the news!
Your practice could offer the most brilliant service in the world, but if nobody knows what you’re doing, you’re not likely to have many clients. If this is an area where your practice could use a boost, consider some of the tips below.
- Branding: your practice brand needs to be professional and trustworthy, while also reflecting who you are as a practice. If your logo and branding are stuck in the past or just not quite right, consider hiring a designer to help.
- Website: your website needs to be engaging, easy to use and in line with the rest of your branding – but you’ll also need to make sure it shows up! If it’s not appearing in search results, it’s worth looking into paid advertising or search engine optimisation.
- Social media: effective social media campaigns can give a big boost to client registrations (and encourage existing clients to pay you a visit), but they’re not always as easy to get right as they seem. An effective social media manager can be a great asset.
- Local press: just opened your new hydrotherapy centre or celebrated the 30th anniversary of one of your staff members at the practice? Craft a press release (or hire someone to do it for you) and let the local press know.
Marketing is an area where veterinary professionals often lack confidence, but presenting a professional, high-quality appearance and raising awareness of your practice in the local community is key to practice growth. Patient care may be your priority, but clients can’t see behind closed doors (unless you give them a sneak peek on your social media!), and your branding needs to reflect your practice’s values for all to see.
Building awareness of your practice and the unique care it offers is one of the key components of building client loyalty and trust long-term, not only helping you to attract clients but also to retain them.
4. Teach your clients something new
If you’ve already got a well-built website and social media presence, what are you using them for? One way to build trust with clients and add value to their experience with the practice is to offer useful educational resources and advice. Many practices do this to some degree with waiting room displays or client leaflets; however, focusing on this area of your clients’ experience can offer real benefits.
Building trust with clients is essential to improve uptake of regular health checks and recommended treatments. Offering detailed education on issues like osteoarthritis and dental disease, in a format that can reach clients who don’t frequently visit the practice, can result in much greater uptake of appropriate healthcare – benefiting both pets and the practice.
Campaigns to raise awareness of certain conditions like obesity and hypertension can also feed into regular nurse-led clinics, generating revenue whilst helping to bond clients to the practice and increase engagement with subsequent interventions.
5. A pet health plan
Fixed monthly revenue, increased compliance with preventative healthcare and improved uptake of regular health checks (and subsequent diagnostics and treatments) are enough on their own to make a pet health plan worth your while – but the benefits don’t end there.
Pet health plans are a great way to improve client bonding and build a strong relationship with your clients and their pets; improved uptake of health checks and early diagnosis of a range of health issues not only improves satisfaction for pet owners, but also for your team. They also increase footfall and in-practice spending on food and retail items.
Getting your pet health plan right is an important part of growing your client base and business. They might seem straightforward, but there are many potential pitfalls that can impact your plan’s uptake and profitability. Using our expertise to help build a unique, tailored pet health plan for your practice is the best way to take it to new heights – but don’t just take it from us.