Articles, inside stories, and other bits of knowledge and tricks from our monthly newsletter, The VMC Management Mindset.
Little Numbers Can Turn Into Big Numbers
Do you or any of your associates struggle with a low Professional Client Transaction figure? What effect does it have on your practice? It's not really about the number of cases seen - let's look at some of the factors that impact that number and your practice.
April 9, 2019
Make a Job Offer That Will Get a Yes!
There are four things you need to stay on top of if you want the candidate of your choice to lock in the job offer you’ve made. Don’t drop the ball now!
April 8, 2019
How Do Increases in the Minimum Wage Affect Your Team?
Minimum wage changes may cause concerns for your team – provide them with input and address their concerns openly to help avoid misunderstandings.
March 11, 2019
Are They an Employee or an Independent Contractor?
Correctly classifying a worker is an important decision and every situation must be looked at individually. The IRS urges business owners to consider three categories when it comes to classifying a worker.
March 8, 2019
Be Fair to Your New Employees
Have you ever hired an employee who you were excited about but who turned out to be a disappointment? Many times, we hire good people, but we do not adequately train them. Let’s be fair to our new employees and provide them with an environment in which they can succeed and thrive.
February 11, 2019
Yes, There’s an App for That! - Thirteen Useful Applications for Veterinary Practice Managers
With so much on your plate, do you ever wish there was an app for that? Here are 13 apps designed to make managing your business easier and more effective:
February 10, 2019
Getting Things Done When You Are Not in Charge
Ask anyone who has been in the workforce for a while and they will quickly agree that nothing compares to having a wonderful boss at work – a good relationship with one’s manager is a key element in employee retention.
January 9, 2019
Planning Ahead for 2019 and Beyond
Now that the new year has arrived, it's time to start planning ahead. Did you know that most people spend more time planning their vacations than they spend planning the future success of their business?
January 8, 2019
4 Reasons to Review Your Employee Handbook
Whether it’s changes in staff or changes in laws, it’s important to keep on top of your employee handbook.
January 4, 2019
Is Your Practice Thriving or Just Surviving?
VMC, Inc can help you and your practice improve its customer service, financial or human resource management with a variety of seminars and locations.
January 3, 2019
Motivate Your Team to Succeed!
You may already know about the benefits of production-based compensation for associates–Higher earning potential almost always equals better performance. Why not apply this principle to your entire healthcare team? Everyone would be vested in the success of the practice and everyone would share in the economic reward of that success!
December 10, 2018
Wrap Up Human Resource Tasks for 2018
The end of the year has many HR and tax related responsibilities. To wrap up 2018 and prepare for 2019, you’ll need to complete these tasks. Here are the details and a printable checklist for you to download!
December 7, 2018
Practice Management End of Year Checklist
Plan to end the year on a high note, having secured your management information, wrapped up projects, updated budgets and fees, and run important reports in preparation for 2019. Here is a quick checklist to help you work through those loose ends.
December 6, 2018
Software End of Year Checklist
As 2018 comes to a close, plan to run reports, perform backups and complete routine maintenance to keep your practice running smoothly and your information accurate.
December 5, 2018
Every Practice Needs Some Type of Manager
“How do you know when a practice needs a practice manager?” Every practice needs a practice manager. The real question is, “What type of manager do you need?”
November 12, 2018
Do You Want Them to Work for You – Or Not?
It’s hard work to fill positions with qualified, productive team members. It’s even more difficult if you go through the whole process and don’t secure the new employee. Here are some keys to locking in that new team member.
November 9, 2018
Reward Your Employees & Boost Team Morale
A veterinary practice’s greatest asset is its health care team and it’s important to show your appreciation on a regular basis. In tough economic times there are still ways to reward your employees and boost team morale.
November 9, 2018
Software Tips: Fall Clean Up Time
It’s fall clean up time! Thoughts turn to raking leaves, preparing flower beds for winter and cleaning up your practice management software database. If that last one didn’t make your fall cleanup list—it should!
November 8, 2018
The 6 Most Common Hiring Mistakes
With low unemployment, finding qualified employees can be a challenge and this makes it even more important that you hire the right person the first time. Let's look at some of the more common hiring mistakes and see if we can help you to avoid them.
October 9, 2018
Released and Back to Work?
"We have an employee who went to jail and I told him that he would have a job when he was released. Six months later, here he is wanting to have his job back. What should I do?" The practice owner on the phone had a big decision to make. Consider these points...
October 8, 2018
How to Get Your Employees on the Same Page
"How does a practice's owner and manager get all of its employees on the same page?" I like this question because if there a lack of team cohesion, at some point medicine and service will be compromised.
October 6, 2018
Practice Management Software Tip: Reminders
Reminders are the livelihood of your practice and they also promote high quality medicine. ALL pets should have a reminder.
October 5, 2018
Become a Veterinary Employer of Choice
Have you ever wondered why some veterinary practices never seem to have a problem attracting doctors and staff, while others can’t seem to attract even the most marginal applicant, no matter what they try? It’s that one is an “employer of choice” and the other is not.
September 10, 2018
What I Learned About Management from Video Games
Maybe you are one of those people who sees video games as huge time wasters, productivity bombs or distractions. I’ll never be convinced that video games are the bane of our virtual existence.
September 8, 2018
How to Have More Productive Team Meetings
Do you ever wonder if team meetings are worth the trouble? Does it seem too difficult to schedule it into your practice routine? Do your team members groan when they hear the word meeting?
September 7, 2018
Foster Your Dreams Through Education!
It is our continual goal to help practice managers and owners understand how to optimize practice operations, encourage team building, create workable budgets, and more. Don't let the end of the year take you by surprise.
September 5, 2018
7 Ways Small Veterinary Practices Can Hire Like Big Companies
Every day I hear variations of the same lament – “I’d love to hire a (receptionist, veterinary technician, associate veterinarian) but there are no good applicants, no one applies, or the individuals who do apply are not qualified.” What’s a practice to do? With unemployment currently under 3.9% - the lowest it’s been this century - and wages increasing at a steady pace, the pool of viable and productive candidates to fill open positions has shrunk to a puddle.
August 9, 2018
Overtime Policies You Must Avoid
While you would never set out to violate labor laws, such as those governing Overtime Pay, is it possible you are doing so unintentionally? Here are 10 unlawful overtime policies. Check these against your hospital policies and your employee manual.
August 8, 2018
Veterinary Management Software Tipsheet – Purging Your Database
Remember that patient you saw one time for an emergency eleven years ago? Of course, you don’t. So why is their information still in your database? If they still have active status, they are skewing your client/patient statistical information.
August 7, 2018
How to Draw Clients Back to Your Practice
If your practice is seeing a decrease in the number of transactions or clients seen each month, you are not alone. Many practices are seeing this same phenomenon. We need to take a full-service approach and educate clients about everything their pets require to maintain a healthy life. Let’s look at increasing the number of transactions and client visits in your practice. Here's how.
July 9, 2018
Connect with Your Clients - Dial Up Your Telephone Skills
When is the last time you assessed your practice's telephone skills? There are always opportunities for improvement - maybe now is the time to make that evaluation. Here are our top tips for taking your teams' skills to the next level and creating an environment for connecting with your clients.
July 6, 2018
Veterinary Management Software Tipsheet
It’s likely that the first action your practice performed with your new veterinary management software was to set up security. Have you checked it since? Have you experienced the problem of having several invoice codes for the same service? That’s because your security setting is not correct. Having accurate security settings for all team members is vitally important to your practice.
July 5, 2018
How is Your Practice’s Financial Health?
Dr. Jones has owned the XYZ Animal Hospital for 15 years and the practice has always done well. It normally enjoyed a 12-15% increase in income per year. However, this year, things do not seem to be going as well. Walk through with Mark as he investigates the issue Dr. Jones is facing.
April 12, 2018
Too Old or Not Old Enough?
This month’s SHRM Magazine cover features a picture of Albert Einstein with the question – “Would you hire this man?” And it appears that an increasing number of employers would say “No”. Ageism is beginning to raise the attention of HR professionals in large and small businesses.
April 11, 2018
The Importance of Onboarding and Training
Although “onboarding” and “training employees” are commonly used phrases, I am reminded how practices still struggle in this area. I cannot stress how important it is for ALL new hires to have an assigned team member to oversee their onboarding/training. I recommend the following steps to successfully transition new hires so that they become confident, comfortable, willing, able, and high-performing members of your team.
April 10, 2018
The Tricky, but Crucial Game of Motivation
Can you motivate your employees to change their behavior? No. The truth is that you cannot motivate anyone to do anything they don’t want to do. What you can do is create an environment in which employees want to excel at their job and actually exceed your expectations.
January 9, 2018
Why Fear Free Certification is More Than a Good Idea
Fear free certification can make a major impact on your practice. More and more clients are expecting an experience for their pets that avoids pain and terror. This is more than just a good idea, it's a neccessary next step if you aren't certified already.
January 8, 2018
How Prepared Are You for the New Year?
If 2017 was the year things really clicked and your management activities ran smoothly – give yourself a pat on the back. If you felt like not only were your ducks not in a row – some of them weren’t even on the same pond – then consider 2018 your fresh start. Here are some managerial and organizational tips to get your 2018 headed in the right direction.
January 5, 2018
Seven Steps to Excellence
Have you ever considered what makes a veterinary practice excellent? What does it take to raise a practice from average/good to excellent? I have considered these questions and I believe that there are at least seven key elements that must exist in order for a veterinary practice to achieve excellence.
September 25, 2017
An Epic Fail in Employee Drug Screening – Now What?
Congratulations! You set up a drug free workplace policy, the attorney has reviewed and approved the process, and training is complete. Now here you stand - an employee just tested positive on the controlled substance screen. What’s a manager to do?
September 22, 2017
Are You Prepared for a Natural Disaster?
Considering the many recent disasters that our country has been experiencing and (while I am writing this practice tip) are presently experiencing, preparedness is a timely topic. Our goal is to equip our clients and readers with tools and resources to simplify the many concerns that come with managing a veterinary hospital - including disaster preparedness.
September 21, 2017
Establish a Pet Trust to Ensure Your Loved Ones Continue to Live Well
I have lectured over last few years about estate planning in an attempt to better educate and inform veterinarians and their team members about getting their “house” in order. According to a new Caring.com survey, only 42 percent of U.S. adults currently have estate planning documents such as a will or living trust.
July 5, 2017
More Than Just Numbers – The AVMA Veterinary Economic Report 2017
The AVMA is publishing a series of four reports to dive deep into the economic state of the veterinary profession. While many of us in the profession have a sense of what is going on outside our hospital doors, these reports clearly analyze four veterinary economic divisions.
July 5, 2017
Fifteen Ways to Enhance Employee Retention
It is an unfortunate fact that, in veterinary medicine, we typically don’t pay the highest of salaries to our employees. And while money can certainly affect employee retention, it is not the number one reason why people choose to stay or leave. The real reason has to do with job satisfaction. We have much to offer employees beyond the wages we can pay them.
July 5, 2017
Why you Should Fight for Your Pharmacy or Risk Losing Revenue
Not long ago, the typical small animal veterinary hospital derived approximately 20% of its income from pharmacy sales. Unfortunately, this number has decreased over the years and this trend seems likely to continue. As you might guess, one major contributor in this decrease is the continued rise of internet pharmacy sales. Don't roll over and play dead. Fight for your pharmacy.
May 9, 2017
How to Deter Theft and Fraud in your Veterinary Practice
Embezzlement? Fraud? If you think these tragedies could not take place at your practice, think again! Considering all that practice managers and practice owners must deal with, it is unfortunate that this topic has to be brought up. The good news is that there are ways to help prevent either from taking place. Follow these three steps to safeguard your practice.
May 9, 2017
How to WOW! and Impress your Veterinary Clients - An Infographic
Want to WOW! your clients? Say it with service. Excellent service is something that can be hard to come by these days and it can set you apart and make you shine. Find ways to make your clients say “WOW!” and they will remember you and your superior service. Use this infographic to polish your service.
May 9, 2017
How to Stay Competitive by Paying a Fair Wage
In today’s competitive market, how do you know if you are offering a fair wage for any given position? Are you having to offer increased wages to attract the quality of candidates you desire? Let’s take a quick look at some tools that can help you evaluate the wages you are currently providing and determine wages for new recruits.
May 9, 2017
Maximize Your Time with Effective Scheduling Part 2: A Case Study
Are your veterinarian's schedules and practice hours of operation allowing you the best use of time and money? In the second part of Mark's case study, he reviews how he helped one of his own clients maximize their scheduling efficiency.
April 19, 2017
The Password Two-Step, a Dance You Should Learn
Protecting the security of your practice's computer system, online accounts, and any sensitive information is extremely important. One successful hack and it won't just be your computer on the fritz - it'll be your practice. We recommend using these tips and tricks to create secure passwords and protect yourself.
April 18, 2017
Maximize Your Time with Effective Scheduling Part 1: A Case Study
Many practices stretch out their hours for various reasons, which may or may not affect their profitability. Does your office hour and surgery schedule allow for optimum profitability and enable you to practice smarter, not harder?
March 14, 2017
Increase Your Revenue
we’re asked time and time again, what can we do to increase revenues? Well, the simple truth is, if you want to generate more revenue you must either increase the number of door swings within your clinic or increase the amount of each transaction.
March 13, 2017
Discipline can be a challenge and a struggle for those in management; the following tips will assist those in authoritative positions who find this imperative part of management an obstacle.
March 13, 2017
5 Ways to Recruit Like a Boss
Learn how to rev up your staff recruitment efforts with these five easy to follow tips from Sheila Grosdidier, SCP.
March 13, 2017
10 Ways to Improve Efficiency and Profitability in Your Practice
Things like not having enough phone lines, having to wait to process credit cards because a phone line is busy, or having to run back to another printer to get client receipts can really slow things down and have a domino effect. Here are ten ideas that have been proven to significantly improve efficiency in other veterinary practices.
February 7, 2017
Finding and Keeping Your Best Employees
A recent study done by the Gallup organization demonstrates that employees with strong job satisfaction also have above average attitudes toward their work. These are the seven core elements for retaining loyal employees.
February 6, 2017
Dealing with Staff Conflict? Top Tips to Prevent and Alleviate Conflict in Your Practice
If your practice has a chronic problem with staff conflict, this is a great time of year to start fresh. My goal as a consultant is to prevent conflicts from arising within a practice. Here are 3 easy tips that can be incorporated into any practice.
February 3, 2017
How to Empower Your Team
Creating a positive, supportive and fun work environment, where your employees feel valued and heard, will lead to empowerment and result in clinic success. Imagine two scenarios...
February 2, 2017
Zero-In on Your Goals
Ever feel like you're working harder than ever without seeing any progress? Yet colleagues around you seem to be moving ahead and getting so much more done. What's their secret?
January 9, 2017
You Need Employee Performance Logs
It's that time of year again - employee reviews - and here are some ideas to keep in mind that will help you get the most out of this process.
January 8, 2017
How Prepared Are You for the New Year?
As you look back on 2016, was your “well-oiled machine” running well? If you can say it was a good year, that’s great! If your machine did not run as smoothly as you would have liked, don’t despair. Here are some managerial and organizational tips to get your 2017 started on the right foot.
January 8, 2017
Team Member Spotlight: Kate Corum, CVPM
Meet Kate Corum, CVPM, Administrative Assistant and Flyball extraordinaire. Never heard of Flyball? No problem, neither had we until Kate gave us an exciting look into her world.
January 4, 2017
Take Your Practice From Marriott to Ritz Carlton Quality
Mark recalls an experience of excellent customer service and what he learned from it.
December 8, 2016
Behind the Scenes at VMC - Who is on my team?
An inside look at VMC's team structure and extensive resources.
December 7, 2016
Hey, It’s Not Okay to Hit Another Employee
An employee hits another in your practice, what do you do? Here are 7 steps to consider.
December 7, 2016
Getting Your Employees on the Same Page
Four approaches to getting your employees on the same page and engaged.
December 2, 2016