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Conducting an End-of-Year Veterinary Practice Review

November 21, 2022

The end of the year is a great time to refresh your approach to running your practice. While it may feel like the busiest time of year to create plans and think of investing in your business, it’s an important annual opportunity for you to review, make improvements, and set yourself up for success.

Here are some tips for assessing your business and making a plan to improve profitability and practice life.

Assess your strengths and weaknesses
While you may already know of a few improvements you’d like to make, it’s important to take stock of the overall health of your business by first conducting a SWOT analysis.

Standing for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats, a SWOT analysis arms you with a clear overview of your veterinary practice. Identify potential threats to the profitability of your business, such as increasing fuel costs, and look at untapped opportunities that you could take advantage of, like upgrading equipment.

When conducting your analysis, try not to think in the short-term; this exercise is meant to assist in future-proofing your practice’s profitability. For instance, a new ambulatory vehicle or diagnostic technology may at first seem like a big financial risk, but when you consider how many more visits you could make or how it could draw new clients to your business, it has the potential to become profitable over time.

Having identified areas to focus on, it’s now time to develop a plan for the coming year and begin to implement some improvements.

Assess and invest in equipment
The end of the year is a great time to consider investing in capital equipment, as you may benefit from tax deductions using Section 179 of the tax code. This is a tax provision that allows write-offs for large business items. This could apply whether you want to upgrade your practice vehicles to improve fuel efficiency or purchase big-ticket items like diagnostic equipment.

Plus, year-end promotions through Covetrus® can help to incentivize purchases before the calendar runs out.

Stay on top of marketing and training
When things get busy, tasks like marketing or staff training may drop to the bottom of the to-do list. However, consider focusing on these areas in the new year. Your digital footprint is often the first touchpoint for new clients, so it’s crucial to regularly update your website, communicate with your clients consistently, and maintain any active social profiles. Take time to review how many people are seeing your content to understand how to adapt your marketing approach.

The same applies for staff training. It’s important to regularly upskill team members on all new equipment, hardware, and any software upgrades. Not only will this ensure that you retain the best people for your business, but it will also maintain a higher level of client service and satisfaction, while enabling you to delegate tasks more easily, freeing up precious time.

Streamline your practice management
Refreshing your internal practice management software can also save time and money and ensure a good quality of service. Covetrus Pulse™ supports the consistent running of your practice by making appointments, billing prescriptions, and communicating with clients.

Specifically for equine veterinarians, the Covetrus Trainer Concierge Program provides a dedicated customer service point of contact that can support your clients in ordering approved prescriptions and refills. Programs such as these can help to alleviate the administrative burden and enhance client communication, meaning that you can spend more time dedicated to caring for your patients.

Carving out time to review your business and create a plan will ensure that you’re set up for success in 2023 and beyond. Talk to your Covetrus account manager to see which programs and services might be right for your practice.

Please speak to a qualified tax professional if you are seeking advice about your specific business or tax circumstances. Covetrus® does not provide professional accounting services.

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