Here’s one of my favorite questions to ask veterinarians: What makes your practice unique? If you think your answer could be the same as anyone else’s or you are uncertain, this is a good sign you need a concrete plan for your practice.
A strategic plan for your practice goes beyond a business plan. It’s not just about your financial results in three to five years. It means thinking about your goal as an organization and mapping out the activities to support that goal.
You might be thinking, “I have a plan like this, and it’s just collecting dust on my office shelf.” Or maybe you’re thinking, “I know planning is important, but there are many things ahead of it in priority.” Yet, a good strategic plan could be the answer to some of the top challenges you might be trying to solve year after year.
I’m having challenges with people, and I don’t understand why. As a manager, you want to know why someone’s not showing up on time or why someone is not performing at the level you expect. A strategic plan can align everyone with specific tasks or objectives and clarify how each role fits into your organization’s broader goals. This will give your staff something to look forward to every day. They will see themselves reflected on the sign at your practice.
My team isn’t meeting the goals of the practice. If you were to ask your staff to describe the goals of the practice for the next three to five years, would you get the same answer from everyone? To be able to accomplish your goals, everyone has to know and understand the strategy behind it.
I want to grow, but I’m not sure where to start. We’ve all seen the effects of challenges and also growth in the veterinary industry. Getting the right people around the table to iron out issues can help you become a stronger team and plan for success.
It’s not just about building a plan. It’s about building the right plan for your practice. Your plan, a strategic plan that is carefully considered and implemented, can provide more than strong business results. By going through the planning activities, you also are collaboratively working with your team, getting everyone on the same page and taking a look at the big picture before diving into implementation.
Another benefit of having a plan is seeing immediate results. With a strategic plan, you’ll have all of the tools you need to ensure you can implement your plan successfully. It’s easily communicated to your workforce. The plan gives everyone at your practice a sense of purpose and direction.
Most important, just like this practice in North Carolina, with a strategic plan you’ll join a more engaged team, reaching the goals that help make your practice profitable and one of a kind. (Editor's note: The link leads to a video interview about how the practice worked with PeopleFirst to be more successful.)
Julie Kratz is a consultant for PeopleFirst from Zoetis. PeopleFirst is a service from Zoetis focused on helping owners, managers and veterinarians overcome common challenges of modern agricultural and veterinary businesses. For more ways to help plan the future of your practice, contact your local Zoetis representative or visit GrowPeopleFirst.com.