Veterinary practices are generally loathe to make changes. Vets don’t like it, staff doesn’t like it, and even clients can be adverse. However, some of the changes that the pandemic has forced on veterinary businesses might be practices you want to keep as you return to the “new normal.”
For example, most vet practices during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic required credit card payment over the phone for services rendered. If you have wanted to get paid at time of service but had not enforced that in your practice, now might be a great time to let clients know that payment at time of service is the new rule moving forward.
For example, you have been doing telemedicine and charging for it during the pandemic. (You were probably doing telemedicine prior to the pandemic and not charging for your time or expertise.) Now might be a great time to let clients know that payment for your time and expertise will be the “new norm” moving forward.
For example, your clients have been buying lots of equine and pet supplies and food online during the pandemic from online stores and pharmacies. Hopefully they have been buying from your clinic’s platform or at least a partner where you get a percentage of the sales. Now might be a great time to expand those online services and offerings and let your clients know about them.
For example, you have learned to communicate with your clients better via text, email, social medicine and telemedicine. Those digital and social avenues to client communication and education might be something you want to continue or expand on moving forward.
Think about what has changed in your practice and whether it could be a long-term benefit. Think about the diversification you could make in your practice offerings (if applicable) and whether they can be part of your “new normal” moving forward.
Do you offer nutrition consultation (either yourself or with a company partner’s expert)? Are you working with referral hospitals either as the referring vet or as the clinic? Can you expand on those partnerships?
Did you have more haul-in large animal work rather than farm visits, or vice versa, and want to continue the trend?
Did you take care of clients’ small animals during farm calls and perhaps are thinking of either adding services or personnel to expand that part of your practice?
This has been a rough time, and we aren’t finished with the pandemic yet. There are still challenges in daily life, health and business that need to be addressed and solved.
But in the meantime, glean any positives you can. Determine if there are practices or services that you were forced to change during the pandemic that you want to keep moving forward.
Above all, don’t be complacent about yourself, your staff or your business. The pandemic roller coaster isn’t done, so stay seated, fasten your seatbelt, and hang on!