How to Increase Revenue for Your Veterinary Business

By First Financial Bank
Mar 10, 2021
For veterinary practices across the world, the impact of the global pandemic has taken its financial toll. But despite these challenges, the industry is still expected to grow significantly.

For veterinary practices across the world, the impact of the global pandemic has taken its financial toll. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), this has led to an average monthly revenue shortfall of between $17,000 and $23,000.

Despite these challenges, the veterinary industry is predicted to grow significantly over the coming years. This means that veterinary practices can potentially survive these difficult times by taking steps to adapt to the situation, generate more revenue, and future-proof their business.

Here are four effective ways you can do just that.

When it comes to veterinary practice management, one of the most effective ways to cut costs and increase revenue is to switch to digital admin and record keeping.

1. Go digital

Although making these changes will require you to purchase or license a software package and invest in additional staff training, it can improve profits and enhance the customer experience. You’ll also demonstrate that you’re a modern veterinary business that is willing to embrace change.

Most software packages can be integrated with your existing software systems, reducing common admin errors due to manual processes while reducing staff workload. This means that instead of spending hours every day dealing with paperwork or answering the telephone, your staff will be able to direct their time, skills and experience into client care or profit generating areas. Consider:

  • A pet portal or veterinary practice app.
  • Updating your website to better handle automated registration, appointment scheduling and product sales.
  • Offering an electronic self-check-in and self-checkout on arrival for appointments.
  • Sending automated email or text message reminders for vaccines, prescription refills, etc.
  • Using a cloud-based computing solution for record-keeping and overall practice management.

2. Overhaul your marketing efforts

Effective veterinary marketing allows you to reach your target clients, provide them with answers to their questions and turn them into satisfied customers. Although traditional forms of offline marketing still have their place, online marketing is an important consideration if you want to improve your chances of growth in this increasingly digital world.

“Digital marketing offers you many ways to target local clients in your area and obtain more appointments at your practice,” say veterinary marketing experts iMatrix, “Between your website, social media pages, and business directory listings, your practice can have a multitude of avenues to get found online.”

To get started, consider the following:

  • Does your veterinary practice website need improvement to support your efforts?
  • Are you present on social media – and keep it fresh?
  • Do you send a regular email or newsletter?
  • Have you included client testimonials on your website?
  • Have you claimed your online business listings on sites like Google My Business and Bing?

3. Optimize your veterinary practice inventory

Most veterinary practices carry inventory such as pet food, OTC products, medicines and other consumable materials that could be leveraged to generate more profit. By cutting inventory costs wherever possible, improving management, and optimizing sales you could boost profit, reduce waste, and increase the overall value of your business. Here are some effective ways you can do this:

  • Review suppliers: The cost of veterinary consumables and other products will vary significantly between suppliers. Are you getting the best deal?
  • Upsell: look for opportunities to sell directly to pet owners. They trust your opinion and will welcome any pet product recommendations.
  • Monitor inventory levels: Use software to monitor inventory levels and perform a physical check at least once per year.
  • Pay attention to what sells and what doesn’t: Leverage your inventory and sales information to determine popular items and should potentially be increased or augmented with complementary items – and what tends to collect dust.
  • Check markups: Ensure that any product markups are properly priced on the system. Mistakes can and do happen.
  • Get feedback: Provide pet owners with the opportunity to leave comments and requests to allow you to provide products that meet their needs.

4. Review overall client experience

Although customer service has long played an important part in the success of any business, these days the focus falls on overall client experience. Receiving a warm welcome at reception is no longer enough – the pet owner must feel valued in every part of the interaction, whether face-to-face or digital.

By nurturing client experience, you’ll ensure that your existing clients are satisfied with the service they receive. This means they’re more likely to return to your veterinary practice in the future, leave positive reviews online and give your practice wider exposure through word of mouth. In turn, you’ll attract new clients and expand your success and the profitability of your business.

To optimize the customer experience, look at every point along the client journey from booking an appointment and see how it can be improved, reviewing factors such as:

  • How easy is your business to find online? Does your listing contain all the information needed?
  • What is the client’s experience when making an appointment? Do they receive a confirmation message?
  • What happens when your client arrives at your veterinary practice? Do they receive a warm welcome? How long do they have to wait to see the vet?
  • How is their experience during the appointment itself? Are their concerns about their pet being heard?
  • How easy is it for them to make payment?
  • Does your veterinary practice stay in touch with them after the appointment? If so, how?

Summary

Veterinary practices can significantly grow their revenue increasing the focus on digital marketing, switching to an easier to navigate and paper-free approach, optimizing customer experience and growing sales of inventory items. By taking these steps over the long term, the practice will also grow their brand and lay the foundations for a more financially successful future.

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