Front vs Back Stage - Practice Owners Must Innovate Now

Practice Owners Must Innovate Now - UPbook

May 26, 2020 11:48:35 PM / by Michael

With so many challenges and uncertainties a lot of practice owners are wondering today: how do I now approach my practice to ensure we remain viable now and come through this crisis on the other end? 

It’s a great question and one that every single business owner should be asking themselves to make sure they are making decisions and taking steps that are right for them…

So let’s start with some lessons we can take away from big business...true, not something veterinary practices are particularly fond of doing - but hey - extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures right!

So big business tells us that in times of great economic duress and uncertainty there are two common ways in particular to influence your business trajectory...

Approach #1 is a ‘let’s retreat and hope for the best’ stance.  With this as your model you are responding to uncertainty and the threats around you and are therefore reactive.  In most cases the overwhelming response is to withdraw...dial everything back and dramatically reduce your  furlough your team, cut back hospital hours, slash your prices...and just hope your business stays viable!

In many regards the guiding principle here is to just hang tight and hope that when you emerge from your hibernation you’ll still have a viable practice that has weathered the storm...

This is the approach adopted by many practices and is a very understandable path to follow.  That said it is also more disempowering and has a very definite external locus of control which can leave many practices vulnerable.

There is however a polar opposite approach - one that is far more proactive and allows the practice owner to take back much of the power.  It puts the destiny of the business more squarely in the hands of the owner and their team, not with the situational factors spinning out of control around them.  

We call this alternate approach ‘Empowered growth”... and it’s all about taking back control... and seizing opportunities!

Practice owners in this camp share a specific guiding principle: namely that people will always have pets and that those pets always develop issues that need to be seen...and that ergo the veterinary industry is largely recession-proof…

But only if you approach the running of your practice the right way!

Let me be clear before we go on though - this is not to say that this is not still a terrible time in so many regards...we never want to undermine or detract from the fact that this is also a time of great tragedy; People are dying, losing their jobs, separated from loved’s a time of great loss and suffering to be sure...  

But the fact remains that from a purely business perspective this could still be a chance to fortify your practice and position it to be stronger than ever on the other side!

But how can this possibly be?  How do we turn what otherwise looks like pure chaos and uncertainty into something with a net positive impact for us?

Well, it’s pretty formulaic really and it comes down to any business, there's a front stage and a back stage…

Anything backstage is non client-facing - things like admin and hiring, the ‘nice to haves’ of a business, these are all areas where you should dial back. Put a freeze on hiring, stop buying luxury products, etc…

At the same time every business has a front stage which is anything client facing, and these are the things that you need to considerably RAMP UP! 

So that might be client communications in the form of regular updates on your website, writing blog articles offering support and guidance to pet owners, relevant posts on Social Media, and phone calls to your clients...any client communication should be doubled down On so that your community knows you're there, knows you're open for business, and knows that you're listening to them.

Also, anything related to your reach and visibility - so anything related to marketing - should be doubled down on. Anything that's going to reach out to your community, let them know you exist and compel them to do business with you... NOW need to step up right away.

So your online presence; now’s the time if there ever was one to get that fancy new website to make a great first impression.  Now’s the time to extend your reach and visibility through better SEO, Google advertising, Facebook ads, etc...anything that will expand your digital footprint should be increased so you pull people in from a greater radius. 

Also, anything to do with implementing creative growth strategies should be a major focus - be creative about how to locate otherwise lost revenue (testing out a free Telemedicine software to deliver a different sort of service - remotely - or trying an answering service to improve client loyalty and reduce client base erosion) - all of these out of the ordinary measures should be implemented NOW! 

The bottom line - if you adopt the empowered stance you’ll very likely buck the trend and potentially even grow during this crisis.  And if you double down on anything ‘front of stage’ you will in the immediate term all but guarantee an ongoing flow of new clients, a preservation of existing client loyalty, and you will maintain a flow of revenue and profitability when others may be struggling…

And in the medium to long term you will have not just weathered this storm, but you will also fortify yourself, your team and your business to come through this pandemic stronger than ever on the other side.  That's our stance….we’d love it to be your stance too. 

An take advantage of UPbook's FREE FOREVER telemedicine software you can use to immediately start scheduling, collecting payment, and seeing appointments by video! Just click here to get started!

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Tags: free veterinary telemedicine app, free telemedicine, HIPAA Telemedicine Software, HIPPA Telemedicine Software


Written by Michael