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5 Habits of Highly Successful Practice Owners

Updated: May 11

Ever look at other practices that seem to be killing it and wonder what their secret is? Obviously, there has to be a foundation of high-quality medicine, but beyond that, there are certain intentional things that successful practice owners do to contribute to their continued growth and profitability. The good news is, with a little attention and extra effort, these things can be replicated by just about anyone who is willing to put in the work. If you’re one of them, here are five habits to start working on today that will pay dividends in your clinic’s success in the future.

Don’t Compare Yourself to Your Competitors

Yes, we did just mention looking at other practices, but we don’t mean in a way that necessarily compares or competes. You can (and should) certainly learn from others, but the most successful practice owners don’t constantly hold themselves up against everyone else. Instead, they compare, track and measure their progress against their own performance yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that. They hold themselves accountable and make a commitment to consistently find ways to improve on a day to day basis.

They Put Their Money Where Their Mouth is

Great practice owners know that talk is cheap, and that actions speak a million times louder than words. They operate their businesses with the utmost integrity, always doing what they said they’d do, whether it’s with their clients, their staff or even people in their personal lives. Be careful to never make promises you can’t keep. Instead, make building and nurturing trust a top priority. As a result, you will be rewarded with loyalty that will enable stability and foster future growth.

They Value the People Around Them

Read the story of any great leader and you’ll inevitably learn about the incredible people they surrounded themselves with. Some say it takes a village to raise a child. We believe that similarly, it takes a great team to make a veterinary clinic successful. The owners of highly profitable practices understand this, which is why they hire right, provide their staff with the support they need and reward them regularly for a job well-done. Involving everyone in the success of the practice is the best way to fast-track your results.

They are Excellent Listeners

A boss directs people what to do. A leader inspires people to not only take action, but to stretch themselves even further. This requires the ability to listen, and not just to hear, but to actually understand. If you spend most of your day barking orders at everyone, there’s a good chance you are missing out on some great ideas that could help bring your business to the next level. Don’t just invite feedback. Encourage it. And more importantly, put it into action whenever and wherever possible.

They are Introspective

Successful practice owners take responsibility for failures just as much as victories. They understand that it’s not all about them, and they recognize that there’s always room for improvement. If things aren’t going great in your practice, it may be time to take step back and examine yourself and your own leadership efforts first. You may discover that by working on bettering yourself – either personally, professionally or both – you’ll be much more equipped to put your practice back on track. Be humble and willing to grow and evolve. As a result, you’ll elevate everyone on your team to do better.

The final important point to remember is that a habit is something that takes time and dedication to develop. If you’ve identified any personal weaknesses in the above areas, the time to turn things around is now. With a daily commitment, little by little, your efforts will turn into positive, permanent change that will put your practice on the path to even greater success.

Our Advice on Habits of Highly Successful Practice Owners in 2024

What specific metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs) should practice owners track to objectively measure their progress and identify areas for improvement?

To objectively measure progress and identify areas for improvement, veterinary practice owners should track key performance indicators (KPIs) such as client retention rates, average transaction value, and patient visit frequency. Monitoring new client growth, profit margins, and employee satisfaction scores also provides valuable insights into business health and operational efficiency. Additionally, keeping an eye on the rate of successful treatments and client feedback scores can help assess service quality and pinpoint specific areas where the practice may need to enhance training or adjust protocols.

How can practice owners leverage technology and data analytics to inform their decision-making and optimize practice operations?

Practice owners can leverage technology and data analytics by implementing practice management software that collects and analyzes key data points such as appointment frequency, revenue per visit, and client retention rates. Utilizing cloud-based analytics tools can help identify trends, forecast demands, and manage inventory more efficiently. Digital platforms also facilitate enhanced communication with clients through automated reminders and personalized marketing. By integrating data-driven insights into their strategic planning, practice owners can make informed decisions that optimize operations, enhance client satisfaction, and improve overall financial performance.

What role can mentorship or peer support networks play in helping practice owners develop and refine their leadership skills?

Mentorship and peer support networks play a critical role in developing and refining leadership skills for practice owners. These networks provide a platform for sharing experiences and best practices, offering guidance through challenges unique to veterinary management. Engaging with mentors or peer groups can offer new perspectives and innovative strategies, enabling owners to enhance decision-making and problem-solving abilities. Such interactions foster a learning environment where leaders can acquire skills in conflict resolution, staff management, and strategic planning, crucial for the effective running of a practice.

How can practice owners ensure that their clinic's values and mission are consistently reflected in their own actions and those of their staff?

Practice owners can ensure their clinic's values and mission are consistently reflected in actions by regularly conducting training sessions that emphasize these core principles. Creating a clear, written statement of the clinic's values and mission helps keep everyone aligned. Regularly revisiting these values in team meetings and integrating them into performance evaluations reinforces their importance. Additionally, owners should lead by example, embodying these values in daily interactions and decisions. Recognizing and rewarding staff behavior that aligns with these values can also reinforce the desired culture within the clinic.

What are some best practices for soliciting and acting upon feedback from staff and clients to drive continuous improvement in the practice?

Best practices for soliciting and acting upon feedback from staff and clients include establishing regular, structured forums such as surveys or feedback sessions that encourage open communication. Anonymity can be offered to ensure honest and constructive criticism. It's essential to actively listen and validate the feedback received, regardless of its nature. Implementing a system to categorize and prioritize feedback helps in addressing the most impactful suggestions first. Finally, transparently sharing what actions will be taken in response to feedback demonstrates commitment to continuous improvement and can foster a collaborative environment.

For more practice management tips, tricks, and expert advice, bookmark the DVMelite blog and check back often for fresh content.

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