DVMelite Expert Series: 6 Tips for Running a Successful Vet Clinic with Limited Staff
One of the most common concerns the team at DVMelite hears from struggling practice owners is trying to run a successful business with limited human resources. The fact is, when the budget is tight, hiring more team members simply isn’t always an option. Thankfully there are things you can do to make managing a productive practice entirely possible, regardless of how many (or few) staff members you’ve got on your payroll. Here are six tips to get you started.
It may seem counterproductive to schedule a meeting every single day, but at the right time and in the right context, morning catch-up sessions (or “huddles”) with the entire team can be very beneficial. Take a few moments at the beginning of the day, before you unlock the door and begin the hustle and bustle of daily work duties to define goals, set priorities, discuss concerns and just get on the same page. This keeps everyone in the loop and can do wonders for your team’s productivity.
Assigning roles and setting expectations is essential, particularly in settings in which staff is limited. Identifying which team member will handle which duties each day (feel free to rotate) keeps everyone focused and on track to tackle everything on their to-do list. This ensures that the necessary tasks get completed and eliminates ball-dropping and finger-pointing, which can be toxic to your practice culture.
Share the Wealth
In line with creating work schedules, make sure that everyone on the team is pulling their weight and doing their fair share. Obviously some tasks will be more in-depth, involved or skill-specific than others, but if you’re divvying up the work properly, everyone should be contributing equally. Having a rotating schedule can help ease some of the burden and create more of a teamwork mentality.
Use Tech Internally
Sometimes the thing that will improve your practices’ productivity is simply finding ways to save time. Utilizing technology to improve communications and keep better track of everyone’s day to day schedule can be very helpful. For instance, at DVMelite, we use work management systems for tasking and keeping track of who is handling what. We also use an internal social network to make it easier and faster to access the information needed to complete tasks more effectively.
Make Your Website User-Friendly
When you enable features like online appointment scheduling and prescription refills right through your website, not only are you making life easier and more convenient for your clients, but you’re also improving efficiency within your practice. Every incoming web request means one less phone call that your busy staff has to answer, which frees your team to focus on more important matters, like creating a better client experience or increasing sales. (Not surprisingly, these types of user-friendly website features are part of the DVMelite practice growth process.)
Communicate Clearly with Clients
Another factor that can cause a practice with limited staff to go off the rails is client communication, or lack thereof. For instance, without the right information provided upfront, a client could easily think dropping off for surgery means handing over the leash and leaving. As a result, “traffic jams” can easily occur at the front desk, sending already overloaded staff into even more of a tizzy. Set clear expectations with clients about things like filling paperwork or going over discharge instructions. This will help set their expectations and also keep your practice running much more smoothly, which is better for everyone.
At DVMelite, we’ve helped practices with as few as just one or two staff members develop and implement strategies that have made them as successful as any of their larger competitors (sometimes even more so). We’d love the opportunity to do the same for you. To schedule a free 15 minute business consultation with one of our experts, please click here.