veterinary practice owner greeting patient

Tips for Attracting New Clients to Your Veterinary Practice

As a veterinary practice owner, you understand the importance of attracting new customers to your business. Although providing great service is one way to build your clientele, this can only take you so far. If you are serious about attracting new clients to your veterinary practice, there are additional steps you must take. In this article, we provide tips on attracting new customers to your veterinary practice. 

#1: Know your audience: Before you target new potential patients through marketing, you must understand your current customer base. Reviewing your office records and taking note of demographic factors like the average age, gender, and location of your existing patients will allow you to design more effective marketing campaigns.  

#2: Train your employees: Your employees often provide your customers with their first impression of your practice. Therefore, you should train your staff in a manner that ensures they present a positive image of your practice to every customer who walk in the door. When your current customers have good experiences with your practice, this increases the likelihood that they will share this information with others, thereby attracting new clients. 

#3: Update your website: Every business needs a website. However, even if you have a website in place for your practice, you must ensure that it remains current. An outdated website creates a poor impression on potential customers and will likely cause them to look elsewhere for veterinary services. 

#4: Stay active on social media: Many people today have social media accounts. Therefore, your practice should have an active presence on the major social media platforms. Any time someone likes or shares a social media post, their entire social circle sees it, and this can increase your practice’s exposure. 

#5: Use email marketing: In addition to traditional forms of marketing, email marketing can be an effective way to attract new clients and to send promotional offers and general updates about your practice to your existing patients.

#6: Re-engage former clients: Finally, you should take steps to reconnect with former clients. You can identify these individuals by searching your system for clients who have not returned for an appointment in a long time. And even if a former customer seems reluctant to return to your practice, you may be able to convince him or her to do so by offering a promotion of some kind. 

Contact Our Experienced Veterinary Attorneys 

If you would like to attract more customers to your veterinary practice, you need an experienced veterinary attorney on your side. At Mahan Law, our experienced veterinary professionals understand how to succeed in the veterinary business. When you come to us for assistance, we will put our experience to work for you, doing everything possible to help you build your clientele. Please contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.

Owner running veterinary practice

Why Owning a Veterinary Practice is a Great Idea

As a veterinarian, it’s likely that you’ve at least considered what it might be like to own a veterinary practice. This is understandable. After all, there are many benefits to veterinary practice ownership. In this article, we examine why owning a veterinary practice is a great idea. If you’d like to further explore the benefits of veterinary practice ownership, contact an experienced veterinary attorney today. 

Control 

As a veterinary practice owner, you get to choose your practice’s hours of operation, equipment, philosophy of practice, mission, and core values. In addition, as your own boss, you can set your own work schedule, benefits, and compensation. Ultimately, practice ownership provides you with the opportunity to shape your professional life and business.

In addition, a significant benefit of practice ownership is the ability to mold your practice to reflect your personal values. As a practice owner, you have the freedom to create your own vision and provide the leadership to turn your dreams into reality. In other words, practice ownership allows you to shape your business and build your professional legacy.

Financial Gain

Although you may not have become a veterinarian to make a lot of money, a good income can certainly help you achieve your personal and professional goals. Owning your own practice will allow you to earn significantly more over time than you would as an employee of another practice. As an owner, you receive compensation both for the work you perform as a veterinarian and for the profits of the business. In addition, you get to decide how much of the profit to reinvest in the business.

Finally, practice ownership means that you own an asset that increases in value over time. Like purchasing a house, when you build equity in a veterinary clinic, you own something of value that you can eventually sell. And when you eventually do decide to sell, the proceeds can help fund your retirement. 

The Bottom Line

Although it certainly isn’t easy, and it does carry some risk, practice ownership provides many benefits to those who are willing to do the work. Often, the greatest rewards in life are a result of our biggest risks. When you invest in any type of business, you run the risk that it won’t succeed. However, if it does succeed, you will be rewarded many times over. 

Contact Our Experienced Veterinary Attorneys 

If you are ready to take the leap into veterinary practice ownership, you need an experienced veterinary attorney in your corner. At Mahan Law, our experienced and knowledgeable veterinary professionals understand how to succeed in the veterinary industry. When you come to us for assistance, we will put our experience to work for you, doing everything we can to help you start your veterinary practice. Please contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

Veterinarian signing papers

5 Ways to Improve Your Veterinary Practice

Regardless of how successful your veterinary practice is, there is always room for improvement. In fact, a few small changes are all it takes to improve the efficiency and profitability of your veterinary practice. In this article, we examine five ways to improve your veterinary practice. For additional information on improving your practice, please contact an experienced veterinary attorney

#1: Implement Online Scheduling

In today’s digital world, there is nothing that customers appreciate more than having the ability to do things online. By giving your customers the ability to schedule their appointments online, you not only avoid the need for excess paperwork, but you free up your staff to accomplish other important tasks. 

#2: Provide Text and Email Confirmations and Reminders

If you decide to offer online scheduling, then you should also consider adding automated appointment confirmations and reminders. Once implemented, such automated communication will provide you with an easy way to keep in touch with your customers. Not only will your customers appreciate the added convenience, but automated confirmations and reminders will reduce the workload for your staff. 

#3: Streamline Your Paperwork Process

New customers often face a mountain of paperwork when arriving at the office for a veterinary appointment. By giving customers the option to complete pre-appointment paperwork online prior to arriving at your office, you save them valuable time and allow them to focus on what is important: their pets! 

#4: Upgrade Your Break Room

Improving your veterinary practice isn’t just about satisfying your customers. It’s also about ensuring that your employees are happy. After all, the happier your staff is, the more motivated they will be to do a great job. Therefore, you should strongly consider upgrading your employee break room. By giving your employees a relaxing, inviting place to unwind during their breaks, they will return to work energized and ready to provide great service to your customers.  

#5: Cross-Train Your Employees

Finally, rather than having your employees specialize in a few limited areas, you should strongly consider cross-training them. This accomplishes several things. For one, it ensures you remain covered on days when someone calls in sick. In addition, it adds variety to your employees’ days, ensuring that they don’t get bored or burnt out. Finally, it creates a better overall customer experience, as every employee of your practice will possess the knowledge to successfully address your customers’ concerns and needs. 

Contact Our Experienced Veterinary Attorneys 

If you would like to improve your veterinary practice, you need an experienced veterinary attorney in your corner. At Mahan Law, our experienced veterinary professionals know what it takes to succeed in the veterinary industry. When you come to us for help, we will put our experience to work for you, doing everything in our power to help you improve the profitability of your veterinary practice. Please contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.

Woman at the vet with her dog

4 Signs That it May Be Time to Sell Your Veterinary Practice

As a veterinary practice owner, you probably enjoy the many perks of owning your own business. Setting your own hours, choosing the type of work you do, hiring your own staff, and enjoying the freedom of being your own boss are just a few of the benefits of veterinary practice ownership. However, even if your practice is thriving, it’s important to be able to spot the signs that it may be time to move on. In this article, we discuss four signs that it may be time to sell your veterinary practice

#1: You Don’t Enjoy Running Your Own Practice

The first sign that you may want to consider selling your practice is an obvious one: you no longer enjoy it! Even if you still love providing excellent care for animals, if you are no longer interested in marketing your practice, building your brand, dealing with staff, managing a budget, or doing the other things required to make your business successful, then it may be time to move on. 

#2: You Don’t Enjoy What You Do

When you first became a veterinarian, you probably looked forward to the new challenges each day would bring. However, if you’ve been a veterinarian for several years, it’s possible that you simply don’t enjoy what you do anymore. For the sake of your own happiness, if you no longer enjoy what you do, that’s a good sign that it may be time to sell your practice and embark on a new career path. 

#3: You’re Getting Close to Retirement

If you are nearing retirement age, you should begin the retirement planning process now. Part of this process should include arranging for the sale of your practice. With proper planning and the right sales team in your corner, you should be able to maximize the value of your practice in order to provide you with funds to use during your golden years. 

#4: You’d Like to Spend More Time with Your Family

Finally, as a veterinary practice owner, you know how much work goes into keeping your business running. In addition to serving patients, running a practice requires hours of additional work both in and outside the office. Although this can result in a highly profitable business, it can reduce the amount of time you are able to spend with your loved ones. For some people, the strain that this puts on their family life simply isn’t worth it. Therefore, if you’d like to improve your work/life balance and spend more time with your family, you may want to look into selling your practice and going to work for someone else, thereby allowing you to devote additional time to your loved ones. 

Contact Our Experienced Veterinary Attorneys 

If you think that the time has come to sell your veterinary practice, you need an experienced veterinary attorney on your side. At Mahan Law, our veterinary practice sales professionals will walk you through each step of the veterinary sales process, doing everything we can to ensure that you get the best price possible for your business. Please contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.

Business partners in a meeting

4 Simple Ways to Increase the Profitability of Your Veterinary Practice

A lot goes into running a successful veterinary practice. In addition to handling the daily requirements of your practice, you must constantly be on the lookout for ways to increase its profitability. Fortunately, if you are a veterinary practice owner, there are several steps you can take to improve your business’s bottom line. In this article, we examine four simple ways to increase the profitability of your veterinary practice. 

#1: Set Goals

When it comes to increasing the profitability of your practice, goal setting is key. In fact, many practices fail to reach their full potential due to a lack of clear goals. Without a clear idea of what you are trying to achieve, increasing the profitability of your practice will be difficult. Therefore, to increase your profits, you must set specific, measurable goals. 

#2: Train Your Staff 

Once you’ve identified the goals of your practice, you must ensure that your staff understands the role they will play in their achievement. In addition, your staff should receive training in profit-increasing strategies, such as upselling and forward booking. Remember, unless your employees are active participants in the process of increasing your practice’s profitability, it will be difficult for you to achieve your goals.  

#3: Expand Your Online Presence 

In today’s business environment, if a business doesn’t have a strong web presence, it might as well not exist. Most customers today make their decisions regarding where to do business based on what they see online, and this includes finding a veterinary clinic. So, if your practice lacks a strong online presence, you’re missing a big opportunity to increase its profitability. In addition to having an engaging, informative website, you should strongly consider maintaining an active social presence to reach additional customers. 

#4: Build Relationships

Finally, although the internet has changed the way many companies do business, one thing remains the same: the importance of relationships to a business’s success. In the veterinary world, this means building mutually beneficial relationships with businesses with whom you share a similar clientele, such as local pet stores, groomers, and boarding facilities. By forming relationships with these types of businesses, you stand to bring in new customers, thereby increasing the profitability of your practice. However, when doing you must ensure that you align your practice with reputable businesses that are respected in the local community. 

Contact Our Experienced Veterinary Attorneys 

If you want to grow your veterinary practice, you need an experienced veterinary attorney on your side. At Mahan Law, our knowledgeable veterinary professionals understand how to succeed in the veterinary industry. When you come to us for assistance, we will put our understanding and experience to work for you, doing everything we can to help you achieve your professional and personal goals. Please contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.

Business attorneys sitting with one another discussing client's plan

Pros and Cons of Buying an Existing Veterinary Practice

Practice ownership is the ultimate goal of many veterinarians. After all, practice ownership offers many benefits, including autonomy, financial gain, and a good work-life balance. However, if you are looking to take the leap into practice ownership, you must make several important decisions, one of which is whether to buy an established practice or start a new one. For some people, the idea of launching and growing a new practice is very appealing. For others, however, the prospect of building a practice from the ground up is daunting. In this article, we examine the pros and cons of buying an existing veterinary practice. 

Pros of Buying an Existing Veterinary Practice 

The pros of purchasing an existing veterinary practice include: 

Immediate cash flow: Purchasing an established veterinary practice often results in immediate cash flow due to the practice’s existing customer base. 

Experienced staff: When you inherit the employees of an existing practice, you avoid the need to hire and train new employees—this can save you time and money. 

Established reputation: As opposed to a new practice, when you buy a successful existing practice, the local community will already be aware of it and the services it provides.

Lower marketing costs: Finally, there is far less marketing required for an existing practice than a new practice, which means that buying an existing practice will save you money on marketing costs. 

Cons of Buying an Existing Veterinary Practice 

Although there are many pros to purchasing an existing veterinary practice, there are also some disadvantages, including: 

Old equipment: If you purchase an older veterinary practice, it may have outdated equipment, and this can be an issue if you fail to make upgrades.  

Employee issues: When you inherit the employees of an existing veterinary practice, some of them may resist any changes you make to the policies and procedures of the office. In addition, there be existing employees who have work habits that you find unacceptable.  

Rebranding costs: If you want to rebrand an existing practice or redesign the existing premises, this will cost you additional money. 

Reputation issues: If you purchase a practice that has reputation problems, it may take a lot of time, effort, and money to rectify the issue. 

Patient turnover: Finally, when you purchase an existing veterinary practice, you run the risk that existing patients may take their business elsewhere or follow the previous owner to his or her new practice (if the previous owner isn’t retiring).

Contact Our Experienced Veterinary Attorneys 

If you are considering starting your own veterinary practice, Mahan Law is here for you. With a national network of co-counsel attorneys, our law firm has the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to guide your transaction through to a successful conclusion. When you choose Mahan Law to handle your transaction, we will utilize our understanding and experience to help you achieve your professional and personal goals. Please contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

Vet examining cat

Can a Pet Owner Sue a Veterinarian?

Veterinarians are in the practice of helping animals—not harming them. Unfortunately, however, when it comes to treating people’s pets, anything can happen. For example, animals don’t always respond positively to treatment, and pet owners often place the blame in such situations on the veterinarian. In addition, veterinarians sometimes make mistakes that jeopardize the health of the animals they are treating. When an animal’s condition worsens after receiving treatment, the pet owner often points the finger at the veterinarian. In this article, we examine whether a pet owner can sue a veterinarian. 

Veterinary Malpractice Factors

A plaintiff must prove several factors to succeed in a claim for veterinary malpractice. First, the veterinarian must owe a duty of care to the animal in question. This means that the veterinarian must have accepted responsibility to care for the animal that the owner brought to his or her office. Second, the veterinarian’s actions or inactions must have fallen below the professional veterinary standard of care. This means that the veterinarian failed to act with the level of diligence, skill, and attention that was expected of him or her under the circumstances. Next, the veterinarian’s deviation from the standard of care must have been the cause or proximate cause of the pet’s injury. Finally, the injury or harm to the animal must have resulted in damages to the plaintiff. In other words, the plaintiff must prove that he or she suffered some monetary or emotional loss due to his or her pet’s injury. 

Statute of Limitations for Veterinary Malpractice Lawsuits

There are many defenses available to veterinarians who are accused of malpractice. 

One important defense involves the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is the state law that places a limit on the length of time by which a plaintiff must file a lawsuit. This deadline varies from state to state. If a plaintiff waits too long to file a legal claim for veterinary malpractice, the veterinarian can assert this as a defense, and the court will dismiss the case. 

Although the statute of limitations provides a key defense in many veterinary malpractice cases, there may be multiple other defenses available. If you have been accused of veterinary malpractice, your available defenses will depend on the facts of your case. An experienced attorney can help you identify the defenses that are applicable to your situation. 

Contact Our Experienced Veterinary Attorneys 

As a veterinary practice owner, it is important to take steps to reduce your exposure to liability. Therefore, if you run a veterinary practice, you need a veterinary practice litigation attorney on your side. At Mahan Law, we know the ins and outs of the veterinary business. Our firm was founded by veterinary hospital owner Anthony Mahan, and we are experienced in helping veterinarians avoid—and respond to—litigation. So, whether you are facing veterinary malpractice allegations or simply want to be proactive in protecting yourself and your practice, we are here to help. Please contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

Female vet with client and dog

Purchasing a Veterinary Practice: Things to Consider

Each year, countless veterinarians take the leap into practice ownership. This isn’t surprising. After all, veterinary practice ownership offers a multitude of benefits, both personal and professional. However, if you are considering buying a veterinary practice, you must ensure that you are prepared before you make your purchase. In this article, we examine some things to consider before purchasing a veterinary practice. 

Benefits of Practice Ownership

There are two primary benefits to owning a veterinary practice. First, owning a veterinary practice allows you to directly profit from your business practices. Not only will you earn money from the daily operations of your practice, but you also can build equity through your business and real estate.

The second major benefit of owning a veterinary practice is that you get to decide how to run the business. In other words, when you own a practice, you become your own boss. This provides you with the freedom to develop your own marketing plan, choose your own staff, and make decisions that can improve the future equity of your practice.

Drawbacks of Practice Ownership

Although practice ownership offers several benefits, including the two discussed above, owning a veterinary practice also has its drawbacks. However, the drawbacks to owning a veterinary clinic differ depending on whether the clinic is an existing or new practice.

When you purchase a new practice, you must establish an infrastructure to find clients and create a cash flow. Hiring new staff, purchasing new equipment, and marketing the practice from the ground up can be costly. However, many of these drawbacks can be reduced or eliminated by purchasing an existing practice, where a majority of the infrastructure is already in place. 

The Bottom Line

Although owning a veterinary clinic has some drawbacks, the opportunity to be your own boss and directly profit from the business make purchasing a veterinary practice a great choice for many people. And although your decision to purchase an existing practice or start a new one can affect its value, both options provide opportunities for profit and autonomy. However, if you are considering purchasing a practice, you shouldn’t make a final decision until you consult with an experienced and knowledgeable veterinary attorney. A veterinary attorney can help you adequately and objectively assess whether practice ownership is the right choice for you. 

Contact Our Experienced Veterinary Attorneys 

If you are considering purchasing a veterinary practice, Mahan Law is here to help. With a national network of co-counsel attorneys, Mahan law has the experience, knowledge, and skills to guide your transaction through to a successful conclusion. When you choose Mahan Law to handle your veterinary practice purchase, you can rest assured that we will utilize our understanding and experience to help you achieve your professional and personal objectives. Please contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.

Business owner signing legal document

Veterinary Practice Mistakes That Can Result in Legal Challenges

Although operating a veterinary practice is a rewarding endeavor, it isn’t without its challenges. One such challenge is the threat of legal action. Fortunately, many of the legal issues with which veterinary practice owners must contend can be avoided with appropriate planning. And even when legal challenges arise, they can often be resolved successfully with the help of an experienced veterinary practice litigation attorney. In this article, we examine several common veterinary practice mistakes that can lead to legal challenges.  

Mistake #1: Failing to Practice as an Entity

If you practice without the protection of a corporation or LLC, you are taking a huge risk. Without the protection afforded by a corporation or LLC, you can be held personally liable any time a legal issue arises involving you or your practice. 

Mistake #2: Delegating Financial Duties

Most veterinarians would rather focus on animal care than finances. This is understandable. However, as a veterinary practice owner, you must remain involved in the financial aspects of your practice. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can’t hire someone to help you manage your practice’s finances. However, by totally ignoring this aspect of your business, you take a huge risk.  

Mistake #3: Ignoring Inventory and Operations

As a veterinary practice owner, you must fulfill many roles. One such role involves managing the operations and inventory of your practice. If you completely delegate these areas to your employees, you could very well face a lawsuit in the near future. Expired medication, insufficient inventory, and similar issues can all result in legal action. So, you must remain involved in managing the inventory and operations of your practice. 

Mistake #4: Recordkeeping Oversights

Good recordkeeping is mandatory if you want your practice to succeed. Unfortunately, however, veterinarians routinely find themselves in trouble for failing to keep detailed records. This is especially true in the case of employee records. When an employee’s performance leads to his or her termination, it is important to maintain a record of these actions. Otherwise, if an employee later files a lawsuit, you’ll lack sufficient evidence to support your actions. 

Mistake #5: Failing to Deal with Upset Clients Effectively

Not all clients will be happy with the service you provide. However, when a client is unhappy, you must do everything you can to address his or her concerns. Not only will this help you maintain a good reputation in your community, but it can help you avoid lawsuits. 

Contact Our Experienced Veterinary Attorneys 

Although legal issues are practically inevitable when you run a veterinary practice, many legal problems can be avoided through proper planning. Therefore, if you are a veterinary practice owner, and you’d like to address common legal issues before they arise, you should enlist the services of an experienced veterinary practice litigation attorney. At Mahan Law, our experienced veterinary legal professionals understand the veterinary business. Founded by veterinary hospital owner Anthony Mahan, our practice is dedicated to helping veterinarians avoid litigation. However, should you face legal action, we are also available to provide you with powerful legal representation. Please contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.

Business woman signing a legal document

Are You Considering Selling Your Veterinary Practice?

If you are considering selling your veterinary practice, you need to be prepared—and part of this preparation includes ensuring that you have all the necessary information before you place your practice on the market. In this article, we examine several things you should consider before you sell your veterinary practice. For additional information on selling your practice, please contact an experienced veterinary practice attorney for assistance. 

Get an Appraisal 

The first thing you should do prior to placing your practice on the market is getting an appraisal. By having your practice appraised, you enter the sales process with an accurate assessment of the value of your practice, and this can help you avoid pricing it too high or too low. 

Review Your Finances

Before you sell your practice, you should be ready to respond to requests by potential buyers to provide copies of your tax returns and interim statements. In addition, you should ensure that your practice’s financial management system is current and capable of creating timely financial statements. If upon reviewing your practice’s finances, you discover that your practice has a history of declining revenue, you may want to consider trying to improve its financial performance before placing it on the market.  

Find Potential Buyers

To sell your practice, you must find someone willing to buy it. When it comes to selling a veterinary practice, there are many potential sources of buyers. The first place you should begin is other veterinarians with whom you have longstanding relationships. Another option to consider is merging your practice with a competitor or allowing a larger practice or organization to buy you out.

Discuss the Sale with Your Staff 

Finally, when preparing for the sale of your veterinary practice, you should be candid with your staff. By being transparent with your employees, you increase the odds that they’ll want to continue their employment after the sale (if this is an option), and that can be a great selling point to potential buyers. In addition, if your practice is successful, there is a good chance that the hard work of your staff has played a key part in its success. Therefore, you owe it to your employees to be as open as possible during the sales process. 

Contact Our Experienced Veterinary Attorneys 

If you are ready to explore your available veterinary practice sales options, Mahan Law is here for you. At Mahan Law, our veterinary professionals will utilize our extensive experience and vast network of co-counsel attorneys to increase your odds of a successful veterinary practice sale. When you come to us for help, you can rest assured that our attorneys have the knowledge and skills necessary to obtain the best price possible for your veterinary practice. Please contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our talented attorneys.