SPVS and VPMA announce a series of joint training courses for the practice team
How do you keep existing clients and win new ones?
In a tough economic climate, it pays to have your marketing, business management and staff communication in top shape. Send your head nurse on a communications course, your junior partner on a leadership training day, or your practice manager on a marketing workshop and watch the impact on your bottom line!
With this in mind, SPVS and VPMA have come together to launch a programme of training courses for vets, managers, nurses and receptionists. The programme has been designed so that each event stands alone but, taken together, they offer complementary tools to improve overall practice performance. Each day will have a professional facilitator and will include a mix of lectures, case studies, interactive workshops and panel Q&A sessions.
Each day will run from 10:00 — 16:00 and delegates will receive course notes, a CPD certificate, lunch and light refreshments. Successful management involves the whole practice team. To help with this, we are offering substantial discounts for multiple bookings from the same practice
Practice Health Check – 4th May, Birmingham
Making a profit but short of cash? Veterinary accountants, Hazlewoods’ new, interactive workshop will demonstrate how getting the right data, and using it to forecast cash flow, can help you plan a successful future. Plus tips on making tax efficiency simple. Onswitch will look at how to gather and interpret information about your clients: who they are, how much they spend and what they think. With contributions from relevant case studies.
Smart Talking – 26th May, Birmingham
A fun, informative, communications day for nurses and receptionists including actors role-playing different scenarios. This training course, run by the Veterinary Defence Society, covers attentive listening, questioning styles, appropriate language, empathy and support, as well as the skills required to handle difficult situations including anger, grief, fee issues and complaints
Letting it Happen – 8th June, Milton Keynes
How to implement the change required to realise practice goals and take your whole team with you. Pfizer’s consultancy division, VetSupport+, will facilitate this interactive day for people managers and future line managers. Topics include identifying roles and responsibilities, achieving team effectiveness, and managing performance over the year
Making Your Voice Heard – 5th July, Milton Keynes
Practical tips on how to stand out in an increasingly crowded market. Facilitated by Onswitch with contributions from related professions, this session will include writing a marketing plan, training reception staff, implementing a marketing makeover, and exploiting Google and Facebook
Safe & Sound – 16th & 17th June, Birmingham
Attend just one day or sign up for both. Day 1: Is your team safe? Is it operating within the law? A practical update or introduction to current H&S requirements including radiation, anaesthetics, waste regulation, COSHH & Risk Assessments, staff safety etc Day 2: Best practice or more red tape? Current medicine legislation and predicted changes to the law covering internet pharmacies, the cascade, herbals, nosodes and nutritional therapies, and why compliance matters. The Practice Standards Scheme and clinical governance: what you need to know. Employment law in relation to staff safety, maternity issues, new retirement legislation, working time directives, CRB checks etc
You can click here to visit the SPVS website for more details and to register
You can click here to visit the VPMA website and to register
Is Your Vet Practice a Jazz Club or an Orchestra?
For a practice to run smoothly all the bits have to work together — starting from the top in the form of a vision from the leader, which is transmitted outwards and downwards
using clear communication, objectives for all the team and regular feedback and review. The result is a well-oiled machine. I compare this to the beautiful music produced by
an orchestra. The analogy works.
An orchestra plays music composed by someone inspired with an ‘auditory vision’ (cringing apologies for the oxymoron of the century). The sheet music is like the job
description and written objectives. There is a conductor who manages the production of music and, of course, the musicians who perform the technical task of making noise.
Then there’s another kind of music, one of a rather more disharmonious nature. Jazz.
It is often said that jazz music is five musicians on the same stage each playing a completely different tune. The analogy for describing business continues, as many small
businesses are run more like the jazz band than the orchestra.
There is no clear direction to a jazz tune; the entire thing is more freewheeling and fluid than other forms of music. The musicians express themselves openly and, at times, the
result (to my ears anyway) is chaotic. Hardly the impression you’d want your healthcare business to make.
The problem is often leadership. All small businesses (like vet clinics) have owners, but how many have leaders? And how exactly do you define a leader?
I heard a pretty good working definition a few days ago, which was that leaders have followers. They inspire people to get behind a clear vision. Managers push people, leaders
So what type of practice is yours? A well-run orchestra or a jazz band? Jazz management is what happens when there is no single, clear vision. Into the vacuum created by a lack of owner vision the ideas and vision of others will be sucked and mixed up.
The result? A group of people working to individual agendas, all pulling in different directions. Or as I like to called it — Jazz Management.
In these situations factions, cliques and conflict can arise more readily. The disharmony causes problems with motivation and a team routine is hard to develop. Sound familiar?
Create and Articulate Your Vision
If your practice is showing signs of dischord, then ask yourself if you have a clear vision. If you don’t then it’s time to get your thinking cap on.
If you do have a vision then ask a few of your team members if they know what it is. If they don’t know what the vision is then perhaps you’re not communicating it well enough.
Regardless of your musical preference, when it comes to business, clients are more likely to favour a team approach than individualistic chaos.
So do everyone a favour and leave the Jazz to Ronnie Scott!
You can click here to visit Dave Nicols website
14 Issues which your practice partnership agreement should have addressed
management with, or be managed by, such persons? What if the heirs squabble among themselves, leading to management paralysis and/or litigation? Do you fancy having the practice run by a court-appointed receiver? If the heirs are to be bought out, who determines the purchase price? How and by whom is it paid? If there’s a note, is it secured? How?
You can click here to visit the Veterinary Business Advisors website
Joined up thinking…
VetGrad is a new on-line facility for graduate vets up to 5 years qualified and membership is growing fast! The aim of VetGrad is to bring together all the best resources for new vets in one place including jobs, free CPD, weekly articles and competitions. “We are pleased to announce that VetGrad has recently joined forces with Vetpol” says Thomas Rees, Cambridge graduate and website founder. He goes onto explain” we want to provide our members with a secure forum where they can share tips, exchange experience and generally support one another without members of the public and more senior vets (such as the boss!) prying”.
If you are a recent graduate and want to join this growing online community, you can click here for your free registeration
How to make more money in your career
- Your attitude affects your altitude! When you bounce out of bed, when you meet people, when things go right, when things go wrong tell yourself that you are fantastic and guess what… your life will become fantastic. You see your brain doesn’t know the difference between real and imagined situations so if you tell your brain you’re fantastic that’s exactly what it will work to make you become! When you feel fantastic you are more productive… and the most productive people get most rewards.
- Do what others don’t do! If you do what everybody else does you get what everybody else gets… you’ll be average! So the secret is to look for things (in both your business and personal life) that the others don’t do– and then do them! Now that doesn’t mean doing stupid things or changing for the sake of change– it means looking for ways to do things better.
- Do something different every day! If you do the same thing day after day you’re going to get the same result. How many times can you walk down the same street and fall down the same hole before you realise you can walk down a different street! So try something different– and, if it works, adopt it! If it doesn’t work then just go back to what you were doing and then try something else. You’ve got a 50/50 chancel of getting it right… and they are great odds!
- Tell the boss to pay you more! Yes that’s exactly what I said but remember this– money can neither be created nor destroyed– you can’t put more or less than 100 cents in the dollar– so if you want to be paid more you need to help the boss make more money. So, no matter what your role, you should find ways to help the boss achieve that. Ask yourself how can we do this easier, faster, more effectively, less expensively, with less people, and so on. You see whenever you make any part of the business more productive you add to the bottom line.
- What gets measured gets done. If you don’t have a clearly defined objective in mind then you are less than likely to even attempt what ever you want to achieve. You’ve got to focus clearly and specifically and then regularly check progress. If you know you are measuring your progress (or your team members know that you are measuring theirs) guess what? It gets done.
- And, of course, what gets rewarded gets repeated! Your mother probably bribed you with lollies on her knee to take the nasty medicine and thus taught you to respond to reward… and when the reward is good you want to do it again! And so do team members.
- Financial independence is when only you go to work coz you want to. Most people go to work because they have to. So work to create that financial independence.
Get cracking on these points and stay tuned for more tips next time.
The Yellow Pages Are Dead – Marketing Your Veterinary Practice in the Digital Age
Author, Dave Nicol draws from his experiences of being a vet, a business owner and a veteran website editor (having managed no fewer than six commercial
websites in the last decade). In his customarily upfront, plain-spoken and highly practical way he has created an easy read that teaches you everything you need to know about operating an effective website.
After Reading The Yellow Pages Are Dead You Will:
- Understand why the web is useful to your practice
- Learn how to create remarkable content for you practice website
- Harness the power of social media and drive more visitors to your practice website
- Convert online prospects into paying customers in your clinic.
- Create an amazing website that is an asset to your practice not an embarrassment.
You can order your copy here and now – just click on the PayPal link: