Once upon a time, small veterinary practices competed with the other small guy down the street. Those days are long behind us. Several decades ago, the first veterinary chain emerged in the USA.
Since then, Banfield, VCA, NVA, VetCor etc have bought and built hundreds of clinics. In the UK, a number of chains have also emerged such as CVS, Medivet, Linneaus.
On continental Europe, AniCura and Evidensia have also acquired a few hundred clinics each and are continuing to expand. Further to this, the industry is starting to consolidate as Mars has bought Banfield and BluePearl in the US, AniCura in Europe and Linneaus in the UK.
So, before long every veterinary practice will have to compete with some sort of Goliath. This need not be bad news for the small independent practice but they DO need to know what to do both in providing high quality clinical care and in acquiring new clients and maintaining good customer care; this is especially important to retain our highly motivated and valuable clients.
Concurrently, our clients grow stronger as their ability to obtain more information grows. This may of course be the wrong information, but nonetheless we find ourselves having to compete against Dr Google and our local corporately owned practices.
We can no longer rely upon quick and easy explanations or on mark-up on our drug sales to ensure good profit margins.
Business and leadership skills
It is becoming harder and harder to find and keep high profile employees for our clinics. Salaries and career progression are much more attractive in other sectors. This is why good leadership skills have become more and more important to ensure we attract and ensure we maintain the engagement and motivation of our employees.
It has become important for practice owners and managers to study and enact good business acumen and use high levels of emotional intelligence to guarantee the sustainability of their clinics. However, this is not easy taking into account the vast complexity of clinician’s job, bearing in mind that most practice owners are still primary clinicians.
This is why we believe that management CE events have a singular most important goal: to massively reduce the complexity of managing and leading a veterinary clinic and to offer a clear and proven business model for a successful future.