You have to be pretty confident your new practice is going to be something a bit special if you decide to call it Stellar Vets. In this case, however, with a digital-focused, client-friendly approach, this new venture more than lives up to its name, as VBJ discovered…39 mins
Premises to a practice are as hands are to a surgeon – they are essential. But building or fitting out premises is not a simple task…
It can be all too easy to measure practice growth on speed, efficiency and effectiveness. But with an overabundance of new work and an industry chronically under-resourced, it is more important than ever to get your priorities right...
Nutrition, diet and supplements play a key role in supporting the health of the nation’s companion animals. But, with veterinary teams so busy post-pandemic, Georgia Woods-Lee asks: “is your practice getting the message across?”
Renowned for world-leading CPD, extensive networking opportunities and the chance to meet with a wide … more
Congresses and conferences – either in-person, online or both – will always be an integral part of the landscape in the veterinary sector. Times have changed of course, but what hasn’t changed is the value of live learning and making the most of the opportunities is as important as ever...
In a world of increased corporate ownership it can be easy to think the number of career paths open to vets has also become increasingly limited. But if you play your cards right, plenty of options are still open for those who know how to take them…
If you are one of nature’s wonders – good at everything – then good for you; you truly are a rarity. Mere mortals like the rest of us, or those who want to grow and develop their practice to be more than a “one-man band”, will need a strong team to ensure they can deliver the performance and standard of care patients and clients deserve…
Geoff Potts had worked at the Alder practice in Liverpool for more than 22 years when the practice joined Medivet in 2015. Here, in this VBJ Partnerships Insight, he outlines the benefits this decision has brought, not just to him, but to the 24-hour hospital’s patients and his dedicated veterinary team…
Cyberattacks are in the news again, but they’re nothing new. However, now the intrusions are far more dangerous, and the veterinary world has proved to be far from immune from this insidious and potentially costly threat…
Headline figures for investing in diagnostic imaging equipment can appear high at first glance – especially when other costs like installation and staff training are considered. The reality, though, is that it remains one of the best investments you can make in your practice…
After working as a firefighter for some of the UK’s largest corporate vet groups, Iris Kestemont joined a growing band of pandemic pioneers and opened her own practice earlier this year. The Peacocks Veterinary Clinic in Corsham has not been in business long, but Iris is already enjoying the chance to practise what she has long preached…
The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the impact social interaction has on our general well-being, and shone a light on the need for all of us to have a greater focus on our mental and physical health. So it has been more important to find effective ways to keep ourselves “above the line”…
Challenging situations are a given in life as a farm vet. David Anderson, member of the VetPartners Wellbeing Group and practising vet at Westpoint Farm Vets in Derbyshire, shares his insights into how vets can stay resilient and on top of their game – no matter the situation…
After banging her head against the glass ceiling for years, Shelley Cook decided to take matters into her own hands and opened her own practice. She describes the decision as “like jumping off a cliff without a parachute”, but it seems Shelley and her team at Little Rock Equine Vets have made the perfect landing…
COVID has created a challenging environment, but it has also created new opportunities, meaning it has never been more critical that veterinary practices – especially independents – have the tools and resources they need to take advantage. Now, thanks to Covetrus, those tools and resources are being made available to practices across the UK following the launch of its new business consultancy service, InsightOne.
The coronavirus pandemic and subsequent national lockdowns sparked a pet-buying boom on an almost unprecedented scale. Microchipping can provide the perfect opportunity for your practice to bond with this potential army of new clients…
Coronavirus turned the world upside down in a matter of weeks and it has pretty much kept it there ever since. Many things changed in the veterinary sector over the past 12 months, but, as Alan Robinson explains, the key drivers for practice growth have stayed the same...
The result of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the forefront the importance of air purity rather than simply air replacement and cooling...
This episode of First Opinions sees VBJ editor James Westgate joined by Craig Bennett, chief executive officer at The Wildlife Trusts and keynote speaker at the 2021 VMG-SPVS Virtual Congress.
Few could argue that most business sectors need to do more to support working mothers. For the veterinary profession, finding models that actually work for vet mums is a matter of urgency and not just in the UK – as VBJ discovered when we spoke to practice owner Jocelyn Birch Baker in Queensland, Australia…
We know the process of getting credit as individuals, but not everyone appreciates that the same applies to the business world, too. If a practice wants the best terms, it needs to keep on the right side of the agencies and maintain a good credit score…
Liza Minelli couldn’t have summed it up better when she sang that money makes the world go round in the 1972 film Cabaret. It’s true, despite what we all want to believe. In a commercial context, this means thinking about how a practice funds its setup or expansion, how it acquires equipment and how it funds its day-to-day expenses...
When it comes to choosing a nutraceutical, a wealth of information exists about some of the component ingredients, but rarely comparative data in the species being treated. So, how do we make the best decision…?
Last November, Chris Devlin joined the growing band of vets to decide that the middle of a pandemic is as good a time as any to open their own practice. And like many others, Chris and wife Sam are discovering that, despite coronavirus and the many other challenges of setting up the business, the COVID cloud may yet have a silver lining…
In the final part of this exclusive series, VBJ editor James Westgate talks to Alan and Vicky Robinson from Vet Dynamics, and veterinary accountant Jeff Lermer about ownership models.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought massive change to the sector, but one thing that hasn’t changed is the desire among many vets to one day run their own show.
This episode of VBJ First Opinions sees VBJ editor James Westgate joined by David Babington, business development director for veterinary CPD provider Improve International.
It has long been said that the veterinary profession is recession proof, but the question now is: will it prove to be pandemic proof too?
For many veterinary practices, telemedicine was the lifeline that helped them survive the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The crisis prompted unprecedented take-up of remote technology across the sector and according to one of the leading players, it’s here to stay…
If you’re looking for a new opportunity in the post-COVID veterinary world, this 540 square metre building in central England – complete with prior use as a practice – could be for you…
Anyone intent on opening their own veterinary practice usually does so with at least a 5-year, or even a 10-year, plan. Some people go into the enterprise with a longer view, however, as VBJ discovered when we spoke to Aidan Borrill prior to the launch of his practice, Ferndown Family Vets in Dorset…
The concept of T-shaped skills is a metaphor often used by recruiters to describe the abilities of persons in the workforce. It is also an excellent framework to plan a veterinary CPD programme that’s going to deliver plenty of bang for your bucks…
Spending a small fortune developing a business is probably not at the top of the agenda for most people in their seventies. But Duncan MacIntyre of Bute and Cowal Vets is not most people, as VBJ discovered when he spoke to us last month about his ambitious plans for expansion…
One of the best ways independent practices can compete with the big boys is to cut costs by joining a buying group. Adam Bernstein takes a look at how these groups have evolved and how your practice can make the most of membership…
Setting up and running your own independent veterinary practice may have become the road less travelled in recent years. But independent practice ownership is still one of the most fulfilling paths a veterinary professional can take in his or her career, and a journey that’s well worth making…
One of the many lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic is that sustainability and the need to live more lightly on our planet have now become urgent objectives for everybody and every business. For experienced small animal vet Rob Douwes, these concepts were the driving force when he opened Green Vets in York 18 months ago…
Most within the veterinary profession recognise the need to integrate environmental ethics into the way they work, but the daily pressures of practice mean it’s not always easy. It’s a journey and to make sustainability work for our planet, it’s a journey we need to take together...
Burnout is known for its impact on individuals, but it can also significantly influence business success – affecting client satisfaction, care quality and staff retention. Here Mark Turner, with RCVS Knowledge, sets out simple strategies managers can use to tackle this issue...
In a three-part series, vets and tech consultants Guen Bradbury and Greg Dickens have been exploring communications, smart diagnostics and smart surgery. In their final article, they estimate the profession’s surgical needs in the next five years and explain how all of us can learn to select the right tools for our practice…
Given their spending power, millennials deserve the attention of your veterinary practice. This generation – born between 1980 and 2000 – is 13 million strong in the UK, and it’s finding the right mix of authenticity and technology that will bring them to your consult room...
Coronavirus continues to dominate the agenda, but for some the Brexit deadline is now starting to loom just as menacingly. For practices like Parklands Veterinary Group in Dungannon, Northern Ireland, what happens on 1 January is of huge significance, as VBJ discovered when we spoke to clinical director Eamon Donnelly…
In 1909, Harry Gordon Selfridge, the founder of Selfridges department store, invented the phrase “the customer is always right”, which was immediately adopted by other businesses and used as a standard. The intentions were good, but things have changed a great deal during this past century – and particularly in the past nine months…
Coronavirus has changed the world – and it has also changed what clients expect from their veterinary practice. Change is often a scary thing, but with a planned and pragmatic approach, your practice can survive and even thrive in a post-COVID world...
Nutrition is one of the cornerstones of pet health and is not just a one-off decision, as the needs of animals change throughout their lifetimes. So it is absolutely crucial to ensure your practice is able to give the latest up-to-date advice and the most informed recommendations to often uninitiated clients…
“If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you...” – motivational speaker Zig Ziglar.
Eastcott Referrals was born when Peter Southerden began offering dental referrals from a small practice based in an old Victorian house in Swindon almost 20 years ago. The practice long ago outgrew its humble origins and while dentistry is still a key focus, Eastcott now has strong roots in many different areas...
Anyone involved in running a practice knows how big a challenge it can be to find a vet who fits with your culture and the rest of the team. So at Peter Fenton Equine Veterinary Practice near Manchester, owner Diane Horner has decided to take a radically new approach to this perennial problem...
Offering the best possible clinical care is the top priority for any veterinary practice, but being in a position to do that is often no easy task. Behind the scenes of any business are a myriad of vitally important external relationships – from who checks the accounts to who cleans the windows...
VBJ is delighted to be joined by Anthony Chadwick – a good friend of the publication and a well-known face across the UK veterinary profession, and beyond, through his work with The Webinar Vet.
In the first months of lockdown, BVA guidance meant most practices were only able to deal with emergency cases, and work all but dried up for some. But for the teams at Vets Now Manchester, the coronavirus crisis meant that while some things changed, in many ways everything stayed the same...
Making the right choices when selling on a veterinary practice is never easy – especially against the backdrop of a pandemic that has had such seismic impacts across the sector. But there are still options for those planning their exit strategy and here Vicky Robinson takes a close look at what those options are...
Bounce Back Loans (BBL) could be a relatively low-risk financial lifeline for practices hit by the coronavirus pandemic. With no fixed interest and no repayments for the first year, a BBL could make all the difference for some businesses, but think fast as they won't be about for long...
Running a fast-growing 24-hour small animal practice is a demanding job, whatever the weather. Throw in a pandemic that shuts down society for months and that task becomes a whole lot more complicated, as VBJ discovered when we spoke to JVP at Vets4Pets Northampton, Jenny Millington...
In a three-part series, vets and tech consultants Guen Bradbury and Greg Dickens have been exploring communications, smart diagnostics and smart surgery. In this article they estimate the profession’s diagnostic tech needs in the next five years and explain how all of us can learn to select the right tools for our practice...
Advanced diagnostic imaging is fast becoming more than just “the gold standard” – it is now a realistic prospect for many first opinion practices. But what options are out there for those practices hoping to mine the opportunities on offer..?
For most small animal practices across the UK, the story of coronavirus has been pretty bleak – certainly where practice revenues have been concerned. But at Bury St Edmunds Veterinary Centre the crisis has played out differently, as VBJ discovered when we hooked up with partner Jenny Reason...
At this time of year, thoughts turn to the trips and holidays we plan to take. In the short term, coronavirus has put paid to that. But while we may not be able to travel, employees are still accruing holiday, and many are wondering how the rules will play out…
Good communication between practice and client is key to establishing, growing and maintaining a successful business. This includes all messaging and marketing, the way a practice looks, the services it offers and how it engages with clients…
A potential law change that could make microchipping compulsory in feline pets could provide valuable opportunities for veterinary practices. And with almost a third of the nation’s domestic cats not having a microchip, practices should be ready to make the most of those opportunities...
The coronavirus outbreak has brought massive and sudden change to the veterinary profession. But practices are adapting to a new normal and lessons are being learned every day, as the team as Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service in the West Midlands is discovering...
In an exclusive three-part series, vets and tech consultants Guen Bradbury and Greg Dickens will look at the way technology will impact on the areas of communication, diagnostics and surgery. Part one takes a look at what communication technology might be coming online in the next five years and how practices can learn to select the right tools for them...
The massive impact of coronavirus has left the world in a liminal state; a threshold between the established norms of the past, and an uncertain and unknowable future. Alan Robinson explains how to navigate this threshold by avoiding its many perils and making the most of the opportunities it provides...
In this, the third VBJ Lockdown Lowdown, we revisit veterinary business consultant Alison Lambert to discuss all things business – from finance and furlough to waiting time and wellness.
In the second episode of Lockdown Lowdown, Vet Dynamics director Alan Robinson offers tips for people trying to “instil order into the chaos” that coronavirus has cast our lives and businesses.
In the second episode of Lockdown Lowdown, Vet Dynamics director Alan Robinson offers tips for people trying to “instil order into the chaos” that coronavirus has cast our lives and businesses.
When Lennon Foo opened Amity Vets in Newton Abbott nearly three years ago, he had a bold vision for the way he wanted to deliver veterinary care. VBJ caught back up with Lennon to see how his practice and bold, client-centred vision was bearing up to the coronavirus crisis...
Coronavirus has brought swift, sudden change, and a new normal now prevails. Alan Robinson explains why businesses that hope to survive the present and thrive in the future must understand what these changes mean, and how to respond...
The Lockdown Lowdown is a Zoom interview series in which VBJ editor James Westgate talks to business experts to discover how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting the veterinary profession.
Climate change, increased pet travel and the incoming tide of overseas rescues means it is not just old enemies your practice needs to be ready for – new threats are on the horizon, too. But fear not, as practices have never been in a better position to take the flight to the enemy...
Vet Chris Copeman built one of the first Passivhaus homes in the UK and now he has opened its first Passivhaus veterinary practice.
As services that are subscription based become an increasingly large part of life, preventive health care plans are becoming the norm in veterinary practice in the UK. Clients ask for them, and most forward-thinking practices now have one, but it’s important to make sure your plan fits your practice...
Buying into a partnership is still a big part of the plan for many veterinary surgeons. But what happens when that plan suddenly has to change? VBJ paid a visit to Swaffham Veterinary Centre in Norfolk to find out...
Increasing diagnostic testing is good for animal welfare and pracice profits. This is a multibillion-pound market, but are UK practices making the most of the tech and tests they have at their disposal...?
Veterinary nurses provide the backbone of any successful practice, but sometimes their contribution can be overlooked. Here, former practice owner and RVN Helen Tottey explains why nursing teams must be kept front and centre...
So, you’ve been employed in another’s practice and either circumstance or a keen desire to be master of your own destiny is leading you to running your own business. Setting up a practice isn't easy, but it can be incredibly rewarding if you get your groundwork right...
Spinney Vets near Northampton has just undergone a significant refurbishment that has seen the practice double in size. Now the dust has settled, VBJ paid a visit to see if the investment has paid off...
Stress and burnout are at epidemic levels across the profession, but vets and nurses are often left to solve their own well-being issues. Alan Robinson argues, however, that it’s the practice leaders and managers who should be doing more to help banish the burnout blues...
Many veterinary professionals aspire to ownership, but becoming a leader is not necessarily part of their dream. Yet practice ownership immediately places people in a leadership role, so why don’t owners always want to step up?
In 2017, StreetVet began as nothing more than an idea. Three years later, that idea has grown into what can only be described as a phenomenon.
A growing number of US private practice owners have breathed new life into their businesses and taken a wrecking ball to others on their journey to becoming the best. Here are some of the things US vets did the past five years to stay ahead of the competition, deliver standout care and keep employees engaged...
Veterinary practice is a reactive business. As a result, life in practice can be chaotic, stressful and expensive, with many vets working far too hard for far too little return...
Veterinary practices can often be chaotic working environments without the right systems in place. Buy by introducing a culture of improvement and accountability, order can be brought to the chaos.
Tax investigations should be avoided – they are not something that many welcome or would want to endure, as they are stressful and can be costly. And if HMRC finds misbehaviour, that taxpayer is bound to receive “special” attention in the future.
The referral process can be a complicated business where the needs of patients, owners and referring practices must all be considered. Here, Ray Girotti explains why managing these dynamics is crucial to successfully performing this juggling act.
The demise of the high street is a well-documented phenomenon in villages and towns across the UK. But as VBJ discovered when we visited West Sussex last month, for some vets this has provided the perfect opportunity to put their practices back at the heart of the communities they serve…
Gathering in the Vet Times podcast booth during London Vet Show 2019, VBJ editor James … more
With increased price pressure from the internet and growing competition from corporate practices, sometimes it can seem hard to see the wood for the trees. In this, a VBJ Buying Insight feature, help is at hand in the form of one of the largest, most trusted businesses in the sector.
Dental disease is one of the biggest untreated issues among UK companion animals, so how can your practice increase the number of dental procedures it carries out? Here, Alan Robinson and Matthew Plumtree give their advice on how to drive up the rate of dentals in your practice...
Modern imaging modalities have revolutionised veterinary care, but deciding what you need, how much to pay for it and when to use it remain complicated decisions. Here, Mark Gill from Goddard Veterinary Group explains why it’s important to ensure the numbers add up...
Earlier this year, Lambert, Leonard and May (LLM) Farm Vets became the latest farm practice to join the VetPartners group. VBJ paid a visit to see how this change has impacted on one of the UK’s most highly respected farm animal outfits...
James Westgate is joined in the First Opinions studio by Alan Robinson, a qualified vet and, for many, the godfather veterinary business.
The UK has 725 referral practices, which means 17% of all veterinary sites are now dedicated referral centres or offer referral services. So, anyone thinking of entering this crowded marketplace needs to pitch their offering carefully...
James Westgate is joined in the First Opinions studio by James Andrews – a qualified … more
Alan White has become a familiar face in the veterinary sector since joining the St Francis Group almost 10 years ago. Now group commercial director of MWI Animal Health UK following its acquisition of St Francis in 2015, Alan sat down with VBJ to tell us a bit about the company and himself...
All successful veterinary practices require good leadership, but being a leader is about much more than just a title. Here, Mark John from Fenton Vets describes his journey and explains why being a brilliant boss is now more important than ever...
Deciding to sell your veterinary practice will probably be one of the biggest life choices you ever make. If you have the luxury of time, as Vicky Robinson explains, planning your sale will make a considerable difference to the financial outcome...
Practices have four months to prepare for off-payroll working rules changes that could have significant impacts on locums. From April 2020, they will have to check if locums need to pay income tax and national insurance contributions, shifting the responsibility from locums to practices.
People are built to worry about the future, skilled professionals especially. In this article, futurists and innovation consultants Greg Dickens and Guen Bradbury outline some possible futures for the veterinary profession, and suggest ways to be ready to get the most out of it...
Veterinary medicine is ever-changing. It’s true the profession has had its fair share of challenges recently, but it’s also important to not lose sight of the one thing that bricks-and-mortar practices have over online – a local community to market to...
Forget the plethora of confusing terms like “algorithms”, “metadata” or “tagging”, the same rules apply to digital marketing as the offline version. Providing you’re matching outstanding service to the needs of your customers, follow these tips and you’ll be well placed to shout about it in the digital world.
Building a small animal practice right next door to a cattle market might not seem like the best piece of logic. But for Ben Gamsa and his team at Cotswold Vets, near Swindon, it made perfect sense...
In the first monthly VBJ podcast, editor James Westgate speaks to Liz Barton, creator of the Vetsnet resource hub and co-founder of the WellVet Weekend.
An RCVS crackdown on non-compliance means the rules about when vets and RVNs can complete their CPD have changed. This could provide challenges to clinicians and the practices they work in, but, as VBJ discovered, it’s never been easier to access new learning opportunities...
Hallmarq is well known as one of the UK veterinary sector’s real sucess stories. One man who is not so well known is the company’s new chief operating officer – so meet Richard Smith...
Telemedicine has been with us for many years in one form or another, but recent developments have upped the ante for veterinary practices of all shapes and sizes – so be prepared...
Boris Johnson as PM has only made it harder to make Brexit predictions, but we must assume it is going to happen one way or the other. It remains unclear how this will impact British business, but now is a good time to ensure your practice is fit enough toi survive what could be turbulent times ahead...
We live in an increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world. This has made veterinary practice a more challenging and increasingly consumer-driven environment. But with the right support systems in place, a VUCA is nothing to be feared...
The veterinary profession has probably seen more change in the past two decades than at any other time in its history – and one man who has been right in the middle of the action is Malcolm Wright...
One of the biggest reasons given for the growth of corporate veterinary practice is that the traditional partnership model is broken. But is that really the case? VBJ headed to Didcot, Oxfordshire to find out...
Veterinary practices are under constant threat from an aggressive and constantly evolving army of bacteria, viruses and parasites. Recent surveys have also shown visible hygiene is an important factor for clients when choosing a practice – what can your practice do to tick both these boxes?
The bubble may have burst for some, but the consolidators will still pay big money for the right kind of practice. So, knowing what the likes of Independent Vetcare and CVS are looking for is key for owners looking to move their business into corporate hands...
First-class customer service has never been more important to the modern service consumer – not least veterinary clients. It’s a vital dynamic that drives any successful practice, but, as Ernie Ward explains, to get it right you’ve got to get inside your clients’ heads...
Do you really know who your practice is employing? With the spirit of the goodness of humanity in mind, it’s unlikely you have anyone bad or criminally minded on staff. But it does happen.
While we’re still in the EU, we still have to play by its rules – particularly where workplace legislation is concerned. Here, the author details a landmark EU ruling on paid annual leave.
Transforming a group of highly talented individuals into a high-performing team is a common challenge in veterinary practices large and small. It requires considered leadership, but also the ability to understand that, sometimes, the best thing to do is nothing at all.
Innovation is the word on everyone’s lips these days. But what does it mean, and are veterinary practices potentially missing a huge opportunity?
It is easy for vets and VNs to see the value of microchipping because they perform the procedure on a daily basis. But do clients see the value, too? VBJ reminds practices what they can do to overcome the barriers and maximise the business opportunities.
Few other practices better reflect the near exponential growth of the UK referral sector than North Downs Specialist Referrals. The Surrey hospital has trebled in size in its 15 years – a tale of sustained success and one that echoes a wider story…
The telephone is still the main way clients contact their veterinary practice, but times are changing fast. Online appointment booking and live chats are just the tip of the iceberg, and practices looking to stay ahead need a strategy covering all the options…
Setting up a veterinary practice can seem like the easy part when compared to developing a successful strategy for growth. Alan Robinson explains how to take the pain out of the process by following five golden rules …
Have you been promoted to head up a team, perhaps to replace someone who has left or because the business is growing? Do you feel overnight your responsibilities have changed, but you haven't had training in the skill sets you need? This is accidental leadership…
Climate change and increased pet travel have created a perfect parasitic storm for the UK’s companion animals. Old foes like fleas and endemic ticks, along with emerging threats, are putting pets at ever-greater risk – so which products and advice should practices offer to help even the odds?
Pet nutrition is changing fast and UK practices run the risk of being left behind if they don’t adapt. Significant advances in nutritional science and technology have led to improved therapeutic and wellness diets – how can your practice make the most of these new opportunities?
Many lessons can be learned by those in business from the world of top-level sport – a fact VBJ was reminded of when we sat down with the woman who skippered the Great Britain’s hockey team to golden glory at the Olympics in Rio …
Having practice staff in uniform not only enhances a brand with clients and wherever else employees are seen, it also provides a perk in that it saves employees’ own clothing from wear and tear. But, as might be expected, rules and regulations exist that surround the provision of a uniform if it’s to be tax deductible …
Wildbore Vetstop sounds like it might be a rather intriguing, perhaps even slightly dangerous, place to work. But what’s in a name? Not a lot, as VBJ discovered last month when we headed north to hear another independent success story…
So much data is available in the modern veterinary practice that sometimes it can seem difficult to see the wood for the trees. But by measuring the metrics that matter, this wealth of data has the power to transform your practice into a lean, mean profit-making machine...
One in every three small animal consults is preventive1. When supporting products and services – such as parasite control and neutering – are combined into the mix, that can add up to a vital profit stream. So, what can practices do to make the most of it?
The second of VBJ’s Fast Forward features is the story of Vet Dynamics – a veterinary business consultancy that has helped hundreds of owners ensure their practice is run as effectively and efficiently as possible.
A first opinion hospital practice on the edge of Epping Forest, with in-house CT and MRI, and a dedicated radioiodine unit in nearby Harlow, the practice has certainly branched out in recent years...
We’ve been on quite a journey – from conception, through early parenthood, to balancing work with the needs of school-aged children. But what does all of this mean for us as professionals and a service industry?
Nick White looks at how practices can grow the percentage of insured clients – and the significant financial benefits of doing so…
Stuck with a tired old building and not sure what to do next? Should you set a budget first or commission an architect? And is a new building really the answer or could you renovate for half the cost? Alex Darvill answers these questions as he reveals his secrets for creating successful buildings…
It is always a tough task setting up a new veterinary practice from scratch. But some have it tougher than others – as VBJ discovered when we headed to Merseyside to visit Village Vets last month…
Focusing on four main client contact areas – exterior, interior, vibe and virtual – could make all the difference to your practice enviornment, says Dr Ernie Ward.
Starting a new business is daunting, but help is always at hand. Alan Robinson explains the early considerations in setting up your own practice.
Running the referral division for one of Europe’s largest corporate practice groups can be a complicated business. VBJ discovered just how complex when we paid a visit to CVS referrals director John Innes at the ChesterGates Referral Hospital Veterinary Specialists.
Owning part or all of a practice is the dream for many veterinary professionals, but not everyone wants to go it alone or open something from scratch. Thankfully, there is more than one way to choose – here Tim Rayner looks at the alternative ownership options…
The explosion of computing power over the past 30 years has transformed the way we all lead our lives. It has also revolutionised diagnostic imaging in veterinary medicine and helped propel the science of animal health to unprecedented new heights…
In these days of manic corporate consolidation, it is important to remember the benefits owning your own practice can bring. So when VBJ was asked to visit an independently owned practice that is positively thriving in the face of corporate competition, we jumped at the chance.
Adi Nell and Erwin Höhn consider stakeholders’ likely responses to the shortages before proposing a revolutionary workforce planning framework.
Increasing the amount of dental work your practice performs can be a great way to improve pet health and drive revenue. Yet, without the engagement of the whole clinical team, these initiatives can often lack bite.
Liz Barton, in her fifth instalment, highlights the challenges of balancing being a practising vet and a parent to school-age children.
Successful recruitment begins long before a vacancy arises. In an increasingly transparent profession, employer reputation is a vital tool in the competition for our most valuable resource: people. This will be a major theme at SPVS/VMG Congress in January.
The vet landscape is changing rapidly, and we find the profession, and ourselves, in an economy we wouldn't have imagined 20 years ago. It's a time of great change and opportunity for those looking to sell a practice.
Medivet senior partners Adi Nell and Erwin Höhn, in the first of two articles, look at the manpower problem as a precursor to delivering a framework for analysis and a strategic plan for all stakeholders in part two ...
James Westgate, VBJ editor, visits two practices using complementary therapies as a viable alternative revenue stream ...
“There are times when we are not in control of our minds. Why? Because part of our brain has its own agenda – we are the source and the solution to our own problems” – Leonie Lightfoot.
Liz Barton discusses the issues and challenges surrounding returning to work in the fourth instalment of her groundbreaking VBJ series.
Employment law can be a minefield – especially for vets without formal qualifications in the area. Anne Harvey explains how to avoid the pitfalls.
Nuala Summerfield explains that rather than being a cause for concern, technology provides real opportunities for anyone prepared to embrace it.
While running a practice is one part of the commercial equation, getting paid is the other, as Adam Bernstein explains.
Anyone opening their own veterinary practice has to be a pretty remarkable person. So when VBJ heard about a woman who did just that in less than six weeks for £150,000, we just had to pay her a visit.
Just being good at medicine is no longer enough for practices hoping to attract and retain clients. Experience is a big priority for owners visiting and, as Simon Power explains, getting your branding right is a crucial start.
With clients able to access many sources of information, tone and nature of conversations with their vet have evolved. This can be a challenge; however, a change of approach can mean clients and clinicians leave the consult happy.
Medivet is now one of the biggest practice groups in the UK, with more than 250 sites across England and Wales. To get a better idea of how the business works, VBJ paid a visit to the place where it all began more than 30 years ago.
One of the most powerful hiring and motivational tools you have in your workplace is a job description for each employee. Good ones will help you find the right person for the job and team members focus on doing their jobs well, so it is worth spending time to get them right ...
Engaging and communicating with pet owners is essential if vets are going to administer consistent patient care and remain relevant as animal experts. Engagement begins with outreach, and outreach originates in need ...
RVNs play an invaluable role, yet are increasingly harder to recruit, and arguably harder to retain, than vets. For practices to remain successful, recognising, rewarding and developing VNs is no longer an optional extra ...
Health care plans can be a great way of protecting pets, bonding with clients and marketing a veterinary practice. But the devil's in the detail when it comes to deciding what to put in, what to leave out and how much to charge ...
After looking at the challenges around the perinatal period. Liz Barton discusses parental leave and discovering it’s perhaps not the long, relaxing career break imagined.
The automatic joining of workers to a company pension scheme – known as auto-enrolment – celebrated its fifth birthday in October 2017. On 1 February 2018, the process was finally completed, but, as Adam Bernstein explains, auto-enrolment is still a big and potentially costly issue for British business ...
There is something very British and familiar about a high street veterinary practice based in a converted red brick house. Late Victorian and Edwardian era buildings often ooze character and charm, but also present some unique challenges to a growing business...
Simon Wheeler, from Agria Pet Insurance, explains how increasing the number of clients with cover can enhance animal welfare, increase profitability and even boost well-being across the profession.
Antimicrobial resistance has been described as one of the biggest threats facing both human and animal health. But there are steps all practice owners or managers can take to keep their own house in order and help beat the bugs.
Vets and VNs see the benefits of microchipping on a daily basis, but is this always the case for their clients? Madeline Haynes looks at what practices can do to overcome the barriers and maximise the business opportunities…
Deciding when and how to exit your veterinary practice can be one of biggest decisions any owner or senior partner will make. Whether you’re wanting to put a succession plan in place, or considering a sale, a realistic strategy is needed to prevent you from ending up out of pocket.
In 1999, rule changes allowed non-vet ownership of practices – a move that has triggered exponential growth in corporate ownership. For some, this is seen as a threat; to others, it represents an opportunity. But the truth is rather more complicated…
Old foes and emerging tick threats are putting the pet population at increasing risk. Parasitologist Ian Wright looks at what veterinary practices can do and recommend to help tackle ticks and fight fleas – both at home and for travelling pets.
With a recent report suggesting overweight cats, dogs and rabbits will soon outnumber healthy-sized pets, there's benefits to be gained all round for those prepared to address this growing problem.
In the second part of her groundbreaking series, Liz Barton discusses preparing for the ups and downs of delivery and the perinatal period.
The best things often come to those who wait – and, as VBJ discovered during a rare visit to south London, that has certainly been true for The London Animal Hospital in Camberwell.
Tempted to discount? Can’t see where to tap into new revenue streams? When it comes to growing your business in the right way and at the right speed, Ernie Ward recalls he has been there, done that and got the T-shirt…
Senior clinics allow clients to receive friendly and professional advice regarding the welfare of their pets. RVN Louise Olley explains how these clinics can be used to educate owners about their elderly pets – and increase footfall to your practice.
While data reveals 57% of new graduates were female in 1994, fast forward 20 years and that disparity had increased significantly, with women making up more than three quarters of graduate output. It doesn’t take a statistical genius to conclude that in a few decades time the vast majority of the veterinary profession – at all levels and locations – will be staffed by women…
In 2016 Scott Rutherford hit on the idea of setting up a practice focused on surgical referrals with a sustainable, fair pricing structure and a commitment to open-handed dealing. This is Frank...
With the profession changing at such a rapid pace, it has never been more important to ensure your clinical staff get the CPD they need to stay up to date. Improve International’s David Babington looks at the mix of options open to practices.
Tax planning may not be at the forefront of your mind right now, but the end of the 2016-17 tax year – 5 April – is just around the corner. So, if you made a new year’s resolution to get a tighter grip on your finances, now’s the time to act – before it’s too late.
The changing gender balance of the profession has increased the number of vets who are juggling parenting/work trade-offs. Liz Barton explores the challenges and opportunities experienced by parents, employers and the veterinary sector in balancing family and vocation.
Since its first days trading from a single room behind a residential house in 1923, the practice that would become Seadown Veterinary Group has been central to life in the New Forest.
One topic that kept coming up during the research phase of the Big 6 project was how the profession could expand the market for its products and services. So, we asked our panel to discuss ideas their colleagues in practices across the UK might adopt to generate growth in an increasingly competitive marketplace...
With practices nationwide complaining of a lack of clinical team members for hire, Dave Nicol explores why this is happening, and offers some practical suggestions for maximising your mid to long-term chances of hiring the right people to power your practice.
You’ve found your new team member and are ready to draft his or her contract – but this is employment law. Ed Newbould provides guidance on how best to avoid any legal fallout.
Owning a practice is the dream of many working in the profession, but can remain a frustratingly elusive goal. Here, Whilmari Swift from Vet Dynamics explains the steps she takes with prospective practice owners to ensure they get it right.
Fire safety in practices is governed by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which covers general fire precautions and other safety duties designed to protect people in the case of a fire. Adam Bernstein explains.
Sampson Park is fast growing into a mini empire of thriving independent practices, but central to the company's growth is a flexible equity partnership model that gives employees a stake in the business.
Choosing which modalities to offer – and how much and when to invest – can be business-critical choices, as VBJ discovered when we spoke to Julien Labruyère at VetCT ...
Having a website is no longer enough to cut the mustard. Dave Nicol explains why practices must develop a structured digital strategy to turn those clicks into clients.
Cash is king when it comes to practice success – yet clients increasingly prefer to pay with plastic. Adam Bernstein shows how to make savings on card fees.
VBJ heads to Bury St Edmunds and speaks to senior partner Duncan Hole about the practice's decision to stop all large animal and equine work and become exclusively small animal.
Of all the debates hosted by VBJ for the Big 6 project, one of the most insightful surrounded the career landscape faced by veterinary professionals in 2017. These discussions ultimately boiled down to one question: whether professionally and financially rewarding careers can still be sustained in private practice.
When it comes to complementary therapy, many options are available to get to the final destination. Here, Stephen Barabas identifies the correct multimodal therapies for your practice.
Recruiting new members to join your team is one of the most crucial processes in any veterinary practice. Here, in the first of a three-part series, Ed Newbould explains the process he undertakes when choosing new staff.
On 1 October 2017, HMRC introduced a new pre-action protocol for debt claims. Corporate lawyers Paul Taylor and Sarah Carlton explain the changes and how they are likely to affect practices chasing bad debts.
A decision by the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights has brought the question of employee monitoring to the forefront of employers’ minds once again. Mark Stevens examines the implications for UK businesses and their staff.
Kit Sturgess looks at the decision-making process when prescribing nutraceuticals, reviews the available evidence and emphasises the importance of client comms.
VBJ visits Kingston Veterinary Group in Hull to talk about the hospital's recent expansion and future plans to expand the group's referral services.
RVC graduate Lennon Foo explains the philosophy behind his unique approach to first opinion veterinary care.
Do we judge clients or roll our eyes at their never-ending excuses? Are we our clients’ worst enemy? Ernie Ward shares his experiences on “pet care shaming” and explains how your team can avoid inadvertently becoming a participant.
Ray Girotti explains how being tight with standards and expectations, yet loose on how you allow your staff to achieve them, can create the right environment for teams can flourish.
CPD can be a significant investment for a practice, but if it is well planned with good follow up it can be motivational and help deliver key practice objectives, as Nick Stuart explains.
Libby Kemkaran-Thompson looks at how to make the most of two very different treatments for one of the most common age-related disorders.
Jenny Stuart explains why ensuring your staff are fairly rewarded is vital to ensure your practice runs smoothly.
A supreme court case has potentially opened the floodgates for employees to bring claims against their employers. Lawyer Chloe Themistocleous reports.
Alex Darvill looks at what comes first when planning a building project – the brand or the build.
Technology in all its forms has already proved to be a huge disruptor for veterinary practices across the UK. Staying up to date with the latest developments can be a challenge, but upsides exist for those willing to embrace these advances. We asked our panel to share their vision of this brave new world.
Veterinary business consultant Dave Nicol explains how putting the right systems in place can enhance patient care and boost your bottom line.
RVNs are a key component in the delivery of modern veterinary care; however, their true potential can often be overlooked. But, as Ernie Ward explains, expanding the RVN role in your practice will always pay rich rewards.
As the countdown begins towards the UK’s exit from the EU, Adam Bernstein asks a selection of professional business advisors what areas practices need to address in advance of that day.
Preventive health care is a vital revenue stream for any practice. But, as Nick Steele explains, it is an area where opportunities are often missed.
Vicky Robinson discusses the corporate buying bubble, when it might burst and what the other options are for anyone planning their exit.
Mark Stevens discusses a widely heralded scheme, including how it will operate and how it will affect businesses.
Stephanie Vaughan-Jones explains why the old 'dog and bone' may be one of the most important pieces of kit you possess.
Victor Chua and Nael Taher on how cost of childcare is contributing to growing problem of staff retention.
Most practices have emerged from the dark ages, when postcards and the odd phone call were the only ways of communicating with clients. Dr Ernie Ward explains how modern methods are driving revenue growth, enhancing patient care and boosting client satisfaction.
The difficulties faced by practices trying to recruit experienced vets has led an increasing number to turn to new graduates. Taking on inexperienced vets can be a challenge, but when it works, the rewards to both employer and employee are substantial, says Jenny Stuart.
Mark Colton discusses how practice teams can work together to drive dental initiatives, the form they should take and the impact they can have on the bottom line.
At VBJ, we believe well-being and staff engagement are two of the biggest issues facing … more
Susan McKay spoke to ACD Projects founder Alex Darvill about upgrading practices – and why now could be the perfect time to get started.
Alison Lambert and Mark Harwood take a look at how you can make the best practice financial theory work for you in the real world.
Gudrun Ravetz looks at how you should recommend your plan, what needs to be in it and the broader benefits in terms of practice finances in providing them.
Adam Bernstein outlines some potential pitfalls that could put your practice on the HMRC's radar for being in breach of paying the national minimum wage.
If early results from the SPVS Practice Profitability Survey are truly representative, many practices are not being run as efficiently or profitably as they could be. John Sheridan discusses.
Dave Nicol explains how watching client growth like a hawk is the real secret to making your practice fly.
Talking about money with clients is not always a part of the job veterinary professionals enjoy. Here, Stewart Halperin gives his top tips for helping your team take the pain out of asking for payment.
Climate change is having a big impact on the threats posed by ectoparasites to the nation’s pets. Here, one of the UK’s leading parasitologists, Ian Wright, looks at what veterinary practices can do to help tackle ticks and fight fleas.
Vicky Robinson discusses why it's important to see beyond the obvious ‘cute factor’ and recognise the significant clinical and commercial factors implicit in the arrival of a new puppy or kitten.
The fact we must pay taxes is a given. But what upsets many is the way they are levied, the size of the bills received and difficulties in appealing wrong decisions. Business rates are no exception, says John Hinde.
Kay Hamblin and Lindsay Brazil look at how acquiring leadership skills can benefit anyone working in practice, not just those in formal leadership roles.
The traditional dynamics of the referral process have often left clients feeling a little out of the loop, but times have changed. Here, Ray Girotti explains why it is now essential to see the client as central to the choice of whether or where their animal is referred.
Do you know a ‘hashtag’ from a ‘like’? Have you the confidence to post content on your practice social media? Elanco’s Linn Adams offers hints and tips on what social media platforms to use and content that will appeal to clients.
In the first of a two-part series exploring simple, but effective, ways to regain control of your practice finances, Alison Lambert focuses on one fundamental shift that will greatly improve the profitability and sustainability of your business model.
With competition, tighter purse strings and the wonder of the web, setting up a new practice is not for the faint of heart. Adam Bernstein looks at some of the things to think about.
Jeff Steedman explains the importance of weighing up your options and seeking sound financial advice before using pension products to buy commercial property.
Google AdWords has grown into a relevant tool for businesses to use as part of their digital marketing strategy. Brooke Wheeler explains how it has become a platform trusted by internet users and can be as valuable as organic search results.
Ernie Ward explains how the rise of antimicrobial resistance and the development of new diagnostic tests mean you could soon be spending more time in the lab.
Taking the decision to make a large capital investment will be one of the biggest business decisions a veterinary practice will make, writes Adam Bernstein.
An increase in the number of insured clients can have a big impact on practice profitability. Alan Robinson from Vet Dynamics explains how to make it happen and raise your bottom line.
Revenue in the veterinary market has remained largely static, but this doesn’t mean growing your practice is a zero-sum game. Graeme Pack and Giles Pugh look at improving compliance.
Ultrasound, x-ray, CT and MRI: these machines have helped open up new areas of veterinary medicine over the past few decades, but, for the uninitiated, more options can also mean more pitfalls, says James Westgate.
Regular unplanned absences can cripple small practices and cause considerable problems for larger operations too. But before taking action it is vital to know the law when it comes to managing employee sickness, explains Emily Chalkley.
As a practice manager, life can be a blur: a multitude of meetings, admin and customer conundrums. It can be difficult to juggle the daily challenges, let alone consider them from a different viewpoint. Yet, doing so could pay dividends, says Holly Kernot.
The last thing any practice owner or manager needs is to be asked to appear before an employment tribunal. But if the worst does happen, it is vital to know exactly where you and your practice stand, says Mark Stevens.
Deciding how much to charge for goods and services can prove to be a real headache for veterinary practices. Here, Zoetis’ Nick Steele explains how the firm’s Profit Solver tool can help.
Adam Bernstein discusses why, despite technological advances, it will always be the staff who make the difference between success and failure in practice.
Space comes at a premium and most practices have a finite amount to use when it comes to the waiting area. However, by following a few simple rules, much can be achieved with even the smallest space, as John O'Connor explains.
If you’re wondering how companies develop a culture, then you’re already moving in the right direction, as Mike Clare explains.
You may think your practice management system is already running to its full potential. But, as Nick Lloyd explains, when it comes to administration, data transfer and disease control, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
It can be easy to overlook the value of developing strong supplier relationships. Fitzpatrick Referrals’ business development manager Ray Girotti explains why it pays to work with businesses that support you.
The Insurance Act 2015 came in on 12 August 2016 and brought the most significant reform to insurance law in more than 100 years, according to Simon Brooks.
Dave Nicol explains how, when it comes to getting good outcomes for pets in the consulting room, it’s all about performance – and not clinical performance, either.
People are becoming more and more aware of the value of their data and, even more importantly, the impact if that data is misused, says Neil Matthews.
Digital media has revolutionised the way many vets and VNs fulfil their CPD obligations. Accessing learning online is often cheaper, faster and more convenient than traditional modalities. So, is there still a case to be made for event-based learning? James Westgate reports.
Verity Johnson discusses why the attributes that make for wonderfully caring individuals and teams often come with a personal price.
In a world where consumers seem to have an awful lot of rights and businesses precious few, where do practices stand when they buy products and services that subsequently fail to live up to the promises made? Adam Bernstein explains some of the do’s and don’ts of buying for business.
Dr Ernie Ward explains what modern veterinary practices can do to promote active advocacy, create value and boost credibility in the new trust economy.
Wendy McGrandles, one of the UK’s leading exponents of complementary therapies and holistic veterinary medicine, explains how to make it work for you and your clients.
Four years ago the starting gun was fired on a workplace pension revolution. Known as auto-enrolment, its aim is to ensure we all have enough income to live on when we get old. Adam Bernstein explains.
Branding has been described as delivering on a promise made. Here, Alison Lambert asks what your practice can do to ensure it delivers on its promises.
With heightened competition and rising costs, why are so many veterinary practices poor at maximising efficiency? Adam Bernstein speaks to two leading experts to ask how practices can improve workflow and avoid putting profitability in peril.
When it comes to promoting your practice online, Google’s artificial intelligence algorithm RankBrain could be a game changer, according to Bash Halow.
Building a profitable practice delivering quality care can sometimes seem like an impossible task. But clients still want the best when it comes to their pets, and most are prepared to pay a premium, says Kay Irvine.
You may have spent a working lifetime building and expanding your veterinary practice. But what happens when it’s time to call it a day? Peter Gripper explains the importance of a good exit strategy …
The most valuable asset your practice has is the staff it employs. Keep them happy and motivated with VBJ’s top 10 tips on geting the most out of your team.
A mini series of articles looking at the lack of female leaders in the veterinary profession prompted a wave of feedback from VBJ readers. Here, practice owner, vet and mother, Lorna Clark, explains how she has been able to ‘have it all’.
The veterinary sector has become an increasingly challenging environment for pet insurance. Providers, vets and pet owners all seem to be pulling in different directions when what’s really needed is alignment, explains Ashley Gray.
Huge changes have taken place in the veterinary profession in the past 15 years. Ross Tiffin revisits the seminal Quo vadis? project to take another look to the future.
Practices in the UK have, for many years, relied on a flow of non-UK vets into the country to fill gaps in available manpower. But making the most of this valuable human resource requires a structured approach and an open mind, says Luis Sainz-Pardo.
It has long been recognised people are living and working longer. RCVS research in 2014 revealed nearly a third of UK vets were already aged 46 or older. As such, practice owners across the country need to be prepared…
Dentistry is one of the most overlooked areas of veterinary medicine. Here, Bob Partridge asks why this is the case and explains how practices of all shapes and sizes can improve welfare and boost profits by taking a new approach.
It has long been understood the prevention of ectoparasites is important for protecting animal welfare and generating extra practice revenues. But with the outbreak of babesiosis in Essex and the wide range of new products available, there has never been a better time to hammer the preventive message home to clients.
The way veterinary practices communicate with clients has changed enormously during the past decade. Tech-savvy clients now expect to be contacted by SMS and email, and practices failing to do so could well be missing out in more ways than one, says Jamie Crittall
A survey conducted by Dimensional Research and published by Marketing Land showed 90% of customers reported their purchasing choices are influenced by online reviews. Here, Casandra Pearson explains how to manage these reviews to protect the online reputation of your practice.
For five days this spring, an intrepid group of Brits abroad attended the North American Veterinary Community 2016 Conference. Among them was VBJ editorial board member Alison Lambert, who explains why more of us should be making the trip.
Developments in the world of imaging technology have brought big benefits to practice – both clinically and commercially. Here, Jon Mills makes the case for portable and CR X-ray.
It's often easy enough deciding what new equipment your practice needs. But, as Adam Bernstein discovered, it's worth spending time deciding how to pay for it before spending money.
Too many veterinary practices lose out financially by focusing on the middle ground and chasing the ’average’ client. Here, Dr Ernie Ward explains how his discovery of data alchemy helped him find his tribe and create the perfect formula for a profitable practice.
Financial secretary to the Treasury David Gauke has outlined plans to transform HMRC into one of the world’s most digitally advanced tax administrations, a proposal likely to have wide-reaching ramifications, according to one taxation expert...
Kay Irvine explains how to raise your game and make sure you stay in control of practice expansion.
Marketing for veterinary surgeries can be daunting, especially when doing so via the internet. There … more
In part one, four female leaders shared thoughts on why a lack of women in positions of power exists in the veterinary sector. For part two, we went back to the same four women to ask how they think the problem can be tackled...
Discussions about retail often hinge on one simple question: clients or customers? Vets are professionals, … more
Puppies and kittens are the lifeblood of any small animal practice and those crucial first encounters really can be make or break.
Research and development tax credits are available to businesses in every sector – including yours.
Selling a practice can be fraught with difficulties and unforeseen pitfalls. Malcolm Wright shares 10 top tips to ensure the process is painless for all parties.
Women may dominate the modern veterinary profession in terms of numbers, but in many areas it’s men still holding the positions of power. In the first of a two-part article, James Westgate asks a diverse group of female leaders why they think this remains the case...
Estimates show around nine million cats are kept as pets in the UK – that’s a huge potential market. However, as Ross Tiffin found on a visit to the north-west, a cat-friendly strategy is needed to make the most of the opportunity.
Few could have been left unimpressed by a superb opening address by Alastair Campbell at this year's SPVS/VPMA Congress – whatever their political colour.
It’s baffling to comprehend how a sniffling kitten in your clinic could contribute to killing an extra 10 million people every year by 2050. Yet, that’s exactly what’s at stake, according to the World Health Organization, the World Alliance Against Antibiotic Resistance and nearly every government on the planet.
The benefits of being in a buying group have become well established over the past 20 … more
The induction is the single most important step in the recruitment process – and the most … more
A survey by HMRC on what businesses thought of the new real time information (RTI) process … more
Let’s start at the beginning and ask a simple question: what did you purchase the in-clinic lab … more
In my 26 years of veterinary practice I’ve heard the phrases “you care more about … more
According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), in 2014 UK pet insurers paid out … more
The most troubling euthanasia cases typically concern client reluctance to consent to urgently needed euthanasia … more
Compulsory microchipping for all dogs in England, Scotland and Wales will come into force in … more
Retailers understand customer experience is crucial to commercial success. They are miles ahead of us, … more
Imagine a dog’s owners have a problem with their beloved Ranger. This could be a long-standing … more
Your practice management system (PMS) is most effective when used as an information provider rather than … more
With the major switch from print advertising to digital marketing comes many avenues on which … more
Employers want to know what their employees are doing at work. From a purely practical … more
Obesity is a common condition in dogs and cats with prevalence ranging from 25% to more … more
Some exceptional things have been happening in my life recently. After three years in ownership … more
One of the more awkward affairs to follow is an ageing heavy metal band. Bare chests, … more
When you’re running your own business, it’s not good enough to just stand still – especially … more
While I am no fortune-teller, I can give an educated guess to the direction veterinary practice … more
Practice owners and managers are constantly looking for ways to improve the financial health of their … more
A record number of delegates and exhibitors are expected to attend the seventh London Vet Show … more
When you are in the middle of a hectic and stressful working environment – something only … more
Organic traffic is when visitors are brought to your site by performing a specific search that … more
We see plenty of evidence for the feminisation of the veterinary profession in our business. CVS currently … more
There is a tendency among veterinary practice owners to feel they have to do all the … more
Three companies working in different fields of pain management spoke to VBJ to explain how they … more
I was there in 1978 with all my buddies. That year marked the first blitz of … more
While veterinary practices are primarily involved with animal welfare, many now sell an increasing number of … more
With so many people using LinkedIn as a business tool, enabling individual employees to make connections … more
So you’re thinking of hiring a recent graduate, but are concerned about the risks involved. Some of … more
Dave Nicol turned his world upside down when he moved to Sydney in 2009 to … more
All veterinary practices want to be able to reach out and find their ideal clients. That … more
In the past, a successful veterinary practice would expect to generate around 25 per cent … more
When I talk to employers they often tell me there is a shortage of vets or … more
Some members of the veterinary profession who will freely admit to only possessing superficial knowledge … more
One of my favourite movie scenes is from Jaws, when the men aboard the Orca finally … more
All those working in the veterinary profession need to ask ourselves what we are doing as … more
Coined a few years ago, crowdfunding refers to the process of seeking and raising finance from … more
We spend a lot of time discussing how your practice management system (PMS) can best help you provide … more
The Microchipping of Dogs Regulations for England were announced in October 2014, and outlined the responsibilities … more
In the past, marketing could be focused on just a website. Then, search engine optimisation (SEO) … more
There was a time when the only way pet owners could engage with their veterinary … more
There are many challenges in maintaining the traditional revenue model for veterinary practices. As product … more
In part one I looked at how attracting young pets is critical for business. Providing a … more
This is the first of a two-part article that aims to help you attract and … more
Think you’ve got all the bases covered when it comes to Facebook? Think again. Most … more
A TREATMENT USED BY some of the world’s top human athletes looks set to have … more
Meeting the demands of a growing and competitive market is a challenge for many practices. … more
Dogwood Vets is based in a building previously occupied by a clothes factory. It is … more
Motivating people requires lots of energy. Encouraging positive attitudes, creativity, and exceptional client service and … more
Continuing professional development is an essential part of working life for most members of the practice team. But why is it so important to being part of a profession, and what distinguishes it from a simple exercise in bureaucracy?
MORE THAN HALF of calls to practices generate income, says telephone answering specialist firm Moneypenny, … more
Disputes over money can cause serious damage to small veterinary practices, both financially and in … more
An impending law change will give magistrates’ courts the power to dish out much bigger … more
Buying groups can be a great way to save money on a wide range of … more
PRACTICE PROFILE Blacks Vets, Hillcroft, Hall Street, Dudley, West Midlands DY2 7BT. Staff 14 full-time … more
Within 15 months, all dogs in England and Wales will have to be microchipped by … more
Latest figures from the Association of British Insurers show pet insurance companies paid out almost … more
Practices that fail to meet the expectations of their cat-owning clients could be missing out. … more
Even at low speeds, vehicles can damage people, objects and property, so making sure yours … more
• Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association figures show more than eight million cats are kept as … more
• Is your search engine optimisation up to scratch? The first step in making your … more
• The issue of pet obesity is growing in size. Almost 60 per cent of … more
• Data is often described as the ‘new oil’ and collecting this precious resource has … more
• A motivated and happy team is a fundamental element of any successful business. So … more
• For some married couples, the idea of living and working under the same roof … more
• Balanced scorecards have been used in the wider business world for more than 20 … more
In the “dark days” before the internet, practice marketing efforts were often extremely limited: the occasional … more
• If you were asked if there was bullying in your place of work your … more
• Vets4Pets’ 300th opening has underlined the firm’s position as the largest operator of small … more
• Electrocardiography has become a crucial diagnostic tool in modern veterinary practice, but not everyone … more
• Insurance is a necessity for anyone in business; the trick is to get the … more
• Every vet practice has its share of patients with “old-itis”. Better diets and improved … more
• Earlier this year, a change to employment law meant any business not paying minimum … more
• Joining one of the UK’s largest multi-site partnerships has had numerous benefits for Manor … more
• Taking on staff can be problematic. Get it right and they will work magic … more
• Pet health plans can provide the opportunity for practices to secure a reliable new … more
• White Cross Vets in Tividale opened its doors for the first time in April … more
• Veterinary businesses are increasingly having to become more savvy when it comes to equipment … more
• Most vets report receiving more appreciation after euthanasias than following life-restoring treatments. The author … more
Brian Faulkner explains how to identify and train the skills your front-of-house team needs to be effective in this crucial role.
• Blogging can be a great way to engage with existing clients and attract new … more
• Pet bereavement is a minefield all vet practices must negotiate with extreme caution. More … more
• In a busy veterinary practice answering telephone calls can be an issue, so it’s … more
• Practice management systems already play an integral role in modern practice. Appointments, invoicing, stock … more
• They’ve been treating all creatures great and small at the Swadlincote Veterinary Centre for … more
• For most there are two realistic routes into practice ownership – enter a joint venture partnership … more
• Over the next two years, the Government is to introduce new initiatives and changes … more
• Drafting stories to send in to local and regional media outlets can be a … more
• Once the preserve of human health, advanced imaging technology is an increasingly familiar feature … more
• They say the best things come in small packages. That certainly rings true for … more
• Making sure bills are paid on time and in full is vital for any business. … more
• People have been putting their faith in Canterbury for more than a 1,000 years. … more
Many practices will have some excellent strategies in place to bond a new puppy owner … more
As National Pet Month approaches, Marc explains its the ideal time for school visits, and … more
“There are thousands and thousands of people out there leading lives of quiet, screaming desperation, … more
A study by UK-based legal firm In-Deed has shown the stress of moving house can … more
In the first of our new Head to Head series, featuring some of the most … more
Sixty-seven per cent of online searches are done through Google and people looking for a … more
With the expansion of “the right to roam”, dogs and their owners have access to … more
During the past 20 years Grove Referrals in Fakenham has built a reputation as one … more
You may have the most highly motivated, talented staff and a practice bristling with the … more
Eighty per cent of dogs and cats in the UK over three years of age … more
Taking on students and schoolchildren to carry out work placements can be a good way … more
Tax and succession issues for a business are intertwined and without careful planning can leave … more
Running things your way is a powerful vision, but can be a path fraught with … more
No business is so much of an island that it can operate independently and, from … more
Qualifying from the RVC in 1986, Improve International’s founder went on to build a career … more
In August 2010, this journal profiled the recently opened £1.5m North Downs Specialist Referrals at … more
Back in April 2012 Royal Mail raised eyebrows by increasing postal charges by 30 per … more
Vets Now claims to have helped revolutionise the way emergency care is provided – its founding … more
Emotional intelligence isn’t a term uppermost in most people’s minds, but it was the buzz … more
For many, buying a veterinary practice is a hard-earned dream, but can be a daunting … more
• Peter Watson, joint founder and chief executive of Vets4Pets, has always had sharp business focus. … more
• Since the days of Daniel Defoe, people have lamented that there were only two certainties … more
• Most vets will have the exact details of all the insurance policies they need ingrained … more
• Communications company Moneypenny handles in excess of 8,000,000 telephone calls a year for very diverse … more
Microchip technology has come on leaps and bounds in the past few years – making the whole … more
It’s not every day you see a dog skateboarding around a practice’s car park. Clients … more
It’s hardly rocket science, but recent detailed research has revealed many practices are still not … more
The message may have been hijacked by a well-known supermarket chain, but when it comes … more
A PRACTICE MANAGER known for “thinking outside the box” and a practice praised for its … more
Not many practices sponsor their own local roundabout. Moor Cottage Veterinary Hospital does – the nearby sign … more
• Walk down UK high streets and it’s easy to think the country’s retail offer has … more
PET HEALTH PLANS offered by practices offer two main benefits. Firstly, they give consistent, ongoing … more
HALLMARQ VETERINARY IMAGING, the world’s only manufacturer of standing MRI for horses, has announced plans … more
Getting client communication right, all of the time, is a tall order for any practice. … more
Given just how busy most practices are, unpaid bills can easily slip off the business … more
Management of staff is an art as well as a skill and benefits accrue to … more
Cleanliness may be associated with godliness, but if a practice is found to be in … more
A recently held event, by SPVS and the VPMA, has illustrated how new technology is … more
Engaging a lawyer with specialist veterinary experience when preparing detailed business agreements is essential. Not … more
Divorce is, sadly, becoming more common and can lead to particularly awkward situations, especially where … more
The growth of online shopping shows no sign of abating. According to IMRG – the membership … more
Weight gain isn’t just an issue for humans, it’s something animals suffer from too, and … more
As the supermarkets have found, a well-run loyalty scheme can pay dividends. Veterinary practice group … more
Not many practices boast a large model of a gorilla in the main entrance – Highcroft Veterinary … more
The risk to businesses from a pandemic is rising and should be accounted for. Considering … more
Social media has revolutionised the way people do business. Sites including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn … more
Recruiting new staff is fraught with difficulties, not least because the law can trip up … more
Opened in 2010, PDSA’s PetAid Hospital in Sunderland was a major investment by the charity … more
An unhealthy proportion of people have not made a will. Throw into the mix a … more
A practice that changes its outlook on recruitment can make radical inroads to changing both … more
Despite the national minimum wage being in force for 13 years, employers are still making … more
Veterinary practices, like other businesses, suffer from unpaid bills and bad debts. The law can … more
Without training in business skills even the best practice cannot progress. Vets must place CPD … more
B and W Equine Group has succeeded in bringing together two equine practices with several … more
With the advent of modern technologies it has become critical for practices to keep up … more
Amid the doom and gloom of spending cuts and tax increases, there is some good … more
Telemedicine services have matured over the past couple of years following the upgrade of UK … more
Oak Barn Vets is a rustic endeavour that encapsulates the best of modern practice and … more
Most practices treat retail sales as a finicky add-on to their services that requires too … more
An explosion in the numbers of dogs taking part in agility clubs and competitions has … more
Wood Green The Animals Charity deals with thousands of rehoming cases every year, and the … more
Supporting the RVC in its attempts to standardise diagnostic data is an important strand of … more
Handling stressed employees should be second nature to most practice managers, but the growth in … more
The UK is an importer of overseas talent to its practices and many candidates come … more
Research into the impacts of pet insurance on owners shows the profession could play a … more
Eastcott Veterinary Hospital stands out as an award-winning first opinion practice, not only in its … more
How about using the wisdom of many over the paucity of the few business lenders … more
Large group veterinary businesses are on the rise and there is a variety of opinion about their impact on the UK profession. The author discusses perspectives and looks at some of the changes that could affect stakeholders in everyday practice.
Priming yourself to be an internet lothario – a social networker – is a necessary part of … more
HM Revenue and Customs has the power to inspect your business or personal tax affairs … more
The psychology of confidence is a complex subject, but COLIN THOMSON believes, it is one … more
Do you know the difference between skimming and odd value? If not, you could be … more
Fixed costs associated with buildings are probably more flexible than you assume. Could you profit … more
Christchurch Veterinary Referrals offers a polished service in orthopaedics and small animal surgery, and a … more
Your vaccine reminder system is a potential goldmine when it comes to health-care compliance. Mobile … more
Launching a new social network is not for the faint-hearted and even search and marketing … more
When people are grieving for the loss of a relative, friend or business partner, it … more
Most clinicians learn about business at the sharp end, but to develop your practice and … more
Public relations has many benefits – and when you are aiming to raise the profile of your … more
Retirement is no time to lose track of the value of your practice. Maximise returns … more
Reveal your practice’s hidden promise by looking in more detail at the clients in your … more
There could be any number of reasons for you to brush up your act. Practices … more
Veterinary professionals face continuing scrutiny about the quality of their work and professional judgement. So, … more
Medivet’s centre at Hendon serves eight outlying clinics and a host of other local practices. … more
Generally speaking, retaining loyal clients is much more rewarding than winning new business. Do we … more
Best foot forward at VPMA’s January congress. This year promises to build on last with … more
Your waiting room decor is vital in portraying the ethos of your practice. Too minimal … more
Your staff are the people who meet clients, care for patients and make the difference … more
Understanding staff motivation and improving lines of communication are just two of the benefits that … more
Cuattro was founded in 2006 by the industry’s leading executives and product designers, and is … more
Processing Imaging Equipment Services, affectionately known as “PIE”, was founded by Stuart Thornton, MD, after … more
Making the first step to becoming a partner or owning your own practice can be … more
Cutbacks in spending often fall on perceived non-essential areas of the practice budget, such as … more
In the rush to meet ‘objective’ standards, many practices fail to see the pitfalls of … more
Get serious with your marketing and there are valuable returns to be had. The key … more
Web commerce is the fastest growing sphere in retail because it offers convenience. So how … more
For years, pet microchips have been registered using paper forms that are lengthy to fill … more
Surveys show that technology can drive more effective communication with clients, so consider the merits … more
Today’s vets need to do more than treat animals and be polite to clients to … more
Microchipping the family pet has become an essential service these days. Manufacturers and reunification databases … more
Secure document exchange in an open format has been the holy grail of IT systems … more
Providing excellent first opinion services to the north-Nottingham suburbs is second nature at the Lawrence … more
How do you ensure your client’s continued loyalty to your services? You may well provide … more
Financial planning for life after work is too important to leave until the last minute. … more
Achieving balance between healthy pressure and unhealthy stress is all part of life in a … more
Fatherhood is one of the proudest moments in any man’s life and now the Government … more
• As practices batten down the hatches for a slowdown in consumer spending, are you missing … more
In this low-interest economy your savings can look like small change. So, before inflation sweeps … more
The art of communication is what makes your business productive, according to GUDRUN RAVETZ. So, … more
For a mixed practice to be extending its field of influence in these challenging times … more
In the first of a series of three articles, the author looks at the affordability … more
Providing referral services to your clients can be a daunting task. It’s not just buying … more
Getting to know the industry you work in and the customers you service requires a … more
Government plans to increase the threshold at which employees retire could create a real conundrum … more
A vital component in veterinary practice is good non-clinical skills, says GUDRUN RAVETZ. Give your … more
When Vets Now took a step outside its usual competency of emergency medicine and out-of-hours … more
Big name brands achieve their success by using simple messages married to emotive imagery. Pare … more
The RCVS recommends 35 hours of CPD per year, but it is still not a … more
UK specialist referrals appear to be following trends set by American private practice – more specialists, increased … more
Changing the legal status of your practice to a limited liability partnership requires some consideration, … more
Step through the main door into reception at Fitzpatrick Referrals and there is a bustling … more
VPMA conventions are anything but conventional. January’s event promises a mix of management and personal … more
Tax affairs for civil and business assets are often interlinked, so why leave your estate … more
In times of economic difficulty it is easier to question the role of veterinary associations, … more
Gauging the best lease deal for your business can be tough. Take professional advice on … more
Just because your patient histories and pharmaceutical records have never linked up, does it mean … more
Since 2005 there has been an unprecedented growth in pet insurance providers, yet veterinary input … more
The impact of abandoned dogs saps team morale in a practice, especially the unspoken issue … more
Solid foundations and an abundance of community spirit have been the making of Wendover Heights … more
Understanding your data is the cornerstone of success. Identify key performance indicators and you can … more
Changes to legislation for overseas workers came into force in April, but have you acknowledged … more
Why send pet owners straight to a specialist when you can get the answers their … more
SPVS is an organisation for all, regardless of age or experience. It includes students and … more
Transforming a rural warehouse into an upmarket referral hospital has been the making of North … more
The advent of social networks like Facebook or LinkedIn has allowed veterinary business people to … more
In small and medium-sized enterprises, cash is king. Assuming you didn’t go into business for … more
Don’t assume planning for your absence is tempting fate. A will is a crucial document … more
After all the warnings beforehand, George Osborne’s first Budget speech wasn’t as bad as it … more
The messages your practice staff convey, and the way they convey them, are key to … more
Do you really know what’s going on in the darkest recesses of your surgery? Engage … more
Expectations that are met can motivate and make us feel positive, says GUDREN RAVETZ. Equally, … more
From humble, but noble, beginnings, Mill House Veterinary Surgery and Hospital has grown into an … more
It’s all very well having a shiny website, but if no one can find it, … more
A revolution in the way fitness for work is determined aims to save the economy … more
You might think your practice is doing everything right, but are you armed with all … more
Veterinarians think they are getting their clinical messages over clearly to clients, but the reality … more
Have you seen client numbers dwindle? If so, don’t panic – opportunities can come from adversity. In … more
From idea to achievement, creating a new practice became a 12-year journey for a Solihull … more
In the last in a series of three articles to help you propagate growth in … more
The world’s economies have endured a turbulent year or so, but there are reasons for … more
To run a successful, profitable veterinary practice, it is vital you know who your clients … more
Vets often have excellent opinions for improving animal welfare, but have not always been good … more
After more than a decade working for others, Marwan Tarazi decided to branch out on … more
Businesses hope all their customers will pay on time, but the reality is often different. … more
Businesses in all sectors are looking for the next big thing to give them a … more
Many practices shy away from active medicine selling for ethical reasons. But, in the second … more
Concluding his article on a vital veterinary business role, the author offers more tips for … more
Everyone needs a helping hand now and again, and in the veterinary profession, it is … more
The practice may be able to trace its roots back almost 125 years, but staff … more
Not necessarily. As the author finds out, there are a number of options available to … more
A new breed of employees, who think they’re smarter, better and faster than their predecessors, … more
Because of the NHS, few people know the true cost of the human healthcare they … more
Are you waiting for new clients to walk through the door, or could you be … more
Dealing with clients covered by insurance can throw up the odd problem. Here, the author … more
Most practices have at least some space devoted to retail. If yours is one of … more
The first two vets have now successfully gained the Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice (CertAVP). … more
If your practice is succeeding, there might be a tendancy to sit back and let … more
INVESTORS ARE OFTEN faced with the dilemma of not knowing when is best to invest … more
It’s all very well having a shiny website, but if no one can find it, … more
In an economic downturn, one of the first casualties can be the marketing budget. Here, … more
… and how do you get the best out of them once you’ve found them? … more
THE “PRACTICE” BUSINESS model has at least one thing in common with its corporate counterpart – an … more
While not all practices have websites, those that do are not necessarily using all the … more
The swine ’flu pandemic may have put the need for proper hygiene back in the … more
In a busy few months, staff at St Clair Veterinary Group have, among other things, … more
Earlier this year, a VBJ article outlined the opportunities an insured client base can offer … more
The recession may be making it tough out there, but you can still be proactive. … more
Practices across the UK are invariably looking to ‘grow revenue’. IN THE CURRENT climate, businesses … more
If you’re considering buying a vehicle for your vets to use, you may want to … more
When the recession collided with a young vet’s practice ownership dream, a combination of optimism, … more
We’re used to recycling at home, but are we as diligent in our practices? The … more
As your practice ages and your staff develop their skills, you may want to add … more
• You’ll all be doing your best to ensure the clinical areas of your practice are … more
If you think legal obligations to staff members start on their first day, think again. … more
In an article of interest to any surgery employing locum veterinary staff, the author reviews … more
In a thought-provoking article, the author explains why UK practice – facing challenging times and dwindling … more
The Government has reassessed business rates on each of the UK’s 1.8 million commercial buildings. … more
…and do you even need to? In a barnstorming article, the author advises you to … more
Knowing clients’ needs and desires will allow you to make informed purchasing decisions that get … more
The phrase “there are never enough hours in the day” could have been coined for … more
A BBC documentary in August on pedigree dogs stoked up controversy. MARIE CARTER looks at … more
• Practice management systems have brought key benefits to veterinary businesses, but transferral of data between … more
• After more than 40 years in practice, most vets would be looking to life in … more
• Animal behaviour is a topic of increasing focus for pet owners, but many practices have … more
According to research, veterinary practices have less than four per cent of the UK’s lucrative … more
…and in other workplaces. While in the early stages, widespread reform to equality legislation is … more
“There is a clear financial advantage on both sides. Clients get a discount on health … more
In the second of a three-part series about his experiences of moving to start up … more
The end is in sight to the ban on charging for prescriptions for relevant veterinary … more
Many practices, as well as the vets working in them, don’t feel comfortable selling. But … more
Not every practice has its own hydrotherapy pool and underwater physiotherapy treadmill. The married couple … more
Charles and James Bagnall always planned to set up in practice together, but it happened … more
A veterinary practitioner with his or her heart set on business ownership has a number … more
When it comes to positive and practical approaches to growing a business, smaller companies could, … more
• An infectious disease outbreak could have serious implications not only for your patients, but for … more
• Casting a critical eye at the complex relationship between the profession and the insurance sector, … more
Health and safety is a crucial consideration for any business. At a joint BSAVA and … more
• The Park Veterinary Group was already hugely successful before undertaking the major expansion of one … more
• Many practices, like other UK businesses, are plugging staffing gaps by recruiting workers from overseas. … more
• In the second of a new series on how you can improve your practice marketing, … more
More veterinary practices in the UK are ceasing to operate as partnerships and are, instead, … more
If you are the owner of a veterinary practice, having – as well as executing – a … more
Since its launch 14 years ago, the Certificate in Veterinary Practice Management, run by the … more
It they’re carried out correctly, staff reviews can do wonders for morale in your practice. … more
When you need to up-size your practice, finding the right location can be a major … more
In the first of a new series on how you can improve your practice’s marketing, … more
Today’s modern world means that even more employees want to work flexible hours. There have … more
With vets having to assess an animal’s clinical needs, balance managerial and fiscal policy and … more
It’s that time of the year again and thoughts have turned to present buying. But … more