Opening a vet clinic may not be the same as establishing a tech company. However, vets can learn a lot from the mindset of entrepreneurs who are running fast-growing tech startup companies. Startups run in an incredibly fast-paced environment and are often under pressure to generate funding, retain clients, and compete with other companies in the market.
In the same way, vets running a startup are also under pressure to efficiently operate their practice and ensure that they can offer the best services while staying competitive in their field. Here are some tips that vets running a startup vet practice can learn from.
1. Research the Vet Industry
Unfortunately, some vets would jump the gun directly and not invest time in researching the vet industry. If you want to be in this practice for a long time, you need to be familiar with the industry and updated with the latest trends. This is especially important now that the industry is dealing with some issues brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. One of these issues is the shortage of staff.
Since the start of the pandemic, several reports have revealed that startup vet practice clinics are finding it hard to hire new staff as the pool of potential hires has dried up due to stress, wellbeing, and lower wages, which are all a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Independent vet practices have all struggled to fill in multiple vacancies across various aspects of the industry, with some even using “unprofessional headhunting practices” to fill in their rosters.
When doing your research, try to gather as much information about the vet industry in your area as possible. Are there any other vet practices nearby? How will you be different from the rest? You will find it challenging to compete in the existing vet practices that are already accommodating to the needs of the other clients in your area.
2. Getting Your Company Values Right
Your values are your company’s best asset. Not only do they tell potential clients what your organisation believes in, but they also remind your staff of your preferred way of delivering service and achieving outcomes. Unfortunately, many startup vets find it hard to define their values. Sure, values support the company’s vision and help shape its work culture, but what does it mean in a practical sense?
Company values can refer to a company’s behavioural guidance. They are the principles and beliefs that offer a cohesive vision and define your vet practice. It clearly explains who you are as a company and gives your potential clients an idea of the kind of business that you run. In essence, your values help you navigate through challenging times and prosperous periods. As a result, your values influence the experience of your staff, as well as your clients.
By making your values known to your clients, you will have a steady pipeline of loyal and like-minded customers who can identify with your values and jump at the chance to use your services over other vet practices.
3. Use the Best Technology
As a vet professional, computerisation is an essential component of your practice. Whether your practice involves working with equine or large animals, or companion animals, you should fully embrace the value of technology if you want to compete with others in the industry.
Suing the best technology can benefit your practice in many ways. It can help improve patient communication, enhance diagnostic potential, and develop business functionality. Software integration can also help minimise error and manual labour, boosting productivity and improving patient care quality.
As technologies continue to advance the level of care that vets can provide to their patients, accessibility and affordability have allowed a more widespread integration into vet practices. Diagnostic lab equipment has made it easier to acquire and maintain, providing more immediate results and integrated seamlessly into electronic patient charts. Laser and laparoscopic surgery offer less invasive procedures with shorter recovery time, while diagnostic imaging like CT scan, MRI, and ultrasound allows earlier diagnosis and provides baselines before and aftercare.
Over the past few years, the veterinary practise has undeniably suffered from a staff shortage. So, how can startup vet practice find qualified professionals who can offer the best services to their clients and pets? One solution is to use vet recruitment agencies.
Getting the right staff is crucial before you startup vet practice’s success, and the veterinary recruitment specialists can help you with this. They can save you time and money by matching you to qualified candidates to fill your job openings. The specialists can look for suitable candidates and screen them to ensure they are most qualified to take up the role. Recruitment agencies use different methods in finding eligible candidates. Some will get you in touch with the best veterinary schools, while others will advertise job openings and cold call professional vets within your area.
Another solution to address the shortage of staff in the vet industry is to take locum vets before hiring for permanent roles. They are veterinarians who can work part-time and temporarily fill in the role of regular veterinarians.
5. Training Staff
Staff training and development are essential for the success of any startup company in any industry. It’s particularly crucial for businesses offering professional services like a veterinary practice. The staff can use the knowledge and skills they acquire from training to provide the best services to clients, leading to your overall success.
Unfortunately, many vet practises invest little time or effort in training their staff, especially non-veterinary support staff. Staff training should apply to everyone. In fact, you must also train nonclinical employees in health and safety and animal care. If your team is well trained, it will be easy for you to navigate through business challenges.
Training staff can also help improve retention. Remember that staff loss can have a financial impact on your business. A well-trained staff would be more interested in staying since they feel valued and appreciated. Offering your staff proper training can also result in enhanced customer satisfaction outcomes, better teamwork, and improved staff relationships, leading to a happier workplace.