Three new clients and other important numbers

Three new clients and other important numbers

Study neighborhood demographics to get a glimpse of your practice's future.
Apr 01, 2013

You deal with numbers every day, but there are a handful of numbers that are absolutely critical to the success of your veterinary practice. Don't neglect them.

New clients

The first important number is three. You need three new clients every day to keep your doors open. Services to these three new clients will average three to three-and-a-half times your demographically correct examination fee, another essential number. An exam fee that's too low is just as bad for your future as one that's too high.

A quick Internet search will help you arrive at that perfect exam fee. First, find the 2012 median family income for your practice neighborhood. That number, without the thousands, multiplied by 2.2 will give you the appropriate average hospital transaction for your hospital. And dividing that average hospital transaction by three will give you the right exam fee.

Let's say a neighborhood's median family income is $50,000:

So a successful veterinary exam fee for this neighborhood is $37. With an $80,000 median family income, the exam fee becomes $59. What the hospital down the street charges is irrelevant.

The demographically correct examination fee is the keystone to all of your other fees. A higher family income means a better neighborhood—where, incidentally, everything purchasable is priced higher, but not unexpectedly so.

Try an experiment. Go to a chain supermarket in your neighborhood and price any 10 items that are not on sale. Then go to the same store in a different neighborhood and price the same 10 items. Just to confirm the facts, try a third store in a different part of the city. You'll find that where the median family income is higher, the exact same name-brand groceries will be higher in price—and nobody will be complaining.

Now, I realize that you pay exactly the same amount for a bottle of Naxcel that every other veterinarian in your city pays, but those who can charge higher fees because of their location and higher family incomes reap more profit with every transaction. Eureka! Now you've discovered the secret: Buy low and sell high—but appropriate to your neighborhood.