The Cases of Diverting Discount Disaster
This practice felt “busier than ever” yet practice revenue was down 2%. A look at their unique client visits proved that they were seeing more clients, yet the money just wasn’t there from this extra work.
A discussion with practice management consultant, Brenda Tassava, CVPM, revealed that the practice was discounting exams heavily to compete with the local low-cost vaccine clinic. This also seemed to be boosting their spay/neuters.
She noted that the practice was at risk from having an unusually high percentage of revenue from drugs/medications and an unusually low percentage from exams – this puts them at risk from Internet Rx and Big Box retailers that can easily steal this revenue stream from them.
There is no quick fix here, but Brenda advocated that they re-visit the practice Mission and Vision to determine what they want and how to they are going to get there. It seems the staff is maxed out, so growing the practice by discounting and increasing the volume of work will not be a solid, long-term solution. The owners need to ponder on viable ways to grow: expand hours, hire more staff, hire another doctor, add exam rooms, add services, re-position themselves in the marketplace, etc. Once a common vision is in place for what they want and how they are going to get there, they should be able to move away from heavily discounting their professional services and grow into their new strategy.
Planning is well underway. The practice is developing new strategies for both attracting new clients and providing quality service to their standards of care, without heavily discounting professional fees. The added bonus: a team that is not overwhelmed by workload will deliver on these strategies.
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