VETERINARY ECONOMICS, Nov 1, 2004 - Veterinary Economics
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VETERINARY ECONOMICS, Nov 1, 2004
Growth Bulletin
You are what you wear
By Craig Woloshyn, DVM
Your white coat holds timeless symbolism that reinforces your medical authority and recommendations to your clients.
Personnel Solutions
Is your practice a great place to work?
By Mark Opperman, CVPM
Your staff members devote a third of their waking lives to your practice. Working at your practice isn't just a job for you--don't let it become just a job for them. Share your vision for the practice and then give them the support and tools they need to make your vision a reality.
What makes a staff member stay?
By Spring Suptic
To help you think about why team members stick around, we asked Blythe Addington, RVT, why she enjoys her work and why she returned to Broad Ripple Animal Clinic in Indianapolis, where she completed an externship, after she finished her degree. Here's what she says:
Getting employees engaged
By Spring Suptic
Engaged employees are productive, profitable, customer-focused, safer, and more likely to stay with you. The Gallup Organization measures employee engagement levels by asking employees the following 12 questions:
Learn a trick from the big guys
By Mark Opperman, CVPM
Of course, companies of every size are striving to attract and retain great people. Could you adapt any strategies from these giants in the realm of great employers?
Practice Ownership
Prepare an associate to own
Set a date for your associate's buy-in, then use this timetable for a smooth transition.
Practice Tips
Year-end tax planning
By Gary Glassman, CPA
Looking to reduce your tax burden? Well, in 2004, you can expense up to $102,000 of new or used equipment purchases. A 50 percent bonus depreciation expense also is available in 2004, but it will expire at the end of this year unless congress extends the provision. Bonus depreciation applies to new equipment purchases and to leasehold improvements for those who own a practice but not the real estate.
Work that Web site for recruiting!
By Lynette Ott
Don't forget Web resources when advertising for a new veterinarian, says Lynette Ott, practice manager at Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital in Stroudsburg, Pa. Classified ads are expensive, so you want to limit the space you use—but you still want to provide potential associates with lots of information before they apply.
Do your homeworkand get estimates
By Jeff Rothstein, DVM, MBA
In the past year, I've learned that a little laziness and a lot of assuming can cost big bucks. First it was our radiology badges—I assumed we all paid about the same price for this service. But when an astute colleague asked about the going rate in our area, I learned I was paying four times more than some of my colleagues!
Educate clients while they wait
A three-ring binder in your lobby can be a valuable client-education tool, suggests Dr. Melisa Hicks of Blue Cross Veterinary Hospital in Long Beach, Calif.
Secure your practice at night
By Stephanie Slahor, Ph.D., JD
The last client and patient left, the phone stopped ringing, and the day's receipts are tallied. It may seem like time to go home, but first you need to make sure your practice is protected.
The one-question client survey
By Bob Levoy
Ever wonder if there is just one customer satisfaction survey question that could accurately predict company growth? Consultant and author Frederick Reichheld spent two years researching that question, and published his findings in the Harvard Business Review.
Looking into labor laws: minimum wages and child labor
Workers covered under the Federal Labor Standards Act are entitled to the minimum wage of $5.15 per hour. And, should you be paying that low in your practice, you can't deduct money from wages for such items as cash or merchandise shortages, uniforms, and other tools of the trade if those reductions put the employee's wages below the minimum wage or reduce the amount of overtime pay due.
Practice Management Q&A
Setting a fair holiday boarding price
By John Martin, DVM
Is it reasonable to charge a holiday surcharge for boarding pets? Hotels charge more during holidays. I want to be fair to my clients, but I also want my clients to be fair to us!
What am I worth?
By Roger Cummings, CVPM
What's fair compensation one year out of veterinary school? I'm currently working at a two-doctor practice. What do I need to know to make an educated decision about whether to renew my contract?
Keeping a relief veterinarian to your fee schedule
By Denise Tumblin, CPA
What do I do with a relief veterinarian who doesn't stick to my fee schedule?
Taking care of the team after selling the practice
By Charlotte Lacroix, DVM, JD
I don't want to leave staff members jobless when I sell my practice. Can I include a clause in the contract requiring the buyer to retain my employees?
Making appropriate retirement contributions
By Gary Glassman, CPA
How much am I expected to contribute to my associates' retirement plans? Does this count as part of the compensation my associate earned based on production?

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