May 21st, 2013 by Mark Olcott
In my next two posts, I’ll be talking about networking as it pertains to veterinarians. Like with any well-planned marketing campaign, successful networking is first and foremost about learning what is important to other people. What is their passion? How do they define success? What projects are they working on right now? What parts of your job do you wish you could spend more time on? Find out the answers to these kinds of questions and you’ll be surprised at how far people are willing to go to help you.
Developing a large and vibrant professional network is critical not only for professional growth, but also for career advancement. With veterinary supply at an all-time high, this is more important now than it has ever been. The days when a veterinarian only changed jobs once or twice in 40 years are fading into the rear view mirror: interests change, economies sour, and life goes on. The time to start looking for your next job is before you actually need it. Read the rest of this entry »
May 16th, 2013 by Eric Leins
The human eye is a powerful tool. Its retina alone has approximately 6 million cones and 120 million rods. It’s no wonder we hear people often say things like, “I’m a visual learner,” and “I think visually.”
And that’s why the social medium platform called Pinterest has reached 50 million users in just two years. Pinterest is the ultimate visual medium, where users “pin” images of things they find online to virtual boards. Users then share those boards with other users, tipping one another off to recipes, clothing, specials, and basically anything they like.
Read the rest of this entry »
May 14th, 2013 by Peter Weinstein
Why is it that veterinary hospital projects never get off the ground? Let me know if this hits close to home:
You decide you want to change something, add something, or take something on. You mull it over, discuss it, analyze it, and finally agree to take on the project. After a period of analysis paralysis, you finally pass it on to somebody else. Read the rest of this entry »
May 9th, 2013 by Elyse Phillips
Ugh, spring cleaning is exhausting at my house, but the feeling of sitting in my sparkly fresh home when it’s all over makes it worth it! I should tell you that I’m slightly obsessed with cleaning “tips and tricks.” Like yesterday when I used vinegar to get ink (from a pen my husband left in his pocket) out of my son’s favorite PJs! In the spirit of spring and to honor my obsession with cleaning tips, I’d like to share some quick ways to spruce up your website content.
Just like you empty your pantry of food that has expired, it’s important to remove old and expired content from your site.
- News items—Delete announcements like food recalls, but keep informational news that might be useful in the future. TIP: If you find yourself referencing a news item often, consider adding that item to your website.
- Services—Delete obsolete services. TIP: Consider keeping educational information if you refer to a specialist or feel that the recommendations are important.
- Staff—Delete any staff no longer with your hospital. TIP: Think about how this person’s departure affected the hospital and adjust the content accordingly.
- Promos—Nothing makes your website look dated faster than a New Year’s promotion in June, so be sure to deactivate old promos and coupons. TIP: Deactivating, rather than deleting, will allow you to use these promos again next time without starting from scratch.
Read the rest of this entry »
May 7th, 2013 by Kelly Baltzell, CEO
Bob and Mia were 11-year-old Himalayan cats that were rescued from a shelter when they were kittens. They were inseparable. Mia once got stuck under a deck, and Bob guarded the hole and howled until their owners found her. When Mia became very ill, faithful Bob held vigil next to her until she recovered. Bob’s family later made the agonizing decision to put him down. Mia soon realized that Bob wasn’t coming back, and her behavior changed dramatically. She spent frantic hours mewing loudly, stopped eating her usual amount of food, and avoided contact with her human family members. Her owners weren’t sure if she was grieving or reacting to sadness in the home.
Read the rest of this entry »
May 3rd, 2013 by William Lindus
Managing a successful blog can be one of the most important decisions that your practice will ever make. A well-established blog can position your clinic as an expert on pet health topics, which will help build bonds with existing clients and encourage potential clients to pick up the phone. Did you know that a blog can also help your website’s Search Engine Optimization performance? This means that a fresh, well-maintained blog will help drive traffic from Google searches to your website.
While there are several techniques you can employ with your blog to help make your web presence shine, there are four major pitfalls that every veterinary blogger should avoid.
Read the rest of this entry »
May 1st, 2013 by Peter Weinstein
The headlines and phone calls continue to focus on the pharmaceutical component of the veterinary world. Whether it is the re-directing of Super-Products (Flea/Tick, Heartworm, Pain) or the online pharmacy world of PetMedExpress and their American and Canadian brethren or the brick and mortar challengers of Costco, Walmart, CVS, Walgreen, the small animal veterinary pharmacy will NEVER be the same.
For as long as I can remember, the pricing of veterinary pharmaceuticals never had ANY science associated with it. For that matter, I’m not sure the pricing of veterinary office calls had any science behind it. I remember opening my practice in 1989 and the suggested cost for an office call was 100 times the price for a postage stamp ($0.25). So my initial office call was ….ta da $27.00. I didn’t want to be ‘average’. Read the rest of this entry »
April 24th, 2013 by Mark Olcott
The idea of allowing veterinary students to pick an area to focus on while in veterinary school is not a new one. When I was in vet school at Cornell in the early ‘90’s, we didn’t track but other schools, like Colorado State, did.
At the time, it was easy to see both sides of the argument. Those in favor of tracking believe that, for example, the city girl from Denver who has no interest in becoming an equine veterinarian would be better served by spending as much time in small animal medicine as possible. While she would need to learn some very basic information about non-focus species (like the fact that cows are ruminants but not necessarily what an LDA was), her future lay elsewhere. Read the rest of this entry »
April 17th, 2013 by Peter Weinstein
It’s 2013. It seems like only yesterday, television had 3 channels; FM radio was the new thing; a web was spun by a spider; and electric cars were something out of futuristic TV show like the “Jetsons”. In 1973, I started to volunteer as a veterinary hospital in Port Washington, NY. How cool was that?
People would come in with their pets to see the doctor; get their pets their exam and vaccinations, get their rabies certificates, get their pet’s fixed, etc., etc. And people were happy. Pets were happy. And the doctors seemed to be doing pretty well financially.
Fast forward to 2013–to almost any small animal hospital in the country. People come in with their pets to see the doctor; get their pets their exam and vaccinations; get their rabies certificates; get their pet’s fixed, etc., etc. And people seem happy. Pets seem happy. And the doctors seem to be in suspended animation. Doing it the same way in 2013 as they did in 1973.
The world has changed. Why not veterinary medicine? Because, to quote George Bernard Shaw, “Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” Read the rest of this entry »
April 10th, 2013 by Mark Olcott
I’m sure most of you have read the recent article in the NY Times that had to do with the increasing difficulties facing new veterinary graduates. (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/24/business/high-debt-and-falling-demand-trap-new-veterinarians.html?ref=veterinarymedicine&_r=0). I, like many of you, dreamed of being a veterinarian from a very early age, but between vanishing job prospects and student loan burdens, it’s clear that new graduates are facing a very different profession than the one I entered in 1995. I came away from this thought-provoking article with two main thoughts that I’d like to discuss here.
First, I believe the saddest part of this high debt/flat income story is that it reinforces that the financial awareness of the average American is very low. While many veterinary schools are trying to better educate their students to the economic realities of veterinary medicine, much remains to be done. Every high school and college student, no matter what their career aspirations, must decide for themselves if spending 8 or more years of college and incurring mid-six figures in student debt will enable them to find the kind of job necessary to pay off those loans and have enough left over for a decent life. Read the rest of this entry »