Loving Hands reaches $1.7 million

Loving Hands reaches $1.7 million

Jun 01, 2006

Left to right: Dr. JoAnne Roesner, Dipl. ABVP, owner and medical director; associate Dr. Karen Ellis, certified veterinary acupuncturist and practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine; associate Dr. Vanessa Lee, focused on avian and exotic medicine, and associate Dr. Catherine Byars.
"The money was not my focus," says Dr. Joanne Roesner, Dipl. ABVP, owner and medical director. This statement seems hard to believe, coming from a woman who spearheaded the growth of her veterinary practice from $1.4 million to almost $2 million in three years. But spend only minutes talking with Dr. Roesner, and you know for certain that it's true.

"The driving force in my practice is the desire to do right by my patients and to take care of the people who own them," she says. "I believe that what we're supposed to do while we're on this earth is leave it a better place. I absolutely believe that some pet owners want and will pay for excellent veterinary care delivered with an attitude of compassion. Somewhere along the line, I ended up with a $1.7 million practice."

Of course, Dr. Roesner's seemingly unending energy when it comes to caring for pets and their people sets the stage. The team at her four-doctor practice, Loving Hands Animal Clinic in Alpharetta, Ga., maintains a high standard of care and builds strong doctor-client bonds. And Dr. Roesner is dedicated to growth—for the hospital and her staff members.

Dr. JoAnne Roesner
When her practice started to outgrow her 3,000-square-foot facility in 2000, she started thinking about building. "To give the people I wanted to work with the tools to accomplish their goals—and for me to do the same—we needed more space," she says. "I saw our current facility getting in the way. For example, our quality of service declined because we didn't have enough exam rooms."

Besides the space crunch, Dr. Roesner's practice had experienced organizational and systematic issues. "I wasn't getting where I wanted to go with the practice systems in place. I felt we were overlooking tremendous untapped income because of lost charges. And I wasn't convinced that we always provided all the care that was in animals' best interest." At the time, the practice manager held the only staff-management position.

Faced with the goals to expand, grow her profits to support that expansion, catch missed opportunities, fix organizational issues, and satiate her drive to create the best practice she could, Dr. Roesner called in a consultant. She asked me to help her take the practice to the $2 million level and beyond. Here's how our efforts unfolded over a three-year period.

In 2002, the practice generated about $1.4 million in revenue. A thorough analysis revealed opportunities to strengthen the practice's foundation and opportunities for growth. Dr. Roesner and her healthcare team set these goals for 2003:

  • Cultivate internal communication
  • Continue to enhance patient care
  • Enhance efficiency and organization within the hospital to improve productivity and profitability.

We developed a business plan to accomplish these goals. They implemented these changes in 2003: