Moving on ... down

Moving on ... down

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Jan 01, 2013
By dvm360.com staff

Will I lose clients when I move to a leasehold 10 miles away? How do I avoid it?

The question isn't whether you'll lose clients, but how many, says Dr. Jeff Rothstein, MBA, a Veterinary Economics board member and president of the Progressive Pet Animal Hospitals and Management Group in Michigan.

"Although I don't know the reason you're moving or how long you've been in practice, 10 miles is a long way to move," Dr. Rothstein says. "In my experience, in suburban areas, clients don't like to travel more than 3 to 5 miles to their veterinarian. And you have to ask how many clinics will they pass on the way to your new one?"

The only way to minimize your loss is through great communication, Dr. Rothstein says. Publicize the move far in advance. Play up the advantages, whatever they are: nicer facility, more space, extended hours, better parking, advanced equipment, safer location, etc. Offer a gift or a discount when clients visit the new location for the first time. Throw an open house. And put your reminder system to use with personal phone calls. Cultivate and strengthen the relationship you have with clients, and they'll be more likely—but not guaranteed—to trek to your new location for their veterinary needs.

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