Not long ago in a Midwestern town, the owner of Wylie Animal Hospital, a two-doctor practice, called our office for help. The caller, Dr. Rudy Wylie (a composite character based on real practitioners), was an established practitioner whose companion animal practice had always been able to pay its bills, give staff members an annual raise, and maintain its client base.
Small business owners are particularly vulnerable to the risks of a prolonged illness or disability, because they're often the business's main asset. In other words, the business's success often depends on the owner's ability to earn income. As a business owner, you need to protect both your personal and business income. And the right insurance provides that protection.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) cares about accurate classification of employees and independent contractors, but so does your state unemployment tax department. No one ever thinks he or she will get audited, and many practitioners are surprised to learn that state unemployment departments often audit more frequently than the IRS.
We're having trouble monitoring the counts of specified items, calculating an accurate budget for inventory costs, and staying within that budget. We've identified our A, B, and C inventory items. What more can we do to get inventory under control?
Financial planning early in your career is perhaps the most important thing you can do to make sure you accomplish your personal and professional goals. In fact, the day you leave school would be a great time to start planning. But regardless of your age or career stage, it's never too late to gain value from a hard look at your financial situation and advice from a financial advisor who can help you identify and implement your financial plan. Here are the essential components of a financial plan:
After Veterinary Economics published "Caught in the Middle: Business vs. Compassion" in June 2004, we received several letters fueling the discussion. One in particular, from Dr. Lowell Novy of Valley Veterinary Clinic in Simi Valley, Calif., provided an interesting solution: Start a nonprofit organization to help cover costs.
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!
Women now buy half of all practices sold in some parts of the country, and prospective women buyers are on the rapid rise nationwide. The Northeast, mid-Atlantic and the Southeast contain the largest concentration of female buyers, according to brokerage statistics, and national trends have begun to mirror the general doctor population, too.
Hospital tours are a great way to attract new clients and cement
your bond with existing ones. "We like to take the mystery away,"
says Dr. Lisa Barlow of Centennial Valley Animal Hospital PC in
Louisville, Colo. "We think hospital tours help clients feel better
about leaving their pets here."