'Profit' is not a dirty word—or is it?

'Profit' is not a dirty word—or is it?

You can't run a practice without money. But it's not what you're all about, either.
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Apr 01, 2009

The first complaint came in to my boss's boss (of course). A Veterinary Economics reader left an irate message about our February cover on her voice mail, and she forwarded it on to me. Huh, I thought after listening to it a couple of times. Can't please everyone.

The second complaint was left at the Advanstar booth during the Western Veterinary Conference. An attendee cornered one of our ad-sales reps and gave her an earful about the same cover, which she passed on to me. Huh, I thought. Maybe it was the same person who called our office.

The third complaint came in the form of a letter to the editor and more or less repeated what the first two people told us Huh, I thought after reading it. We must've struck a nerve here.

Interestingly enough, I also heard from another doctor who said how much he'd appreciated our February cover story, "Pearly white profits." He called it "comprehensive and advanced—but also basic. Just what we need to hear right now."

When people ask me what this magazine is all about, I tell them we try to help practitioners be successful without selling their souls. And let me tell you, it's a delicate balance, as this recent round of feedback illustrates. For the vast majority of you, money is not your primary motivating factor; it's a means to an end—helping pets live long and healthy lives. If you could achieve this some other way than charging clients for your services, I bet most of you'd do it in a heartbeat. The same goes for your team members.

And here we are, a magazine dedicated to ... money. How do we enable you to keep your compassionate, dedicated souls intact and still fulfill our mission of providing the tools to help you run profitable practices? Because, after all, profit is what enables you to continue to offer your compassionate, dedicated services.

Fortunately, much of the answer lies in the simple statement that good medicine is good business. Regular physical exams, thorough diagnostic workups, wellness screenings, dental care, comprehensive parasite control, and mandatory pain management are just a few of the elements that are in pets' best interest and also help drive your income. Charging appropriately for these services, communicating to clients effectively about value, and cultivating a passionate team are all part of the same package.

Some of you will agree with our approach; some of you won't—we get that. We don't apologize for our mission statement, but we stand by with openness and a desire to learn from you. And we absolutely love it when something we publish sparks a dialogue, even if that dialogue causes us to flinch a little. So please, bring on the phone calls, stop by the booth, write us letters, and post your thoughts on our Community message board. We promise to listen, and we promise to keep doing the best for you that we possibly can.

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