Roaring against the recession

Roaring against the recession

Practitioners in Michigan say their troubles are just the beginning of what the profession will see.
Aug 01, 2008
By staff

Illustration by Marci Roth
Every month, a group of Michigan practice owners known as the MOMs group gathers in a private dining room at the Loon River Café and Restaurant on the grounds of the Best Western in Sterling Heights, Mich., just outside Detroit. Not exactly the glamorous setting you might imagine for a meeting of some of the most successful, longest-practicing veterinarians in the area. But the food's good and the space quietly accommodates a large group.

At a recent meeting, the Macomb-Oakland Managers (MOMs) discussed the hard economic times in Michigan. One owner said he'd seen a 14 percent drop in client visits in the first quarter of 2008. These practitioners shared their concerns freely, not worried about dishing too much information to their competitors. They were there to share ideas and strategies for success with trusted colleagues. They need each other.

Practice revenue decline
Why? For one, the Michigan economy has tanked. Many practices are financially flat or revenues are sharply declining. Owners are laying off team members. And they need all the help they can get in dealing with these challenges. "We share ideas about efficiency and cutting out the fat," says Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member Dr. Jeff Rothstein, MBA, who owns nine practices in the area. "You have to be resilient and look for ways you can cut back."

What clients cut back on
What's more, these practice owners say the Michigan economy hasn't hit bottom yet—things could get worse as the region continues its slow decline. And the rest of the country is next, they say—Michigan is a barometer for the entire United States. So where does your practice stand?

What practices cut back on

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