Tough economic times or not, saving money in your practice is always a good thing. So think outside the box and use these strategies to cut costs.
Barter. Are you having drainage problems in one of your clinic’s sinks? Perhaps one of your clients is a plumber and would be willing to trade his services for free or discounted veterinary care. Bartering networks like Itex, the National Association of Trade Exchanges, and the International Reciprocal Trade Association can help you get started. To avoid any legal issues, when filing your taxes, be sure to declare any services or products you receive as income.
Use group purchasing. Assuming you have a cordial relationship with your competitors, try teaming with other veterinary clinics to purchase drugs and supplies in bulk. You can often score great discounts from suppliers eager to make a large sale.
Stop paying for things you can get for free. If your employee break room has a five-gallon water jug, you’re probably wasting money by ordering refills. Instead, install a filter on a faucet and fill the jugs yourself. This will also save you the hassle of coordinating water shipments.
Change your light bulbs. You probably already know about the savings you can see by switching to energy-saving light bulbs. So why haven’t you done it yet?
Go paperless. From paychecks to patient records, the less paper you can use, the better. If you’re not ready to go completely paperless, start small. For example, instead of sending out client reminders through the mail, set up an e-mail list to reach them electronically.
Give more vacation days. Scraping together money for holiday bonuses? Instead of cash, offer additional vacation days for the upcoming year. It won’t help with holiday spending this year, but your employees will thank you later when they have an extra day or two to spend on the beach.