If you’re looking to increase business at your equine veterinary practice, consider increasing your fees. Yes, you read that right. Low prices actually create the impression that your practice is second-rate, says Denise Tumblin, CPA, a Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member and president of Wutchiett Tumblin and Associates in Columbus, Ohio. To combat this, you need to get your pricing in line with the value you offer.
Not convinced? In Benchmarks 2010: A Study of Well-Managed Practices, Tumblin shares a story about how one equine doctor discovered this fact firsthand—on accident. This practitioner didn’t enjoy performing prepurchase exams—the time and effort he put into them were far greater than the price he charged, Tumblin says. So he decided to double his price, expecting that clients would seek the service elsewhere. To his great surprise, his strategy had the opposite effect.
“Clients assumed that since he charged the most, he was the best,” Tumblin says. “Client demand for his prepurchase services grew. And because he was now being paid commensurate with the time and effort he expended, his enjoyment in providing prepurchase services grew.”
Moral of the story: Clients’ spending decisions are influenced by a host of factors besides cost. Horse owners are often willing to pay a higher price if they perceive they’re getting more. So go ahead and double your prices. Just make sure you deliver on client expectations.
Get more gems and advice from Tumblin: Pick up Benchmarks 2010: A Study of Well-Managed Practices.