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.
Illustration by Marci Roth
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.
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."
Practice revenue decline
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 clients cut back on
What practices cut back on