How to find out about the practice's finances.
There's a chance that you don't know much about your practice's monetary situation. In fact, 48 percent of owners don't tell their employees about the numbers, according to the September 2008 VetMedTeam.com survey. "A lot of veterinarians are scared to share financial information," says Mark Opperman, CVPM, owner of veterinary consulting firm VMC Inc. in Evergreen, Colo. "They're afraid people will think they're getting paid too much and team members are getting paid poorly."
When you and your team members can't see the scoreboard, you don't know how you're doing. "How well would a football team play if nobody knew the score until after the game was over?" Opperman says. But barging into the owner's office and demanding to know the financial details might get you benched.
Instead, ask the owner if you can schedule a 15-minute meeting about how you can help improve the practice's profitability. During the meeting, explain that you understand some financial information, such as salary amounts, is sensitive. Then ask whether you might be able get a look at some of the less delicate figures, such as average client transaction, in order to get a better feeling for where you should focus your efforts. The owner should appreciate your dedication to the business's health and tell you what you need to know.