Recession depression


Bailout. Downturn. Credit freeze. Ugh. I'd rather not think about the poor economy. But as much as I hate to admit it, the ailing market matters to me, to you, and to your veterinary practices. The difficult part is figuring out why, or, in other words, what it means for your personal and professional financial stability.

Wait. Stay with me here. I realize you might be tired of hearing about all this—I know I am. But team members are being affected and many are concerned about their fiscal futures. Take a look at these results from the September survey:

  • Have you personally had to cut back on expenses? 86% Yes

  • Has your practice been affected by the economic slowdown? 76% Yes

  • Have your clients been affected by the slowdown? 94% Yes

  • Are you worried about the financial situation at your practice? 57% Yes

Now for the bright side: Just 10 percent of survey respondents said their practices have laid off employees as a result of the sluggish economy. This is good news for you and for pets. It suggests that even though people's finances might not be what they were a year ago, pets still need top-notch medical care—and your clients know it.

Kerry Hillard Johnson

So how does this affect you? By the sound of it, the current state of things will continue for a while. Most of the financial experts who work with veterinary practices agree that the profession will hold up relatively well. However, they acknowledge that you might feel a pinch.

To protect your own pocketbook, shop smart. (Note to self: Hold off on that new TV.) Also try to protect the practice's profits by working efficiently and letting clients know how valuable your services are to their pets' health.

And if the recession—or whatever we're supposed to call it—starts to get you down, remember this: People welcome dogs, cats, ferrets, cockatiels, and pets of all stripes into their homes. They love them like children. That won't change no matter how many times we hear the words bailout, downturn, and credit freeze.

Kerry Hillard Johnson, Editor

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