So you want to start a mobile veterinary practice
Use these six tips to make a mobile work lifestyle work for you.
Shutterstock,comAs the veterinary business evolves, more and more veterinarians are considering mobile practice as an option to form closer relationships to their clients and patients. And clients frustrated with the quantity of time their vets spend with them and their pets are choosing mobile practitioners for a closer client/doctor relationship.
Here's what you need to know if you are considering going mobile.
You've gotta give 200 percent
Clients expect 100 percent more from you in mobile medicine. They welcome you into your home and they consider you their friend. They will think they're your only client and want your undivided attention. Vets fall into this trap because as they start a mobile practice they have time to do this. As the practice, they will expect the same time and attention.
Start with real boundaries
Set the ground rules right from the start of your new practice. Here are just a few of the questions you need to consider:
• What times you're available
• What times you work
• How to best contact you
• What territory you work.
Choose your friends wisely
Make a relationship with a local 24 hour/specialty center right away who will treat you as a client in how they service your referrals. A good partnership will make your clients think they're an extension of your services. The specialty centers I work with will call me about any of my cases that want their regular vet involved. Often I can help the specialist by helping the client understand that what's being offered is in the pet's best interest. My clients love that these facilities can contact me on my cell in the event of an emergency.
It's mobile PRACTICE, not mobile phone
Use a landline, not a cell phone. Unless you plan to stay a single person operation. Invest in a receptionist and a landline right from the start. Many mobile practitioners are their own receptionist, technician, office manager, inventory manager and more. Hire passionate people who want to see people and pets enjoy the benefits of mobile care. The more you can doctor the more profitable your business will be. Believe me: hire one good person to answer your phones and handle your office work. You be a vet and a networker. Your cell phone should be for your office, not your clients.
Be high tech AND high touch
Keep clients off the phone. Invest a little and save lots of time. Have your receptionist use online chat, Facebook messenger and apps made for allowing clients to seem like they are instantly talking to you or your team members. Mobile clients love access like this, and these modalities cut down on phone time.
Let your reps help
Many of the laboratory and drug companies and distributors see mobile as an upcoming trend and will help you build your practice. Call the companies you like to work with and ask how they will help! I initially got free veterinary software from a lab company and the distributor/drug companies gave me buy one, get one free on most of my inventory. These small things really helped get me started!
Dr. Lisa Aumiller owns HousePaws Mobile Veterinary Service in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey. In addition to having four mobile units, she operates a hospital for clients who want traditional care.