Why does one practice prosper and another fails?


Build it and they will come doesnt work for everyone, so whats really driving growth?

A few years ago I was disappointed when a family-run gas station near my home closed. It just wasn't turning a profit anymore. Last year a huge, corporate station with a full convenience store opened in the same spot. “That's nuts,” I thought, “If the other one failed, how's one 10 times the size going to make it?” Surprise, surprise-it's packed all the time. Here's why it worked: The oil company performed a demographic study and found that the location was right, just not for an older-style station that didn't remodel and reinvest in itself. It's a true “Build it and they will come” situation.

Photo source: Getty ImagesWhen I travel, I keep my eyes open for veterinary hospitals. I find it curious that within the same town hospitals come in many sizes and styles-small and large, new and old. Everyone has his or her own idea of success, so I won't say for sure that the large hospital is more successful, but what drives the growth of one facility versus another? It's not necessarily how long a veterinarian has been in business, because sometimes the newer practice is the bigger one. So what is it?

Sure, a lot of factors play a big role in growth and success: location, hours of operation, range of services, community outreach, customer service, marketing and social media savvy, prices and relationships with other pet-oriented businesses in the area.  But what can't be overlooked is that the leaders of growing, successful veterinary practices  have a vision of and are knowledgeable businesspeople. The owners are probably risk takers who did research about a location before building or buying a practice. They likely strive to offer extended hours, which over time pays off, as they become known for client convenience. As they grow they invest in new equipment and, in turn, are able to offer a wider range of services.

Sure, maybe if you build it-not matter where it is or who's running it-they'll come. But success is far more likely for the savvy practitioner who understands the community they practice in and who are motivated to keep growing.

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