Should You Hire a Practice Manager?
At some point during just about every veterinary practice owner’s career, the topic of hiring a practice manager inevitably comes up. The fact is, the busier and more successful your practice becomes, the more the need to bring on additional help comes into play. Having a practice manager can help take some of the pressure off you so you can focus on patient care and client relationships, but it’s not a good fit for everyone. If you’re in the process of making this important business decision, here is some info that might help.
What can a practice manager do?
Practice managers tend to take care of the business side of veterinary clinics. They’ll handle as much as you feel comfortable with them handling, from balancing the books and managing staff to implementing policies for employees and clients to keep things running smoothly. Carrying the burden of all of these necessary tasks while also trying to manage patient care can be nothing short of overwhelming. A practice manager can relieve this burden and free you up to focus on what you’re passionate about.
Benefits of Hiring a Practice Manager
As mentioned, hiring a practice manager isn’t for everyone, but those clinics that have gone this route cite a number of benefits they’ve achieved as a result, including but not limited to:
- Improved productivity and efficiency – Practice managers are skilled at wearing many hats and will focus on developing and implementing policies and procedures to improve how the practice is run. As a result, employees have a clear idea of what’s expected of them, team members work better together and the practice as a whole operates in a more streamlined and professional manner. This can lead to higher patient satisfaction and retention, which means a better bottom line.
- Higher staff morale – When employees know where they stand and have a structured environment in which to work, they will feel more confident in performing their job duties. This generates a much higher degree of employee satisfaction, which in turn translates to improved client care. In other words, with the right practice manager, everyone wins.
- Greater focus on practice goals – A practice manager will work with the practice owner to develop specific goals for the future, such as increased revenue or growth. A plan will then be created and implemented that will outline each employee’s role in working toward those goals. By leaning on the practice manager to stay on top of this important business activity, the practice owner can be confident that while he or she focuses on patient and client care, the business will remain on the right track to success.
Asking the Right Questions
If you’re still unsure about whether hiring a practice manager is the right choice for you, asking the right questions can be helpful in making a more informed decision. Start by answering the following:
- Do you have formal, written policies in place?
- Are your employees clear on exactly what’s expected of them?
- Do you struggle with things like collections or paying the bills on time?
- Is your practice adequately organized for optimal patient care?
- Do you feel overwhelmed and stressed out all or most of the time?
Your honest answers to these questions can help you determine whether you could benefit from hiring a practice manager. The last question to ask is whether or not you are comfortable turning over some of the control and power to someone other than yourself. This is, perhaps, the biggest hurdle practicing vets who are also practice owners have to overcome. Weighing the benefits above and being honest about your struggles, the needs of your practice and the potential opportunity having an additional set of helping hands could provide will ultimately be the deciding factors.
Ready to take the plunge but unsure where to begin? Our experts can help you find the perfect addition to complete your Dream Team. Contact us today to get started!