7 Signs It’s Time to Grow Your Veterinary Practice Team

As a business owner, watching your practice grow is one of the most exciting things you can experience. It can also be one of the most nerve-racking – especially when it comes to deciding whether or not it’s time to bring on additional staff. In fact, whether you’re hiring your first employee or your hundredth, it’s a decision that should never be taken lightly. To determine whether or not it’s time to expand your team, here are seven signs that you’re leaning in the right direction.

You’ve stopped accepting new clients.

A full appointment book is great, but if you’re finding that your schedule is so jam-packed that you’re having to turn down new business, it’s probably time to consider bringing on someone new. Take a look at your current workload and weigh it against the volume of prospective business that’s coming in. If you’re struggling to keep up, hiring another vet can take some of the heat off you while also facilitating growth.

You’re losing current clients.

When you and your current staff are overworked and overwhelmed, the quality of service your clients are receiving could easily take a hit. Long wait times, slow processes, disorganization and a general lack of personalized attention are just a few of the ways your clients may be paying the price for your practice being short-staffed. If you’re noticing those long-term clients have stopped calling, it’s time to make some serious changes.

You’re getting negative reviews.

Online reviews can be a powerful tool for winning new business. They can also drive new prospects right into the arms of your closest competitor. And since 90% of consumers say they check online reviews prior to visiting a business, it’s kind of a big deal. The good news is, review sites provide an honest look at how your practice is performing. Keep a close eye. If you’re seeing more complaints roll in, ask yourself whether adding someone new to the team might help.

You (or your or staff) are making a lot of mistakes.

Everybody makes an error from time to time. But if you’re noticing that more mistakes are being made, either by yourself or by other members of the team, one glaring reason may be an overfull plate. Trying to do too much or cram too many tasks into an eight-hour shift is a recipe for disaster. And in the veterinary field, this is particularly risky – especially when it comes to patient care. An uptick in errors should at least warrant an evaluation of whether or not overload is a problem.

You need someone with a specific skillset.

This one’s kind of a no-brainer, yet a surprising number of practice owners overlook it – at least for a while. The reality is, some people are simply better at performing certain duties than others. If you’ve noticed that there are certain areas of lack, bringing a specialist (or at least someone with that particular strong point) may be the best solution. For instance, you may want to add a team member who is adept at dental care or laser therapy. This will take pressure off the rest of the staff while also providing better service to your clients.

You can write a really thorough job description.

What are the areas of lack in your practice? Sit down for a few moments and write them down. If there’s enough on that piece of paper to fill an eight-hour day, then chances are it’s time to think about bringing a new employee on board. The good news is, since you’ve already jotted down a list of needs, you’ll already have a draft of the job description to work with.

You can’t remember the last time you took a vacation.

Last, but certainly not least, is a problem far too many vets and practice owners face: inability to take time off. The truth is, your mental wellbeing is important to your staff and even more important to your clients and patients. Simply put, you cannot pour from an empty cup. If the last time you enjoyed some R&R was when flip phones were the latest thing, it’s time to seriously start thinking about growing your team.

Hiring new employees is a good sign. It means that your practice is healthy and growing. Of course, it’s also a big investment, which can make many practice owners apprehensive. By knowing what signs to watch for, you’ll be better able to make a more informed business decision so you can hire when the time is right and leverage the power of a growing team to propel your practice forward.

Need some help? That’s what we’re here for! Contact us to find out how we can help you build your dream team today!