5 helpful articles you may have missed over the holidays

Must-reads

The last two weeks of the year go by in a blur.  It’s easy to lose track of the news, and hard to keep up on our professional reading. I had a little more time than many people do, so I made note of the articles that those in the veterinary community shouldn’t miss. I’m going to mention just 5 helpful articles now, but I’ll share a few more in a later post.

Making the news: Our VPI-Veterinary Economics Financial Health Study documented what many veterinarians have been feeling: That the profession is struggling, and those struggles won’t be easing for many any time soon.  You can download the executive summaries here on this website, and you should also look at the coverage the study kicked off on DVM360. Their lead story, “An Ailing Profession: Six Diagnostic Indicators,” was one of the top 10 most popular veterinary business stories and most popular among all of 2014’s stories on the website. All the articles on the lists are worth check out, by the way.

Facebook wants your money: No surprise, I suppose, but as VMD Technology explains in their article, “Must-Know Facebook Changes for 2015,” the company has made it much harder to reach your clients without paying for advertising.  Fortunately, Danielle Lambert has some suggestions to help you craft content that Facebook will deliver for free, and she also offers advice on how to make the most of any money spent on Facebook ads. I recently played around with ads on my Facebook page, and was able to reach more than 1,500 people in a tightly focused audience for less than $5.

Cone of ShameA rant to enjoy … and a voice for change: Dr. Jessica Vogelsang’s “Pawcurious” blog is always worth following, but her pre-Christmas “head-desk-head-desk” post was especially good, a rant against media entities that bash veterinarians to get attention.  “What Your Natural Health Magazine Doesn’t Want You to Know,”  will have you nodding in agreement. And speaking of controlling the message to get accurate information in play, have you checked out Dr. Andy Roark’s new YouTube series, “Cone of Shame“? I had a preview before it went live, and liked it a lot. Bet you will, too.

Compete? Yes, you can: I’ve long admired the publications put out by The NAVC,  and readily admit that Clinician’s Brief is one of my day-starters.  In this case, though, it was Veterinary Team Brief’s article on keeping more pharmacy revenue in-house that really caught  my eye. “David vs. Goliath: How a Veterinary Hospital Can Battle Big-Box Stores” offers an astute overview of why clients go elsewhere, and some excellent advice on how veterinary practices can leverage their advantages to compete. (If you don’t already have a subscription to The NAVC’s online content, you should sign up — it’s free!)

Think big(ger): AAHA’s blog “Red” is for AAHA member practices, and I occasionally write for it. This time, though, I’d like to draw attention to a post I didn’t write. Wells Fargo’s Practice Finance team writes that the market is promising for the purchase of commercial real estate, and if you’re starting a practice, you should consider buying your hospital space instead of leasing. It can pencil out not only in the short-term but also when you sell your business: You can sell your practice and still keep the commercial property to continue generating income in retirement.

 And finally, a bonus: As mentioned previously, this year you’ll be seeing the VPI brand name transition to Nationwide, as our parent company brings almost all its divisions under one name. The switch from “VPI red” to “Nationwide blue” is a big one for us, but it won’t mean anything but good news for the veterinary community. Nationwide is already swinging its considerable resources into play to provide veterinarians and pet owners with financial solutions that work for everyone, including the pets we all love.

Nationwide is already getting into the spirit of the change. Last month they debuted a data-intense infographic on pet-related spending. It’s worth looking at … and worth sharing. Click through to see it.

The True Cost of Owning A Pet
Provided by Nationwide