Practice size is not an indicator of business issues, survey shows

As a practice manager, do you sometimes think the grass would be greener if your practice was smaller—or larger? A survey conducted by the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association (VHMA) suggests size doesn’t matter.

In fact, it’s the seriousness of the issues, rather than the types of issues, that is the differentiator.

The survey, which included 724 respondents, was conducted at conferences sponsored by American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), North American Veterinary Conference (NAVC), and the Western Veterinary Conference (WVC). Results were reported on the VHMA website in June.

Survey findings include:

  • Generally, medium practices feel the best about their practice’s current conditions (85%), followed closely by small practices (84%), and large practices (78%).
  • Nearly 80% of small and medium practices feel they are successfully retaining staff. (Only 65% of large practices felt that way.)
  • When asked if they were happy with their practice’s size, 100% of large practices were. (Of medium practices, 87% were, and for small practices, 71% were.)
  • Adequate-to-weak ratings for all practices, regardless of size, were in the areas of financial management, inventory management, and, to a lesser degree, medical records.
  • Training and certification are the top opportunity areas for all practice sizes.
  • The top two concerns across all practice sizes are, in order of priority, the economy and competition.
  • Practices struggle with common issues; however, large practices feel they perform better in the areas of benefits, and marketing and advertising.

A formal report on the survey results will be published in the fall of this year.

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