The unique opportunities COVID-19 has created for animal hospitals
For animal hospitals across the country, the coronavirus crisis put an abrupt stop to “pet care as usual.” Although many veterinary care centers are navigating significant challenges, this uncertain time has also created new opportunities. With pet adoptions and sales soaring, animal care centers across the US are experiencing a surge in new and first-time pet owners scheduling appointments.1 Not only does this mean an increase in care and revenue now, it also indicates that animal hospitals need to be prepared for sustained growth as a result of this adoption boom. Taking advantage of this unique set of circumstances can allow you to positively impact day-to-day operations as well as long-term profitability. Here are a few strategies to consider:
- Remodel or update your hospital
If you're minimizing pet owners’ time inside your building or staggering appointments to reduce health risk, now could be the perfect time to renovate or update your space. From a full remodel to bringing in new equipment or even just a cosmetic refresh, having fewer people allowed inside your office due to safety precautions may give you the time and space to make improvements that you may otherwise have been putting off. These updates will pay dividends for you immediately by providing a better experience for staff, pets, and their owners, but also in the long run, if you choose to sell your practice.
- Upgrade and organize existing systems
If you’re working to keep your staff busy while managing fewer appointments due to mandatory spacing of appointments, pivot their non-clinical time toward upgrading your systems to help set you up for operational success. Here are some upgrades you might consider:
- Transitioning to fully electronic records and recordkeeping
- Implementing telehealth software to help you consult pet owners both now and post-coronavirus
- Consolidating multiple operating and records systems into one holistic software
- Reviewing vendor contracts and/or renewing subscriptions for cost savings or consolidation
- Updating internal documents, employee handbook, or other administrative documents
- Buy a new animal hospital
The COVID-19 pandemic has complicated what has been a relatively seamless period of buying and selling veterinary practices. However, with the market entering a recession, this could mean a favorable purchasing position as economic uncertainty typically leads to lower prices. A venture like this can increase your revenue in the short term, and may also pay off later, should you choose to sell.
The veterinary care sector is likely to feel the impacts of the pandemic for a long time to come. However, those who act strategically now can mitigate negative effects in the immediate and reap the benefits of their investments in the future. To learn more about the financial solutions that can help you take advantage of the opportunities created by COVID-19, contact Bankers Healthcare Group today.
By Chris Panebianco. Panebianco is Chief Marketing Officer for Bankers Healthcare Group, a provider of financial solutions for veterinarians. He is responsible for marketing initiatives to support BHG’s commercial working capital loans, personal financing, commercial and personal credit cards, SBA loans, and collection management. Chris has more than 11 years’ experience in financing.
Photo credit: used by permission of Bankers Health Care Group