There’s no way around it. Things are rough right now for everyone. The only thing you can do is attempt to make the best of it. So let’s get straight to, with 10 ways to get your business through all of this fun that is the Coronavirus—and if you do it right, your business will be more functional in our post-apocalyptic world!
1. Get your business in order NOW
Before you move onto anything else, make sure you are properly dealing with the Coronavirus situation. Are your protocols developed, implemented, and clearly relayed to your staff and clients? Is it explicitly clear when people should/should not come into work? Are you making it very clear to clients that you have zero tolerance for sick people (you know, word that in a nice way…).
My point being, first of all, take care of your staff, your clients, and their families. This is a very deadly disease for at-risk populations, and it’s clearly sneaky. Two, if you and your staff are sick, you might as well not bother reading anything further, so biosecurity is extremely important for your business’s ability to make it through this unscathed.
I’m not going to repeat everything that’s been exhausted at this point, but I would recommend checking out the recommendations from US Chamber of Commerce, which list a few items I haven’t seen before. For instance, did you know there is business interruption insurance? Not that that helps now, but there will always be the next disaster.
If you have not tried telemedicine yet, I firmly believe THIS is the best time you could possibly have to wade into these scary, unknown waters. Clearly, not all (or probably most) appointments can be replaced with telemedicine. Also, you must have a VCPR in place first. I also am doubtful that animals are quite as amenable to the video exam portion as humans. BUT, I think the usage of this modality is critical in reducing your exposure to clients yet still maintaining some level of income.
There are no rules that a client needs to be standing right next to you while you treat their animal. Continue to treat your patients, but communicate with your clients via telemedicine services (or even phone!).
I’ll be honest. I’m very nervous right now. I’m a higher risk due to asthma, and my mom is high-risk due to age and health conditions. I see no reason to be putting anyone, whether that’s your staff or your clients, at risk when there are totally viable alternative options that still allow you to do your job and treat your patients.
Use this as a test run for whether you could see telemedicine working in your practice in the long-run. You might be surprised.
For more information on AVMA’s guidelines on telemedicine, click here.
3. Get creative
Do you have extra time on your hands right now? Then it’s an excellent time to work on problem areas of your business so your practice is BETTER, not the same when we all emerge from this.
Have you ever wanted to fix your business from the foundation up? Now’s the time to do it!
I’m a big fan of innovation and creative thinking methods. Start tackling some projects with a book like ThinkerToys, which was my first introduction to creative thinking, or if you want to just dip your toe in, try this one, which I learned in school:
In this free PDF download on my site, “Do the Opposite,” write down six things that you always or never do in your business. Then you randomly pick two of them and brainstorm how you would do exactly the opposite in your business. This was one of my favorite techniques in my class, as I found it extremely effective in opening up my mind to the possibilities, which is why I wanted to use it here.
Want more examples? Be sure to let me know!
Need help or don’t even know where to begin? From mission statements to client targeting to general business strategy and marketing, book a free consult to see where we can take your practice!
4. Employee empowerment
Considering a lot of us are working from home right now, and “the rules” are all messed up, I think this is a great time to focus on employee empowerment. At a time when a lot of workers are getting laid off, I’m going to suggest something controversial (because, I know, money…): keep paying your employees while they work from home. However, don’t let them off easy – they need to earn that paycheck still!
In case you’re not a tree-hugger like me, what’s employee empowerment? It’s not a
“movement,” or “granola-y.” It’s science-backed management techniques that encourage your employees to take on more responsibility (and the consequences that come with them). It’s about treating them like people with brains, who have special interests they’d probably like to pursue, and who see problems and have ideas about how to fix them. Amazingly, studies show that increased levels of empowerment amongst employees equate with increased work satisfaction and lots of benefits for your company, too!
How about we harness some of that energy now? My proposal is that you allow each of your employees takes on a project of their choice during this downtime. Truly get to know your employees’ talents and goals. Furthermore, commit to giving them what they need to be successful, whether that’s your attention, a reasonable financial investment, or strategizing along with them.
Who knows what kind of amazing projects might come out of this if you commit?
5. Get your business online!
People have nothing better to do right now that have their eyes glued to their phones and computers. That means it’s a perfect time to work on your online presence!
i. If you’re not yet on both Facebook and Instagram, sign up TODAY.
ii. If you don’t have a website yet, it’s time (I can help there!).
iii. Next, get yourself on YouTube. Start that Blog.
iv. Twitter? Maybe. This doesn't seem to be a terribly popular place for veterinary clients a the moment.
v. Figure out what the heck TikTok is. Your younger clients are there for sure.
You’ll never have this much time again to establish yourself on these platforms or as much attention from your clients!
Post about something OTHER than Coronavirus – you’ll stand out right now! What about covering animal contagious diseases? I’ve not seen a word about that so far. What about teaching clients about biosecurity in general? For their pets? We are experts on this stuff. Let’s get above and beyond washing hands and social distancing, and that doesn’t mean you need to use technical terms!
Clients' minds are open to the idea of infectious and contagious diseases like never before what veterinary education can you slip in there during this golden opportunity?
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Please, if you have any questions about anything I wrote in this article, and how you can make this work for you, please reach out below in the comments, or your can contact me via:
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