I'm really excited about this episode because it's something that's really close to my heart. We're going to be talking about how economic challenges shouldn't hold you back from pursuing your passion for animals and veterinary medicine.
I've been in the veterinary industry for a while now, and I know firsthand how tough it can be to start and grow a successful veterinary practice, especially in today's economic climate. But I truly believe that with the right mindset and strategy, it's possible to thrive and create a practice that not only supports you financially, but also allows you to make a real difference in the lives of animals and their owners.
In this episode, I'm going to be sharing some of my top tips and insights for overcoming economic challenges and building a successful veterinary practice. We'll be talking about everything from developing a strong business plan to leveraging digital marketing and social media. There are plenty of strategies you can use to take control of your practice and steer it towards success.
I always say that it's important to be the captain of your own ship and take charge of your practice's future. So if you're ready to overcome economic challenges and build the practice of your dreams, be sure to tune in to this episode of the Veterinary Marketing Podcast. I can't wait to share my insights with you!
Brandon Breshears (00:00:01) - Welcome to the Veterinary Marketing Podcast, where it's all about how to attract, engage, and retain clients to your veterinary hospital using digital marketing. My name is Brandon Boshears and welcome to episode 250 of the Veterinary Marketing Podcast. I'm excited. Two 50 is a big number, pretty cool. Uh, there's more than 250 episodes with my in-between episodes. I think I'm at 360 or something like that. But I really wanna say thank you so much for listening and taking the time to listen. I can't tell you how many cool people I've met. This is seriously a blessing, uh, and it is a tremendous honor to have you listen and to work to help this industry with their marketing. So thank you so much for listening. If you enjoy this podcast, I just wanna say thank you. I appreciate you and I hope to continue making content that's going to bring value and help you to grow.
Brandon Breshears (00:00:50) - So thank you so much. Today's episode, we are going to talk about how to recession proof your practice because there's problems and they're already here. So we wanna make sure that you're staying busy, that you're not only staying busy, but you're being profitable, that you're growing the way that you want to, because there's a lot of things that are coming out that just don't look good. And it's better to have, I think, a eyes open and know what's coming instead of trying to bury your head in the sand. And just hope everything passes by. Before we begin, I wanna mention a couple things. First, if you haven't done so already, be sure to subscribe on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, wherever gets your podcast from. And if you found value from this podcast, please share it with somebody who you think might also find value. Really appreciate it as the podcast grows, um, it's just so cool to reach more people.
Brandon Breshears (00:01:42) - So if you know somebody you think would benefit from it, be sure to send it over to 'em. And thank you again. This episode is being sponsored by two websites by Brad Haven. We have used vet equipment.com and new vet equipment.com. For over nine years now, used vet equipment.com has been helping vets buy and sell used equipment. You can save money when you buy used veterinary equipment, everything from cages, kennels pumps, x-ray equipment, lasers, ultrasound equipment, dental equipment, surgery equipment, lab equipment from a access IDX and hesca tables, tubs and sinks, vet trucks and fed boxes. What do you have to firstname.lastname@example.org? We bring the buyer and seller together. Also, if you're looking for new veterinary equipment with amazing warranties, check out new vet equipment.com where they show you the price. Up front you get can buy D digital, x-ray equipment, dental, extra equipment, ultrasound equipment, l e d, surgery, lighting, surgery tables, autoclaves.
Brandon Breshears (00:02:32) - When you go to new vet equipment.com, you're gonna clearly see the price on every item for sale, and you'll also be able to check out the warranty so that you can buy without email@example.com, we show you the price and give you a great warranty. Alright, so let's jump into today's episode. We're talking about the complete guide to recession proofing your practice. And I'm going to start this off by saying that this is assuming that you have a great product and a great service, or just at least an okay product and service. I understand that every, you know, not everybody is going to be a perfect fit for your practice, but wanna make sure that number one, if you have a problem in your practice with poor customer service or bad attitudes and the people that work in your practice don't like it, there's nothing that we can do to fix that.
Brandon Breshears (00:03:16) - Um, when it comes to marketing, marketing doesn't fix product problems. Marketing fixes problems with the number of clients coming in. So that's the first caveat that I wanna mention. And I think that's a no-brainer. I think everybody understands that, but right now we're facing some pretty weird stuff. Um, we're having bank failures. The bigger than the 2008 bank failures, the Fed is raising rates and usually the fed rate raising, uh, has a kind of a lag between those bank failures. And so I, I think the bank failures are just starting to happen. Um, we are gonna have housing prices continue to go down in a lot of markets. We are having inflation, we're gonna have, we've got unemployment numbers that have been negative, uh, which is definitely not a good thing. Definitely a weird unemployment market. Just a lot of weird things happening all at once.
Brandon Breshears (00:04:06) - And so it's, I think it's pretty safe to say that we are in a recession. And so from the practices that I've been talking to, um, particularly over the past month or so, everybody's seeing a slowdown. There are schedules open. Um, they used to be booked out weeks and weeks in advance. And so I think it's kind of a recipe that is a little bit, um, scary for a lot of practices simply because market growth has been phenomenal. People have been so busy and they've just kind of gotten, I think, lazy in terms of worrying about, and it's not good to worry. But thinking about and considering what is driving the growth of my practice. And I think that the market growth and market driving practice growth has definitely been something that people have thought, this is never gonna end. We are in a shortage for veterinarians.
Brandon Breshears (00:05:03) - Um, there's a lot of things that are gonna protect us from ever having, uh, you know, slow times again. And I think that kind of a mindset happens to every industry. Obviously there's a lot of truth to the fact that there's shortages of vets. Um, there's more animals than ever, more pets than ever. And so there's definitely some, some real, uh, data that would explain that there are more pets than there are vets. But if the economy is, is taken, people are gonna spend less money on things like veterinary care. This happened in 2008 and um, it's definitely starting to happen now. So pretty consistently seeing practices that are slow and it's just very, very odd. So I think, and by the way, I think that you can create your own economy, you can create your own, um,
Brandon Breshears (00:06:00) - Growth, and you don't have to be dependent only on the market for driving growth in your practice, but you do need to be smart. So the first thing that we need to think about, and I think this is gonna come down to just a three-step approach, I'm gonna be doing a free live training that's a lot more in depth on these things. So if you're not a, a member of the Veterinary Marketing Nerds Facebook group, head over there or go to veterinary marketing podcast.com and click the uh, button that says, chat with me and ask for a link to the upcoming training on how to recession proof your practice. It's gonna be free, but there's three different steps that I think are gonna help you to really recession proof your practice. Number one is know your numbers. Number two are build retention systems and implement them.
Brandon Breshears (00:06:53) - And then number three is measure, monitor, and optimize. And let's break those down individually. So what do they mean? First off, we have to know your numbers. So what are your goals when it comes to marketing your veterinary hospital? You need to know your KPIs. You need to know your metrics, and you need to know what your goals are when it comes to new client numbers, types of procedures, revenue that you'd like to hit. And be very specific about that because if you do not know where you want to go, there's no way you're gonna get there unless you're lucky. So most people don't stumble into having a highly profitable, highly successful business. You need to have that planned out and have the ability to back engineer where you want to go. So starting off, what KPIs should you know? Number one, you need to know all of your client numbers when it comes to how many clients you have.
Brandon Breshears (00:07:47) - What's an average month due for you? How many new clients do you have? How many appointments do you see? All of those types of numbers that are operational. And then you need to know your marketing KPIs. So what is a typical month look like for number of website visitors? What does a typical month look like for engagement on social? Uh, what does a typical month look like for phone calls coming in? Um, what does your Google business profile look like? You need to know where your main traffic sources that are driving clients are, where that's coming from. And then understand the typical baselines for those numbers, um, and those platforms. The reason that I think it's probably important that, you know, I'd say at least your top five traffic channels that generate clients for you is so that if you slow down, you can pinpoint what traffic channel is slowing down and then work to fix that.
Brandon Breshears (00:08:41) - So starting off, every single conversation that I have is starting off with goals and that's what marketing is for. Marketing is for helping you to attract, engage, and retain clients. And if it's not driving return on investment, you shouldn't be spending time or resources or money on it because it's not worth doing. So that's why we have to figure out these goals, these metrics, and these KPIs, and then work from there. So once we understand where we want to go, it's time in my opinion, that we start building systems that are gonna help to support those goals and help us to achieve those goals. So first thing that we need to do, in my opinion for veterinary hospital is defining your offers. And what does that mean? That means what are the things that we want to be growing in terms of segments for the business and how are we gonna position what our services are in the marketplace so that it's valuable and it attracts the right types of clients?
Brandon Breshears (00:09:44) - So that's the offers section that you need to start. Most practices don't have offers and I think that that is a serious disservice to their practice. And the reason that it's a disservice is because if you just have a wellness exam and you don't really think about what's included in it, just a wellness exam, you'd expect the client to know what's in it. There's no benefit that the clients can see unless they've already been been a customer of yours. There's no benefit in the naming or the description of what's included. And so an offer is everything that a client gets in exchange for the money that they pay. It doesn't mean it's a promotion, and a promotion doesn't necessarily mean a discount, but packaging your services in a way that makes them more valuable is going to help you to avoid commoditization. And that's really important in the market where price becomes more important.
Brandon Breshears (00:10:40) - And in recessions price become more important because people have less money typically, right? Less disposable income. So you need to increase the perceived value. And the way that you do that is by stacking the things that are gonna be valuable to your clients. So again, number one, what are the goals? Who are we trying to reach? What are we trying to sell? Who are we trying to be? And then back engineering. What are the offers that are gonna get us those kinds of clients that are gonna do these kinds of services and help to grow our business? So once we understand what the offer is, the very next thing that I think you need to do when it comes to systems for retention and attraction, attracting customers, um, and stuff to implement is going to be email marketing and text message marketing. And I know that might sound weird because I do paid ads, but think about this. Any kind of traffic that you apply to your website, whether it's social, whether it's Google business profile, doesn't matter what it is.
Brandon Breshears (00:11:39) - So when you apply any traffic at all, whether it's organic or social or blogging or anything, if you have these systems in place that are gonna help you to drive more people into your practice, it's going to be tremendously beneficial regardless of what kind of traffic you're sending. So having retention systems and engagement systems in place that you can use over and over again. So what does, what does that mean? You need to have automations set up for your email marketing and text messaging that when somebody opts in, somebody shows interest, they automatically get on drip system. And so for every single email that you send, you need to have a call to action with an offer. I think that for veteran hospitals, sending out weekly emails is important. And the reason that you should do weekly is because if you think I'm gonna bug 'em, I don't wanna bother them weeklys too often, you're not gonna bug them.
Brandon Breshears (00:12:34) - If you're creating content that is highly valuable and you might say, oh, that's too much work, I don't wanna do that. Okay, I understand it's more work. But if you have a direct response, uh, call to action on your email, it's going to drive revenue. So yes, it's going to be work, but there's tools out there that are, make it easier than ever to write email sequences that are gonna be valuable and high quality. If you haven't done sorority, check out my AI course. You can go to veterinary marketing podcast.com, click on courses and check out my AI course. But you can create email marketing, text message campaigns that are gonna drive people in that are gonna provide value. But the thing that I want to really kind of hammer home is that you need to be sending out emails frequently. The less that you send out emails and you send out once a quarter or once a month, it's just gonna be like the the person who shows up and says, Hey, can you help me move?
Brandon Breshears (00:13:29) - I need some help. Or Hey, uh, you wanna buy this stuff? You know, it's you all of a sudden become the, uh, obscure family member with the MLM who's just like, Hey, I got this new opportunity. You wanna check it out. You wanna be that person. So very important that you're sending out content that's going to provide value, um, that is also going to provide offers that are gonna be valuable to these different segments of clients that you have. So think about that. Need to send out weekly emails and texts. Okay, that's, I don't usually make these blanket statements of this is something that every practice should be doing, but I really think this is something that every practice should be doing. Okay, weekly, try and get it done. If you can't do weekly, do biweekly, but a hundred percent need to get communication going out on a regular basis so that your clients are prepared for it and that they understand what's going on.
Brandon Breshears (00:14:28) - The next thing that I think you need to do is schedule out and batch out your work so that you know what kind of content you're gonna be producing, whether it's through social, whether it's blogging, whatever it is, whatever you wanna do, creating videos, doesn't matter. You need to schedule it and then you need to implement. Because if you can't get traffic to these different, um, retention systems, if you're not driving new potential clients in the door that are your ideal dream clients, then you're not gonna grow like you want to and you're gonna just be hoping that the market delivers up these results for you. So the next thing is we need to fill that funnel and drive people and traffic that's your ideal kind of client type into your website, into these funnels, into your marketing systems so that you can convert more.
Brandon Breshears (00:15:22) - How are are is that possible? Here's a few ways. First off, my favorite way is paid traffic. I love paid advertising. And if you're thinking about doing paid ads, if you go to veterinary marketing podcast.com/ads, you can set up a one-on-one with me where I'll show you how we can help drive your perfect ideal clients into your practice. But the thing that I like about paid advertising is that it is number one, it's scalable. You can turn it on, you can turn it off, you can target, you can target demographics, you can target behavior of people. The thing that is so cool about that is you don't have to hope that something is gonna send you more traffic. You have control over it. And um, that's, that's what I love about paid ads. So consider running paid ads for your vet hospital, especially if you're seeing slowdowns and you're trying to fill your schedule.
Brandon Breshears (00:16:19) - I think that's one of the best ways, that's the most dependable that you can turn on and off, things like that. The other types of ways that you can send more traffic that's gonna be highly targeted and have a high potential for converting is obviously social content, social engagement content where you're engaging with other creators or people on different apps where you're going through and actually do the work of engaging with people. That's definitely a way to go through and do that. Um, you could also do organic content seo and I think SEO is very valuable, but you wanna make sure and understand which keywords that you're optimizing for are gonna convert, which is why I like to do paid traffic first and then figure out what to focus on when it comes to seo. Cause then you'll be able to see what converts. The other thing that's probably overlooked very frequently are referrals, but not just hoping that people send referrals actually asking for them.
Brandon Breshears (00:17:19) - And that's gonna go back to building out systems that are specifically asking for referrals through email, through text, through social. So you're actually asking for those referrals, but those systems. So you have inbound traffic, whether it's social, organic, paid, and then referral channels. If you have those dialed in where you know which channels, um, are gonna convert for you better, which channels are gonna not work so good for you and how to turn those up or down based on the needs of your practice, you're going to be able to stay busy with the right kinds of clients. And that leads us to the last part of this. It's number one, we have to measure our results. So you don't just set it up and run it and hope that it works. We monitor it and we measure the results to see what's going on. So again, going back to our KPI's metrics and goals that we talked about very first, we're measuring and monitoring it.
Brandon Breshears (00:18:16) - So are we hitting the goals that we need to hit? What is our cost per acquisition? What is our return on investment? Those are the kinds of things that we need to make sure you're hitting. The next thing is if something is working, how can we scale this up? What can we do to increase this? How can we decrease our cost? How can we get more out of what we're doing? So that's very, very important. Always be improving and always be optimizing. And that generally means we need to test new things, new ideas, different hooks, different lines so that we're going to get better results. And I know that sounds like a lot of work and it is a lot of work, but the alternative is going outta business. And I think I don't want to be a negative person because I really think that you can control your own destiny here.
Brandon Breshears (00:19:05) - You can work to grow your practice like you've always wanted to, but it's not gonna happen by accident. So we need to put some work into this and, and batch out work so that we're actively making progress on all of these different things. So I think that's a really good overview in general of how to recess and proof your practice. Be sure to head on over to vet marketing podcast.com where you can sign up for the newsletter, get emailed, um, special trainings that are coming up. And if you do need help with this, if you wanna drive more clients into your practice, head on over to veterinary marketing podcast.com/ads, get a one-on-one ad session with me and I'll tell you what we can do to help your practice. I hope you have a great day and, uh, please get started on this. Do something doesn't have to be all at once, but just a little bit every day. And you're going to end up with some really, really great marketing systems that are help to grow your practice. Hope that this was helpful. If you have any questions, comments, or need help with anything, don't hesitate to reach out and I'll see you on the next episode.