Attract Clients

VMP 253: Is Your Practice Missing Out With Euthanasia?

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Brandon Breshears
July 25, 2023
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VMP 253: Is Your Practice Missing Out With Euthanasia?
Attract Clients
July 25, 2023

VMP 253: Is Your Practice Missing Out With Euthanasia?

In this podcast episode, Brandon Breshears interviews two passionate veterinarians, Dr. Deborah Rotman and Dr. Christie Cornelius, who are dedicated to improving end-of-life care for pets. They discuss their project, Vet Spark, which offers consulting services to help veterinary practices enhance their end-of-life care services, start-up practices, general practices, and crematories. Listeners are encouraged to reach out to Dr. Rotman and Dr. Cornelius for any questions or assistance needed, as their contact information is provided.

In this episode of the Veterinary Marketing Podcast, I had the pleasure of speaking with two incredible veterinarians, Dr. Deborah Rotman and Dr. Christie Cornelius. We discussed their groundbreaking project, Vet Spark, and how it's revolutionizing end-of-life care services in veterinary practices.

Before we dive into the episode, I want to give a special shoutout to our sponsors for this episode - Used Vet Equipment and New Vet Equipment. These platforms are a game-changer for veterinarians looking to buy or sell both used and new equipment, from cages to x-ray machines and everything in between.

Now, let's talk about our amazing guests. Dr. Rotman and Dr. Cornelius have a wealth of experience in veterinary medicine and have successfully built and sold their own practices. Their passion for improving end-of-life care for pets is truly inspiring.

During our conversation, Dr. Rotman and Dr. Cornelius emphasized the importance of mobile end-of-life care. They suggested that smaller practices in the same area could collaborate or specialize in specific areas, like dental or radiology, to better serve their clients. They also proposed the idea of having a dedicated team within a practice solely focused on end-of-life care.

We also delved into the topic of mobile euthanasia services and how veterinary practices can incorporate them into their existing client base. Our guests recommended starting by offering the service internally to current clients and then developing a marketing plan to attract new clients specifically for end-of-life services.

Now, you might be wondering about the equipment needed for mobile euthanasia services. According to Dr. Cornelius, it's actually quite simple. You don't need a fancy mobile vehicle; a regular car like a Subaru Forester would do just fine. And for larger pets, a stretcher is all you need. The key is having the necessary skills, medications, and confidence to perform euthanasia in different situations.

Dr. Rotman and Dr. Cornelius also emphasized the importance of differentiating veterinary practices and marketing their unique offerings. Understanding clients' needs and educating them about available treatments and services is crucial. They also mentioned the potential of leveraging technical staff and customer service to create a comprehensive palliative care program.

Expanding services and building networks are essential for veterinary practices. Our guests shared strategies like skill development in areas such as vena puncture and intra-renal injections for euthanasia in cats. They also suggested reaching out to other veterinary clinics in the area to introduce yourself and request to be added to their referral list.

When it comes to pricing services, Dr. Rotman and Dr. Cornelius advised against solely basing prices on competition. Instead, they recommended considering the value and costs associated with the service and establishing a pricing strategy that reflects both aspects.

If you're interested in learning more or need guidance in end-of-life care practices, start-up practices, general practices, or crematories, Dr. Rotman and Dr. Cornelius offer their consulting services through Vet Spark Consulting.

I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to Dr. Cornelius and Dr. Rotman for sharing their invaluable insights. If you have any questions or need assistance, don't hesitate to reach out to them at

Thank you so much for tuning in to today's episode. I hope you found it enjoyable and informative. Your support means the world to us, and we can't wait to bring you more valuable content in our next episode. Until then, have a fantastic day, everyone!

Episode Transcript

Brandon (00:00:02) - Welcome to the Vendor Marketing podcast, where it's all about how to attract, engage and retain clients to your vendor hospital using digital marketing. My name is Brandon Breshears and in today's episode we are going to be talking with two of my favorite veterinarians in the world. We got Dr. Deborah Rotman and Dr. Christie Cornelius, and they're going to be talking about Vet Spark, their project to help practices do better with end of life care. And I really, really think this episode, if you've ever considered doing either mobile euthanasia or better euthanasia services in your practice, this is going to be a great episode for you. We get into all kinds of interesting topics and it's filled with value. So before we begin, just a couple things. First, if you haven't done so already, be sure to subscribe in iTunes, Spotify, Google Play or wherever you get your podcast from. Second, this episode is being sponsored by two websites by Brad Haven. We have used vet equipment and new vet equipment for over nine years now.

Brandon (00:00:57) - Used vet equipment has been helping vets buy and sell used equipment. You can save money when you buy used everything from cages, kennels, pumps, X-ray equipment, lasers, ultrasound, dental equipment, surgery equipment, lab equipment from a boxes and tables, truck tubs and sinks, vet trucks and vet boxes. What do you have to sell at used vet equipment? They bring the buyer and seller together. Also, if you're looking for new vendor equipment with amazing warranties, check out new vet equipment where we show you the price up front. They have digital x ray equipment, dental X-ray equipment, ultrasound equipment, led surgery tables, surgery, lighting, autoclaves. When you go to new vet equipment, you'll clearly see the price on every item for sale. And you're going to also be able to check out the warranties that you can buy without regret at new vet They show you the price upfront and give you a great warranty. All right. So let's jump into today's episode. We have Dr. Rothman and Dr. Cornelius.

Brandon (00:01:51) - Both of them are extremely successful and well versed on all things end of life care and euthanasia. They both have created successful practices in multiple markets, and I really enjoyed this episode. It's we talk about a lot about marketing, but we also talk about the business aspect of what this looks like and how to add this into your practice. And that's something that they both are very passionate about helping other practices with. But if you are interested at all about finding out more about how they can help you and your practice with End of life consulting, you can go and send them an email at Vet Spark Consulting at, but be sure to listen all the way through. There's so many valuable pieces of information here. You're going to be able to get a lot of value and insight from this interview. So without further adieu, here is Dr. Rothman and Dr. Cornelius. So on this week's podcast, we have Dr. Rothman and Dr. Cornelius from Vet Spark. Thank you so much for joining us on the podcast. I really appreciate your time today.

Christie (00:02:55) - Thank you for having us.

Brandon (00:02:57) - Absolutely. So can you just give us a rundown really quick of how you got started in Vet Med and kind of your your backstory into getting started here?

Christie (00:03:08) - Sure. So this is Christy. I am. I started in 2004, graduated from Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine. And I immediately went into general practice right after graduation in Houston, Texas, and remained in general practice and emergency for about eight years and then decided that I felt like filling a gap, and that was in home services, including euthanasia. And so I started my first practice in 2012 and grew that out to a size and proportion and service in a metro area. And I was able to sell it to a corporation and then was able to actually move on and started an MBA program at Rice University. And I'm halfway through that program now. I have since started another practice called Fair Winds, and then also, of course, Vets Park started to play a part because of the knowledge that we've gained over a period of time and found it really helpful to be able to to help people in need.

Deborah (00:04:22) - And I'm Dr. Deborah Rotman, and I graduated from the Washington State University in class of 96. And I went in in general practice, and over time I purchased a general practice and owned that for about eight years and I sold it. And then I started in 2010 my own in-home euthanasia practice, just with my cell phone and a little bag. And my truck was in the rural area and I started building it in and educating people about what it's like to have your pet transition at home is so much nicer for most people. So I grew the practice and this is independently before I even knew Christy. And then in 2020, I sold that practice after about ten years. And we both we decided at that point we were both mentoring on the side through an international organization for end of life care practitioners, and we decided, wow, people really need some help here with learning about, you know, just things that we've been through already and we really think that we can help them. And so we've started offering Vet Spark business consulting for so many different people that have need of our experience from startup all the way through to how to sell your practice.

Deborah (00:05:54) - So we're there for them.

Brandon (00:05:56) - It's very cool. It's really, really good experience and growing and selling practices. So I'm sure that has a lot of you could help people a lot, I'm sure with that. Um, the question that I have for you is a lot of like one of the most common questions that I have from practices, and that's typically general practice is what is it that we're doing that we're not currently doing, that we should be doing and obviously don't have the experience working in a practice. But I feel like. Mobile end of life care is something that is of huge need. I see the demand in search volume that's there for it. So let me ask you this. What what practices do you think should consider doing mobile end of life care And you know, think most practices are doing end of life care in practice, but what kind of practices do you think should consider it?

Deborah (00:06:53) - I have an answer for that question because it's such a great question. I've thought about it a lot.

Deborah (00:06:58) - I'm seeing in very small geographic regions and over there's too many practices, in my opinion, to be able to support each practice fully successfully. So it'll seem like there will be a super successful one and then a whole bunch of other ones that are not quite as successful as they want to be. And I think the answer to that, in my opinion, after thinking about it a lot, is for some of these practices to combine together to join forces so that they're not all trying to compete and or branching out and like, I'm the dental practice and we have a specialist that comes in once a week, but otherwise that's all we do is dental. And then another one could be, hi, we're the radiology practice. And so everyone sends their x rays to this practice and hi, I'm the surgical surgical practice, so everyone sends their surgeries to this practice. So the, the regular Dbms do regular surgery and they have a specialist in a couple of times a week to do the specialty surgeries. So I'm kind of seeing that that might be the best way for general practices because in general practice, you know, those doctors can see two, three, four appointments an hour where I am located currently, I've started another in-home euthanasia practice just recently, the last couple of months.

Deborah (00:08:20) - You know, you can see one appointment every 1 to 2 hours, so you get one appointment. So as far as generating revenue, if you take your doctor that's in the practice that needs to see 2 or 3 appointments an hour and you send them out on the road, their production goes down quite a bit and they have to support that very expensive hospital and all of that radiology equipment and dental equipment and surgical equipment and your support staff. And so their expenses are much higher. So. So you could hire a vet on the side to do in-home euthanasia. Absolutely. And capture that revenue. But I feel like there's got to be a smarter way to act when you have this huge overhead, because then in-home euthanasia practice in general has a very low overhead. We don't have a building every team members mobile, so we don't have to worry about any of that. All the revenue that we generate is, you know, really great revenue and it's very productive. Whereas in a regular practice they've got huge amounts of overhead and lots of staff and team that have just and equipment that's required by law that they have to have on hand in case emergencies show up and for surgeries.

Deborah (00:09:39) - So it feels like there's got to be a better way to consolidate some of those practices so that maybe they're not corporations, but they're working together better, either combining practices or each one doing their own little more specialized services. That was my thought. Kristi, did you have a thought about that?

Christie (00:09:57) - Yeah. Another type of model, of course, is hiring a dedicated team within your practice to focus solely on the end of life. Because there's so much there and so much that's different from other things. I think it would be more efficient to have a dedicated person or two at first to start these services and see how well you're able to grow and attract new clients because of that and how you're able to actually increase your goodwill and your customer value for adding these types of services. But if you're doing it, you need to do it really, really well because end of life is a very sensitive part. And so you want to make sure those you're choosing for those types of services have complementary skills that can handle that type of emotion and situation.

Christie (00:10:52) - And sometimes it can get complicated. And so you want to make sure that you've got a well trained team.

Brandon (00:11:00) - That makes a lot of sense. Go ahead. Go ahead, Doctor Ramon.

Deborah (00:11:03) - Yes, and I agree with that, Christine. Also, you know, some people will add on a crematory, so an acquisition facility, because then acclimation is is an occupation. It's pretty small. So you can add it into many veterinary clinic. So if you're seeing if you're an emergency clinic, for example, and you're doing 100, you know, euthanasia is a month. Well, you could potentially add on an acclamation machine and just right there in your facility and be cremating your own pet. So that would way to increase revenue and you could also extend that help to other people as well. So I'll offer that to other veterinary clinics also.

Brandon (00:11:48) - That's really smart. With general practices, you think and based on your experience working in general practice as well. How many clients would you say you'd need to support? A.

Brandon (00:12:03) - Relatively decent amount of mobile euthanasia cases just from like managing your current client base and and things. Do you have any kind of insights on that or do you think that most practices need to be advertising and bringing in additional end of life services on top of the current clients that they're working with currently?

Christie (00:12:27) - Um, I think you could always start by offering the service internally to your current clients, but then also obviously work on a marketing plan to attract new clients specifically for that service. And there are certain ways in order to do that. Also, you got to take a look at where you're located and the population density and things like that and whether or not something like this would be feasible and affordable and would make sense so that you can increase your profits rather than end up with a cost center.

Brandon (00:13:03) - Yep, that definitely makes sense. With starting something like this, is there a lot of specialized equipment that people need? You mentioned you just had your bag and your truck. Most practices feel like they need to have like a wrapped special mobile vehicle or are what kind of things that are people maybe have as a, you know, the wrong impression when they're starting.

Brandon (00:13:27) - It's a great question.

Deborah (00:13:29) - Of all things to start, you know, even to add it as a as a general practice, it's a very simple thing to add. Most general practices will occasionally go out to clients homes anyway. So we definitely do not advertise on our vehicle because we don't want to be a target, right? Like, so we we want to keep everyone safe so we're not so we don't advertise high. We have in-home euthanasia medication here. So yeah, we just we just use our vehicle and you just need something like, you know, Subaru Forester or something like that where you can fit a larger pet in. I think about the only thing that you purchase is a little stretcher for pets, but other than that, it's having, you know, a bag and, and your items and doing the drugs and the skill and the know how to manage the situation and the confidence level excuse me, of going in and performing in front of clients. And you never know the situation. It can be a block party.

Deborah (00:14:24) - Seriously, when you have 50 people and you walk in, everybody's wearing party hats. The dog is sitting there in the middle of everyone. After wading through all these people, he's had like 50 cheeseburgers from McDonald's. Right. And you're you're trying to find the owner because everybody's playing rock and music because they're they're celebrating this transition all the way to working on a sailboat. You know, you're down in the birth of a sailboat with somebody. Or you can be I mean, it's amazing the different situations. And it can be, you know, a cat who has no veins. So do you know, alternative ways of euthanizing the pet? So there are there's newer information out than most veterinary schools are teaching on how to transition pets safely and effectively. But as far as adding it on to a regular clinic, I would think, you know, it would be a no brainer. Again, except for the fact that the amount of revenue a doctor can generate is much more at the veterinary hospital because they see one appointment and then they're also scheduling for a surgery for two weeks and they're also scheduling for bloodwork and x rays and whatever.

Deborah (00:15:33) - And then they have another appointment in 20 minutes compared to driving around and you've got an appointment every 1 to 2 hours. So as Kristi said, you would have to have a dedicated person, but then you're paying a dedicated veterinarian to do that. So you would, you know, you might have if you have a retired, the best situation I can think of is if you have a retired vet who's kept up on their in-home euthanasia, education and the newest ways of euthanizing pets. And there are retired partners something or somebody who works part time. If they could dedicate maybe testing the waters at first before you go and invest in, hire a full time vet because they're kind of hard to come by and you want to be able to pay them.

Brandon (00:16:17) - Definitely. That totally makes sense with, I guess with general practices and the ones that you've worked with that have maybe added this on, what would you say are kind of like the. Maybe characteristics of the practice where it works really well for them. Do you think this is something that could help? Been so a little bit of context is that almost all the practices that I'm talking to nowadays are saying we're seeing slowdowns and we're, you know, used to be booked out two weeks and now we even have appointments available.

Brandon (00:16:53) - You know, this week we're not booked out and we have appointments available usually same day. So now they've got holes in the schedule and they've got staff just kind of sitting around and they're not sure what to do to turn things around. What kind of characteristics of practice, general practice would you say would be a good candidate for for adding something like this? Is that something that you think would help to fill the schedules if somebody started slowing down or if their practice revenue started slowing, their growth started slowing here? What are your thoughts on that?

Christie (00:17:27) - Yeah. You know, in terms of. Right, we are experiencing a little bit of a slowdown. Uh, marketing, good strategic marketing will go a long way here in that you can actually and I've done hybrid practices where I'm actually I have, I take appointments in clinic and then also in the home. And so if you want to start even with your marketing, hey, we can do some better pain management, some focus pain management, here is what we have to offer.

Christie (00:18:00) - We'll offer you this package and so that we can start to fill our schedule ahead of time with things like rejects, reassessments, medications, you know, things like that. You can just immediately today start adding those services by a little bit of marketing and then, you know, just kind of test it out and see what kind of draw you get from it. Um, but it's, you know, the marketing needs to be there for it.

Deborah (00:18:28) - And I agree with you. Christie And also social media marketing is huge, but also a really good idea. That's a huge miss things and almost every practice which they don't understand because you're not taught this in vet school is hospice and end of life care. So when a dog gets old and it's big and it's ten years old and it's a huge £100 shepherd, Right? People send it home with remedial or profane or something like that. They send it home with an Nsaid and that's it. And they don't hear the practice, does not hear from it for two years until they're calling around trying to find euthanasia options.

Deborah (00:19:04) - Okay, that two years is a huge missed opportunity. So a lot of practices could either bring in a hospice certified veterinarian from the AIA, HPC. They've got a lot of hospice certified veterinarians, or they could just consult with one because there's a lot more pain management that can be managed with these geriatric, humongous dogs and these cats that are very old. There are a lot more medication alternatives that don't just sedate the pet. That's why everybody just gives them NSAIDs because they're worried they're just going to if I give them something else, they're going to be zonked to the whole time. Well, work with a hospice specialist so that they can say, Hey, no, there's like five other drugs you can be given here and we can really increase this dog's quality of life for those two years and your appointments and your checks, you could consider also, in addition to just doing home euthanasia, you could have that dedicated doctor. You could take one of your doctors and part of your team instead of just home.

Deborah (00:20:09) - Euthanasia is doing home visits. Okay. So for those rejects, for those geriatric and senior pets so you can be doing a better job of modifying and adding to their medication protocols because Christi's got some great, great protocols and it's not just remedial anymore. So and it's not just gabapentin and it's not just tramadol. Yeah, there's a lot more than that. Additionally, there are care packages that you can offer for pets who are literally dying, so the clients know panicking. You can sell them a care package. What do I do if it crashes overnight? Well, we have this care package that's individualized with medications and drugs for your pet in that emergency, what happens in the middle of the night so you can get it through to the morning when we can see them. So there's a lot more that can be done in addition to the home euthanasia, because there's a they're missing that step of that hospice time, that senior pet care time. So yeah.

Christie (00:21:10) - And doing things and improving incrementally to improve your customer value and then you can kind of get going if you get a start on it.

Christie (00:21:20) - And really keeping in mind some of the technologies that are coming out recently, you can utilize those as revenue sources as you start to develop and offer these types of practices. For instance, the level of laser therapy. Right now, lasers are much different now than they were 15 years ago. Um, there are there's pain trays now where you can actually see if you can detect whether a dog or cat is experiencing chronic pain or acute pain with certain manipulations. There's digital thermal imaging as well. Sometimes you could see where the pet may be painful or having issues. And so a lot of that investing a little bit in some technology can go a long way, too. As long as you understand what the value is and you're able to convey that to your clients.

Deborah (00:22:14) - Additionally, there's there's one other thing is that your top I forget the exact percentage, but it's like your top 20% of your clients help pay for like 80% of your revenue is what the average was from economics. So finding out your top clients, seeing where their pets are, or all my clients, do they all have new puppies or those top 20% clients all have seen your pets.

Deborah (00:22:39) - Hey, let's see what we can do to kind of pivot a little bit and, you know, offer to them.

Christie (00:22:46) - And one other thing I'll mention is it's good to have focus groups as well, maybe a few good clients of yours, existing clients pull them together and ask them questions about their needs as their pet ages. And so gathering that type of marketing stuff is great to on your way.

Deborah (00:23:06) - Because consider also when you go to the home euthanasia, they are going to be competing if they want to start offering it everywhere, if they're going to be competing with other existing well embedded in home euthanasia practices. So if they start marketing for that, that, that, you know, outside of their current customer base. So as much as they can keep in house and utilizing their current client base starting there would be really great and much more economical probably.

Brandon (00:23:36) - I definitely agree. And especially when it comes to me. If the dog is ten years old and it has two more years. That's, you know, a big portion of its life.

Brandon (00:23:45) - And I think two, if you can try and target clients that are your high end, high compliance clients, they probably want something and they don't know what exists out there, especially especially if it's going to improve quality of life and things. So it definitely makes sense to like your clients that are doing rentals every single year are probably the ones that would want to have a really good senior pet protocol that's custom for them and things like that. When it comes to creating these types of packages, I think this is really beneficial because most practices, they're not sure what to do to make themselves different. If you looked at one practice that's a general practice and you took their website and just change their logo and their name, you would just be able to replace it with the one down the street. And so I think that there's not actually anything special that they're selling because they don't know how to present themselves in a way that is special. And so what kind of things do you suggest from a marketing standpoint of actually making your offerings unique? Is it about asking your clients more what they are looking for or feel like? Clients have no clue when it comes to what's possible? Because I'm like, I have no idea what you guys are talking about when you talk about these drugs and lasers and you know all these things, right? So do you ask them kind of what their outcomes they're looking for and then make those recommendations in a way that is marketed well? Or how do you go about doing that?

Christie (00:25:16) - Yeah.

Christie (00:25:17) - So you're right. There's there is a lot of sameness. But to set yourself apart, I really believe in being useful, providing information, education and support, and we all do that differently. And there are some that do it very, very well and there are others that don't. And sometimes it is the the defining moment. If you're very strong in those support skills and communication over time, you should really do well. And sometimes if the client doesn't know what they need, sometimes you just have to come out and tell them what you have to offer and why.

Deborah (00:26:00) - And I do agree. I agree with that. And also like, for example, a coal blazer, which is what Christie is talking about, there's there's different kinds of surgical laser which is actually cutting. Right. It can make incisions. And then there's cold laser, which is like just this like it looks like an ultrasound thing. And you just take it and you rub it along the pet. Right. And those that that can really help target and reduce inflammation and arthritis pain in pets.

Deborah (00:26:27) - And it's something that a technician could go out and do once once an exam and a client patient relationship has been established but average. So advertising is, hey, we can really help with arthritis and we can really see a difference. And if you make it affordable enough that they could buy a package of 5 or 10 of those with a technician advertising senior pet care and how you're different, that's a huge one for dogs and for cats especially. And then just making sure that your follow through. I've just found it that the follow up with many veterinary clinics is not. It's either not with a veterinarian or a technician who understands or a pet nurse who knows anything about the pet. You can't just in these cases where you're really struggling, you need to get people on the phone that know how to answer clients questions and do a really good job about talking about that case instead of saying, Hey, how was everything for you? We just want to check on you. Thank you. Bye. Well, that's good.

Deborah (00:27:29) - That's better than a human doctor would ever do. But then we need to go one step further. Like, hey, we wanted to know how was Fluffy feeling after that dental? Did she wake up? Okay. You know, we also know she's been living on her right front. Did you know is that feeling a little better with the medication we sent? You know, they're being very clear and specific and having those caring conversations with them and, you know, following up with phone calls. Hey, we know we sent Riley home with Rheumatol. We actually have some new, better things that really might help him get around because we noticed from his last thing he was really gimpy. We've got a new laser that and you say it's this. You just kind of massages over them and they love it. It makes them just feel sleepy. So the people aren't scared with a word. Laser, Right. So you're just talking with them and you're having these individualized conversations and messages and emails to your clients that are that are specific to each person in their pet so that they're wanting to to read that.

Deborah (00:28:31) - So those those would be some more ideas.

Christie (00:28:34) - Yeah. And I'll just add, you know, we're all talking industrywide about the our ability to leverage our, you know, veterinary professionals and, you know, we're trying with solutions of mid-level practitioner, but that's a that's far out away. And so even if it does come to fruition in the meantime, what are we doing? And so a good palliative care practice will be able to do that and leverage their technical staff and their customer service in order to create a program where you have a medical director there. But most of the work is coming from, you know, your technical care team. And it's a it's a nursing profession and human medicine. It should be a nursing profession in veterinary medicine as well. And you leverage those people.

Deborah (00:29:26) - Right. So we have a lot of cats that need fluids under the skin. And so those people go to the client's home and educate them. They have a little rounds and they go, they show them how to do it, or they can come into the client's home and do that for them.

Deborah (00:29:39) - So the cat, the client doesn't have to travel with our cat three times a week. The, you know, the the pet nurse can come out and do it for them. So there's a lot of ways to, as Krissy said, leverage your current team. You want them as busy as possible if they're sitting around. That's concerning because there's so much more they can be doing.

Brandon (00:29:59) - So tell me about how you help with vets. Park because this is mean. There's a million different aspects to all of this, and it seems pretty overwhelming to the point where you just would be like, I don't know, the first step to take. So how do you typically work with Vets Park and how do you help practices?

Christie (00:30:17) - Yeah. So first it comes first, we would do what's called a 30 minute kind of just we learn your background, learn some of the issues that you're going through, some of the opportunities that you may or may not be aware of. We we generally just kind of audit the present business strategies.

Christie (00:30:40) - And then what we do is we're able to work with startups, we work on the operational strategy, we work on strategic marketing, we work on leadership aspects and taking care of a team and mentoring and coaching and work life balance. And so we're taking care of the leader and we're taking care of the team at the same time. And although it seems really overwhelming to number one startup or two to make a change, it's all about making the complex simple.

Deborah (00:31:14) - Yes. So come to us and we'll help you with that because we're going to go. But we will go over. We're going to crawl over probably every aspect of your business from the ground up. We begin at the beginning and we'll we'll focus and target. If somebody just says, I really just want to focus on marketing, we are going to be responsive to any requests that people have. But a lot of times marketing ties in with, Wow, why are your hours, you know, your your competition closes at five and you close at four every day.

Deborah (00:31:51) - You know, let's look at that. So the marketing then just is springboard into, well, what are your hours? Can you come in late and stay late two nights a week. Right. Or be open on the weekend because no one else is like, how how can you shine when other people aren't? So we really want to specialize in that. We don't want to make you as good as your competition. We want to make you better.

Brandon (00:32:13) - And that definitely an important thing to do. And when it comes to, you know, having the experience both with general practice and then specializing in euthanasia, I'm sure there's just a lot of things that people don't see because they're so close to their practice. And that's every business, right? You'll talk to somebody and they'll give you the simplest idea and you'll say, Well, I didn't think of that. And it's super obvious, but you're just so close to it. You can't see it when it comes to especially the marketing of the practice. I like that you're really focusing on what makes you different and how to be better.

Brandon (00:32:49) - So marketing through your product and your product creation when it comes to, you know, adding a let's end of life care in general, what do you think are the most important factors for making yourself different and in marketing?

Deborah (00:33:11) - For end of life care.

Brandon (00:33:13) - For end of life care.

Christie (00:33:14) - Yeah. I think the first step is to know what everyone else is doing. Um. Know what your who your competition is, why they're your competition, and then be at least that good and then start looking for strategies to be better. Um, in terms of marketing, obviously, you know, you want your target, you know, and I will say generally for us and end of life, people that are willing to spend the money and resources on their pets at this time, um, you know, target targets are typically, you know, millennials are a huge target for us right now. Um, Gen X is, are, are are huge too as well as far as who we're looking for. Um, you know, those people that are spending money on their pets are also spending money on things like, um, you know, gym memberships and Starbucks and, you know, go they go to Barnes and Noble.

Christie (00:34:16) - And so it's kind of good to know their behavior outside of veterinary settings as well, to really get a good idea of who you should be targeting. Um, it's also really good to do your homework. Um, just in general, you probably want to take a look at organizations like the Iebc. There's a organization called CETA. Um, it's a really good program set up for education and how to do perform effective, emotionally intelligent euthanasia. I think it's very, very worth your time and resources to look into those programs to help you out.

Deborah (00:34:59) - And another thing that you can do also, in addition to those getting the background for doing it. Practice, practice, practice, practice in your hospital, elbow everyone else out of the way and practice your vena puncture, practice your you know, your dorsal needle is the new the new vein of the year. So everybody's loving that practice, doing intra renal injections for euthanasia, for cats practice. You know, there's a lot of newer things out so you don't have to find a vein sometimes for these at all, for cats, for doing euthanasia now.

Deborah (00:35:34) - So like there's newer ways of being that. So get on top of those things. Contact us if you have questions. And also, you know, when you're establishing in your area, contact every veterinary clinic established with them. Introduce yourself. If you can't go to every single one, call them personally. Say, Hey, I'm new in the area, here's who I am. Would you mind adding me to your referral list? Here's my name, here's my website information, here's our email address, introduce yourself and then follow up with them and send them supplies. But you'll be surprised at how many veterinary clinics there are. And so really try to do that. Now, the challenge that a veterinary clinic is going to have, if they're adding home euthanasia to their services, they're limiting themselves in a way because one of the things that veterinary clinics like about us as a home euthanasia provider is that I don't I don't offer vaccines, so I'm not in competition with any of the veterinary clinics in my area for the most part, right? I'm not going to steal clients because they love me because I come in and doing home euthanasia.

Deborah (00:36:41) - So as a veterinary clinic expanding into the euthanasia field, they might experience that difficulty that other veterinary clinics, they can't they're not going to be marketing to other veterinary clinics, in-home euthanasia services, because they're going to be like, Well, no, we're not going to send our clients to you. So that that may be a little hiccup there.

Christie (00:37:00) - Yeah, I think building your network is one of the best things that you can do. Um, whether or not you're adding or you're starting, get to know some of your community leaders, get to know some of the vet clinics in your area. You know, you can work cases together with another general practitioner if you don't have the capabilities of doing x rays or imaging or other things, you can actually work on a patient together by referring them for those needed services and then they can refer back for you to continue, you know, your, your strategic plan and you're acting kind of like a quarterback for the family.

Brandon (00:37:41) - Then do you suggest doing any kind of financial incentive for the practices that are referring, or how do you approach that?

Christie (00:37:51) - I don't believe in that.

Christie (00:37:54) - Honestly, I really feel that it's a goodwill thing. It's a connection. It's a relationship thing. So what you're getting, you're putting into it and getting out of it is relationship and networking.

Deborah (00:38:05) - Yeah, because you're providing an excellent service for the client. Like, for example, if a practice refers to me for home euthanasia and I go out and do it, I'm doing it in such a way that the client is so thankful. They love their practice even more because they referred someone who was really great and knew what they were doing to come out and perform this service. So it's like a 360 degree. If they refer to someone for anything that they do a really good job, like for, you know, some people do holistic care. You establish that with your holistic vet when they refer back, Oh my gosh, the clients so thankful and they'll come back to you. You know, it's like letting them free. They'll come back to you. But if you send them to a good person that you personally have evaluated.

Deborah (00:38:49) - Yeah.

Brandon (00:38:51) - Makes it makes sense. I was just curious. In the marketing world, there's a thing called white labeling where you can basically have a workforce that is another company that acts like your company. I was wondering if that was a like a similar thing in in the med space. I've never asked that question before. Yeah.

Christie (00:39:09) - Actually, yeah. That is a way that you can do things in if especially if you're not particularly connected to your own practice. Or maybe you're a relief vet, you know, being able to, to come in as kind of a quote, you know, white label and just provide those service for another practice. Yeah. That type of relationship and work in agreement can be worked out.

Deborah (00:39:31) - Got it. But we'll also do that with, uh, with their reception team. So they'll, they'll use a white label reception team to use for your practice. That really works great when you're growing really quickly and you just don't have time to get all the phones, the when you start to outgrow it, you'll notice, you know, those receptionists.

Deborah (00:39:55) - The hard part is so while it's less expensive than hiring your own team, as you grow even more, you'll start to find that maybe you get client complaints that the phones went to voicemail a lot. Yeah, it's because they're managing multiple practices at once. So then, you know, hey, it's time for me to hire a receptionist. But some people will do that to cut costs on the reception team.

Brandon (00:40:15) - That totally makes sense. And yeah, that's not a good thing. I heard a study yesterday that said if if you're somebody calls your practice and you don't pick up, they'll an 80% chance they'll just call the next number. And so that's big, big lost opportunities. Absolutely. Well, when it comes to pricing, in your opinion and pricing out services, is that something that you help with? I feel like that's one of the biggest marketing problems, is most people just kind of look at the high and the low and then pick the middle kind of thing and the most practices aren't super profitable.

Brandon (00:40:52) - So using your competition as. Your gauge for what should be charged is kind of weird. Do you help with that kind of questions? Because those are questions all the time.

Christie (00:41:04) - Yeah, we do. And I do think I agree with you. I think it's a mistake to look at your competition and base your pricing on them. I think the approach should have there's two aspects of it. It's your it's the value that you're bringing. So that's value pricing and then your your costs pricing. So you do your cost accounting to see how much that type of service costs you. And then you want to you want a multiplier on that. Um, but then also being aware of the value that you're bringing in at the same time, what is that worth, you know, And yeah, so we can help, we can help practices or individuals establish a pricing strategy based around those two principles.

Deborah (00:41:46) - And it's a great question. And Christie is like this expert at helping this in her financial. But we both do because what we do when people say how much does something cost, you know, and you're a general practice, right.

Deborah (00:41:59) - And you're saying, well, how much does this room and bottle of remedial cost. Okay, we'll go back to the remedial, let's say the bottles, $150 for the entire bottle or something. It's very expensive. Big bottle. They don't they say, oh, $150, know how. You know who went around and checked the all the bottles and checked your inventory? You have to figure out how much you paid that assistant per hour to do that. Then you have to pay the you have to figure out how much you paid per hour for the person to get on the phone and place the order. And how much did you pay? How how much time did it take? The person who received the order to unpack the order and label it? How much? Then you have to appropriate the amount of rent you're paying on the building and how long and how much space is that taking up on your shelf and how long is it on that shelf? So and then how much does it cost for the person who's placing the label on the on the prescription? Right.

Deborah (00:43:02) - So thinking about a cost for a pill or for a service, you've got to think about every aspect of it, the insurance on the building or whatever, like all these things. And when you we it doesn't have to be much per item, but it does need to be taken into account so that you're actually generating your profitable. Right? Because it's one is you're just paying your expenses and that's all you're ending with zero. But you really want to want to take into account your actual expenses and then go up a little more, be so that you are actually profitable, which is what Christie was talking about, that multiplier.

Brandon (00:43:44) - So with respect to how people can get in touch with you and if they're interested in thinking about it. Who would you say would should give you go to check you out and set up that introductory call to kind of see where they are? Who what kind of practices get the most benefit out of it?

Deborah (00:44:03) - Oh. End of life care practices. Start up practices. General practices for these are all veterinary practices and crematories, crematory startups, established crematories.

Deborah (00:44:15) - One thing Dr. Cornelis did not mention is that she started and owned her own acclimation facility and ran that successfully as well. So she sold that as a package when she sold her end of life care practice. So we consult with a lot of crematories already, both flame based and acclimation. So because the business is still the business of end of life care and we can help them figure out the nuances of working with, you know, veterinarians and hiring vets. So. Yes. And they could just reach out to us at Vet Spark There is a form there and we'll get in touch with them. And again, we we set it up with hourly billing. We do have a free introductory 30 minute consultation with them and we know that we can show our value very quickly and really help them. Our goal is that you're realizing so much value and increased revenue from using our services that you're like, Oh, that's a no brainer. We need help. Let's get the help. It's important when you hire a consulting firm that you got somebody who's been there, done that and is doing that, not somebody who is trained in consulting in a general way, because this is these are such specific questions that need help and we're here to do that.

Deborah (00:45:32) - So again, it's Vet spark vs and Victor et spark consulting at dot com and then our email is vet Spark consulting at

Brandon (00:45:47) - Wonderful. Well, I'm sure there's 1,000,000 million things that you could help with. And if anybody is interested, I'd highly suggest reaching out to you both. Thank you so much for your time, and I really appreciate it. It was really great insights. So thank you.

Christie (00:46:02) - Thank you. The pleasure was ours.

Deborah (00:46:04) - Thank you, Brandon. We really appreciate it. And Brandon is is a really great. AdWords person. So go to him.

Christie (00:46:11) - Yes, Yes. Thank you.

Deborah (00:46:13) - Recommend.

Brandon (00:46:14) - Thank you very much. All right. So I hope that you enjoyed today's episode. Again, if you have any questions or comments, need help with anything, don't hesitate to reach out. And if you want to get in touch with Dr. Cornelius or Dr. Rotman, you just send an email to Vet Spark Consulting at That is vet spa consulting at See you on the next episode and have a great day everyone.

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Brandon Breshears
Digital Marketer & Podcaster
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