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Vets In Money Love Shocker – Cash Flow Tips To Beat The Recession

13 years ago

1st June, 2009 00h00

During the recession money is tight. Read on for my tips that will transform your cash flow inside of a month. 1. Bombing Out on Billing? There is a very good chance that you are losing 10-50% of revenues each time you or an assistant invoices for work done. This is madness but in my opinion one of the biggest problems facing practices today. Do you have a set price list? Do you know what profit levels you are trying to achieve? Do you teach your assistants how to use it when they arrive at your practice? Be honest. If ‘no’ is the answer then there’s hope for you yet. Before you do anything else make sure you address you billing. Grab out a handful of invoices and see if your team are getting it right. If not, then it’s time for a retraining session. 2. Avoiding Debt There is no point being busy if you’re not getting paid. You may be experiencing an increased demand for direct claims and payment plans from your clients right now. Your assistants are being bombarded by the same media messages as clients about how bad things are. Together they are conspiring to ruin your cash flow by creating more non-payment situations than previously. (Assistants are in general not good at standing up to such requests for credit). Make sure you reiterate and reinforce your policy on debt – avoiding it is a lot better than clawing it back. Teach your assistants how to say no gently when a client asks for credit. 3. Recovering Debt I have seen practices adding tens of thousands of pounds of debt in the past two months. Small business cannot sustain this level of debt. Delegate the task of analysing your debt to a trusted team member. Split it into insured and uninsured. Also divide it into aged (over 30 days) and non-aged. Then start with the biggest outstanding aged accounts first and chew through them. Be relentless. If insurance is outstanding, call the company for an explanation and get them to commit to a time schedule – then hold them to it. Make sure you have a set policy for dealing with uninsured debt. I prefer a policy whereby it starts nice and escalates gradually towards a debt recovery firm. 4. Being Thrifty You have bills to pay right? Drugs, staff, marketing, postage, overheads….my advice is to pay as little for everything as possible. (Note - that’s not the same as paying late) It is in everyone’s interest that your practice doesn’t go bust so lots of people will be willing to give you discounts. ‘Everything is negotiable’ is one of my mantras. Now is the time to hone your haggling skills. Upgrading equipment? - Haggle for a discount or see if the vendor will throw in a huge box of useful consumables for free. Running a marketing campaign? - Your suppliers will probably cover some or all of the costs. Lease up for renewal? – Many landlords are willing to renegotiate deals right now, or at least not put them up as much as usual. If you don’t ask you don’t get. Now is not the time to be shy! Keeping control of cash flow will mean your business can continue to deliver pet care, employ local staff and keep money flowing through the supply chain. The more of us that achieve that, the sooner we’ll be through the recession! If you have comments or tips you’d like to add? Please click this link and type away. If your business is struggling and you would like some help getting back on track then why not drop me a line?

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