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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Back To School Blues

I'm bored.

Like many businesses, veterinary medicine is sometimes at the whim of seasonal changes, weather, and so on.  Summer is our busy season while things really drop off during the winter.  We'll also see that rainy days tend to bring out fewer people, though beautiful weekend days are also slow because of people taking advantage of the nice weather to do outdoor activities.  Another influence is kids and school.

Today is the first day of school in our county, and Monday kids go back in a neighboring county.  Parents are spending their time and money getting their children back into school, which means less time and money to bring pets in.  While the first part of the week was steady to busy we really dropped off today.  As much as I hate being slow I shouldn't be surprised becuase this happens every single year.  I can always count on the fact that for a week or two around the time that school begins and again when it ends for the Summer we will see a drop in business.

But I don't have to like it.

First and foremost we are a business and have to take in revenue.  If clients don't come in, we have less revenue and if it continues for too long we're in trouble of surviving.  Many veterinary clinics in the US have closed because of a significant drop in business during the current economy.  My problem today is merely an expected seasonal variation and we're actually growing quite well, so I don't see this as a reason to worry.  If it continued at this rate for the next three or four weeks I would indeed worry!  But I have years of data to show that this is typical for this week of the year.  As I've mentioned frequently in the past, there are aspects to operating a veterinary practice that many people never realize, even veterinary students or newly graduated vets.  For better or for worse we have to pay attention to business trends and anticipate the slower periods by doing well in the busier ones.  We have to maintain profitability in order to stay open and continue to serve our clients and patients.

But today I sit here bored.  Blogging.