Tuesday 25 October 2016

Have you any prescriptions for improving my vet service?

Feargal Quinn

Published 07/04/2016 | 02:30

Feargal Quinn
Feargal Quinn

Q: I run a successful veterinary business with a number of vets practising from it. I don't want to open any more sites, but rather to improve my current business. Are there any suggestions you have?

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A: It can be very tempting to open another branch if the first one is successful, but sometimes this isn't the correct thing to do.

I meet many entrepreneurs who run very successful single-site businesses and there is a common pattern with them all in that they are very focused on continuous improvement and never resting in their laurels. If I were in your shoes I would be looking at some of the following and challenging if you are doing the best possible job. You don't just want to be good, you want to be great.

Look at your customer service and ask yourself the question 'Is every customer leaving with a wow experience?'. Ask yourself what additional smaller touches could be brought into the business which could further personalise the service and assist your customers at what can sometimes be a stressful time.

You could also focus on the brand and review how you can communicate your brand messaging. Lots of people get confused between the logo and the brand. The logo is simply a symbol or a mark, the brand encompasses every bit of the consumer experience, for example your digital media strategy, the ease of use of your website, whether you use staff uniforms, name badges etc.

I often say to businesses that their job is not to grow the sales, but rather build the brand. This may seem like a contradiction but in fact if the consumer understands your brand, the sales will automatically come. I met a pharmacist recently who is using technology to alert customers when their prescription is due for refilling and when the customer acknowledges they want the prescription completed via their phone, staff members have it ready before the customer even arrives.

What I am really saying is that even though you run a successful business, there are probably endless opportunities which still exist to move it onto a higher level thus increasing sales and profitability from the single sight you operate from.

Send your small business questions to himself@feargalquinn.ie

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