March 2014



Phone (908) 823-4607- [email protected]

Driving Excellence in Your Practice




We've all heard it - strategic planning is a must for businesses to excel and move forward.  In order to determine where the practice is going, you need to know exactly where it stands, then determine where you want to go and how to get there. 


Strategic planning puts you in the driver's seat - firmly in control of your direction rather than reacting to the next bump or curve in the road.  Yet in spite of good intentions, too often the year slips away and the new one begins without practices taking this critical step.  Why?  Reasons include lack of time, lack of clarity about who is involved and how to conduct the meeting, and lack of follow through with the decisions made.  So sit back and follow the road map of Hope Veterinary Center (composite practice) to reach your strategic planning destination.


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Tax Efficient Practice Sales 





The sale of a veterinary practice is in many circumstances the culmination of a long career, and may be the fork in the road leading to retirement, alternative careers, partnership, or a slower pace. It is commonly a transaction which generates much thought, consternation, indecision, education, questions, and concerns. The process is uncharted territory for many veterinarians, and help in the form of professional advisors like accountants, attorneys, appraisers, financial planners, practice brokers, lenders, and realtors is necessary.

A practice seller should set sale and retirement goals years in advance, as a practice sale may be the biggest asset sale of their lifetime. If properly planned, outside investments will be funded, and a practice buyer will be in waiting. Practice sellers frequently have psychological attachment to their former practice or real estate, but it should be treated primarily as an investment transaction. Many owners also have interesting opinions as to the value of their practice, not based upon material facts and profitability. The NCVEI Profitability estimator ( is a very good rough calculator of practice profitability after normalization of expenses (required in order to do a practice valuation). Some practices may even have no value due to lower profitability, and a good way to gauge your practice situation is the No-Lo Practice brochure from VetPartners at Buyers, especially today, will not pay for a practice's potential, just actual historical results and profits.


(Click here to read full article)

Reminder: VBA has moved!
Please be sure to write down our new contact information:


1 Washington Drive
Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889

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In This Issue
Driving Excellence In Your Practice
Tax Efficient Practice Sales
Profiles in Leadership
Employee Manual Wellness
NAVC Profiles in Leadership: Charlotte Lacroix, DVM, JD



Profiles in Leadership is a monthly Connect2Care feature that provides insight into the bright minds of leaders in the global veterinary healthcare community.


NAVC is pleased to present our interview with 2014 President of the NAVC Board of Directors, Dr. Charlotte Lacroix. Dr. Lacroix owns and manages Veterinary Business Advisors, Inc., a consulting firm, which advises veterinarians and attorneys nationwide on veterinary business and legal issues.


Click here to see full profile!
Has Your Employee Manual Had A Wellness Review?

Is it ok to have "cookie cutter" employment policies that don't necessarily fit your practice? What's wrong with just borrowing someone else's employee handbook and distributing it to your staff as your own? Why should you spend the money to customize your policies? If you're a small practice, do you really need a Handbook? How often should you review your policies to make sure they are legally compliant?


These are all good questions that practice owners and managers must ask themselves as they assess the effectiveness of their employee handbooks. Employee policies should be clear, concise, and reflect how you want to treat your employees. Some policies are essential and should be included in every practice's Handbook. For instance, an Equal Employment Opportunity policy that prohibits harassment and discrimination will help assure your staff that these unlawful activities will not be tolerated while also providing an affirmative defense against complaints from disgruntled employees. However, many practices unnecessarily include policies they don't need just because they saw them in someone else's handbook. For instance, including information about the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) may not be necessary if your practice doesn't have enough employees for the Act to be applicable. However, once you include it in your Handbook, it becomes your policy.


Is it better to have some policies than not to have any at all? Well, that depends. Poorly crafted employment policies, or policies that don't reflect what you do in your particular practice, can actually do much more harm than good. Whether your practice employs 3 or 300, it's a good idea to review your policies annually to make sure they accurately reflect the uniqueness of your practice. If you don't have a handbook yet, what are you waiting for?  We can help! 


Email us to take the next steps! 

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2014 - Veterinary Business Advisors, Inc.
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