When Dr. Ron Cooper opened his own practice near Florida’s famous Weeki Wachee Springs last February, he knew he needed some management training.
“I had worked for five years as an associate for someone who had managed by the seat of his pants,” says Dr. Cooper, “and I thought the potential for the clinic was a lot greater than the owner could see. I would say we needed to advertise and promote, but he didn’t want to be too busy.”
Dr. Cooper started his own practice in February of 1995 and looked around for a good management system until June, when he saw Sterling’s introductory video. “It really hit home for me.” Soon he was off to Glendale to learn what he needed for a successful practice.
“The people there are helpful and friendly, definitely upscale!
“While I was training, I could see that having a workable bonus system would be really useful for me, and I was right. Keeping statistics is another thing that really helps me. You can tell whether or not you are going to make it next month. And it lets me be able to reward the upstats (productive people with rising statistics) rather than down-stat, unproductive staff.
“I got back, and then a number of the staff went to the Sterling two-day workshop in New Orleans, so that we would be on the same wavelength. Right afterwards we had a staff meeting, and we really started implementing the management system.”
Dr. Cooper says the staff quickly found the Sterling system, including rewards for production, made their lives more pleasant.
“They enjoy it. Look,” says Dr. Cooper, “the staff basically control the appointment book. They can make your practice as busy or as slow as they want—so you better keep the staff happy!”
With the Hubbard system, the staff work to support the veterinarian and push the practice up. Says Dr. Cooper, “They like to see me do well. My technician and I are good friends; I’ve known her for seven years now. And she really gets on my case if I don’t keep the statistics up to date: ‘Graph the charts!’ she’ll say.”
And speaking of Dr. Cooper’s statistics, how are they doing? “Oh, I’m not complaining—my stats doubled from my worst month to my best month!”
Dr. Cooper says his consultant at Sterling has been extremely helpful in helping identify people who are pretending to be helpful but are not so.
“Sterling really helped with my bedside manner, too,” says Dr. Cooper. “I had a problem talking to people, and avoided eye contact. I don’t avoid eye contact now, and I don’t mumble. I know what the dog needs and I never try to give them something they don’t need, because they can pick that up right away. But I have to get across to the client what the dog needs. The way you come across is important.
“Sterling is great for people just getting started. I tell other veterinarians that spending the money now for Sterling is better than practicing for five years and not realizing the potential of your practice.
“I tell them that they need to get the management training, because it’s not fun to fly by the seat of your pants.”