the money question

In response to a few posts ago a question was asked about how finances at the clinic have been impacted by my maternity leave and reduced work schedule.  It’s a good question, and it’s a question that has kept me up at nights (hahaha, obviously that’s just a figure of sleep because I sleep like a brick unless I have a patient to worry about), and one I certainly don’t mind answering…except that I’m not sure how best to answer it. I took an online class about practice management and learned all about balance sheets and P&Ls, etc., and I know the answer is in there somewhere, but…eh, I don’t know where.

This is what I can tell you:

1. The clinic remains profitable enough to pay all our bills, my employees, and still increase bank account bottom lines every month.

2. In October 2011, I only worked for two full weeks; our gross profit was 85% of that for October 2010. (At the time, i was THRILLED with how busy we were in Oct ’10, but that was our first full month open)

3. In 2011, with me there only 2.5 days but the clinic open full-time, we made 110% and 150% and 170% of what we made in November and December 2010 and January 2011.

4. To my knowledge, we haven’t had to turn a single person away who wanted an appointment, so it’s hard to estimate how much more we’d be making if I were there full-time.

It isn’t valid to compare the first few months the clinic was open with the first few months the primary breadwinner was spending a lot of time snuggling with a gorgeous little babe.  Apples and oranges I think. But I can say that things are good enough.

I haven’t yet, but I am quite certain that if you asked anyone who knew better, they would be able to tell you this:

1. The clinic isn’t making as much money as it should be.

2. The vet isn’t generating as much revenue as she should be.

But to them I would say, poop to you. Because as best as I can tell, I am the luckiest person alive: I get to spend a ton of time with my gorgeous family, and I get to run a fundamentally successful business. I get to work at a career that makes me incredibly happy. I get to keep several people gainfully employed and as good friends.  So if my bottom line isn’t as glorious as maybe it could or should be? I’m really, truly okay with that.

And now I will add a quiet but very obvious caveat that this life would not be possible if my husband wasn’t supportive and also gainfully employed.  And it helps that he’s quite handsome too.  And makes excellent margaritas. But I digress!!

My bottom line is that life is very well balanced, and the finances are Good Enough.

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3 thoughts on “the money question

  1. 4th Year Student

    Thanks so much for answering my question. That was very helpful. And I completely agree with you–work is just one facet of life. So what if you’re not “maximizing your business”, as long as you’re happy with your life!

    Also, you talk about how your clinic is open full time but you’re only there half time. Can you give an idea of the kinds of appointments or revenue-generating activities your techs/staff are up to when you’re not there that make being open worthwhile? I’ve come up with some thoughts (tech appointments, suture removal, selling any products you carry, kennel stuff–if you have a kennel, etc.) but I’d love to hear your list. Thanks!

  2. ejh345

    Thank y ou both! I feel very much the same – I’m happy to take a cut to my bottom line so long as I get to enjoy what really matters in life.

    And to 4th year, you are pretty much exactly right – as far as generating revenue, they take care of OTC sales, refilling prescriptions, boarding check-ins/outs. Of course, they also schedule appointments, answer phones and track me down if an emergency does arise, and take care of the boarding animals as necessary ( we have a small boarding facility and this time of year only a few animals at a time usually). They’ll usually bring in around $200/day.

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