Managing any form of business in any industry is always a daunting task. However, overseeing a specialist business such as a veterinary practice is at an elevated difficulty level. While there are many complications that practice managers can face when managing a vet operation, there are seven that are the most prominent. Read on to learn more about these challenges in veterinary practice management and actionable strategies to deal with them.

Seven Challenges in Veterinary Practice Management

Here, we discuss in detail the top complications that practice managers can confront in vet clinic administration.
1. Regulatory Compliance Problems
The veterinary industry is a subset of the medical sector and tends to experience the specific regulations that medical practitioners face.
A major challenge involves keeping up with the various legal frameworks that govern industry practice. For instance, there is a huge disparity in the relevant legislation across state lines. Almost every state has a Veterinary Practice Act, and in several cases, the contents of each act are not entirely similar.
Also, certain legislations exist in some states and not in others. For instance, some states have veterinary reporting laws. Furthermore, each state has a veterinary medical board that licenses vet professionals, so the laws that they have to abide by may be different across state lines.
This situation makes it difficult for practitioners to navigate uncertain legal terrain because their clients may come from multiple states.
2. Increasing Competition
There is a great deal of competition in the vet industry, with a 32% increase in vet clinics over the past decade.
However, the real challenge comes from the corporate world.
Huge companies, some of which are run by non-veterinarians, are buying up smaller companies in a mergers and acquisitions spree. These corporations possess economies of scale that traditional vet clinics can’t compete against.
Small vet operations find it difficult to vie for talent, patronage, and funding in a market stifled by corporate interests.
3. Industry Relevance Struggles
The veterinary market is fast-changing due to innovations regularly coming on board, making it challenging to stay on top of the changes.
For instance, the industry has gone beyond the culture of bringing animals to the clinic for treatment. Instead, there are mobile clinics and at-home treatments, virtual consultations, and online diagnoses.
Customer behavior has changed too, as they now expect a service-focused approach from you. Clients are increasingly tech-savvy, and they will check online reviews and social media before deciding to patronize you.
4. Poor Workflow Efficiency
The veterinary clinic setup is complex because it involves several moving parts. For instance, the vet manager pays attention to staff management, client relations, billing, and finances. They also have to oversee regulatory compliance, imaging and diagnostics, bookings and scheduling, etc.
Handling all these seamlessly can be intimidating.
5. Employee and Talent Management
The vet practice’s human resources are its most important assets, but it’s not an easy task managing them. The challenge of people management begins from the recruitment stage, where vet practices cannot get the needed talent. A survey revealed that many vet practice managers reported a lack of skilled veterinarians to fill open roles, and those who had the technical skills had limited soft skills.
After hiring, veterinary managers have to deal with unmotivated staff members.
6. Client Satisfaction
Even though you’re in the business of treating animals, their owners remain your direct clients, and navigating customer management is always challenging. You have to ensure that they get the best, as this will determine whether you get repeat patronage.
Unfortunately, you will always meet difficult clients who will be unimpressed despite receiving optimized service.
7. Financial and Expansion Challenges
You’re running a business, and ensuring that its finances are in the right state should be a top priority. However, dealing with the money aspects of a vet practice is always daunting. It is a capital-intensive industry, and the cost of starting can be exceedingly exorbitant. Conservative estimates put the bill for starting a mobile clinic at $250,000, while the expenditure for a conventional operation can reach $1 million.
Accessing capital from traditional sources is practically impossible. Banks and other financial institutions prefer to back the corporates because they appear more bankable on paper.
Upon starting, the financial struggles become even more elevated. You must always be thinking about keeping costs low, charging competitive but fair prices, and seeking capital for expansion.

Strategies to Dealing with the Top Challenges in Vet Practice

Although these challenges are daunting, putting certain frameworks in place can help practice managers deal with them.
Adopt Technology in Internal Operations
Introducing technological tools across the entire operations chain can help solve challenges such as poor workflow and client satisfaction.
For instance, you can automate bookings and scheduling with software, preventing overbooking. There can also be a program that handles workflow and task management. Furthermore, you can overhaul diagnostic imaging systems by introducing improved technologies.
Embark on an Aggressive Digital Drive
The world has gone online, and you have to follow suit to stay relevant. First, you need a well-designed and highly responsive website. It should be user-friendly and information-rich and enable users to do such things as scheduling.
You also need a top-notch social media strategy, either organically or through ads. You can look at other online avenues too, such as SEO and blogging.
Pursue a Client-Centric Business Strategy
You must prioritize the customer. No matter how big your brand grows, ensure that interactions remain personal. Get to know the clients and their pets’ needs. Be sure to conduct follow-ups.
Keep Abreast of Industry Trends
You need to remain updated about treatment options, emerging services, and industry changes. You can stay abreast by attending events, following the right media, and cultivating the appropriate networks.
Apply Prudent Business Practices
Appropriate business practices include prudent financial management. Always make time for reviews and performance evaluations to note areas that require improvements.
Good business administration also entails constantly pursuing growth while ensuring efficient operations in the interim.
Prioritize Employee Interests
Your employees need to be in the right state of mind. Achieving this goes beyond merely paying the right salaries. You need to give them a sense of belonging. They need to feel like stakeholders rather than merely staff members. You also need to seek and appreciate their input and encourage them to take the initiative. Create an atmosphere where team spirit wins.
Always Have a Startup Mindset
Never allow complacency to settle in any area of the business. Having a startup mindset involves maintaining the early-stage principles. For instance, keep good customer relations and engender close employee rapport, no matter how big the practice gets.


Running a vet operation involves paying attention to multiple things at once and ensuring that you excel at them all. Achieving this is not going to be easy, and you will encounter challenges. However, employing technology and building a people-centered culture can help you surmount them.
Here at Asteris, it’s our goal to help veterinarians make sound medical decisions with ease, clarity, and confidence by giving them the tools and insights that they need to optimize the way they work.
If you’re ready to stop feeling like there’s not enough time in your day, we can help you optimize your imaging processes and the way you work. Contact our specialists today to get started!