Theo and Charlotte Find a Way to Enjoy Business Again
Theo and Charlotte are veterinary surgeons who first became clients of ours in 2005. Working within the framework of a well-known national veterinary services business that works mainly with domestic pets, both are genuine and sincere animal lovers. Being vets was all they ever wanted to do and when they go their own surgery, they thought they’d got to where they always wanted to be in life. Over they years though as their business has grown, they realised that they weren’t enjoying life so much anymore. As is often the case they found that more of their time was being spent on administration, human resources issues and dealing face-to-face with customers, some of whom could occasionally be less than polite and reasonable. What both wanted was to make sick animals better.
At their regular annual consultation, they explained their problem and how they were looking to work toward an early exit from the business after which they’d do locum work or find jobs as employed practitioners. We thought this was a mistake. One of the best things about having your own business is that you are your own boss. Sure, the responsibilities are heavy and a great many small business owners – like ourselves at West Riding – work much longer hours than most employed individuals. Even so, when it is your own business, at least you are putting in the hours for your own benefit and you can enjoy the flexibility that being your own boss allows. Not many people, once they’ve got used to that freedom, want to go back to taking orders from somebody else. We would not and we figured they probably wouldn’t either. We wanted them to think again. So, we came up with a simple alternative plan.
We advised Theo and Charlotte to hire a practice manager whose job it would be to handle all human resources and customer relations issues leaving them to do the clinical work. It was as simple as that. After thinking it over, Theo and Charlotte agreed to give it a go. Soon they had recruited a practice manager and our solution is working well. Theo and Charlotte are back doing what they do best and are once again enjoying business.
Management consultancy is not our main line of business. However, we have accumulated a great many years of experience dealing with staff, clients and all kinds of issues while working in a variety of different businesses ourselves. We have also worked with clients who themselves own or work in all sorts of businesses. When it comes to business problems there is not much that we haven’t seen before. The same issues tend to come up time and again. Our impartiality and the detachment with which we can look at a problem has often enabled us to come up with quick, easy and economical solutions to what previously appeared intractable problems.