The end of any year can be a stressful time for a small business, and 2020 might just be the most anxiety-inducing one of them all. The industry as a whole went through waves of rapid contraction and intense expansion this year, and what your practice dealt with probably has a lot to do with the area of the country you’re in. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of help this time of year as you look for ways to tie up loose ends.

First things first, the crew at Quickbooks has put together a concise and comprehensive guide to manage the end of year for your practice, from Accounting and HR to IT and general business topics. If you’ve only got time to read one of the articles on this list, this is the one. Ask Jan For Help offers expert help for all of the professional disciplines discussed in this piece, and with a membership you can get unlimited Q&A with our team on these tips for free with your subscription!

If you’ve been dealing with staff stress this year (and who hasn’t?) this piece on vetsuccess.com by Meg Oliver, CVPM is a must-read. It starts by exploring in detail the reasons why the environment in the practice has become so much more stressful. You might think you can predict what these will be, but a couple of them surprised me, it’s a worthwhile read for that alone. Then Meg gives some tips on what your practice can do to help counter those trends, and keep the staff on the lifeboat.

Stressed humans are one thing, but what about managing stressed-out patients? The ‘new normal’ veterinary workflow, including the increasing necessity of curbside pickup, cuts out the calming presence of the pet parent from the normal waiting-are to exam room flow. On the IDEXX Practice Life blog, practice manager Des Whittall takes a look at managing that change. One tip that I love is double-checking whether you did or didn’t give that dose of medication – this is something I discuss all the time with regard to CUBEX and how it helps to have an automated record of dispenses. Des also has a whole section on ,making the most of curbside, it’s a really nice article.

Let’s all hope 2021 brings the start of a return to ‘normalcy,’ but that we keep some of the positives that so many of us have experienced as a result of the ordeal we’ve all been through. The strengthening of the human-pet bond that we’ve seen this year is a tailwind for our industry that should keep blowing for a long time, now we just have to make sure our teams are able to ride the wave.

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