Understand the Real Cost of Training Required to Add a Service to Your Practice

Aug 5, 2016 by Andrew Clark

Before committing to attend a training course to enable your business to provide a new service to your clients, be sure you understand all the costs associated with the course. 

The first group of costs should be the tuition, textbooks, airfare, hotel and compensation to the veterinarian during the course.  The second but not less important costs to consider are ‘opportunity costs’.  Opportunity costs represent the revenue that could have been earned if your Veterinarian worked in the practice instead of attending the course.

The example represents costs to the practice which must be considered before attending a training 5 session chiropractic training session.  The example course is 5 1-week sessions and the calculations assume that the Veterinarian has to fly to the course and stay in a hotel. 


REAL COST:  5 SESSION CHIROPRACTIC TRAINING COURSE
Tuition                                                                              $          6,000
Text Books                                                                       $             500
Airfare 5 trips                                                                   $          2,500
Hotel @ 100/day                                            $   100       $          3,500
Daily Veterinarian Compensation                                     $             255
Compensation/Salary Employee while out of practice    $          8,909
Daily Veterinarian Production                                           $          1,273
Lost Revenue                                                                   $         44,545
Total Cost to Add New Service                                        $         65,955                             

ASSUMPTIONS:
Annual Veterinary Production                                           $    350,000
Salary or Guaranteed Minimum                                       $      70,000
days in year                                                                                   365
Weekdays Off -                                                                                10  two weeks vacation 
weekend days off -                                                                          80  one weekend on call per month 
work days                                                                                      275

Days Away From Practice                                                               35
vet comp per day                                                             $           255
Vet Production per day                                                    $        1,273


Practice owners often ask how long it takes to ‘break even’ on training courses.  In this example, charging a $150 fee per chiropractic treatment, the practice needs to perform 221 treatments per year for three years to break even, that is to earn back the money it cost the practice for the training. 

If the practice target practice profit margin is a very reasonable 15% the practice needs to perform 274 treatments per year for three years. 

Beginning in the fourth year the training is paid for and the service well be profitable if the case load remains high.  In my experience, many veterinarians acquire extensive training in a service and then fall back into their old practice habits, failing to utilize the new skills at a profitable level. 

My point is not to discourage you from pursuing training for new services, but rather to be sure you have a full understanding of how demanding it is to profitably provide the service.  The same formula for caculating costs applies to acquiring any new veterinary service skill.

Before you commit, understand the cost of training and how long it will take the business to pay off the training bill.    

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