November 2017



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Thank you for being part of our VBA family.
Laboratory Service Contracts: The Devil's in the Details

After all the blood, sweat and tears that have gone into owning your practice, you're finally ready to sell. You have a prospective buyer who wants to assume ownership and, after many months of negotiating, you've settled upon the terms of your agreement. Then comes the fateful day when your attorney asks, "Is your laboratory contract squared away and ready to be assigned to the new owner?"
You examine your contract with your reference lab and discover that you still owe monthly payments for years into the future. You find some wiggle room in the assignment clause, but your practice's new owner tells you she has contracted with her preferred lab - and it's not the same as yours.
Upon taking a closer look at your laboratory service contract, you're appalled to find that any attempt to terminate the agreement early would result in the entire balance being due. To make matters worse, the equipment you were led to believe was provided to you by the company turns out to be provided, sure, but via a loan. As you continue to read your contract, your retirement dream keeps crashing around you.
The scenario described above admittedly presents a gloomy view of an owner coming to terms with his or her laboratory service contract, one that isn't necessarily typical. Having said that, though, it is common for these agreements to contain terms and conditions within densely worded paragraphs that can leave a practice owner at a disadvantage when it's time to terminate the contract. That's why, like with any contract, you should safeguard yourself against any surprises by taking the time to read all clauses and know exactly what is expected of you and of the contract holder.

Meet our Team:
Love our newsletter?  You can thank our team member Kelly Boyer Sagert for many of our articles.   Kelly is a professional writer, editor and coach with decades of experience. She is a member of the prestigious American Society of Professional Journalists and Authors (ASJA) and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ). She is an experienced ghostwriter, as well, and has nearly a decade of professional search engine optimization experience. Kelly is pictured below with the newest addition to her family!  
VBA Extern - Stephanie Stubbe

Stephanie is a 4th year DVM student at The University of Melbourne, Australia. Stephanie is the founder and president of Business Association of Veterinary Students in Australia (BAVS), which has strong ties with VBMA.  Founded 1 year ago, BAVS already as 150 members and is expanding to include 3 other Vet Schools in Australia. Stephanie is very passionate about all things business, and recently was placed 6th out of 100 early stage start-ups accepted on the SproutX (Australia's first Agtech Incubator) Pre-Accelerator Program for her veterinary business, Anipal. Steph is also passionate about agriculture, having grown up on a beef farm in rural Australia, as well as the outdoors, sports, languages and travels. Steph trains and competes in swimming, skiing and running and her favourite running companion is her Aussie Shepard dog Billy! Steph can't wait to come and join VBA for the externship program where she looks forward to learning everything she can about the business and legal workings of the veterinary industry. 
In This Issue
My employees are always pointing fingers and blaming other people when tasks are not complete.  How can I hold them accountable? 
Having a culture of accountability is crucial for a successful practice because members of the team can count on one another, and their sense of ownership in the practice helps it to succeed. To create such a culture, clearly outline responsibilities for each member of the team via a comprehensive job description and then provide appropriate training. Once each person understands his or her jobs, help your employees to create SMART goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.
Monitor progress with regularly scheduled employee reviews, and provide praise along with feedback on areas where improvement is needed. If a big project is in progress, you could hold weekly team meetings for updates and to celebrate accomplishments. Also, be accountable yourself. You must transparently share your own goals as well as the overall goal for the practice. Help employees to see how their goals fit into the overall practice goal and be willing to share when you've fallen short, using that as a learning experience.
Additional tips include:
  • After assigning tasks, let employees take on full responsibility. Provide specifics about each person's role, along with deadlines, then allow your team to complete tasks. This shows your confidence in them.
  • Don't micromanage or insist that a team member accomplish a task exactly how you would. If the task is completed on time and satisfactorily, that's what matters. Over-scrutinizing details can be counterproductive, leading your team to feel incompetent.
  • Don't check in too frequently. That can waste time and removes the responsibility of being accountable from your team.
So, hire the right staff and train them well. Give them ownership of their tasks and the room to accomplish their goals. Empower them to do well by giving them the opportunities to excel and leave the micromanaging to someone else.  
2018 Calendar for Human Resources Related Events 

2018 - Is it really here in just the blink of an eye? We have updated our calendar with additional events that you should be addressing in 2018 regarding Human Resources related activities. Please take the time to at least scan the list and pencil in on your appointment book or mark on your outlook calendar or for you techies with the smart phones or tablets, maybe there's an app for that - so that you are proactively prepared to administer or address each event in a timely manner. Our list is based on a calendar year and your Practice's fiscal year running concurrently. But any listed activity below, can be scheduled in the month that you need to begin the activity, so that you have enough planned lead time to get the event executed successfully according to your own schedule. Not all activities may pertain to your Practice (some depend on the number of employees working for you) and the list is comprehensive but not all inclusive - it is meant to get you thinking about Human Resources related activities and functions for the upcoming year. And as a reminder, some of the new HR related activities that are listed due to their prescribed implementation dates may change as we get closer to the deadline dates because sometimes legislative acts may get challenged, postponed or shelved. As we hear of updates, we will post them in our newsletter.

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