Like all businesses must do, planning for seasonality in veterinary medicine is essential. Why is this important? In the dynamic landscape of veterinary practices, success isn’t merely about diagnosing and treating pets with kindness and compassion; it’s about understanding the financial heartbeat of your business. Every season brings its own challenges, opportunities, and revelations. At WhiskerCloud, we’ve honed the importance of a proactive stance, ensuring that veterinary practices not only react to these shifts but anticipate and harness them for growth.

The Reality of Seasonal Revenue in Veterinary Practices

Year-round growth is more than just a buzzword—it’s a vital compass guiding practices to stability. Highs and lows punctuate the year, each period demanding its own strategic approach. The following data comes from a semi-recent AVMA study:

  • First Quarter: 27.9%
  • Second Quarter: 28.6%
  • Third Quarter: 24.9%
  • Fourth Quarter: 18.5%

The disparities between quarters aren’t mere data points; they’re narratives of behavior patterns, client preferences, and market dynamics. They echo the need for practices to be fluid, adaptive, and, most of all, proactive. This is where WhiskerCloud can help you plan for dips in revenue during the always-hectic holiday season.

Proactive Planning: WhiskerCloud’s Comprehensive Guide

1. Digital Marketing: A Modern Necessity

Today’s pet owners are digital-savvy. They research, compare, and make choices online based on websites, reviews, and overall service offerings. Ensuring a dominant online presence is no longer optional—it’s essential.

  • SEO: Beyond visibility, it’s about creating trust and authority in the online realm. This is why it’s so important to have strong technical SEO on your custom veterinary website—this is an ongoing tool to bring in leads from local search queries.
  • PPC Advertising: A strategic tool that helps practices be precisely where they need to be at the right time. Google Ads are not something that should just be turned off-and-on; this is an ongoing tool to ensure you’re in the mix for new local business as Banfield, VCA, and telecare companies clog the top of Google search engine rankings with big budgets and broad keywords.

2. Social Media: Building Bridges

Social media isn’t just a platform; it’s a conversation. Veterinary practices must listen, engage, and converse, fostering a community beyond the clinic’s walls. A strong social media presence is essential for the success and growth of your veterinary hospital. Did you know that 95% of businesses worldwide use Facebook, and 1.6 billion people are connected to small businesses on the platform? Your clients want to communicate with you on social media, so don’t miss out on this marketing opportunity!

  • Engagement: It’s about cultivating relationships and fostering trust. Sharing updates from the clinic and connecting with customers will ensure they return often because your content educates and reminds them of their pet’s needs.
  • Promotions: Opportunities to showcase value and build loyalty through special offers are essential for veterinary businesses. The difference between 100% booked out and 75% booked out could be a special offer and strong reminders. It’s that simple.

3. Expanding Services: Anticipating Needs

Each pet owner’s journey is unique. By diversifying services, your veterinary practice can ensure it is equipped to address every twist and turn of this journey.

  • Add-on Services: More than revenue streams, they’re about holistic care. Consider additional ways to bring in business and, most importantly, care for your clients and patients. This includes boarding, grooming, holistic offerings, behavioral services, and retail items such as food and treats.
  • Telehealth: Marrying convenience with quality, the future is already here. Plenty of technology is available to help you extend services beyond your brick-and-mortar open hours and can drive revenue for your clinic.

Advanced Strategies: Staying One Step Ahead of Seasonality in Veterinary Medicine

Preparation meets opportunity. Veterinary practices must consistently sharpen their strategic edge, ensuring they’re not just reacting but leading the charge. WhiskerCloud is here to help you in every step of the journey.

1. Anticipate and Prepare

The best defense is a good offense. Forward-thinking practices stay ahead by continually projecting and planning, turning potential threats into opportunities.

  • Plan Ahead: It’s not just about resources; it’s about direction and vision. Ensure you keep in contact with clients by utilizing tools like PetDesk for automatic reminders for care, loyalty programs, and mass messages to inactive clients.
  • Know Your Numbers: How often do you look at your clinic’s P&L? You should know the numbers behind these five categories monthly: Revenue, Payroll, COG (cost of goods), Facility Costs, and Administrative Costs.

2. Entice and Retain

Every client interaction is an opportunity—to provide value, learn, and solidify relationships. Like all businesses, using special offers to get new clients in the door for you to delight with compassionate care could drive big numbers for your business.

  • Offer Discounts or Promotions: It’s about inviting new engagements and reducing barriers for new clients looking for a veterinarian. 50% off a first exam or free nail trims for checking in on Yelp or Facebook could be a great way to get millennial pet parents in the door, ready to find their pet’s forever doctor.
  • Loyalty Programs Are a Must: More points and goodies mean you’ll see your patients more often. Well-done Loyalty programs can also increase client spend by over 35% – per client!

3. Forge Beneficial Alliances

In the interconnected world of business, synergies can amplify impact. By forging the right alliances with local pet businesses, practices can tap into new client bases and offer enhanced value.

  • Partner with Other Pet Businesses: Shared values, shared growth. Find local groomers, boarding, or pet shelters to connect with for special offers that can do both ways. 20% off spay and neuter for all rescued pets from a shelter at the veterinarian, and $50 off the admin fee of a new adoption if the veterinarian refers you. In this case, pet parents can win both ways.
  • Partner with Other Non-Pet Businesses: Here’s something that almost no veterinarians are doing (that we’ve heard about): partner with non-pet businesses in the area that make sense for you. Real estate agents with clients moving to a new city can recommend your services, and pet-friendly companies can also recommend your business if you can form a relationship with them. Something to consider!

4. Lean on Technological Advancements

Technology isn’t just a tool; it’s a catalyst. Technology plays a pivotal role in shaping a practice’s seasonal strategy by streamlining operations, enhancing client experiences, and ensuring timely interventions.

  • Website, Marketing, and SEO: Every business on Earth needs a user-friendly website, strong SEO, and local marketing to help them stand out from the crowd. WhiskerCloud is the all-in-one veterinary growth platform to help you scale your business over time.
  • Connect with Clients with an App: PetDesk’s all-in-one patient journey bundle empowers clients to be more proactive in their pets’ health. With services including our 5-star rated mobile app, automated reminders, texting platform, digital marketing, online booking, smart VoIP, payments, and more, there’s something for every clinic to create a less stressful, more successful clinic.
  • Make it Easy To Book Appointments 24/7: Vetstoria is a real-time online booking platform that allows clients to book appointments anytime, anywhere from your website. Integrated with over 30 practice management systems, this tool helps you reduce phone calls and no-shows.
  • Do More Than Answer the Phone: Kontak Retriever integrates into your PIMS screen and helps you identify new and current customers with helpful and actionable information at every call. Take an opportunity to impress your customers and make your staff more efficient.

Is your veterinary business ready for seasonality trends?

The rhythm of veterinary medicine, dictated by seasonality, offers practices an opportunity to innovate, adapt, and excel. With WhiskerCloud’s expertise and tools, practices can chart these seasonal waters and set sail toward consistent growth and prosperity. Preparing for seasonality isn’t about bracing for impact; it’s about choreographing a dance with the seasons, ensuring every step, twist, and turn is a stride toward success.

You’re already running behind if you aren’t thinking about the next quarter today. If you’re a current customer looking for advice, email us directly at, and we’ll be here to help.

Veterinary Business Seasonality FAQs

Q. Why is planning for seasonality in veterinary medicine essential?
A. Planning for seasonality in veterinary medicine is crucial because it helps practices understand the financial heartbeat of their business. Every season brings challenges, opportunities, and revelations, and planning ensures that practices can anticipate and harness these shifts for growth.

Q. What does the data from the AVMA study suggest about veterinary practices’ revenue distribution throughout the year?
A. The AVMA study indicates that there are disparities in revenue between quarters. The breakdown is First Quarter at 27.9%, Second Quarter at 28.6%, Third Quarter at 24.9%, and Fourth Quarter at 18.5%. These percentages highlight behavior patterns, client preferences, and market dynamics that veterinary practices need to be aware of.

Q. Why is digital marketing essential for today’s veterinary practices?
A. Digital marketing is essential because today’s pet owners are digital-savvy. They research, compare, and make choices online. Ensuring a dominant online presence and strong technical SEO helps veterinary practices build trust and authority and attract leads from local search queries.

Q. How can social media benefit a veterinary practice?
A. Social media is not just a platform but a conversation medium. Veterinary practices must engage and foster a community beyond the clinic’s walls. By cultivating relationships and sharing updates, practices can educate and remind clients of their pet’s needs, ultimately driving business growth.

Q. How can veterinary practices anticipate the needs of pet owners?
A. Veterinary practices can anticipate pet owner needs by diversifying their services. This includes offering add-on services such as boarding, grooming, and telehealth. By expanding these services, practices can address the unique journey of each pet owner and ensure they have solutions for every twist and turn.

Q. Why should veterinary practices consider forming alliances with other businesses?
A. Forming alliances can amplify the impact of a veterinary practice. By partnering with local pet and non-pet businesses, practices can tap into new client bases and offer enhanced value, potentially driving more traffic and revenue.

Q. How can technology help veterinary practices prepare for seasonality trends?
A. Technology can streamline operations, enhance client experiences, and ensure timely interventions. Technology is pivotal in shaping a practice’s seasonal strategy, from user-friendly websites and strong SEO to apps like PetDesk and platforms like Vetstoria.

Q. What is WhiskerCloud’s role in helping veterinary practices navigate seasonality?
A. WhiskerCloud offers expertise and tools to help veterinary practices navigate seasonality’s challenges and opportunities. Their all-in-one growth platform assists practices in scaling their business over time, ensuring consistent growth and prosperity.

Q. How can veterinary practices connect with WhiskerCloud for advice?
A. Veterinary practices that are current customers of WhiskerCloud and looking for advice can email directly at for assistance.

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