Episode 14: This podcast focuses on issues related to new business start-up, marketing and other important topics. This episode features a conversation with husband and wife team who launched the Dogwood Veterinary Clinic in Norton Commons. They offer some innovative procedures and services, combined with a strong focus on building relationships with their clients. We’re going discuss their vision, their journey (so far) and a few comments on facts you need to know about your pet and the corona virus (Covid-19).
Dr. Katie Franklin and Dr. Chris Franklin met while attending the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. Katie earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Kentucky. Chris earned his undergraduate degree at Murray State University, where he was also a quarterback for 5 years.
After an extensive search, they decided to build their new practice in Louisville’s Norton Commons, rather than buying an existing, veterinary practice. The risk is that they started off without a client base, but were confident that their vision for the business would lead to success.
Creating a Vision for the Dogwood Veterinary Clinic:
While both initially thought they’d focus on equine medicine, Katie and Chris explain how and why they decided to transition to a small animal veterinary practice. Some of the advantages include a better work-life balance, more opportunities to build relationships and the chance to create a unique environment for pet and the pet-owners. For them, it’s about creating a terrific experience.
Developing Unique Selling Propositions to Standout in Your Market:
Louisville is a community already crowded with veterinary practices. Katie and Chris knew they’d need to find ways to offer innovative services and other ways to break into the market and quickly develop a client base. Here are some of the ways they’re doing it:
Concierge Service – An optional service to provide cell phone access 24/7 for emergencies. You can see if your pet is having a true emergency, or if it’s something that the pet-owner may be able to handle the following day. It can be a significant cost savings vs. a trip to an emergency veterinary hospital. If it is an emergency, Dr. Katie and/or Dr. Chris will only see after hours emergency cases for members of the concierge service. If your pet has a condition which requires 24-hour care at an emergency hospital, we can communicate directly with the other vets about your pet’s history.
Loyalty Program – A way to reward loyal clients. You earn rewards based on the money you spend to be used toward the cost of future services at Dogwood Veterinary Clinic. They want a way to give back to their clients for deciding to support a local business.
Regenerative Medicine – A new procedure involving using your pet’s own stem cells and platelet-rich plasma to help it recover more quickly. The entire process is handled at Dogwood. The benefits include:
- Cheaper than a full surgery
- Less pain and anesthesia for your pet
- Your pet can usually go home the same day
- It’s used on both cats and dogs
House Calls – You can schedule a home visit with your vet and a technician for your pet. This is an excellent option if you have limited mobility, multiple pets, large pets or even if you’re worried about avoiding the corona virus.
The Dogwood Veterinary Clinic offers a variety of standard surgical procedures including broken bones, abdominal surgeries, bladder stone removal, spay and neutering services. Dr. Chris discusses how they specifically target the market opportunity to provide orthopedic services, such as fracture repair and cruciate rupture treatment, much more cost-effectively than going to a board-certified surgeon.
They also offer dental cleanings, extractions and other veterinary dental procedures.
The clinic’s website features an online store. This enables you to order medication for your pet and other items to be shipped to your home. You can use the clinic code (066W1) to order pet food from Purina Vet Direct. During this time of dealing with the Covid-19 virus, Dogwood is offering home delivery.
Can My Pet Get the Corona Virus (Covid-19)?
Dr. Katie and Dr. Chris explain that while one dog, in Hong Kong, did test weakly positive, it’s not clear that your pet can pass Covid-19 to you. The AVMA’s current position is there’s no evidence a pet can contract, transmit or get sick from the Covid-19 corona virus. Animals do and can carry a corona virus. Note however, that this doesn’t mean it’s the Covid-19 virus. The risk to any virus is its ability to potentially mutate.
Spring & Summer Tips for Your Pet:
- With Easter approaching there’s a risk that certain house plants (e.g. lilies) can be dangerous if your pet chews on them. the plastic grass in your Easter baskets can be very dangerous for cats.
- Chicken bones, beef bones and fatty foods are dangerous and could lead to pancreatitis.
- Dogs can be susceptible to sun burn on their noses, ears and bellies. You should be prepared to carefully apply sunscreen. Be sure to avoid using aerosol-based products around your pet.
- Warm weather means fleas and tick are back. Heart worms can be deadly to pets and intestinal parasites are a risk to humans. Remember, there are simple ways to prevent all of them. The team at the Dogwood Veterinary Clinic is ready to help you prepare and protect your pet.
Important Thoughts from this Conversation:
- Understand the impact of starting a new business on your work-life balance.
- Before you start you own business, develop your unique selling proposition(s), so people notice you and take notice of you.
- Once you’ve developed your business plan, have the courage to actually start.
I hope you enjoy this season’s new podcast format. I’ve worked with small businesses for many years. If you’re thinking about launching your business, or would like to discuss ways to improve and accelerate your growth, contact me. You can find information about my small business consulting, my business Facebook page and my contact information via my website at JimRayConsultingServices.com.
Finally, if you’ve ever considered launching your own podcast for your business, check out my podcast production service.