2 Years of Vet 2U…

Published: 10 September 2018

We can not believe that it has already been 2 years since we launched.  Where did that time go?  A lot has happened over this time and the business has grown significantly to the point that we are now looking into the possibility of employing another vet and nurse and expanding our service.

This venture has not been without its ups and downs, some months have been quiet, whereas other months have been completely manic and we end up feeling completely shattered, definitely been a number of weeks, where most nights we do not get to go home till 8/9pm.  Those days are emotionally draining, but it is made up for when we get reviews or feedback thanking us for what we have done.  These reviews put a smile on our faces, so thank you to all those who have left us positive reviews.  We also have to thank our families for all that they put up with.

So, what have we done over the last 2 years other than being on the road seeing pets in their own homes and performing surgeries on doorsteps (in our fully converted mobile surgery that is).

Well, we have joined 2 business networks (Thanet Business Network and Broadstairs Business Club), which has been great in providing peer support and giving advice.  Through these clubs we have been involved with the Royal National Lifeboat Institute in a water safety campaign.  This was aimed at raising awareness in calling the Coastguard, via 999, if a dog is seen to be in difficulty in water, rather than entering the water yourself.  In May 2018, we also took part in the Everest Challenge as part of the Thanet Business Network.  For this we raised money for the East Kent Independent Dementia Support group by climbing the Augusta Steps in Ramsgate as a team to a total height that equated to that of Mount Everest.

When we first started, we only had the large mobile surgery.  This did prove challenging in always trying to find parking in Thanet, especially when all we needed to do was a consult.  Therefore, with the business becoming a success, we had enough capital to invest in a second, small vehicle to be used for our consults in July 2017.  Kate’s husband John then kitted it out for us with shelving and cupboards after which we were able to use this for consults, which helped significantly with the parking issues.

In March 2018, we were finalists in the Canterbury Business Awards, where we were competing for the Innovation Award and Women in Business Award.  Unfortunately, we were not successful in winning, but we did receive a runner up certificate and it was great to meet other business people.  We have now also been nominated for the Independent Business Awards Kent by a client and are in the process of submitting our entry.  At the same time, we have been approached by SME news to say that they have selected us as recipient of the title, ‘Most Trusted Mobile Veterinary Practice of 2018’.  Apparently, this was based on our activity on the internet through website updates and social media involvement, but also from the number of positive reviews we have received.  So thank you to all those who have provided reviews and also Liquid Computing for the fantastic new website.

Since starting, we have supported the National Search and Rescue Dog Association (NSARDA) Kent by providing prizes for their event at Paws in the Park and providing their members with discounts on our services.  We will again be sponsoring a prize this year for their event at Paws in the Park, which will be 2 of the first aid kits that we have developed.  We also had the opportunity to provide them with a Canine First Aid course and we thank them for allowing us this opportunity and the feedback that they have provided.

The first Aid course is something that we are looking at doing every so often and we had already done one at the beginning of June 2018, with another one being planned on the 22nd Of September 2018 in Thanet.  This is a personal interest of ours and we feel that it is important to help educate owners on how they can help their dogs if an injury is sustained and also provide them with advice of simple things that can be done to avoid needing veterinary attention.

We will be at Paws in the Park ourselves for the 3rd time this year providing emergency veterinary care to any dogs in difficulty over the weekend (15/16 September 2018).  This is a great event as we get to meet many different dogs and are also able to show our support to NSARDA Kent.

To support the community, we have joined with Ageless Thanet in providing residents over the age of 50 with a discount on our services.  This is something that we are looking to do through Age UK as well.  The reason for doing this, is that the elderly was one of the reasons we decided on starting this business.  We know that some people have difficulty in getting to a static veterinary practice and this stops them having a pet.  However, we have seen the impact that having a pet can have on a person in reducing the effects of loneliness and isolation.  Therefore, by improving access to veterinary care, we feel that we are in a position to help these people have pets if they so desire.

This year, our website had also been through a revamp, thanks to Liquid Computing.  We now have a better portal for interacting through our website and advertising our service.

Recently, we have immersed ourselves further within the community by supporting local rugby.  We are proud to be supporting Thanet Wanderers RUFC through sponsoring their Junior Girls Team.  With our support they have been able to source new uniform for the team, which will be worn for the first time at their Club Day on 15th September 2018.  We will have the opportunity to present the shirts officially along with a press release.  This has been an exciting opportunity for us and we look forward to being able to show continued support for local rugby.

Not to leave them to last, but in October 2017, we were able to employ Kerry’s husband Glenn on a part time basis as our Practice Assistant.  He took over the job of ordering our stock, doing deliveries, managing care plans, looking after the vehicles and much more, no wonder he gained the nickname of ‘DogsBody’.  Then in March 2018, we were able to take on Kate’s husband John as our Administrative/PR assistant.  This was quite a job change for him, as he was used to working with people as a Physiotherapist and now he is working behind the scenes trying to get our paperwork in order to advance our business.  By taking on both Glenn and John, we have been able to free up clinical time, meaning we can get to more poorly pets and provide them the support they need.  Also, we have now become a complete family business.

It’s been a great 2 years and we would like to thank all of our family and friends in supporting us with our business and providing us with emotional support.  Also, thank you to all our clients making this possible and believing in us.  We look forward to what the next couple of years will hold and then to many more after that.