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Success Story | Investing In Small Business Growth

Amber Stover
Amber Stover

Stover Mobile Vet Clinic

When Amber first started her career as a veterinarian in 1994, it wasn’t unlike a lot of young vets. A lot of schooling, a lot of hard work and then long hours in a fast-paced practice establishing herself in the field, before opening a practice of her own.

But before long, Amber realized her career in veterinary medicine was NOT going to be conventional. In 2002 Amber’s son Isaac was born. Isaac had special needs and it soon became clear that she needed to be more available for her son.

Out of the comfort zone

So Amber left her comfortable position at a traditional veterinary office and started a house call practice. This allowed her to practice veterinary services and include her young son.

Before long, Amber discovered she was addressing an unfilled need for many pet owners too.

Some of her clients had busy schedules, others were housebound. Others still had pets that found a trip to a vet too traumatic, especially with other animals in the waiting room.

The housecall service was a hit with patients. But it wasn’t easy for Amber.

She was limited on the number of patients she could see, as she criss-crossed the rural roads of Northwest Ohio, sometimes driving 30-45 minutes from one appointment to another, and she was turning away pet owners who needed her services, because she didn’t have time to see everyone.

Amber knew her business needed to evolve.

She couldn’t do some of the services she needed like X-rays and simple operations/procedures from a patient’s home. And making home visits made it impossible to bring on employees like interns and vet assistants.

At the end of the day, revenue was severely limited by how many homes she could visit in her truck.

Investing in mobility

So at the start of 2018, Amber made an investment in the future growth of her business.

She invested in a custom-built mobile veterinary clinic. The mobile clinic was outfitted with the medical equipment she needed to take X-rays, run lab tests, and perform surgeries.

She started offering pop-up clinics in neighborhoods across Seneca County and made individual home visits more of a premium offering. Her pop-up clinics are scheduled in local parks, church parking lots and other convenient locations, even in small villages or rural intersections where pet owners typically had to make long drives to see a vet.

Amber worked with Spire to build a new website and marketing presence, which she plastered onto the side of her mobile clinic like a moving billboard. The mobile-friendly website included an interactive calendar where local residents could access her schedule from their mobile devices. The mobile clinic and online schedule has helped Amber keep the clinic busy without all the driving.

By the summer of 2018, Amber was already seeing more animals in a day, performing more services to the animals, and had hired two summer interns who provided some much-needed help.

Mobile vet clinics are popping up in major cities, but Amber is ahead of her time in bringing this service to rural Ohio. Amber is doing more visits with less effort, and serving her clients better than ever before.

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