Dr. Anne Chauvet wants to be a trendsetter — that is, a trendsetter in the level of care her business provides to animals.
Chauvet owns and operates Veterinary Neuro Services (VNS), a medical practice that focuses on treating brain, spinal-cord and neuromuscular conditions in animals, mostly dogs and cats. VNS is the only animal-based neurology-and-neurosurgery practice on the Gulf Coast south of Tampa. Chauvet is one of about 150 veterinary neurologists and neurosurgeons in the country.
Chauvet has found her success as an entrepreneur in knowing her strengths, but by also knowing when to look to other experts for help.
“If I took the extra time I could do things myself, but not everything is a do-it-yourself, so get to know and trust the experts,” she says.
Working in the veterinarian field since 1990, Chauvet has worked in university institutions and private practices across the county. She was inspired to provide a higher level of care — more specific and fairly priced — the sort of care she wished for her pets. Now Chauvet prides herself on the cozy, mom-and-pop atmosphere of her clinic while providing the technology needed and required to perform her trade. With that mindset, she is always available to clients: She gives out her personal cell-phone number and e-mail address.
The biggest challenge for VNS has been growth, which comes in many forms. Chauvet cites her biggest challenges as keeping up with the dynamics of the business, keeping up with technology, being creative and the continuous process of education and outreach.
The most exciting lateral growth for VNS is coming up next month. The practice is moving to a new location and will be expanding its 24/7 critical care. Eventually, Chauvet would like to hire an additional neurologist, but, for now, she’s the one setting the trend of the level of care VNS provides to its patients.
“The new clinic is providing enough space for a great start for an advanced critical-care unit,” she said. “We are here, providing 24/7 neurology/neurosurgery for pets and offering the same high-end care one would wish and expect for their own care.”
AT A GLANCE
Address: 4937 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota (as of July 1)
Start date: 2002
Number of employees when started: Two
Number of employees now: Eight
Advice: Owning your own business is a huge commitment of personal time and energy, so make sure you know your trade well and do your homework. Form a good network of reliable business support — not everything is a ‘do it yourself’ so get to know and trust the experts.
Biggest challenge: Growth. Growth comes in many forms, not just the amount of money or staff. Our short-term challenge is moving to our new location. Other challenges include keeping up with technology and the dynamics of the business as well as bringing creativity in business that isn’t expected to be creative.
Where do you see your business a year from now? We hope to grow Veterinary Neuro Services with one more neurologist and hopefully some day expand to a high-end critical-care center providing a hand-held service. We already have a client sleepover room planned to begin catering to the type of care we hope to offer.
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