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20130828_124052_7When your busi­ness life hands you lem­ons, you’ve got a few options. Lem­on­ade is the com­mon answer. A single, cool and refresh­ing glass to quench your business’s thirst (i.e. to tide you over a drought), or you can take the tum­bler of lem­on­ade and make a cock­tail! Add a few umbrel­las, pack­age it in a pretty cock­tail glass, and make it more attract­ive with a col­our­ful bendy straw. You get the idea?

The Tas­man Street Vet Centre has been a Wel­ling­ton staple for pet care since 1962. In 2005, the prac­tice was taken over by Dav­id and Nat­alie Lloyd and con­tin­ues to serve Mt Cook, Mt Vic, the CBD and New­town – indeed, cli­ents come from all over the city. People bring their anim­als for the per­son­al, pro­act­ive med­ic­al approach prac­tised by Nat­alie and her vets. With a fan base of furry friends, a great refer­ral machine in place, true points of dif­fer­ence in their ser­vice products and cat­tery, Tas­man Street Vets is a haven for anim­als in the city.

But des­pite their pro­act­ive prac­tice, the wheels must keep turn­ing: there is no room for com­pla­cency. “Our busi­ness will only be suc­cess­ful for as long as we evolve and meet our chal­lenges face on – adapt­ing to changes that we need to imple­ment quickly and effect­ively. We con­stantly look to upgrade equip­ment and our staff is always up-skilling.

Nat­alie and I are prag­mat­ists and Wel­ling­ton sup­port­ers. We live here, we work here – we’re fans, to put it lightly. Our busi­ness is a good one and we work hard at mak­ing it suc­cess­ful, but it cer­tainly is not without its chal­lenges,” says Dav­id. He is refer­ring to the road­works that have been act­ive in the Tas­man Street area for well over a year, and which will not be com­pleted until April 2015. That’s a whole lot of plan­ning and prob­lem-solv­ing to do for a lengthy amount of time.

The loc­a­tion of the prac­tice is right in the middle of a sec­ond­ary upgrade to water pipes, and also the ‘cut and cov­er’ Memori­al Park tun­nel works. These sep­ar­ate pro­jects have dif­fer­ent lead teams, and unfor­tu­nately both are caus­ing road clos­ures at the same time, mak­ing it some­what dif­fi­cult for cli­ents and shop­pers to reach the practice.

The prag­mat­ic approach from the Lloyd fam­ily is a pos­it­ive one. Like the hol­ist­ic care they offer their anim­al cli­ents, the ‘out­side the box’ ways they use to reach out to their com­munity are based on good old-fash­ioned cus­tom­er service.

If our cli­ents are find­ing it tough to get to us, we’ll go to them. We know that house vis­its can cost a bit more, so we’ve cut our call-out fee in half. Like­wise, with pet food, anim­als (and humans) thrive much bet­ter when fed a nutri­tious diet. So if you can’t come to the clin­ic to pick up your pet’s food and health sup­plies, we’ll send it via our new online shop. Some of our cli­ents aren’t com­fort­able order­ing online, so we hap­pily offer a phone-order­ing ser­vice, too.” With this recipe for suc­cess, Dav­id and Nat­alie Lloyd will be sip­ping cock­tails for many years to come – bendy straws or no bendy straws.

Peta Walker

Peta is FishHead's enterprise writer. A born and bred Wellingtonian, Walker is owner of BW Chartered Accountants and a long-term business adviser - she is currently fighting all the usual accounting stereotypes.. and winning. Loving long walks in the hills, her long-term ambition is to walk the entire Te Araroa walkway: at about 100 kilometres per year this is a 30-year project. She lives on a Makara lifestyle property that is also home to Pester and Lester the chickens, and cows French, Door, Blue and Vein.

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