When 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.