Local vet lands bank loan to start mobile clinic
Family Mobile Veterinary Clinic of Polk County
Dr. Vanessa Orasky has been a practicing veterinarian in Polk County for the past 12 years. Her interaction with patients is what led her to start Family Mobile Veterinary Clinic, a mobile vet clinic that allows her to travel to people’s homes for general healthy and sick pet care.
“One of the repeated issues I would find is people would call and they would desperately want someone to come to their house to perform a euthanasia, or they were injured and they couldn’t get to the clinic and their dog was really sick and they couldn’t get the help they needed,” she said.
“There wasn’t anybody in the area providing that kind of service so I thought that would be a good place to start.”
While eight years of veterinary school taught Orasky much of what she needed to know in order to serve customers well, it didn’t teach her how to start or operate her own business. While researching business plan specifics online, she came across the Florida SBDC at University of South Florida’s website.
“I emailed SBDC and Mitch [Lairmore] got back to me right away and he helped me put together a plan, and not only just a business plan but also the financial projections that the banks need to decide whether or not you’re a risk they want to take,” she said.
Lairmore’s guidance helped Orasky land a $160,000 U.S. Small Business Administration startup loan, backed by Live Oak Bank. It took $145,000 to get her business off the ground, complete with a vehicle and necessary equipment she’ll use to help patients in the comfort of their own homes.
“I can go to somebody’s house and treat their healthy animal or I can go and do anesthesia, surgery, dental cleanings; everything that a regular vet can provide, I can provide at home.”
Open for two months and busy with customers who need her services, Orasky is planning to continue utilizing Lairmore and the Florida SBDC at USF as her business grows. “I have a lot to learn in how to manage, how to do finances and accounting,” she said. “So I am planning on leaning on the SBDC a lot to make sure I don’t make any big mistakes in regards to that.”
“The SBDC at USF was fast. They were flexible. Whenever I had a question, Mitch was back to me right away with an answer or if he didn’t have an answer he had a guy he was gonna’ go talk to and get an answer for me. I can’t even describe how relieving that was – jumping into waters that I didn’t know – to have that kind of help. My business is two months old now and it exists because of the SBDC’s help most likely.”