Hanni Beyer Lee, Road Home Animal Care
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Job title and company: Veterinary nurse, Road Home Animal Care, 18 Lasell Avenue, Northampton.
When business opened: I began Road Home Animal Care in August 2013 when I moved to the Valley from Northern California.
Duties: I travel to people’s homes and assist them in caring for their elderly and/or sick animals.
How did you start your business: I worked full time at a veterinary hospital as a trained technician and was often drawn to the animals who were older or otherwise challenged and their people. I found comfort in offering them comfort. I wanted to be able to offer my skills and support as a service so I started Road Home Animal Care when I moved to Massachusetts.
What’s most challenging about your work? I bond with the animals and people I work with. This can be challenging but it also offers the greatest rewards.
What do you like about it? The hours I spend with aging animals are some of the greatest gifts of my life. They are the very best examples of living in the present. And the people I meet are profoundly wonderful, too.
What is your key to success? Always staying open to new possibilities, being genuine, offering my skills honestly, keeping my vision close to me at all times.
What role does technology play in your business? I have a website and a blog and I need a cellphone so that potential clients can reach me at any time. I sometimes need a GPS to find people’s homes. I email with people often. I need to stay current with advances in veterinary medicine and belong to several veterinary forums online.
Why did you choose to do business in the Valley? I grew up in Connecticut and spent a number of years in Cambridge before moving to Northern California. My mother went to Mount Holyoke College and loved the area. When I decided to return to New England, I felt very drawn to western Massachusetts. I had the sense that people here really care about their animals, their health, the land and each other. I felt that these qualities would be very compatible with the services I am offering.
What has surprised you most about your new business endeavor? I have not been surprised that people are kind and grateful for the ways I have been able to help them. But forging these connections and relationships has been better than even I imagined.
Name a few of your goals for the coming year: To obtain my certification as veterinary technician in Massachusetts (I am licenced in California). To grow. To become more and more known for what I do. To partner with local veterinarians, as I believe what I have to offer will only enhance their practices.
Tell us a little-known fact about you: I speak Mandarin and Swedish.
What is your advice for others seeking business success? Keep feeling happy in whatever ways you can manage. I find that when I stay positive in my vision, things keep moving. More people find me. There is no room for sinkholes when starting a business on your own. Attitude really is everything.