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B2B ID: Danielle Anne Lorenzo, owner at Florence Animal Clinic

Name: Danielle Anne Lorenzo, DVM

Job Title, Company: Owner at Florence Animal Clinic, 185 Locust St., Northampton

Website: florence-animal-clinic.com

Age: 45

What You Do: Help our clients care for their pets, strive to be compassionate and caring and practice good medicine.

Experience: Resident of the Pioneer Valley since 1996. Graduated from Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in 2007. After graduation, I did mostly small animal work as an associate at clinics in southern Vermont and northern Connecticut, as well as relief vet work for several area practices here in Massachusetts. I bought Berens Animal Hospital (now Florence Animal Clinic) in 2011 when Dr. Mark Berens retired. Prior to vet school I worked in journalism.

The Market: Local. Mostly Florence and the surrounding towns, although we have a few clients in Connecticut, Vermont and New York.

How You Reach Out to It: I am actually the fourth owner of the practice, which has been here for almost 70 years. We have some clients whose families have been coming here for generations. I was so lucky to have this amazing, dedicated and loyal client base here to greet me when I walked in the door. We have a limited advertising budget; most of our new clients come from referrals from our existing clients or from visits to our new website and Facebook page. We also try to reach out to the community whenever we can, through membership in local organizations, charitable donations and our work with local shelters.

Key to Success: Surround yourself with good people and give them the tools and support they need to do their jobs.

Challenges: In today’s troubled economic climate, lots of people are tightening the belt, but their pets are part of their family, and they want to do everything they can for them. We work hard to provide the highest standard of care at prices our clients can afford, but that can be a challenge. Veterinary costs continue to rise at the same time that some traditional sources of revenue are shrinking. For example, we do less spay/neuter surgery than we used to due to the popularity of low-cost spay/neuter programs, and big-box stores and online pharmacies force us to compete more than ever for pharmaceutical sales. One way we’ve tried to offset this is by adding services. We upgraded to digital X-ray several months ago, and we recently acquired an ultrasound machine.

Misstep You Learned From: Thinking I could do it all, but there aren’t enough hours in the day. For example, I should have brought in a full-time associate veterinarian sooner than I did to help meet client demand.

What Others Could Learn from You: It’s never too late to do what you want to do.

Who Helped Mentor You Professionally: Dr. Mark Berens was instrumental in introducing me to his clients and showing me that going the extra mile to help animals and their people and running a successful business do not need to be mutually exclusive. He is a deeply caring and truly wonderful man who helped pave the way for me in so many ways, and I will always be grateful to him and his wife, Leslie, for all their help and support.

Top Goals for 2013: Using our new ultrasound machine, new computer software and a work day less than 12 hours long.

Advice for Others Seeking Business Success: Don’t ever stop learning everything you can.

Parting Thought: I’m grateful to be in this challenging, rewarding, fascinating, exhausting, never-dull profession.

The B2B ID is compiled by Janice Beetle of Beetle Press in Easthampton, a PR and communications firm. www.beetlepress.com. To suggest a subject for B2B ID, email Beetle at beetlepress@charter.net.

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