Vet’s bid to save Serpentine practice

Vet’s bid to save Serpentine practice

264
Serpentine Vet Dr Belinda Beynon with Ascot. Photograph – Aaron Van Rongen.

A local business owner has created a crowd funding account in a last ditch attempt to save her beloved business, along with her home and investment property. 

Dr Belinda Beynon purchased Serpentine Vet in September 2016, but, like many businesses operating today, times have been tough. 

Hindsight is a wonderful thing and while she does have a few regrets, she doesn’t blame the bank, she is just begging for them to look past the numbers and give them some more time. 

“I don’t regret my decision to purchase it… I love it here,” she said. 

“Obviously from a financial perspective what I do regret is that our family now has no meaningful assets and when you are aged 51 and 57 that is an issue. 

“At this point in time we have secured a rental property, which we will move into and once our house is sold the proceeds will go to the bank and once the investment property is sold that too will go to the bank.” 

When Dr Beynon first started operating at Serpentine Vet she had two full time veterinarians and one part time veterinarian, plus a team of nurses. 

As client numbers dwindled she was forced into a tough decision not to reinstate the positions when her staff left, leaving the vet work up to herself and a casual vet when needed. 

She admits she made some decisions that were not popular with some of her client base and came into the business environment too naïve and without having had a business background. 

“I didn’t purchase the mobile phone number of the previous owner of the practice and I underestimated how many people would perhaps just call her directly,” she said. 

“I did not argue for a stronger non-compete in the contract. 

“I also underestimated the impact that a new hospital being set up geographically not that close to here but shares a lot of local cross over and connection would have on the business. 

“You can’t take those decisions back, once they are done, they are done.” 

Dr Beynon set up a GoFundMe account last month in a bid to raise some money and possibly buy a little more time from the bank. 

“I set a target and to be honest I wasn’t really expecting anyone to donate but people have and that has been marvellous,” she said. 

“I am really touched by that because times are tough for everyone and there is lots of worthy causes out there.” 

The page has so far raised more than $3200 in 10 days.