A Q&A with My Pet’s Vet Group CEO, Bob Singleton
Fulcrum has recently invested in MyPet’s Vet Group, a Birmingham, AL veterinary medicine platform with hospitals in Ohio, Texas, and Georgia. Learn more about their dedication to their mission and their expansive community involvement from our exclusive interview with CEO & Founder, Bob Singleton.
What is MPVG’s mission?
Healthy pets and happy parents. In our assessment of successful businesses, especially in the vet space, we have found the key to delivering value to our clients and community is a happy staff, who can, in turn, provide healthy pets and happy parents.
What sets your platform apart from your competitors?
Three things. First and foremost, our focus is on culture, a pleasant atmosphere, and a happy staff. We have found great productivity in a hospital and across teams comes from a culture of wanting to come to work. When happy, people are more focused, interested, and possess a higher sense of urgency. We achieve our mission of healthy pets and happy parents through our team, and we make sure our team is supported by having a pleasant, positive culture. Our Hospital Philosophy is core to our operating model. It is a 3-page document on how we should treat staff, how staff should treat each other, and how staff should treat clients. At the core of our operation is the phrase “do the right thing the right way”, and it is integral to creating a positive work atmosphere and happy staff.
The second is our drive to support our communities, a key pillar of our culture, as they work to reduce the homeless pet population. Our staff is highly encouraged to support local rescues and offer deeply discounted services in particular spays/neuters to attack the root of the homeless pet problem. We also host adoption days, which are starting up again after a pause for COVID-19. We cover the adoption fees, as well as the animal’s first veterinary services such as microchips and their first heartworm, flea, and tick treatment. We hosted one of these events in San Antonio and were able to achieve the largest adoption event in their history with 11 pets finding homes. Our team loves animals and loves that we aren’t driven by dollars. They aren’t either – they are there because they love working with animals. This is why when our team is happy, our pets are healthy, and their parents are happy.
Third, we have aligned our hospitals with Petland pet stores providing veterinary services to puppies while they are in the store, and in turn, the new pet parents are referred to us for continued medical care of their puppies. The result is we acquire 50% to 80% of new clients with an acquisition cost of about less than $50 per client. In addition to ensuring the health of the puppies in the stores, we are heavily engaged in the efforts to solve the problem of puppy mills by eliminating unreliable sources and distributors from the supply chain. This initiative is supported by Edwin Sayer, former President of the ASPCA, who coined the phrase “Adopt don’t shop”. We also have a direct influence on the operation of the breeders and distributors, and just last year we were successful in convincing the largest distributor in the country to mandate a medically approved vaccine protocol which has essentially eliminated Parvo and Distemper as well as greatly decreased upper respiratory and GI illness. The program has been so successful there is a domino effect sweeping through the breeder industry converting to this vaccine protocol.
What’s the biggest challenge your team is working on?
Right now, our biggest challenge is hiring doctors. We have seen an increased demand for more doctors as the number of pet owners continues to rise and as more pet owners become pet parents. Our spend has increased dramatically and will continue to increase due to the supply-demand economics.
What is your team’s proudest accomplishment?
We are proud of many things, but we are most proud of the impact we have had on the people who work with us. We have a link on our website that has several doctor and staff testimonials. They experience a huge shift in culture at MPVG compared to the industry norm. We give people the opportunity and challenge to achieve and then recognize and reward their achievements. We also have one of the largest profit-sharing programs in the industry, where we distribute up to 22-23% of our profit margin.
We are also proud of our accomplishments supporting rescues and those who rescue homeless and abused pets including thousands of spay/neuters and facilitating the most adoptions on an Adoption Day in the history of the San Antonio Humane Society.
Finally, we are extremely proud of the positive impact we have had on the breeder community with conversion to a proper vaccine protocol– a task we did not think we would achieve for several more years.
What were you looking for in a funding partner?
In addition to the funding required to grow MPVG, we were looking for someone who would invest to achieve our mission and not change our direction or model. Our investment banker interacted with over 20 firms, and after the process the only firm we were interested in working with was Fulcrum. If an investment from Fulcrum did not work out, we had decided to discontinue the process and grow organically. We are incredibly fortunate and grateful Fulcrum chose to work with us.
Why did you choose Fulcrum?
Several factors attracted us to Fulcrum. We were drawn to the personalities of each team member we spoke with, as well as our perception that we aligned on the value of the 80/20 rule. They were not bogged down in pennies and details but focused on overall growth and profits. They asked insightful questions and listened to our belief in our model and goals, and the strategy we intended to execute to achieve those goals. They were down-to-earth, good people and we felt that we personally fit well with them, especially Chad and Jeff with whom we worked closely on the deal. We believe we have very similar philosophies in business, and we valued their investment approach.
What’s next for MPVG?
We are focused on growth. We have made several key hires to bolster our corporate team, we have signed six leases on six new locations, and we have an acquisition pending. Our goal is to open 7-8 hospitals this year, and then do the same each year over the next 4 years.
Fulcrum is excited to announce our investment in MPVG and their upcoming location expansions. To learn more about My Pet’s Vet Group, click here.