PLEASE help us save Serpentine Vet and keep our beautiful Hospital available for our community.
If we lose our hospital to the bank, there is NO guarantee that they will sell the land on as a veterinary hospital, and if so, this local service will be lost. Please read the testimonials generated on our FB page to see WHY this matters to our community.
After posting the below letter on my Vet Hospital Facebook page, many clients and others have suggested that we try and raise some funds via crowdfunding to help temporarily keep the banks accountants content while our homes sell, we get settled in our rental, and we try and increase cashflow to allow us to continue to service the loans.
We dont know what figure it would take to do so, or in fact if they will allow it, but I have nominated a random amount in the hope that that would be enough to buy us more time.
If not, we will continue to try and raise more.
Anything raised in excess of what the bank requires (if they agree) to buy us more time, we will use to start an ‘Angel Fund’ for patients in need at our clinic.
My Facebook Post is below. I have modified it slightly for better clarity.
Please understand that my appeal was only for testimonials to present to the bank, and for people to come and try our beautiful practice, but that I have been encouraged to ask for more direct financial help as well.
Dr Belinda Beynon. Serpentine Vet
”Dear Serpentine Vet Family,
This is a very difficult post to write.
It is, however, honest and heartfelt.
It makes me feel shame and failure and weakness.
Many of you will have noticed that I have been unwell a fair bit recently. I am FINE in terms of major illness, but I have been hit by lots of small illnesses related to stress.
The stress my family and I face is financial.
The last almost-three years have been the happiest and most fulfilling of my professional veterinary career. I love Serpentine, I love our clients and I love their pets, and I love what we do for you all.
Our problems began at the beginning. I should have seen them coming, but I didn’t. I was naive and stupid. Turns out I’m a far better vet than I am businessperson.
For various reasons, in the FIRST month after purchase we experienced a 44% drop in gross income. It took me longer than it should have to catch on.
Several months after that, some other clients, who either didn’t like me (no one is universally popular) or had not yet met me and had a chance to get to know us, moved their pets care to a new, large vet hospital owned, in part, by locals. Which also hit our cashflow.
In addition I made some unpopular changes to our accounts management, and our policy on drug dispensation, to bring us in to line with the WA Health Department Policies and laws. These were not popular decisions. I know this. And they had to be done.
As a result of these things, ALL of which I must and do own (as a result of business naivety and some stupidity)we have been trying to pay business and commercial loans that were obtained based on a $1.4million turnover per annum, when our ACTUAL turnover became far less than <$500k per annum almost immediately.
As you might see, the sums don’t add up.
Our bank, who I will not name, has provided us with as much support as they can, but time has run out on what they can do for us and notices have been issued. In fact we now have under 30 days to repay all loans in full unless we can come up with a solution and a plan. Our home is on the market, as is another property, both of which provided equity for our business loans. Our real estate loan is held against the land and the hospital itself.
I have improved equipment and facilities over my time here, via buying second hand fluid pumps, and lab equipment, and have upgraded the services we can offer in house. We now have cat boarding, and hope to offer grooming soon. We have our gorgeous playground that is very much appreciated by many of our dog patients. We have our welcoming Client Amenity Room.
We have wonderful nurses, who put their WHOLE hearts in to what they do, and we provide very personalised care for our patients.
I am a good person, with a genuine desire to help my clients and their pets. I am a very good vet in the ways that matter to me as a human being.
We have been given the blessing of some free business coaching and support. But this will take time to help us, and if things don’t change, financially, and change fast, our clinic will possibly be lost to the community. I certainly will be as a veterinarian.
I will find other work, that is without question, and will will pay our rent and our bills and so forth. But I will be a little bit broken. My life partner will be a little bit broken. Our son will suffer.
Our options are limited, but one that has been proposed is that we walk away, we lose our home, the hospital and probably go bankrupt.
The other is that we sell our properties and try and encourage the bank to give us time to refinance the balance of the debts while we increase cashflow.
If they refuse us more time, and seize the realestate, the bank may sell the property as a hospital or not. There is NO guarantee it will continue as a veterinary facility in any form.
As above another option is to attempt to refinance some of our loans, to lower interest rates. There are NO guarantees that our current bank will allow us the time to do so, but we can try.
However to do this I need to show them that we CAN be busier, and that we CAN generate enough income to pay their loans. It would also help enormously if, while our home and investment home are on the market, we could find some cash to help keep their back room accountants happier.
Some of you know that I do not draw a salary, that we draw a small amount of money each week to supplement my partners private income and pay our home bills. We are literally making NO profit whatsoever. I pay my drug bills as I order and do the same with external laboratories, and providers while we pay down previously accrued debts. I work every second Sunday for a colleague to earn independant funds to support us.
Every moment, of every day is spent thinking about how to save our real estate and the business and our future with it.
We need YOUR help.
I need YOUR help.
It is no exaggeration to say that this is possibly our last chance.
We NEED those of you who LOVE us, and love what we are trying to achieve here, and love how we care for you and your pets to write a testimonial on our Facebook page or on google reviews.
We also need you to SHARE the FB post so that as many of our happy clients as possible see it, and can hopefully respond in the same way.
We also need to you to TELL your friends. Tell them what makes me a great vet and what makes our clinic a great place to bring your pet for their care.
Tell them to come and to try us. Tell them what makes us different and why you love us.
Tell your friends in Pinjarra, and in North Dandalup and in Baldivis, and in Mundijong and in Byford. Tell them that we are worth the drive.
Write a post on our FB page that I can copy and paste and make it something that I can present to the bank in support of my attempts to buy us more time.
And if you don’t like us, please message me privately and tell me what we have done wrong. Tell me what we can do to improve. I will do my best to listen. If nothing else than for personal growth.
DESPITE the awful financial stress which began the moment we took ownership of our beautiful little hospital I have NEVER felt happier professionally.
I truly love Serpentine, I love Serpentine Vet and will I sacrifice everything I can to save it for us and for you.
But we need you to PLEASE help us.
As you can imagine, it is very hard to bare your soul like this.
I know many will mock, or raise their eyebrows at our honesty.
It’s especially hard to open yourself to claims of begging...which I know some will say.
However, many will know that I am not very good at secrets, and it has been killing me holding this one in.
For the sake of my physical and emotional wellbeing I need to share our truth with you. Our valued and much loved clients.