Frisco Enterprise > News
Putting animals and convenience first: Local veterinarians expand with e-commerce
Brent Bilhartz, left, and Julaine Hunter, right, began LazyPaw in 2005, and now the couple are expanding their online services. Photo courtesy of LazyPaw.
When Brent Bilhartz and Julaine Hunter started their veterinary clinic, LazyPaw, in 2005, it was a dream come true.
The husband-and-wife team paid their way through school by milking cows and working with animals before they had the opportunity to start their own business. It wasn't always easy, Bilhartz said, but it helped make them who they are today.
"When we were undergrads, we both milked cows in the morning and went to school during the day," he said. "Once we got to graduate school we did kind of a switcheroo -- she went to graduate school first, and I was a research scientist. Then when she graduated she split time between being a practicing veterinarian and being an adjunct professor while I went through school -- that's how we paid for everything."
Their hard work paid off, as they were both able to serve as veterinarians in a rural Iowa community, which allowed the couple to share their passion for animals.
Because the couple's family is in North Texas, however, they decided to move to Frisco and take a shot at starting their own practice -- something they'd always wanted to do.
Once they were able to do that, Bilhartz and Hunter set up their clinic the way they wanted. That meant putting the animals first and focusing on what they were good at.
"We like to say we're veterinarians without distractions," Bilhartz said. "What that means is we don't take on other things that some veterinarians do in an attempt to please everybody. We're not groomers, we're not boarders and we don't treat exotic animals. If people have animals like that, I'm more than happy to refer them to a friend across the city that's much better with exotic animals than I am."
Another way LazyPaw sets itself apart from the competition is through its website, Bilhartz added. Because national veterinary medicine companies have expanded to online services, local clinics have had difficulty keeping their customers.
"Honestly, those national pharmacies have been eating our lunch when it comes to price and delivery through e-commerce. We've been struggling in that marketplace for a long time," he said. "We decided the only way we were going to beat those chains was to take a page out of their playbook. By redoing our website, we've done just that."
Now, LazyPaw's website, www.lazypawvet.com, has all the tools customers need to order their prescriptions and veterinary products. Appointments can also be set up online, which Bilhartz said makes things easier for everyone.
"Now, our customers can place an order at 2 a.m. if they want and we'll be able to get it out the next day," he explained. "We offer a price check so our customers can always get the best deal. And the great thing is it's a local advantage, too. If you order from us, you're helping Frisco since we're recapturing that sales tax revenue for the city."
Through LazyPaw only employs about 11 to 15 people based on the time of year, Bilhartz said customers will appreciate the extra steps the clinic's taken to make things easier.
"We want to make the process as convenient as possible," he said. "We want our client-centric focus to set us apart, and we run our business as veterinarians first."
For more information about LazyPaw, visit www.lazypawvet.com.
Copyright © 2013 - Star Local News