Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in pet care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lindsey Ganzer, Owner of North Springs Veterinary Referral Center, located in Colorado Springs, CO, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

We are a 24/7 Emergency and Specialty Veterinary Hospital, opening in the summer of 2023 off of Interquest and Voyager parkway on the north side of Colorado Springs. We will be serving all pet owners 24/7 for emergency services, as well as on a referral basis for specialty veterinary services (surgery, radiology, internal medicine, cardiology, etc.).

Tell us about yourself

All veterinarians come into the field with a passion for helping animals, with many, including myself, coming up with this career as a life-long dream. To achieve the goal, we have faced 8-12+ years of collegiate/doctoral education, crippling student loan debt, long hours, poor compensation, and complete emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion. I have worked solely in emergency medicine for over ten years, and my business partner, Rene Plant, for over six years. We have seen the burnout and felt the repercussions reflected in the staff, industry, and patient/client care, especially in the last three years due to COVID. Wait times for emergency care across the country are abysmal, 3, 6, and sometimes 12+ hours. Doctors and support staff are leaving the industry at alarming rates to seek out a better quality of life and compensation. Corporations are buying up veterinary practices and running them into the ground for money. Because of all of this, after Rene and I left the practice we were at when it was bought out by a corporation, we decided to work together for something that would push for change in veterinary medicine that is desperately needed.

We are motivated to provide a better working environment for our entire staff so they can have a life-long career to match their life-long dream, with appropriate financial compensation, benefits, and support for growth. By taking care of our staff, they will be able to focus on the patients and owners, providing top-level veterinary care and decreasing wait times. By working directly with the general practices in the area, we will be an extension of the owner's regular veterinarian, allowing for improved continuity of care and case management and providing continuing education through our specialists, improving the quality of veterinary care throughout the Colorado Springs area.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I think that the team that Rene and I have put together is one that I am the proudest of. We all have similar visions, goals, and values, but each brings a different piece to the puzzle to really make the team something special. With this group, I believe that our dreams will, without a doubt, become a reality.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

There are a lot of challenges that come with being a business owner. Tons of moving parts, people, and components to juggle. However, people that get into business ownership generally struggle with one major thing: Being able to set aside time for themselves as an owner and having the willingness to take time off so they can care for themselves. Get a good team in place that can take on the management duties so that you can have days off - AND ACTUALLY TAKE THEM. No emails, no phone calls, nothing work-related. You cannot pour yourself into your business if you are already empty.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

I could not narrow it down to 3, so here are my top 5:

  1. Get a great team in place that you trust 100%, and give them the autonomy to run. Give them the backing and support to succeed, and trust/know they will!
  2. Along those same lines, don't feel like you have to do it all. Know that people are here to help, and be willing/comfortable asking for it.
  3. TAKE CARE OF YOUR STAFF!!! No matter their position, you cannot have a functional business without staff. They are the moving parts of your machine - your job is to take care of them and provide them with what they need to grow and succeed.
  4. Don't be afraid to try new things, and if they don't work, you can always change them again! Listen to your employees, take suggestions, and try out their ideas. You don't know everything and never will.
  5. Change your mindset to anticipate future needs and issues, and be PROACTIVE instead of REACTIVE. In many places I have worked, I have seen managers revert to "putting out fires" instead of preventing the fires from happening in the first place, despite all the writing on the walls.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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