By Invitation Only
About the time this issue was wrapping up, I learned of Small Door Veterinary. What caught my eye wasn’t only that the company had raised $20 million from investors to finance its growth from a single clinic to 25 by 2025, but that its business model, members-only care, is one of the atypical practice options laid out in this issue’s cover story, “Rise Above the Rest.”
Josh Guttman’s veterinary background when he and co-founder Florent Peyre opened the first Small Door hospital in New York City in November 2019 was pretty much limited to the eight clinics he had taken his boxer to in search of a diagnosis of a stomach problem. The entrepreneur, also a former venture capital investor, said the experience left him wanting much more as a pet owner: same-day appointments, extended time with the veterinary team and his questions answered anytime, day or night.
That’s what Small Door strives to do as a members-only practice, charging pet owners from $8 to $89 a month per animal for fast access to veterinary care, no-rush visits and 24/7 telemedicine. The higher-priced plans cover a cat or dog’s preventive care — two annual exams, bloodwork and all vaccinations.
“It’s just enough of a commitment that it helps us filter out those clients that might be looking for the cheapest option,” Guttman said. “A committed client is going to come more often, keep their dog or cat healthier. Ultimately, I think it will lead to better outcomes.”
Small Door veterinarians are salaried — “We are not big believers in the production model,” he said — and the employee benefits package includes profit-sharing, a 401(k) plan and assistance with student debt repayment.
Guttman also is proud of what he said is a first for a veterinary care provider: recognition as a Certified B Corporation.
“There are 85 categories of grading that you have to pass to get your certification, and one of the big things is the highest-paid person in the organization and the lowest-paid person cannot be too far apart,” he said. “The B Corp system is all about building something that’s good for society and is bigger than just profits.”
Ken Niedziela, editor