When Dr. Michelle Thomas moved to Fort Collins in 1996, as a newly-minted veterinarian from Washington State University, she landed a job as an associate with Mulnix Animal Clinic. Little did she know she would one day own and operate that business.
Dr. Thomas and a couple of partners bought Mulnix Animal Clinic from the retiring founder in April of 2015. Mulnix had about 7-8 employees. She says “I found myself with a business. There was so much I didn’t know. I researched the SBDC’s website, and signed up for the business consulting”.
The Larimer SBDC had the perfect resource for her. Consultant Dr. Robert Coffey is also a veterinarian with strong financial skills, and the previous co-owner of a vet practice. Dr. Thomas had this to say about his consistent support and help – “Dr. Coffey has been an invaluable resource! I am sure he shuddered when we first met, at my inexperience. He helped me understand how to read financials and financial ratios. He helped me use that data to improve the business, and make sure it was profitable. We would meet monthly to make decisions. He helped with various human resource and pricing issues. I am so thankful for his experience, mentorship, and friendship.”
In 2017, Dr. Thomas bought out her partners, and became the sole owner of Mulnix. She also received human resources consulting from Tina Todd with SimplyHR, and marketing consulting from Lee Porter. In 2020, her business surpassed $1M in annual revenue.
In November 2020, Dr. Thomas elected to sell her business to Carevet LLC, who operates about 60 veterinary practices nationally. She says “my staff, now at 13, is very excited about the change, and so am I. It’s nice to have a larger team behind me, so I can focus on veterinary medicine. We’re also expanding into a 5500 sq ft facility, from our current 1800 sq ft.”
Dr. Michelle Thomas lives in Fort Collins with her husband and two almost-grown children.
Her advice to local entrepreneurs? “Visit the SBDC!”