This is a follow up story for pup•eeze. If you're interested in reading how they got started, published about 2 years ago, check it out here.
Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.
I’m Chelsea Rhoads and I’m the CEO of pup•eeze, data solutions for veterinarians. We are reinventing how veterinarian care is organized, visualized, and quantified with data insights from a pet’s medical history, activity tracker, environmental and local trends.
We are pre-revenue and after multiple pivots, we are locking in the necessary partnerships to give this product the wings it deserves!
Tell us about what you’ve been up to! Has the business been growing?
The business has been bustling. We made a major pivot in early 2020, with the goal of offering a new way to leverage data to improve diagnosis and overall health care. We were ready to launch our beta, and like many, we were setbacks because of COVID-19.
Don’t beat yourself up, we’ll get it all figured it out.
We scrambled and launched a Telehealth video consulting platform and realized quickly how saturated the market is. But it also allowed us to explore more opportunities where our data will add tremendous value!
We’ve been working with a newer team since April, they have been huge in helping us implement the necessary changes and adjustments to our platform. With the dev team kicking major butt, it has allowed us to focus on establishing partnerships and developing a marketing plan that we are very proud and passionate about.
All these things have helped us get more pieces of our company centered around our values, missions, and visions. Which feels like the greatest thing the world to be connecting those dot.
What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?
Patience. Ha! This year has been a wild one with a new twist and turns every month. We quickly learned sales are difficult without being able to go in-person into the clinics and no one likes unwanted sales called when their plates are already overflowing.
Instead, we took this time to not stress as much about “getting-to-market” but instead getting our company better-rounded, getting our partners better set up for success, and really taking the time to ensure we are ready to run when the starting-flag is waved.
Myself, our COO, my husband, and his best friend all quarantine together, plus we are great friends with our neighbors. So for us, we’ve actually have worked more productively, made great memories during this time, and gotten in better shape! There has been a lot of personal and business growth that has come out of this year so far.
Best inside joke: we tortured each other for over 60 days in a row by playing the “Work From Home” video by Fifth Harmony.
What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?
Plans for this year, establish our new marketing presence, gain more traction/sales, announce our hyper-focused partnerships and goals. Our brand has really come to life this year and we are very excited to continue to show more of our true colors. Also, watch out for our consumer app to hit the market this year!
Plans for 5 years, be the change in veterinarian health care that makes people go, “how was this ever done before...”, or “back in my day we had to…”, or “you did this how?!”
For both 1 and 5 year goals: grow our team! It’s always been a big passion to create a team that is proud, passionate, and LOVES what they do and where they work. As we continue to grow, we are able to continue to make bigger impacts within our team and our communities. This makes our tails wag.
Have you read any good books in the last year?
I’m hooked on Blinkist. Think, audio SparkNotes for great books. The 3-Minute Rule was extremely helpful to give a framework to follow for your pitch. The Art of Communicating, I could listen to once a week and still learn ways to improve my communication. Daring Greatly, does Brene Brown do anything unworthy of a listen?
I’ve also been listening to Master Classes. Lots of great insights and stories from great people with a wide range of backgrounds and skillsets.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?
Don’t be too hard on yourself, we are literally living through a pandemic that shut down the world! We are on the brink of a massive recession. There have been (cheers!) huge shifts in social norms. Plus, right around the corner is a literal new world of unknowns.
Things are hard right now for everyone. Don’t beat yourself up, we’ll get it all figured it out.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
We are looking for people who have expertise in veterinary medicine to advise and/or join the board. We are also looking for a data/technology advisor. Soon we will be looking for digital sales professionals to get us those sales this year!
Where can we go to learn more?
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
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