Some of you may know that Studio Lumen participated in ATB's accelerator program, ATBx, just over a year ago. It was such an amazing experience, primarily because of all the amazing people and business owners we met there. Our last client spotlight, Empowerment Inc, is now in that program, but for this month's spotlight, we wanted to highlight someone else we met there.
Ivana Novosel owns IMLocum, a platform that connects veterinary technicians with clinics looking for staff. She is SO passionate about everything, but primarily about animals. Her service helps all veterinary professionals including students, which means veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and support staff, and through them, thousands more animals in need. When she's not working, Ivana is an intense cross-country skier and runner, and kicked my butt in a race we happened to be doing at the same time, without even knowing each other yet. She applies that intensity to everything she does, and her business is something to keep an eye on. Not only that but she is so warm, friendly, and always good to have a glass of wine with!
So without further ado, here is our Client Spotlight for this month, Ivana Novosel from IMLocum. You can also check out the full version of the teaser video above, at the bottom of the post.
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Ivana Novosel, and I am a founder and CEO of IMLocum. We connect busy veterinary clinics with dedicated veterinary staff on demand. By doing this our mission is to help the veterinary professionals stay in the industry longer and thrive.
Tell us more about your background, related to this business (where did your passion came from).
I am a Registered Veterinary Technologist. I currently sit on the Alberta Veterinary Technologists Association (ABVTA), the Registered Veterinary Technologists/Technicians of Canada (RVTTC) Association, and the International Veterinary Nurses and Technicians Association as well (I don’t sleep much, lol). I am absolutely passionate about animal health and overall wellbeing and my overarching goal is to help animals in need. However, as I got more involved with this industry, I realized how passionate I am about the people in this profession. The people in this industry are honestly some of the hardest working, compassionate, selfless people I have even been around. The love and care they give back to those who cannot speak for themselves is absolutely amazing. And they do it for no other reason but pure love and devotion for the animals.
Explain when and why you started this business.
I started this business in January 2017. By creating a business that is “helping people who help animals”™, I can now assure that my efforts are resulting in more animals getting the care they deserve. This is my 10x rule…if I can help 10 veterinary professionals have a great and a productive day…they can help at least 10 animals in that day…that means I have helped 100 animals. Pretty awesome I would say.
Currently, the veterinary hospitals are struggling to find staff and our cloud-based platform is helping clinic managers connect, communicate, post and schedule shifts and jobs in a matter of minutes. Regular clinic staff is being “over used” due to working understaffed and they are burning out and ultimately leaving our industry.
How rewarding is it for you to be doing what you're doing?
What I am doing is absolutely one of the hardest things I have ever done. Disrupting the industry that is notorious for being slow to accept change is not easy. However, keeping in mind why I am doing what I am doing is keeping me going. For every match that happens on the platform…I think, that’s 1 awesome human and 10 animals I have just helped. This makes my work feel worth the effort and rewarding for sure.
Who are your main customers? Who are your best customers?
This is a 2-sided marketplace platform. We serve veterinary clinics and veterinary professionals (veterinarians, veterinary technologists, and support staff) as well as students. Our best customers are those professionals who are looking for new ways of building their career and those clinic managers who are struggling with staffing their clinics either with regular or locum, also known as temporary, staff.
What are you struggling with right now?
These types of marketplaces are notoriously difficult to start growing. Once they are established in the area, it is a bit smoother sailing, but that initial entry is slow and painful at times. I always say, Facebook with 2 users is useless, but with 2 billion is entirely different game.
How can people help you at this point in your work?
We are looking for people who are interested in helping us scale and grow this platform quickly and efficiently…people who recognize the problem or see the value in having veterinary clinics staffed well and with the best professionals that are out there…perhaps people who love their pets as much as we do. We are looking for partners and investors, for advocates and champions. The health of our animals rests in the hands of veterinary professionals. Making sure the people who are helping animals are getting the best career choices, are not getting burned out working overtime, and are getting financially compensated for their efforts is the key in my opinion.
How can people best reach you?
I am always “plugged in” one way of another. Visit me on our website www.imlocum.com and all the contact information is there or simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any other interesting stories about you and your business? Fun anecdotes, interesting facts, anything else you would like to share.
Our new tag line for students and new grads is “date before you marry”…meaning, try out a few different clinics with no commitment and then choose your forever home. One thing that is very important in the veterinary profession is the seamless and perfect fitting on-the-floor team. This is why it is important to know where you belong before committing, and thus preventing a pre-mature burn-out (something that is currently affecting our profession more then ever).