Meet Tania Withers

Meet Tania Withers from The Vet Shed

The Vet Shed is a Brisbane-based online retailer delivering pet care and health products for all pets at affordable prices. Since 2003, owner Tania Withers and her experienced team have provided customers around the world with expert advice on pet products and pet care.

The Problem

Tania Withers started The Vet Shed as a flexible source of income while she was raising young children. With ten years’ experience as a vet nurse for both large and small animals, she knew exactly what animals needed and where to source it. But Tania had no training or experience in running a business, and she was ill-equipped to deal with The Vet Shed’s unexpectedly rapid growth. She found it difficult to track and forecast her business finances: “I was convinced I was missing out on opportunities because my figures, while accurate, were never current.”

The Vet Shed’s business processes also relied heavily on Tania’s involvement, and she wanted a way to future-proof her business, so it could operate without her. But it was difficult to find the time and expertise she needed to get started. When one of the Acceler8 mentors told her, “If nothing changes, then nothing changes,” Tania decided to take the plunge and join the program.

“Thanks to the Acceler8 Academy Program, my mindset has completely changed: I’m now decisive, and confident in those decisions.”

The Solution

One of the main reasons Tania had been struggling with her cash flow was that she’d never really understood her financials. “The accountants at Consolid8 would explain everything to me, but I’d forget it all before I next looked at the figures.” Tania’s mentor advised her to move to cloud-based accounting package Xero, and the Acceler8 program gave her the confidence she needed to take charge of The Vet Shed’s finances.

Tania also implemented a dedicated inventory management platform that fully integrates with both Xero and their retail sales platform, Neto. “I didn’t realise it at the time, but we’d pushed our old system to the limit. We’ve grown since then, and wouldn’t be able to function on that system now.” By simplifying The Vet Shed’s procurement and fulfilment processes, Tania can now delegate associated tasks to her employees, freeing up time to focus on her business development.

The Acceler8 program’s unique structure provided Tania with the direction and support she needed. “When I struggled to make difficult but impactful changes in my business, I had the group there to encourage me and hold me accountable. It pushed me into action, and I’m a lot more confident about working to my own priorities now.”

The Results

During her first twelve months with the Acceler8 program, Tania made steady progress towards achieving her definition of business success: building a financially secure business that gives her the time and money to do what she wants. “With the right systems and a great team of trained people, I know The Vet Shed can operate without me.” With a focus on strategic marketing, The Vet Shed’s profit has increased by 222% and its market valuation has gone through the roof.

Tania now understands her financials, delegates more of her work, and gets on top of potential problems before they’re realised. She’s also developed strong negotiation and leadership skills and has a clear vision for her future. She’s signed up again, though, because her completely transformed business now faces different challenges, and Tania is determined to take her business to the next level.