After eyeing off the ideal commercial space for more than a decade, veterinarian Dr Greg Mahon is now finally calling it home.
Dr Greg Mahon is clearly a man who enjoys playing the long game. When he was a student, he discovered the Queensland town of Buderim and thought that one day he would retire there. In 2006, he discovered the ideal site where he could relocate his burgeoning surgery to. It would take another 10 years before he would sign the deed that would make it his.
In 1982, Dr Mahon was midway through his veterinary studies when he stumbled upon the town of Buderim and decided this is where he would like to eventually see out his twilight years. Many years later the Sunshine Coast town would again dominate the young vet’s thoughts.
“I was working for Mars Corporation with a very young family and decided corporate life was incompatible with the type of family life I wanted. I wanted to be home at night, every night, so I revisited Queensland locations that would be suitable for a practice. The demographics for this area were perfect for the style of practice I was looking for.”
The waiting game
Dr Mahon decided to set up from scratch and approached BOQ Specialist for financing. Mountain View Veterinary Surgery had humble beginnings, starting on a 120sqm site at the edge of town. Dr Mahon stayed for 20 years but as the town grew so too did his frustration with his surgery’s location.
“Buying suitable premises was unaffordable, and we were severely constrained in town with traffic and parking issues. Apparently everybody thinks this is a great place to live. This made clients late and caused chaos with appointment scheduling,” he says.
Dr Mahon had his eye on a much larger piece of real estate that at the time was used by a large supermarket chain. He waited for 10 years until the property came up for sale and then negotiated a long settlement to allow him to design his new practice.
A boutique vision
Consisting of three consulting rooms and a fourth room that works as both a laboratory and nurses station, Dr Mahon has worked hard at ensuring his new clinic is a world away from those he had been in before.
“I spent a lot of time thinking about workflow and through engineering and design, and eliminated all the things that frustrated me, the staff and the clients,” he says.
In real terms this means clients are greeted on entry, pets are weighed and then escorted to a room where they stay until they walk out the door. All transactions—including mobile payments—occur in the consulting room. It is rare to find a client sitting in the waiting room.
Inside the clinic, its innovative design has taken its patients into account. The front counter is sloped to prevent cats’ cages being placed there and the bottom of the Corian reception desk has an overhang to reduce soiling from dog urine.
Each door in the clinic boasts viewing windows, a metal strip to prevent chain damage on the edges, and a large gap under it to stop loose toenails getting caught. Cupboards are raised off the floor for ease of cleaning and raised higher than usual to reduce ergonomic strain on the staff who work at the practice.
Friendly to vets and pets
“If you stand in the pharmacy you can do a complete inventory order as there is a pass-through to the treatment room. We have a very small bench in pharmacy for dispensing. Otherwise it is all shelves and overhead cupboards. If you stand in the treatment room you can see every hospitalised patient, including the cats which have their own ward with a viewing window, [and their] cages are all plumbed in and heated.”
Dr Mahon says since moving into the new premises, there has been an immediate upturn in business. But the biggest change has occurred in the small-animal vet himself.
“I see myself as a boutique practice owner,” he explains. “I have mellowed with the years, and I am really more interested in enjoying working in the practice. I am more relaxed and less stressed because it all works so well.”
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