Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in animal care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jessa Kocher, Owner of Fox Run Veterinary Hospital, located in Monument, CO, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I own Fox Run Veterinary Hospital in Monument, Colorado. My clients are kind, animal-loving members of the community. We provide veterinary illness and wellness care + surgery to cats and dogs in the Tri-Lakes and Colorado Springs communities.

Tell us about yourself

My thought process for starting my own business stemmed from me absolutely LOVING the work I do but from a discontent with my profession as a whole. In the veterinary profession, there are two current major "problems":

  1. Mental health and suicide rates are very high – something like 2-3 times that of any other profession. Amazing doctors and competent and confident support staff are literally fleeing the profession to save their own life.
  2. There is a trend toward private owners selling corporate. So a profession that historically has been entrepreneurial and focused on client satisfaction, staff satisfaction, engagement with the community, and excellent patient care has become more about the bottom line. Because I value service focused on authentic connections and giving back to clients, staff, and community, I realized while acting as Medical Director under a corporate model that I would never have total job satisfaction in this role. My goal in opening up my own hospital and, in the future, providing veterinary business coaching and helping other veterinarians on their path to ownership is to shake up the industry and hopefully change the direction it is going.

My goal is to create a veterinary utopia. A hospital where clients' needs come first. A hospital where we care deeply about the people and the pets that walk through their doors. A hospital where medical treatment is innovative and industry-leading. A hospital where staff members are valued, trained well, and treated like family. A hospital where the facility is beautiful, efficient, welcoming, and acts as a tool for community and connection. A hospital where volunteers are welcomed, encouraged, trained, and uplifted to inspire the next generation of pet-loving service providers. A hospital where giving back to the community and seeking opportunities to serve is prioritized. That is the hospital I am hoping and striving to create in my community.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment so far as a business owner is cultivating a team of like-minded veterinarians and technicians who are all striving for change in our industry and are excited about the possibility. They are all resilient and growth-minded, and I could not be more proud of each of them for pushing through barriers, defying the norm, and learning to pivot on a dime when life throws crazy curveballs our way.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Not a lot about owning a business is "hard" to me - I thrive on problem-solving the daily challenges. While for some being a business owner can be a lonely endeavor and seem overwhelming to wear all the hats, I have surrounded myself with amazing people - supportive family and friends that keep me balanced, a motivated business partner who takes on half of the "hard" stuff, an engaged and fun team that makes coming to work a pleasure, a group of leaders that inspire me to do better and delegate, and a group of women business owners in our community who make me reach for new levels in my business.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Surround yourself and collaborate with positive people who push you to grow.
  2. Be flexible, growth-minded, and willing to listen to ideas from those around you (teammates, clients, community members, etc.).
  3. Take care of yourself - when you own a business, you work so hard and so many hours; make sure you play hard and rest hard too!

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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