Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Mark Frazer, Owner of One Health Group, located in Cazenovia, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Voyce is a breakthrough mobile digital health product for monitoring and analyzing the wellness of our beloved dogs and cats. Voyce is a professional-grade product that is only sold to veterinarians, and we encourage pet owners to let their vets know about us since we are new to the market.
Voyce is a very small device attached to the collar or harness, with apps for both the Pet Parent and the Veterinarian. The way it works is tailored to the health monitoring needs of a particular animal by the clinician. Maybe it's to be used for general all-around health monitoring. But maybe it is set up for a pet with known cardiac problems or for a pet who is going home after surgery. Voyce provides highly personalized healthcare for pets.
We offer much more than any product in this category currently on the market. For example, we can monitor the Blood Pressure of animals that previously required expensive equipment that causes distress to pets. Another example is our ability to look deeply into the cardiopulmonary function of pets and report back on previously unattainable information outside of specialists and expensive clinics.
Voyce truly is the next generation in medical technology for keeping pets healthy through the prediction of problems, the early diagnosis of problems, and enabling effective healthcare for pets with existing problems. We offer a serious medical-grade solution which is why we only sell to veterinarians. But once your vet is one of our customers, you get to share in the unprecedented capabilities of Voyce.
Tell us about yourself
I fell in love with computer programing back in 1982 when home microcomputers were very new consumer products in the UK. This led to me doing a Computer Science BSc degree in 1991 at the University of Birmingham in the UK and then going to work for a company developing embedded real-time software solutions for various industries. I spent the next 20 years working for large corporations, climbing to the top of career ladders, and running very larger multinational programs. For a large multinational corporation, I decided to take a job that saw me transfer from the UK to the USA in Washington DC in 1999. I've stayed in the USA ever since.
But after completing an MBA at the University of Rochester, NY, in 2012, I decided to leverage my 20 years of corporate software engineering experience, with ten years of that in medical technology R&D, to succeed in small start-up Medtech companies where I could take larger ownership and directional stake.
After being involved with multiple start-ups, I eventually co-founded One Health Group in 2017. This was a massive commitment and has involved countless hours of working for the good of the company with very little or no pay and spending long hours learning about new technologies and the science behind them.
My motivation has been driven by my love of animals. Growing up, we had multiple dogs and cats, and I have never lived without the companionship of our furry friends. But like all of us, I've endured the sickness and death of many beloved pets. I get up each day knowing that my work will not only prolong the lives of our pets but will also give them a greater quality of life. My work will also reduce the cost of great care for our pets and also give veterinarians better services to offer and new ways to engage with Pet Parents and their own colleagues.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner has been working with amazing colleagues to be the technology inside Voyce to the point where we are now ready to commercialize it in our products. This has been a massive undertaking, and I look back proudly upon the sacrifices and joyous ah-ha moments that have brought us to this exciting stage of a company we started five years ago. More than anything, this technological, clinical, and business set of achievements has been a team effort, and it's a great feeling to be part of such an effective team.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things as a small business owner is the knowledge that your very own personal performance will mean the make or break of the entire company. I compare this to my 20 years working for corporations with thousands of employees, and while failures are terrible, no individual is going to stop the big wheels from turning.
While this level of daily responsibility in a small start-up is very hard, it's also exhilarating, and when you succeed, the feeling is euphoric. It is hard to work very quickly and yet with great care and great quality. But now that I've experienced this kind of work environment, I will never be going back to corporate life!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Starting. Do not underestimate what is already out there in the marketplace. You need to choose a market where you have a chance to dominate in the short-term in a small segment but which is big enough so you can pivot into much bigger segments later. Your initial research must include what Intellectual Property and looming innovations are already out there. You may think you have an amazing business plan, but it will change, and you need to be in a market space where you can freely innovate without market forces hindering you.
- Running. Focus on getting people involved with your business who truly align with your business values and your company vision. You will need to build a team, and this team will make or break you. Treat this very seriously and research how to find, select and hire the talent you need to succeed. Your skill in hiring the right talent is more important than any other skill you have while running your business.
- Growth. You must stay true to your vision. Your strategies will be tweaked, and your business plan will go through major changes. But when you are making decisions on how to grow your business, you must be growing into areas that you still love. You have to keep the love to come to work each day.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
One Health Group is currently focused on animal health, and the company holds well over 70 Patents for the medical application of Ultrawide-band technology for animal health.
The company does also hold patents that will help transform human healthcare in the future. Animal Health is the love that got us started, but we deliberately named the company One Health Group per the well-understood term One Health. This recognizes the critical importance of simultaneously managing health advancement across humans, animals, and also the environment in which they live. We passionately believe in the importance of the concept of One Health.
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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