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Here at BizCover we cover a huge variety of businesses. One that caught our attention is a customer who operates in the burgeoning doggy day care industry.
Sally Evans owns Pooches Playroom, a place for fun friendly dogs of all ages to come for the day and play with other likeminded pooches. “It is essentially like a child day care… but for dogs.”
The centre is fitted out with everything dogs enjoy, from activity gyms, sand pits and water play parks, to couches, beds and cubby houses for when nap times comes around. Pooches Playroom also has a day spa for all your dog’s grooming needs.
Sarah’s inspiration to start a doggy day care centre stems from the need to find one for Cleo, her chocolate Labrador. After looking into it, Sarah could only find 2 places in Perth – luckily one was near her work. Over the years Cleo attended the doggy day care, Sarah would also engage in some of the training workshops they held. She soon she started to think that there was a great business opportunity awaiting her back home – an hour from her work. Sarah began researching it and gradually started looking into it more seriously until finally, come 10th January 2017, Pooches Playroom Doggy Daycare and Spa opened its doors.
Unsurprisingly, Sarah’s favourite part of her job is getting to play with dogs all day.
“I have a crazy passion for dogs, and I love that each one of our dogs has their own individual personalities. Getting to hang out with them during the day, watching and helping them grow just makes me feel blessed to be part of their lives.” All our pooches’ owners are just amazing people and I’m grateful they let us care for their beloved pooches.”
Sarah considers her most noteworthy success to be the great responses she’s had to the themed events they hold at the day care. These range from doggy birthday parties where the birthday pooch gets spoilt with cake, to Christmas, Easter, Halloween and even Valentine’s day.
“We are always doing fun things with the pooches on these days, and the owners get to take home a little gift too. Plus, we are always uploading pictures and videos on our Facebook and Instagram pages so everyone can see what the pooches have been up to during the day and the owners really love this (and get a little jealous that they don’t work here too!)”
Sarah also let us in on her secret to her customers coming back time after time.
“We are blessed to have one of the biggest indoor/outdoor doggy daycare centres in Perth, boasting 680sqm of doggy heaven. All our dogs come on a weekly basis so routine is what keeps the centre working so well.” Sarah says they also separate the small dogs from the large dogs, something that differentiates them from the competition and what ultimately attracts more clients to the centre.
We asked Sarah what the process was like for getting her business up and running.
“I had heard about a training course that is run to help people start up their small business called NEIS. After looking into it and signing up, I was so glad I did. The course was amazing, and my teacher was always there, guiding me along. Having a business plan was essential for me as I had to have council approval. I undertook the 3-week course in September 2016 and 4 months later opened my business. I truly believe that without doing that NEIS course, I would have struggled. They also offer you a mentor for the first 12 months of your business, but after 2 years I still speak to him about how my business is doing and get some help too.”
As for any advice Sarah would offer to aspiring business owners, she had this to say:
“I would strongly advise doing a course like NEIS. It teaches you what starting a business is like and having a “Business Plan” is essential for any business no matter what the industry. Most of all, make sure it is something you are passionate about, and have fun!!!”
*BizCover is the preferred insurance partner of the NEIS (New Enterprise Incentive Scheme) which helps budding entrepreneurs to start their own Small Business. See more at https://neisnow.com.au