by Pets in the City
last updated 17/09/2020
by Pets in the City
last updated 17/09/2020
Pets in the City is more than a play school for pets – it’s a big business opportunity in a fast-growing industry
Five years ago, Greg Main and Melanie Comins turned their passion into their business. ‘I have a background in international finance and insurance, and Melanie in skincare and marketing, but, like many dog-owners, we are passionate about animals,’ says Greg. ‘That’s why, when Pets in the City came on the market, we could see the potential and bought it. A year later, we opened a second centre and now we are ready to franchise it throughout the country.’
Pets in the City is a dedicated indoor facility offering top quality care for dogs and cats. Based on the popularity of similar facilities in the USA, the original centre in Auckland’s Mt Wellington opened its doors in 2008 and, despite the GFC, was an instant success. It’s a business that thrives at times when others may not – Greg and Melanie’s second centre in Wairau Park has been a similar story.
Greg calls it, ‘A doggie day-care centre, with hotel facilities (including Doggy Apartments and Cat Condominiums) for when their owners go away. ‘Today, with people having such busy lives, many pets get left by themselves during the working day and don’t get to play with others of their kind. Pets in the City provides a great environment for interaction and socialisation. We have a number of dogs that so enjoy coming here they simply rocket out of their cars, through reception and (with staff holding the gates open) into the playroom.
‘We also offer additional services such as dog grooming, training and a puppy pre-school, all conveniently located under one roof, and even a pet taxi to pick up and drop off your pet. The dedicated team of pet-loving staff includes a qualified vet nurse, and we put the comfort, well-being and happiness of the animals in our care first and foremost. Pets in the City is committed to providing the ultimate experience, ensuring our four-legged guests are pampered, entertained and indulged with loving care and attention.’
Profitable business model
According to surveys, the pet industry in New Zealand is worth almost $2 billion – and growing. As business people, Greg and Melanie have been careful to deliver a practical and profitable business model which enables their franchisees to reap the benefits. ‘We wanted to prove the concept, so we purchased the Wairau Park site four years ago so we could go through the process of setting up a new centre from scratch to try, test and refine the whole process. With lots of learning under our belt, we opened our first franchised site in Silverdale in late August.’
All three Pets in the City centres are sited in industrial/commercial business parks close to motorway connections. ‘This is key to our operation,’ Greg explains. ‘Rather than being out in the country so people have to travel long distances to reach you, Pets in the City is fully indoors and based in city areas convenient for customers’ home and work.
‘There’s a big population of working people who need to leave pets in our care on a regular or irregular basis, and they will always seek convenience. We are only scraping the top of a massive market at present, and are currently looking for additional buildings in our preferred locations for many more centres in Auckland – and other cities too. We want to hear from people looking for a serious business opportunity doing something they love.
‘We offer two formats: a doggie daycare centre and a doggie daycare & pet hotel. The total investment required starts from $450,000, much of which can be financed. The rewards are considerable: not only do you get to work with animals and inspiring people, but you can also expect to be turning over $1,000,000 with excellent profit margins from day-care, hotel and additional services which provide a variety of income streams.’
A very rewarding business
Pets in the City offers franchisees a turn-key operation. ‘We will help find suitable premises and arrange fit-outs according to our experience – safety, security and hygiene are paramount,’ Greg says. ‘We provide assistance with operational set-up, full training, recruitment, marketing, business management systems and a suite of programmes and games to entertain and enrich our furry guests’ lives.
‘Having come from the corporate world into establishing and nurturing our own business, we’ve learned a great deal and had a lot of fun along the way. Occasionally, we say it’s not really a job at all!
‘It’s a very rewarding business on all sorts of levels, so if you are an experienced manager looking for a change of lifestyle, a great business opportunity and would love to work with pets and their owners, we want to hear from you.’
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