Top five tips to funding your first dog day care or pet business

Doggy daycare and pet care businesses in the UK are always in high demand. This may be because there are strict laws in place regarding the care and treatment of pets. Thus, when people head to work for the day, or away for the weekend – they need somewhere safe and fun for their beloved pet to stay.

The proof of just how lucrative the industry is, can be seen in the statistics. The Guardian released an article featuring findings from an American Express survey that showed UK dog owners spending an average of £ 1,252 per annum on their pets.

If you are still wondering if owning a dog daycare or pet care business is lucrative enough for you, just consider the statistics posted by Statista here. They show the following:

  • The value of the UK pet care products market is more than 5.3 billion Euros.
  • There are over 51 million pets in the UK.

The market is there – you just need to get your doggy day care up and running. 

The first hoop you are going to need to jump through is funding. Unfortunately, like all businesses, a dog daycare or pet care business needs money for: premises, stock, employees, training, and advertising – you know the drill. 

So, how do you pay for all of that without out-pricing your products and services just to cover the costs? You get the right funding – that’s how 

Below are five tips for funding your doggy day care in the UK:

1. Apply for government grants and business funding

Not many countries can match the UK when it comes to the funding support provided by the government and certain private bodies. Small business grants are given by the government to help fund small enterprises that meet a certain criteria. For instance, if the proposed business will support the local community or create jobs, a government grant will most likely be awarded. Grants typically range from £ 500 to £ 500,000. It is best to scour the UK government website for details.

2. Visit your local high street bank and apply for a small business loan

If you have a good credit history and collateral to put up against your loan, a high street bank loan is a viable option. These loans are usually taken out over the long term and paid back in fixed monthly repayments. The interest rate is usually lower than alternative funding options, but there are strict requirements involved and some banks can keep you waiting several days or weeks for feedback and pay out.

3. Apply for unsecured SME loans

If you do not have collateral to offer, a high street bank loan will be difficult, if not impossible to achieve. That does not mean that you are out of luck. There are several providers of SME loans that can help you out. These are small business loans that are provided with a 24 hour turnaround time on approval and pay out. While you can loan between £ 1,000 and £ 500,000, it is best to know that these loans do come with a slightly higher interest rate attached than a bank loan does.

4. Consider merchant cash advances

For those looking for unsecured loans with no setup fee and monthly repayments that will not cripple their new business’ income – a merchant cash advance is a viable option. Easy approval and lightning fast pay-outs are synonymous with merchant cash advances. While these loans are unsecured, they are also low-risk as the lender has security in future sales made by your business. When you get a merchant cash advance, you get immediate cash provided to you. The loan is provided in exchange for a percentage of your future credit and debit card sales. As you make sales, you pay a portion back to the lender. This means on slow months, you pay less back.

5. Opt for peer to peer funding

Peer to peer funding is another popular alternative to a traditional bank loan. With this type of loan, entrepreneurs look for potential investors who are actually looking for lucrative business ideas to invest in. The loan is not protected by a traditional bank or credit union. The loan is usually made in exchange for a share in the business or simply to make a small “interest” based profit. There are several websites available offering to match lenders and entrepreneurs – you just have to do a quick Google search to find them

Be meticulous

If you have the desire to get your dog daycare or pet business off the ground, you must be willing to put the hard work in to get it started. If one of your first funding options does not pan out, get straight to work on your next option. You need to be the proverbial dog chasing the ball! With so much available in terms of business opportunity in the UK, you really cannot risk losing out on running your dream pet care business and making a tail-wag-worthy profit at the same time. 

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