Companions in an Era of Social Distancing and Stress

Task A: Business Idea Development

1.0 Business Idea

Pets have long been considered to be best friends to some of the human beings. In fact, the relationship between the pet and humans begin at the dawn of the civilisation. Pet human relationship represents a true reflection of closeness, warmth, commitment, emotional involvement, conflict, and other features (Zilcha-Mano et al., 2011). In the current world that is full of rush and people are more connected through the virtual platform such as Social media rather than having in-person contact. The social distancing often makes the people feel alone and secluded. Besides, stress has become an important part of life for the people today, some people have stress related to their personal relationships while other may have stress related to work, where they need a support of companionship. In such condition, pets such as cats and dogs are considered as the best companion that provides one with stable relationship when other relationship is unstable.

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It is therefore, it has been noted that the pet population in the UK is increasing at a significant rate. Statistically, it has been noted that around 51% of the adults in the UK own a pet, which is quite higher compared to many of the other countries in Europe (PDSA, 2020). The rapidly increasing population of the pets in the UK and the growing numbers of the pet lovers in the country has created huge demand for the pet care and grooming within the country. In this regard, it has been noted that pet care and grooming market in the UK has been steadily growing and is estimated to reach £7 billion by 2021 (Smith, 2019). These figures signify that the pet and pet lovers are significant consumers. It has been further anticipated that the pets and the pet lovers expanded beyond the good pet food to good care and grooming and increasing numbers of the pet lovers in the UK are identified to spend huge amounts of money on pet care and grooming as well. Correspondingly, the new business idea is to design a business entity that would be offering superior pet care and grooming services to appeal the rapidly expanding market for pet care and grooming in the UK. It has been noted that pet care and grooming offers a huge market opportunity because the pet lovers today are increasingly focusing on the cleanliness as well as health of their beloved companions. The unique aspect of the proposed business idea is that it will offer mobile pet care and grooming services which would eliminate the need for the pet lovers to visit the pet care centre rather they can avail the complete range of pet care and grooming services at their door step through simple online registration process.

Task B: Business Plan

1.0 Vision Statement

The vision of Friendly Pawz (the mobile pet care and grooming) is to establish a highly effective and superior quality pet grooming service business that will be the most preferred choice for the pet lovers who want their companion to look attractive and healthy in Bristol and in the United Kingdom.

2.0 Mission Statement

The business of Friendly Pawz is driven by the strong mission statement which is to enrich the lives of pets by delivering the superior quality and personalised services.

3.0 Ownership

Friendly Pawz business will be the family owned business that will be owned by Johan Smith and Jane Smith in Bristol, UK.

4.0 Product and Services

Friendly Pawz will offer an extended range of product and services within the scope of the laws and regulation enacted for pet in the UK. The key services that the new business entity will offer include pet cleaning, grooming, exercising as well as low level of veterinary services. In addition to these the new business entity will offer pet foods and other accessories such as chains, clothes and toys among others. However, the key aspect of Friendly Pawz is that this new entity will offer mobile services which mean that the pet lovers don’t have to visit the pet care centre rather they can avail the wide range of services and they can also purchase pet food and accessories at their door step. Notably, the mobile service has been designed with the aim to provide greater convenience to pet lovers that are often busy in their works and have limited time to spend on cleaning and grooming of their pet or visit the pet care centre. Additionally, with the range of food and supplies the pet lovers will not have to frequently visit to the market for the purchase of commodities for their companions.

5.0 Market Analysis
5.1 Market segmentation and Target Market

Identification and the selection of the right customer segment is important for the new business entity to survive and attain growth. Moreover, it is critical to target the most profitable customer segment to remain profitable and succeed in the market (Kim & Aggarwal, 2016). Correspondingly, considerable attention has been laid on the selection of customer segment and target market. Accordingly, the market for the new business entity has mainly been segmented based on the demographic variables including income and occupation. Accordingly, the primary target market for the new business entity include pet lovers that have high disposable income and professionals that have strong desire to provide superior quality pet care and grooming but due to their professional commitment they are not able to provide the desired care to their companions. This subgroup of customers have been considered as the target market for the new business entity because it has been noted that majority of the pet owners in the UK are professionals who barely gets enough time for their profession to deliver quality care to their pets. Besides, this sub-group also has adequate financial resources to spend on their pets which make them the most profitable customer segment to target and meet their needs.

5.2 Market Characteristics & Revenue Potential
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Pet care and grooming market is ascertained to be one of the most rapidly growing market segments in the UK. Accordingly, it has been estimated that 51% of the adults own pets. Accordingly, 26% of the adults have cat as their pets and the total population of the cat that are owned by the pet lovers is estimated to be 10.9 million in 2020. In the similar context, 24% of the adults in the UK have dog and the population of dog pet is estimated to be 10.1 million in 2020. In addition, 2% adults in the UK own rabbit which has the estimated population of 1 million (PDSA, 2020). The table 1.0 below indicates the changes in the population of these pets over the last ten years.

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It can be observed from the above table 1.0 that the population of the pets in the UK has increased particularly in the context of dogs. Moreover, it has been estimated that market value for pet care and grooming to reach £ 7 billion by 2021 (Smith, 2019). In addition, as per the report published by Mintel, it has been stated that the increasing numbers of the pet lovers in the UK feel that it is important to keep their pet with latest trend in terms of clothing and focus on the health of the pet. In addition, it has been noted that pet weddings have been coming more popular in the UK where the pet owners spend large chunks of money on the grooming of their pets and buying pet Christmas and birthday presents including clothing and toys (Garcia, 2019). Thus the growing spending by the pet owners is identified to provide a great opportunity for the business entities like Friendly Pawz to grow and earn substantial profit from their operations.

6.0 Industry Analysis

The mobile pet care industry in the UK is moderately competitive. Accordingly, there are few players that are currently operating within the mobile pet care and grooming industry in the UK. Correspondingly, Friendly Pawz is more likely to face competitive threat form the players within the industry. Notably, the present of the competitors within the industry thus have the potential to negatively impact the growth prospects of Friendly Pawz (Berens, 2012). Hence, it is crucial for Friendly Pawz to differentiate its product and services in order to beat its rivals in the industry and to succeed profitably within the industry. The main sale proposition of Friednly Pawz thus rest on the superior quality of pet services. In this regard, Friendly Pawz will not only offer an alternative solution to kennel but would also provide personalised services to the pet and the pet owners. Moreover, apart from the pet cleaning and grooming, the new business entity will also deliver low level veterinary services to the pets which will eliminate the need for the pet owners to frequently visit the veterinary and take time from busy schedule. Additionally, the key focus of Friendly Pawz will be on the quality acre and services along with the greater customer convenience. In order to deliver quality care and grooming services, well trained individuals and experts that understand the behaviour of the pets and are well aware of the different needs of the individual pet will be hired.

7.0 Operational Plan

Friendly Pawz is located in Hertfordshire, which is in the proximity to the London City. The outskirt of the city has been deliberately chosen as it becomes easy to operate from the location and respond to the people those who want to avail the services offered by the new business entity. The operation process of the new business venture is simple. The potential customers have to register with the Friendly Pawz on its official website to avail the mobile pet care services. Once they are registered with the company, they can easily check for the availability of the services and book their services in advance. After booking the type of services the mobile van will visit the customer’s location and provide the needed service at their location. A separate register for each pet and their owner will be maintained in order to remind them about the vaccination and help the better care their pet. The mobile van will include all amenities essential for pet care and grooming. Besides it will also involve pet food and other supplies that the pet owners can purchase for their four legged companion. The prices of the services will be kept affordable and the pet owners within the London city will only be required to pay the normal price for the services that they pay when visiting the pet care center. In other words no extra charge will be levied on the pet owners for the van.

8.0 SWOT Analysis
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9.0 Financial Projections
9.1 Start-up Cost

The table 3.0 below indicates the start-up cost for Friendly Pawz. Accordingly, it can be identified that the total cost required for starting the new business venture is estimated to be £ 96400. The new business venture will seek £ 45000 loan from the bank to raise the required fund while remaining £ 51400 will be contributed by the Smith family.

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9.2 Sales Forecast (Year 1)

Based the table 4.0 below it has been estimated that in the first two months from the commencement of the new business, there will be no profit. However, from the third month the new business entity will start earning revenue which is estimated to reach £647000.0 at the end of the first year.

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The table 5.0 below indicates the projected profit and loss for Friend Pawz for the first 12 months of operation. Accordingly, it has been estimated that in the first two months from the commencement of the new business, the entity will have to bear loss but from the third months the entity will start earning profit.

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References

Berens, C. (2012). Business Opportunities in Pet Care. [Online] Available at: https://www.inc.com/best-industries-2012/caitlin-berens/pet-care.html [Accessed 12 December 2020].

Gracia, F. (2019). Value of UK pet market set to hit £7billion by 2021. [Online] Available at: https://www.diyweek.net/value-of-uk-pet-market-set-to-hit-7billion-by-2021 [Accessed 12 December 2020].

Kim, CS & Aggarwal, P. (2016). The customer is king: culture-based unintended consequences of modern marketing. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 33(3), pp. 193-201.

PDSA. (2020). How many pets are there in the UK? [Online] Available at: https://www.pdsa.org.uk/get-involved/our-campaigns/pdsa-animal-wellbeing-report/uk-pet-populations-of-dogs-cats-and-rabbits#:~:text=Our%20February%202020%20findings%20showed,of%2010.1%20million%20pet%20dogs [Accessed 12 December 2020].

Smith, G. (2019). UK Pet Market Set To Hit £7billion By 2021. [Online] Available at: https://petsubjects.co.uk/2019/11/07/uk-pet-market-set-to-hit-7billion-by-2021/ [Accessed 12 December 2020].

Zilcha-Mano, S. et al. (2011). An attachment perspective on human–pet relationships: Conceptualization and assessment of pet attachment orientations. Journal of Research in Personality, 45(4), 345–357.


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