Business Profile: Happy Pets NI

Name: Gary Maguire
Company: Happy Pets NI
Contact details: – 028 8225 7690

Business Profile: Happy Pets NI

Can you describe your business?

Happy Pets is an independently owned, medium sized pet food and aquatic     store. Our main aim is to provide quality produce at affordable prices. We keep a wide range of food & accessories for most pets as well as a great         range of cold & tropical fish and all the necessary equipment to keep them.

Why did you start your own business?

I started my own business at the beginning of 2010 just after being made redundant from my role as a senior member of a procurement team for a large concrete company at the end of 2009 due to the recession. Having worked for large companies for many years I decided that I wanted to do something for myself. I chose the pet trade as I have a great love of animals and I had great experience working with dogs and aquatics. In addition to this, the pet trade was one of the areas of our economy that was least           affected by the on going recession.

What are the best things about running your own business?

The best thing about running my own business is being able to make my own decisions and to run my business how I want. The best thing about running Happy Pets is meeting some great people, many of whom I now call friends. I also have the added bonus of meeting all their beautiful pets.

What are the main challenges facing the business?

The main challenges facing the business at the moment are increasing costs in both goods for resale and general overheads. Maintaining a healthy margin is quite difficult in the current climate. Also the continued popularity of online shopping is a huge challenge. An online sales presence is definitely up for a viability study before the end of 2019.

What advice would you give to someone starting a business?

MAKE A VIABLE BUSINESS PLAN. Understand what you need from your business and plan how to get it. Be prepared to adapt. All good plans and strategies must have the ability to be flexible. Also talk to someone else who has set up there own business in the past. They will may be able to highlight areas that you have missed in you planning.

Can you describe your experience of running a business in three words or less?

Exciting, tough & rewarding (in that order)