Initially founded in 2015, the current owner bought the business and premises in August 2018 and has since continued to develop it, further demonstrating the popularity of the concept. However, the owner’s family circumstances have changed, and now expecting a baby, she wishes to focus on her family, and therefore sell the business to someone able to continue its development.
“The Dug House” is a dog day care centre situated outside a busy shopping centre (Ocean Terminal) in the heart of Edinburgh. It provides reliable care for small to medium sized dogs and uniquely provides care by the hour, allowing owners to bring their dogs into the city, but leave them for an hour or two while they shop, go to the gym, cinema etc. Alternatively, some customers will use the service for a full day and appreciate the flexibility available, where very often they can drop their dog without having pre-booked.
Other services include:
• birthday parties and "gotcha" parties for dogs and their owners (including bespoke birthday cakes, presents and party bags for their invited doggy guests)
• sessions for people who may be nervous around dogs, teaching them how to approach a dog, read a dog's signals and reduce their own levels of anxiety
• puppy socialisation classes in a safe, controlled environment.
The business has an excellent reputation amongst the dog owners of Edinburgh, in turn generating high levels of repeat business, including dogs that may spend three or more days a week there while their owners are at work. At the other end of the spectrum, tourists may use the service as a one-off for a couple of hours while they explore the city.
The premises (included in the sale) is a large, static cabin with a garden area attached, occupying land owned by the shopping centre, leased at a cost of £100 +VAT per month. There is room to expand this area and permission from the shopping centre to do so. The cabin is separated into two main areas - office area where customers come in and book dogs in, and secure dog play area with access to the garden. The play area includes a dog friendly climbing frame and slide, comfy chairs, beds and toys. The garden is a fenced area with artificial grass.
The Dug House currently employ two members of staff, who work varying hours per week, and are keen to stay on in the business if possible. In addition the vendor devotes around 5 hours to the business per week – managing bookings via telephone and Facebook, handling the social media advertising and general admin and preparing the accounts.
The business maintains a website www.thedughouse.co.uk. Payments are accepted through a card machine (currently using Elavon system).
There is significant growth potential for the business - Ocean Terminal shopping centre is soon to be rebranded as "Porta" and to become a fashion outlet, attracting higher footfall and a luxury hotel is currently being built next to the centre, in addition to the construction of thousands of new properties. Dog walking as a service can be introduced and the business could also sell dog treats, accessories and supplies. At a more ambitious level, the model is one that could be franchised.
The business generates an annual revenue of c £30,000, and will deliver owner earnings of c £20,000 for an input of c 20-25 hours per week. The current owner chooses to employ additional staff and only works in the business around 5 hours per week.
The guide price for the assets and goodwill is £22,500, which includes the cabin and cabin equipment (dog climbing frame, chairs beds etc), PC, website and social media accounts and customer database. The vendor will support an appropriate handover after completion.
The business is being marketed by www.sellmysmallbusiness.co.uk and enquiries should be directed to them. Please do not contact the vendor direct.