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Guangzhou is the largest city in south China. The wealth gap in the city is significant. Therefore, there is inexpensive labour available while high-end customers are willing to pay a profitable price for the services offered.
The pet industry is booming. The dog population in the city has increased by 15% each year  . This makes dog boarding one of the most lucrative industries in the city
Financially, it takes three months to reach positive net cash flow, and ROCE is negative in the first year, since the profit is negative, however, in the second year, the company will have substantial increase in profits, the profit will reach ¥183,100.
Description of Business
Dog Overnight Boarding: Providing overnight stay to dogs along with a complimentary dinner in the evening.
Dog Day Play Group: Dogs are cared for during the day with play sessions in the morning and afternoon.
Dog Taxi Service: Drivers pick-up dogs at 7 a.m., and brings them home in the evenings. This saves pet owners from the inconvenience of the hectic rush hour traffic. Special taxi booking is available at an additional fee.
In-house shop offers dog products for long-term boarders. Owners can order dog treats over the phone using prepaid cards.
Dogs will follow a structured daily schedule. Following each dog’s stay, a complimentary report of the dog is provided to owners.
The business will be a Limited Liability Company, as this can reduce tax liability in the long term.
Guangzhou city is in one of the wealthiest cities in south China. There is a increasing number of middle-class residents, and it is also close to the manufacturing towns where kennel equipment can be manufactured at a low cost.
Woof Hotel is located in the northwest suburb of Guangzhou, near G105 motorway with good transport links. G105 is also linked to tourist resorts in the province where people take their pets on holiday. So, the company can advertise along the motorway to attract potential customers.
The northwest suburb is a mountainous region away from residential areas, as this minimises noise from dogs barking. This particular location is surrounded by farmlands and allows for future expansion. The approximate commute time is 40 minutes from the city centre.
Facilities and Staffing
The maximum capacity is 100 dogs; each kennel measures 2 x 4m. There is a large fenced, grassed outdoor exercise area. There is a small kitchen for preparing dog foods. There reception area sells dog products, and there is also a customer lounge.
Staff to dog ratio is 1:10. There are 24 hour surveillance cameras operating on-site to ensure the safety of dogs and staff. A burglar alarm will be installed to prevent dog thefts.
Increase kennel capacity by 50; Purchase agility equipment, a paddling pool and a sand pit for dogs to play in.
Differentiate the kennels by building luxury suites as well as offer budget stays. Provide dog grooming service.
Introduce dog training and socialisation classes. Franchise opportunities become available. Build more Woof Hotels in other areas of the province.
The number of dogs in the city is growing by 15% each year; however, the pet service industry cannot keep up with the growth. People are unable to find satisfactory pet boarding kennels at reasonable rates. More professionals have pets. However, most people don’t have time to adequately care for their dogs for 365 days a year. Finally, dogs aren’t allowed on any public transport anywhere in China, which makes it difficult for people to travel with their pets.
Management team has expertise in starting a small business
Director has seen many successful pet boarding business overseas
Being the first dog kennel can make the company the industry leader
The idea of boarding kennel has not been tried and tested in the country
Team leaders have no previous experience in pet industry
Lack of skilled workers
The pet industry is booming
There is increasing demand for boarding kennel
The satisfaction rate for the service offered by competitors is low
Competitors may enter this lucrative market in a few years, this may decrease the market share of the company
At the moment, there are very few direct competitors – boarding kennels. The indirect competitors are:
Private Veterinary Surgery: These surgeries are small and the housing is in poor condition. As sick dogs are coming in to see the vet and boarders are placed in a cage along with sick dogs. The vet is not responsible if a healthy dog boarder falls ill. The risk being the cost for treatment in case the pet contracts a virus is extremely high. The vet charges a high rate for boarding fees.
Home boarding: There are currently a small number of people offering home boarding. However, they are not regulated; Customers do not know their backgrounds therefore difficult to establish reliability.
It is predicted there will be an increase in the number of both domestic and overseas competitors in the future which will invest in this lucrative market.
Woof house is aimed toward middle class dog owners, since positioning the company in the middle class makes it easier to move up or down the market. The industry is new; demand from each segment of the consumer market is unknown. In the expansion plan, the company will introduce luxury and budget stays to accommodate customers’ needs.
A lot will be invested in advertising during the first year, including:
Sign posts along the motorways G105.
Leaflet distribution: either by hiring commissioned people wearing company tee-shirts to distribute the leaflets in streets,
Discounts offered during low seasons
Advertising in partnerships with pet shops, with free taster boarding vouchers available
The van transporting dogs with the company logo on will be self-marketing when driving in the city
The director has conducted desk research on www.goumin.com , a popular networking site for dog owners. The main issues facing them include lack of boarding kennel in the city; no transport which allows pets on hence restricts their movement, and expensive vet fees. The demand for boarding kennel is very high, yet there isn’t any available at the moment.
Since response rate on forums is high. The director has posted a survey on the website (see appendix), in order to find out the monthly spending by dog owners and decide the pricing structure of Woof Hotel. Also, Woof Hotel will also use questionnaire to get feedbacks from owners after their dogs have stayed in the hotel, in return they are given discount towards their next stay.
Customers and Pricing
Woof Hotel is targeted toward middle income people; the rate is set to be low at ¥50 per stay in the first year in order to attract customers. However, the vets charge the same rate ¥50 at a monopolized price with poor service standards – dogs in cages all day with no exercises at all. The consumer is predicted to be price insensitive, they can accept price increase if it matches the service provided. Moreover Woof Hotel’s rates are at a reasonable level.
Premises and Vehicles
The cost of purchasing land is high, and some land isn’t available for purchase by the government. Therefore, Woof Hotel will rent the site. Since the company is located in the suburbs and rural areas, the cost of renting land for agricultural purposes is low; the rent per m2 is estimated to be 95% less than in the city centre.
The Woof Hotel’s personalised webpage needs to be set-up; there is a cost to purchase the domain. The Internet is increasingly popular today. It also serves as an advertisement of Woof Hotel. The receptionist will be trained to answer all the queries regarding to staying in Woof hotel.
Currently, there is few insurance providers for pets in China. The insurance cover for business start-up is expensive; Therefore, Woof Hotel will not purchase any insurance during its first two years. However it may decide to do so in the future, depending on the circumstances.
Currently there are no laws aimed specifically at dogs. Although a compulsory Dog ID tag was introduced in 2009  , many dogs still remain unregistered. Some unregistered dogs don’t have vaccination certificate even they have been vaccinated. This is the main issue facing Woof Hotel, there is a risk of other dogs contracting the virus, however these owners represent a large proportion of potential clients.
Management and organisation
A Mathematics graduate at University of Warwick, also pursuing a MSc in Finance
A life- long dog lover, having raised puppies and have first-hand experience with caring for dogs, good knowledge on basic dog care
Very business- minded and passionate about starting a pet care business
Multilingual, able to travel abroad to visit and study from other partner boarding establishments.
Experienced as the facility manager at a multinational company for over 10 years
Several years of experience starting and running small businesses
Have excellent local knowledge and business networks in the area.
Customer Service: answering customers’ enquiries
Staff B and C
Responsible for looking after dogs and supervising their plays
Responsible for transporting dogs to and from Woof Hotel
Responsible for transporting dog foods and other necessities for Woof Hotel
Gardener and Cleaner
Maintaining the landscape and garden of the Woof hotel
Clean dog kennels daily
In the beginning, Woof Hotel will hire low cost labour workers. The market price for an unskilled worker is approximately ¥2000 per month. In the future, Woof Hotel may recruit skilled workers such as graduates from the local veterinary college. The wage cost will increase to approximately ¥3000 per month, but Woof Hotel hope to retain these skilled workers to increase customer satisfaction.
The recruitment will be advertised. As there are many migrant workers in the city, unskilled labours are easy to recruit. Unfortunately, there is a loophole in China’s laws. People with a history of animal abuse do not have criminal records. There is a risk that staff recruited may abuse animals. In such cases, the person will be dismissed immediately. The presence of surveillance cameras ensures the welfare of all our dogs.
PROFIT AND LOSS ACCOUNT for Woof Hotel
Unit: ¥ (¥1 = £0.1 )
Price per Dog per day
Average No. of Dogs
Gross Sales Daily
Gross Sales Annually (365 Days)
Sales Tax (6%)
Staff Vaccination and expenses
Professional fees and recruitment
Gardening and Cleaning
Net Profit(Loss) Before Tax
Corporation Tax (20%)
Profit for the year
PASTE CASH FLOW STATEMENT HERE
Unit: ¥ (¥1 = £0.1 )
Property-kennels and exercise area
Property- office & staff accommodation
TOTAL FIXED ASSETS
TOTAL CURRENT ASSETS
Reserves (P&L from Yr 1)
Gross Profit Margin = Gross Profit / Revenue x100
Year 1: 600,425/638,750 = 94.4%
Year 2: 1,441,020/1,533,000 = 94%
Break – Even Units = Total Overheads / (Price of Product – Direct Cost of Product)
Year 1: ¥842,900 / 50 = 16,858 units
Year 2: ¥1,212,000 / 60 = 20,200 units
Break – Even Sales = Total Overheads /Gross Profit Margin x 100
Year 1: ¥842,900/94.5 = ¥891,957
Year 2: ¥ 1,212,000/94 = ¥12,893
ROCE = Profit before tax/(Capital Reserve+ long term loans) x 100
Year 1: -242,475/1,243,100 = -19.5%
Year 2: 183,216/ 6,700,037= 2.7%
The utility bill and rents are paid every month
There is no depreciation in the first two years
Dog pays on arrival; the company has no borrowings. Therefore no debtors or creditors.
Utility bill: air-conditioner is used in summer; no heater is needed in winter
The number of holidays each month is likely to coincide with the income (see appendix for more details). Since this industry is relative new, the financial reports cannot give a reliable estimate, how people will respond to the business is uncertain, the actual number of dogs may vary. This will affect many figures in the financial reports.
It takes approximately three weeks to reach positive cash flow. There is no gearing ratio since the company doesn’t have any loans. ROCE is negative in the first year since the company is making a loss; however, the company has substantial increase in profit in the second year.
In the business plan, the local currency Chinese Yuan is used, its exchange rate to British Pound is  :
¥1 = £0.096 or £1 = ¥10.4
Proposed location of Woof Hotel on Google map
Indicated by the arrow is the proposed location of Woof Hotel, it is close to motorways G105; The label ‘A’ is the city centre., Woof Hotel has good transport links, the driving time is 30 minutes to city centre.
Dog ownership Statistics in Guangzhou City
The number of pet dogs in Guangzhou has increased rapidly since 1995 by official statistics  ; it is going to increase by 15% each year, which coincides with the economy boom, as people’s income increases, they are more willing to invest in their pets.
Monthly Spending by Dog owners
A survey was conducted on http://bbs.goumin.com/forum-24-1.html, 32 people have responded, their average spending is calculated to be: ¥1,159; with a standard deviation of ¥ 563. However, this sample is biased; also the spending is likely to double or even triple if the animal needs to veterinary attention, which has not been taken into account.
Statistics of Holidays in China 
The chart shows the statistics of the number of bank holidays per month in China, which is likely to coincide with the profitability of Woof Hotel, however, school holidays in February, July and September which are also high seasons have not been included when families are most likely to travel. Thus the high season will be from January to February and from May to August. The low seasons will be March, April and from September to December.
What the paper says
Extract from financial express http://www.financialexpress.com/news/pet-industry-has-never-had-it-so-good-in-china/201045/, titled ‘pet industry has never had it so good in China’:
In some parts of the country, ownership is seen as a must-have accessory for the well-off
The country has 100 million dogs in 2007 and is expected to reach 150 million by 2010.
The market potential is expected to reach $5 billion by 2010.
The recent pet-boom has given birth to a new economics sector in its own right – the ‘pet economy sector’.
In pet food industry alone, the compounded growth rate is averaging 30% per year.
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