Quick Links: Return To Entrepreneur’s Resource Center

Replicating Retail Success

Digital Library > Building and Inspiring an Organization > Strategic planning “Replicating Retail Success”

Melissa Warren and her business partner, Susan Southwick, own and operate Animal Spirit, a haven for pet lovers in Cambridge, Mass.

In addition to trimming nails and shearing fur, Animal Spirit provides animal-health resources and sells pet food and accessories. Indeed, Animal Spirit has become somewhat of a neighborhood destination for pet lovers and their fur-covered, four-legged charges.

Here Melissa Warren details Animal Spirit’s current challenges:

I don’t want to turn what I like to do into something I don’t like to do. Part of that is not grooming so many dogs. Our growth is limited if we just offer grooming — we can and are willing to groom a limited number of animals a day. Whereas our competitors typically groom 30 dogs daily, we do only 10. But I am interested in other means of growth and am now trying to figure out how to make a partnership sprout into a corporation. What makes that happen?

Around our fifth anniversary, I would like to see us at two locations. But I am afraid that I will not be able to duplicate the quality of our flagship retail outlet. How can I juggle being in two places at once, and how can I effectively manage a staff at two separate locations?

Right now we are so neighborhood-oriented, and I know the names of 75% of the people who walk in. I enjoy that atmosphere, and I am having a hard time negotiating my ambition to grow and my need to be in touch with the community that nurtures my business.

How do I find employees I can trust to act as "me" at a second store? How do I know how much debt to take on to get a second outlet up and running? I started this with less than $10,000. Revenues are now well into six figures, but I am concerned about how to finance growth.

Related Articles...
Doing a S.W.O.T. Analysis for Your Company

Call in the S.W.O.T. team! This simple but powerful exercise can help you assess the current state of your business and plan for the future.

Read More ...
Digital Business Cards

Digital Library > Defining and Serving a Market > Public relations “Digital Business Cards” Stand out from your competition with innovative marketing tools. The 3D-CD is a digital business card that holds up to 39 megabytes and fits into the inner circle of a CD-ROM. Combining CD-ROM technology and the Internet, you can create a five-minute "commercial" that links to

Read More ...
Stuck on You

A ‘sticky’ Web site keeps customers clamoring for more.

Read More ...