Come Rain Or Shine Part 1

Come Rain or Shine: Part 1

The challenges the pet industry faces during the Winter

Winter is coming…

And that is a big obstacle for many UK industries to overcome, none more so than the majority of the small businesses within the pet industry.

Cue Amy O’Rourke, from Amy’s Ark Pet Services.

We follow Amy on Instagram - mainly because she’s always posting great photos whilst out on the job but also because she has a great established pet services business!

Amy’s Ark Pet Services is definitely a business that operates mostly outdoors, so, as part of a little project, we asked Amy if she would be interested in being part of a 4-part blog; a blog for each season of the year, starting off with Winter.

We posed a few questions to Amy relating to her business activity during the cold and wet winter months and here’s what she had to say!

Sky Life Accountancy

Hey Amy. Thank you for taking part in our Come Rain or Shine business blog. So, this is the first blog, and there are three more to come in Spring, Summer and Autumn. Thanks for the great picture by the way!

So to start of with a question for the day - what are the biggest challenges, both financially and non-financially, for a dog walking business or other pet services business during the often harsh winter months?

Amy’s Ark Pet Services

The biggest challenges both financially & non financially would have to be the weather. I'm lucky to have a loyal base of clients who are booked in every week but unfortunately mother nature can play havoc with travel times. Only in weather warnings will walks be cancelled or rescheduled.

Sky Life Accountancy

Do you find that your business is affected by seasonal demand, particularly during the festive period and into the new year?

Amy’s Ark Pet Services

Yes and no.

I take into consideration that my clients will be off work and I won't be needed as much over the Christmas break but generally this only applies to about 7-10 days for dog walking. I still work as a freelance groom for the horses during this time so I am kept busy plus I enjoy some down time of my own at Christmas to spend with my family and my own animals.

Sky Life Accountancy

Great answer.

Do you have any wintery horror stories where you were caught out by or unprepared for the extreme elements?

Amy’s Ark Pet Services

I would say probably January of this year was pretty intense weather wise for me. We had so much snow in Scotland plus red weather warnings that at one point my car drifted all the way down the road. We had snow drifts the height of our hedges & the horses all had snowballs in their hooves. I couldn't get out dog walking during that period. I lost a chihuahua in their garden the snow was so high LOL.

Sky Life Accountancy

Oh my word!!!!! We hope the poor little chihuahua was found...

Last question, and it’s a bit of a fun one. Lots of small business owners (nearly 16000 last year) submitted their tax returns during the festive period - have you ever completed your tax return on Christmas Day?

Amy’s Ark Pet Services

Thankfully not LOL!

Sky Life Accountancy

And we don’t blame you! Have a great Christmas, Amy. Thanks for your honest answers and we’ll speak to you in February!