Mumpreneur Profile: Madeleine Fear of Small Furry Hotel

Name of Business:  Small Furry Hotel

Your Name and Age: Madeleine Fear 33

Tell us about your family : Married with two daughter 8 and 4 years

What did you do before coming up with your business idea and how was it making the transition?  I worked in media sales – Selling adverts in to a directory.

When did you launch? 2007

How did you get started?  I had an idea and went for it.  The fear of leaving my babies and going back to work forced me forward.

What research did you do before launching?  I researched on the web to see if other were doing the same.  There were a few and only a few that were doing it professionally

How do you promote your business? What has worked best? By far the internet has been my biggest winner, especially my facebook page over the last year.

What has worked well about your business?  The home life balance it gives me and the ability to work at some thing I love.  I play with small furry animal all day- need I say more?

What has been your biggest challenge so far? How have you dealt with it?  The peaks and troughs.  To start with I really noticed the seasonal peaks and troughs, but four years in the peaks are higher and the troughs are not as deep and I am glad of the break.  I just kept my faith and kept plugging away promoting the business.

How do you fit in work with the family?  My business is in the garden, I had a large decking area installed for the girls to play on when they are not in school or nursery.  Both my daughter are very proficient with a dustpan and brush and filling water bottles! I ask most my clients to email me their bookings which means I can deal with them when I get chance.

What advice would you give to someone else wanting to work in this area?  Quality of service is a must when dealing with animals.  Too many people do it badly to turn a fast buck ( I am referring to animal related industry as a whole).  Only today one of my customers said “ I drive an hour to come here instead of leaving them with the boarder down the road”.  I am extremely focussed on hygiene and cleanliness, my cabin floor is washed and the hutches are cleaned daily.  I love what I do and have a passion for seeing well kept happy animals.  I can spot the passion I have for my business in other business owners when they talk about their business.  My view is that you may get away with a lack of passion in another industry, but not when you are dealing with living things!

Your website link. http://www.smallfurryhotel.com

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