New North Platte Business Goes to the Dogs
The pursuit of a pet-themed passion named Paws-a-Palooza brought Dawn Brosius to the Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC) in North Platte, where Director Charlie McPherson helped get Brosius’ dog daycare, overnight boarding and “Pup Tart” treat business up and running.
“I was not a business person,” says Brosius. “I had been a pharmacist for 24 years, but I wanted to pursue my passion. If this place would have existed, I would have gladly worked there. But it didn’t.”
McPherson began consulting with Brosius in June 2017. “Dawn was fantastic to work with throughout this project,” he says. “She was well organized and methodical during the entire process.”
He says Brosius was willing to do the legwork necessary to gauge the community’s interest and develop a business plan and financial projects. “She weighed the pros and cons in regards to building a new facility as opposed to leasing or renting,” he says. “She visited similar businesses in other cities to ask questions, see how they operate their businesses and how she could improve or incorporate some of those things into hers.”
Brosius says she delved deeply in the area’s demographics. “I looked closely at our community, the numbers, the income levels, everything Charlie said I needed to know to make certain that the potential business was there,” she says. “Of the people I surveyed, 90-plus percent of the respondents were positive about the need for dog daycare. I toured three or four other places and then decided to add overnight boarding.”
In late 2017, Brosius began selling her homemade doggie treats. At the same time, McPherson provided her with information from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) to ensure Brosius was adhering to the proper regulations.
McPherson followed up by assisting Brosius with registering her business with the state, obtaining a Federal ID number and completing other details.
“In spring 2018, we met to discuss her conclusions of the market research she put together,” he says. “We also discussed renting or leasing a space to test the waters for the business and make sure that it would work out over a few years, rather than build a store and acquire a significant amount of debt from the start.”
After visiting more than a dozen properties, Brosius decided on an existing structure, obtained the necessary financing and is planning to complete renovations and launch the dog daycare service early in 2019.
She says McPherson’s experience and the NBDC services have been instrumental in putting her on the path toward achieving her goals.
“Charlie helped me to stay focused and keep moving in the right direction,” she says. “I could send him an email and bounce something off him and he would always have an answer, or a resource or a contact I could use. If he hadn’t heard from me for a while, he would contact me and ask me how it was going.”