Local pet business supported to recover after Lismore flooding

The Natural Pet Pantry had been trading for about twelve months before business owner Jeanette Davies contacted Business Connect. She was seeking some guidance and support on setting prices, defining her market, creating a basic marketing plan, understanding employer responsibilities and establishing WH&S regulations for her business.

Business Connect advisor Gary Wheatstone had completed two sessions with Jeanette before the Lismore flood struck in March 2017. The flood had a major impact on the business, ruining most of Jeanette’s stock, including fixtures and fittings, plant and equipment.

Advisor Gary helped Jeanette apply for a Disaster Recovery Grant; simplify stock holdings; consolidate existing assets; and switch to mobile delivery of products, instead of using the traditional bricks-and-mortar retail model.

‘Jeanette is a great example of rising from the depths of ruin and natural disaster.

She is slowly rebuilding and redesigning her business model. The year ahead is set with challenges but much potential,’ Gary said.

Jeanette was able to continue trading with support from loyal customers and new ones gained from word-of-mouth and attending local markets.

‘The initial reason I reached out to Business Connect was to get some experience from someone who had a business before,’ Jeanette said.

‘After the floods, Gary helped me with a lot of big decisions. The priority was finances and then how would I represent and rebuild myself. I essentially started from scratch with the business.”

‘The most valuable thing I received from Gary and Business Connect was feeling like I was supported and valued. Gary always reminded me I was moving in the right direction—that’s what I needed.’

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