Lots of businesses evolve over time, with new offerings and changing business models. That was the case for Dogs Naturally. The company started as an online magazine about canine health and eventually expanded to offer digital memberships, courses, events and physical products. You can learn more about the business’s evolution in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.
What the Business Does
Sells products and information related to holistic canine health.
Founder Dana Scott told Small Business Trends, “The products we sell come down to one primary objective: to educate our community about natural holistic canine health. We want dogs to live happy and healthy lives! Our customers include dog owners, holistic veterinarians, and dog breeders. We sell digital memberships and event tickets to our online courses and summits. We also have an e-commerce store that offers natural supplements for dogs.”
Taking on challenging issues.
Scott says, “We’re not afraid to give the other side of controversial topics such as spay/neuter, vaccination and modern veterinary medicine. We habitually challenge the status quo when it comes to veterinary care.”
How the Business Got Started
As an online magazine.
Scott says, “Dogs Naturally Magazine began as a digital and then a print magazine. In the last 7 years, we’ve expanded our product line to include events, online learning and certification, and natural canine health products.”
Building traffic over time.
Scott explains, “Our biggest win was earned over time. We built a media website with a large number of helpful and in-depth posts. This generates millions of dollars worth of free traffic for us annually. We still buy traffic via ads, but owning traffic is a huge. Whoever pays the least to acquire a customer will win.”
Growing in new ways.
Scott says, “The biggest risk we’re taking is now. We’re acquiring bolt on businesses because it’s the quickest way to grow. We’re also starting to manufacture our own products and this requires a lot of capital. But I like to keep money in the bank so we’re unlikely to acquire any debt if the new businesses don’t grow as planned.”
Invest in growth.
Scott explains, “I would have been quicker to invest in our growth instead of growing organically. I wish we had taken more of our profits and bought traffic and leads with it.”
How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000
Acquiring new businesses.
Scott says, “We actually have about $500,000 set aside today to be ready to acquire new businesses.”
A country home office.
Scott says, “I have 12 employees at our head office in Canada and we all work from my home. I have country acreage with beautiful ponds and trees. I feel that if I’m working to improve the life of dogs, my dogs should be with me and enjoy nature. We just renovated a large space in an outbuilding with a lot of windows and we get to work in nature and stay grounded in the natural lifestyle we promote.”
“I day trade in attention” -Gary Vaynerchuk
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Images: Dogs Naturally, Dana Scott