This rings true for Corey McCusker, owner of Muttz with Mannerz, based out of Whitchurch-Stouffville. After a 13-year career in finance, she was ready for a change. “I had a successful career as a Senior Manager, but I simply didn’t have the drive anymore,” she said. “During this transitional time, I took up a hobby of rescuing dogs and got a part-time job as a veterinary assistant, and eventually became the resident dog trainer.”
Following her entrepreneurial instinct, Corey knew there was an opportunity when the veterinarian’s office downsized their business. “My hobby was becoming more and more of a viable business, and I started getting a lot of interest,” she said. So when the veterinarian’s office moved to a smaller location with no space for training, she jumped on the opportunity.
Corey knew what she wanted – a pet daycare, grooming and training service – but she also knew she would need help in launching the business. “When I decided to expand my hobby to an actual business, I was unsure of where to start,” Corey said. “Business planning, budgeting and risk management were areas I needed help with.”
When she heard about the Starter Company Plus program, offered through the York Small Business Enterprise Centre, she gave them a call. The program provides funding, training, mentoring and other assistance to Ontario residents who want to start or expand a business in the province. The York Small Business Enterprise Centre administers the program through funding from the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.
Corey met with a Small Business Consultant and worked through her vision, transforming her ideas into a viable business plan. “Without the York Small Business Enterprise Centre, I wouldn’t have been able to do it,” she said. “With their help I put together a solid business plan that helped me secure financing and a retail space”.
She also received a $5,000 grant through Starter Company Plus to purchase a CRM system for her business and redesign her logo and brand.
Today, Muttz with Mannerz is a thriving one-stop-shop that offers dog daycare, training, grooming, event space and more. It’s hired three new employees with plans for future hiring as they grow. They also secured a new 3,000 square-foot facility in Whitchurch-Stouffville that is currently under renovation, with plans to open this fall. In time, Corey plans to expand her services by offering online training and seminars to reach a larger audience.
You can learn more about Muttz with Mannerz and continue following this local York Region success story at muttzwithmannerz.com
Have a business idea, or an existing business you want to grow? The York Small Business Enterprise Centre is your one-stop shop to help start and grow your business.