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7:49 AM   September 19, 2014
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My Final Blog: A Tribute to my Beloved Industry



It’s with sadness and trepidation that I write my final blog for PetProductNews.com. I’ve absolutely enjoyed the insight, relationships and wisdom I’ve gained over the last two years. Doing this blog allowed me to dig deeper into subjects I felt would be of interest to pet retailers, voice thoughts and opinions about subjects I care deeply about (see my blogs on the State of the Pet Bird Segment, Part 1Part 2 & Part 3), and meet many wonderful readers along the way.
 
I am happy to say that the pet industry continues to grow and thrive, and is in even better shape then when I began blogging for PPN.com. In my role as pet industry investment banker and consultant, I get to see first hand the trends, deals, new product ideas and almost insatiable demand to invest in this special industry.

When people find out that I have been in the industry since 1987, they look amazed—until I explain to them that the pet industry is a little like the mafia, "Once you get in, you never get out.” This industry is one of the few where the people are truly happy, feel like they are making a difference and are not just in it to make a quick dollar. How lucky am I that back in 1987 I chose to write my graduate school business plan on a pet store—little did I know that would be just the beginning of a long love affair with the pet industry.
 

Future
If you are reading this, you are probably making a living in the pet industry. Pat yourself on the back for picking such a joyful and thriving place to make a living. There are few other industries with that combination. And it seems to only be getting better:

• For the second time in two years, Dr. Brian Beaulieu, nationally renowned economist, has named the pet industry as one of the top 10 industries to invest time and money in.

• Investors are beating down doors to find companies they can buy or invest in. I cannot tell you how many calls a month I get from private equity groups looking to find a pet company to buy and use as a platform to build a substantial presence in the industry. Because of this, deal multiples (the amount paid for a company) are very, very strong. If you are a growing, healthy company with some brand recognition, you are in a great spot in the event you decide to sell.

• Entrepreneurs and inventors are bringing new pet products to market at record rates. One of my favorite roles as a pet industry consultant is to conduct market research on new pet product ideas. I probably get two to three requests a month for help either bringing a product to market or growing an existing product. It is so encouraging to see so many people dedicating their intellectual and financial resources to creating a better quality of life for our beloved companion animals.
 
I recently began writing a bi-monthly column for the American Pet Products Association (APPA) E-Update, as well as moderating a series of webcasts for the association. You can subscribe to the E-Update by visiting www.americanpetproducts.org, or e-mailing me at . Please stay in touch.



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