Natalie Giumelli operates Yapper Valley Pet Resort (pictured) on the outskirts of the north Queensland city of Townsville.
But she and her family plan to exit the business to pursue a “niche farming venture” which they have been testing separately.
In a bid to do so, Ms Giumelli (pictured below) has launched a competition to find new owners for the business and adjoining family home.
The competition, dubbed “Win a pet lovers dream”, has a prize package that includes the pet boarding business — including individual airconditioned cabins for dogs — as well as the four-bedroom, two-bathroom family home on 110 acres adjoining the business.
The lucky winner will also receive $30,000 in cash to help cover transition and upfront operating costs.
According to the competition’s website, the total prize has been appraised at $1.52 million.
“This competition will give someone the opportunity to have a lifestyle package that they may not be able to achieve through conventional channels. This gives someone who has the passion and drive, the opportunity to thrive in their very own business, when they may not have the financial means to do so otherwise,” Ms Giumelli said, admitting that she regretted the decision to launch it on the same day as April Fools’ Day.
“Having this land and lifestyle has allowed me to have not only a successful business, but not compromise on enjoying the rewards of having a large farming block. Spending my days playing with dogs and cats, then heading home to bottle-feed baby goats and calves with my children has been an amazing and irreplaceable experience.”
Family won’t go empty-handed
The competition will not leave Ms Giumelli and her family empty-handed, however.
Under the terms of the competition, entrants must purchase and a digital image for $55 to go into the draw, and with a minimum of 40,000 tickets to be sold before the draw is made — equating to a return of at least $2.2 million.
This discrepancy with the $1.52 million prize value, Ms Giumelli said, is to cover relevant taxes, costs and transfer fees so as to allow the winner “to come into the business on a fresh slate”.
If ticket sales fall short of the 40,000 mark, the winner will take home half of the money raised.
“We started with the total cost needed to cover all our costs and divided it by a reasonable amount so it was accessible for all,” she said of how they determined the value and number of tickets to sell to make the competition work.
Why exit the business in such a fashion?
The novel approach to exiting the business was devised by the family as a means of overcoming tight lending criteria, Ms Giumelli told My Business.
“We decided to exit the business this way as we realised that people have great difficulty obtaining finance on a property especially business loans,” she said.
“They need a great deal of capital to purchase a business that many cannot afford. We heard of a few other places taking this route to use a competition to award a business and decided to explore this further.”
Ms Giumelli said that the property and business were “briefly” listed on the market for a traditional sale, but they “soon realised how difficult it would be for everyday people to obtain a loan with the capital required”.
She said that the business is currently fully operated by its one part-time and three full-time employees who, she added, “are all buying photos and are very excited” by the novel approach.
The competition runs for 12 weeks from 1 April 2019 and will be drawn on 22 June 2019.