Dec 3, 2012
Today, I met a 60-year-old retiree who accompanied her teenaged daughter to bring the 9-year-old Shih Tzu to me for general check up and vaccination.
"I have to ask my dad first as he is paying for the tests," the daughter said to me when I advised a blood and urine test for her old dog as part of health screening and this was not done before.
The dog had dental scaling done by Dr Vanessa last year and the teeth are OK, with some tartar formation. This dog does not permit his mouth to be opened and he showed his warning fangs when I attempted later. "He is a good natured dog as long as you don't touch his mouth," the girl told me. "He trembles and shakes when there is lightning and thunderstorm. A vet told us to ignore him but we hold him."
"You are fortunate that this dog does not pace and go into a frenzy during thunderstorms and lightning. He just shivers. Maybe de-sen. sitation using thunderstorm audio may help, by letting him listen regularly. But you may need to duplicate the change in temperature and humidity during thunderstorms and this cannot be done."
So, there was no solution.
However, the father has been working as a security consultant part-time, doing training programmes from his home. "Does he supply trained military guard dogs?" I asked her. "In Singapore, the system is to send staff from the police and army to Europe or USA to buy puppies and train them for narcotics and other duties by the local staff. The success rate is extremely poor. The staff has to travel far distances to see one or two puppies in various parts of Europe. I doubt the breeders really sell the good ones. Then, there is the allegation of staff corruption."
So, the girl's father could provide a niche service as his contacts in China can provide trained dogs according to the buyer's requirements. For example, if the Customs want 50 sniffler dogs, he can arrange for them to be delivered fully trained and tested by the Buyer. "This is a niche market," I said to the father.
"Not much business as Singapore and Malaysia don't buy many. A dog lasts 4 years and the Police may replace less than 10 per year."
"Well, this is a niche market to be developed by you since you have the training source and dogs in China," I said. "In the past, there is no such establishment and now you have the specialised dog training school, you can supply customised-trained dogs to anybody. Not only the army or the military. For example, a rich father may wish to get a guide dog for his blind child. This will be your niche market. You need to start your own company rather than use the present security company and build up your credibility and services."
The father could see the prospects. Whether he would be able to execute my idea, that is the million-dollar question. "It is more than 50% of the problems solved," I replied when he said that he already got the source of dog training school and the good relationship with the people there. "Very few if any Singaporean or Malaysian has this type of contact." Retirees in security business for many years have a large number of contacts if they know how to network with them to start a new business.