Is It for You?
If you’ve been considering running a dog daycare, you should keep reading. The pet care industry is booming and many smart entrepreneurs are getting into the field through setting up a dog daycare business. But before you sign on the dotted line, you should figure out if this kind of business is the right choice for you by learning about what other daycare owners have discovered.
Operating a dog daycare and boarding facility can be one of the greatest joys in your life. If you love dogs, there seems like no place better to be than around them all day while getting paid for it! However, there’s a lot more that goes into running a successful dog daycare business than simply having a love for dogs. A dog daycare is still a business, and from daily operation to preparation for success, the same amount of effort goes into it as any other kind of business. Whether you’re opening your own operation or you’re opting to partner with a successful franchise like K9 Resorts, a few things remain the same. Here are some tips from a successful dog daycare owner that you can use for your own planning and journey into the pet care industry.
Day to Day
While running a dog daycare can be ultimately rewarding, there are some things to figure out when it comes to daily operations. Whether you’re a first-time business owner or a seasoned entrepreneur, opening a business in the pet care industry is unique. Many dog daycare owners must be hands on in the beginning of the business. Whether you decide to open your own location or become a franchisee, getting your business off the ground demands many hours of your time. You could be looking at nearly two years of 60+ hour work weeks when you first open your business. Eventually, getting to a part-time schedule may be the goal for some, which is attainable, but not something that should be expected in the beginning.
The most critical part of getting your business up and running is finding the right people to staff it. This team will not only be able to help you run your business and reduce the number of hours you have to spend on site, but they’ll help your business grow. Finding the right fit for pet care industry professionals can prove challenging, especially if you’re going into business for yourself. An advantage to working with a trusted franchise is that they may have networks that can help you staff your location. Either way, finding the right people for the job is key. Once you have a good team in place that cares about the dogs, as well as understands and respects the processes you’ve put in place, you should be able to remove yourself from daily operations a bit more. Building employees up to take part in your business, instead of just carry out daily functions, is crucial in maintaining a dedicated staff. You must find people who are passionate about dogs, but are also just as passionate about quality customer service.
What to Expect
When setting up a dog daycare business, you should have an idea of what to expect before you take the plunge. A lot more goes into running a dog daycare that simply being great with animals. For those who are interested in opening a dog daycare and boarding facility, they need to realize a few truths. There are two specific things to look at when you decide to get into the pet care industry. Firstly, you need to understand how the business world works and have a plan for your specific business. First-time business owners may not have the necessary level of experience required for an easier and successful venture. An ideal dog daycare owner will understand the risks and benefits of opening a dog daycare.
Another thing to keep in mind is your motivation for going into this kind of business. During the first couple of years, you’ll likely need to be very dedicated to your operation and won’t have the luxury of being an absentee owner. In this industry, often times there is not a retirement plan, although you could sell your business if it is successful enough. People who open and run successful dog daycare and boarding facilities have to love dogs. If you’re just in it to make money, it may not be the best business for you. Providing pets and pet owners with an unmatched experience is key and a love for dogs is critical to making that happen. This also means that you need to be able to interact with pet parents and understand the importance of that relationship. You may end up acting as a therapist for pet parents at some points, so expect the unexpected!
How to Prepare
You can never be fully prepared for anything, including setting up a dog daycare. But, there are some things you need to get in line before you dive in. Whether you’re going it alone or working with a well-known franchise like K9 Resorts, the first thing you need to do is get your finances in order. You’ll need money up front in order to get your business off the ground. Many first-time business owners say they would’ve started smaller and saved more money for unseen expenses during start up. This might also mean starting with a lighter staff until your business grows and you need to bring on more employees.
Prepare to market your business. If you work with a franchise, you have a lot of marketing support built right in but you still need to get your name out there. Draft up a rough marketing plan that you can implement before your doors are even open. Build the buzz and focus on getting lots of new customers into your business within the first few weeks.
Think beyond the nuts and bolts of getting your business open and map out a customer service plan. Your customers make your business and they can choose any other provider. What you’re offering as a dedicated dog daycare owner is unmatched customer service and a love of dogs. Make sure you’re prepared to show customers that through each interaction.
Above all else, prepare to fall in love with your job. For dog lovers, running a dog daycare is like no other job in the world. Providing a safe and fun environment for our four-legged companions can be challenging but ultimately rewarding!