You’ll Need More Than a Love of Animals
The first step in starting a dog daycare is an undying love of the pets that you’re setting out to care for. However, a lot more goes into creating a successful business than a passion for what you’re doing. Opening a dog daycare can be a rewarding and lucrative business venture, but you need to be realistic about what you’ll need to get your business off the ground. There are options on the market – from starting your own independent operation to working with a trusted franchise like K9 Resorts – but no matter what route you take, there are some basic things to think about and plan for. Just like any business, opening a dog daycare takes careful thought and preparation, well before you sign on the dotted line. Here are some things to think through if you’re looking into starting a dog daycare of your own.
While you might think all that dogs need is love and fresh air, that doesn’t exactly ring true when it comes to a pet care business. Determining what exactly you’ll need in opening a dog daycare is crucial to the business planning phase of your venture. Beyond four walls and an outdoor space (ideally) for your four-legged friends to run and play, you need a lot more equipment than you might think when starting a dog daycare. Things that are basic requirements to an elite business system are:
- Cleaning supplies – This includes standard stuff like mops and brooms to disinfectants and surface cleaners. Keeping your business clean is critical when taking care of animals. Dogs can carry and spread diseases rapidly and daily disinfection is a must.
- Dog stuff– Leashes, bedding, muzzles, crates, harnesses, first-aid kits, dishes, shampoo and grooming supplies. You’ll need all of this to take excellent care of these lovable creatures. Don’t forget poop bags and quality trash cans!
- Front of house – You’ll need a POS system, software, computers, paper, printer, phone system, fax, organization, business cards, marketing materials, and even creature comforts like a coffee maker to keep your employees happy and energized.
- Storage – You must have great storage options to keep your dogs’ belongings organized properly when they’re staying overnight. No one wants to come back to get Fido and end up with someone else’s leash!
- Air treatment – The last thing you want people to remember about your business is that it smells. Invest in a dehumidifier and air purifying system to clean the air and keep it smelling as fresh as possible. Be sure the location you choose can accommodate such a system.
Figure out your budget for all needed supplies and be realistic. Having the right equipment is key when caring for people’s furry family members.
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Starting a dog daycare, whether on your own or through a franchise, requires an initial investment to get your business off the ground. The first step in determining your necessary investment is figuring out what equipment you need. Then you’ll need to determine an ideal location for your business. The location in which you’ll be opening a dog daycare must be an adequate square footage to offer enough space for your furry clients to run and play. It should include, if possible, an outdoor space as well as a large indoor area. The largest part of your investment will be in real estate due to the unique requirements of running a dog daycare and boarding facility. The investment varies based on your specific market and other factors, but according to K9 Resort’s most recent FDD, anticipate an overall cost of at least $900K, which includes equipment and real estate. If you’re interested in opening a dog daycare franchise, you’ll also need to pay an initial franchise fee which should be factored into your investment.
You’re probably comfortable with the fact that owning your own business means you’ll be spending a lot of time there. It only makes sense to get into a field that you love! You’re likely opening a dog daycare because you love animals and want to make money spending lots of time with them. That’s perfect! But it’s important to understand that you’ll also spend a lot of your time dealing with the business side of things instead of petting pups. Starting a dog daycare initially requires a lot of time investment. From finding the perfect location to acquiring and training qualified staff, there’s a lot that goes into it.
When you partner with a trusted franchise like K9 Resorts, you have some of the work of opening a dog daycare already handled. While you’ll still be expected to put in a lot of time on the front end, the experts at K9 Resorts can help you find a location, train staff, market your business, and give you a roadmap for daily operation. Once your business is up and running, and your staff is fully trained and experienced, you’ll be able to spend a little less of your time focused on it. However, owning a dog daycare means that you’re still an active participant in its success. Even with a franchise, you won’t be able to be an absentee owner and it’s likely you wouldn’t even want to be with all those adorable, lovable pups running around!
Starting a dog daycare can be incredibly rewarding and lucrative. But knowing what you’re getting into before you make your decision is key. You’ll need a love of animals, a sense for business, a little bit of capital, and a whole lot of time (in the beginning), but it’s all worth it!