Have you ever thought about starting your own dog boarding business but you weren’t sure where to start? It is easy to feel overwhelmed when starting any business, even when it is one that you are passionate about like a doggy daycare.
Pet boarding is a growing industry with many opportunities for newcomers and innovation.
If you love caring for others’ pets, consider starting on the adventure of entrepreneurship.
Doggy daycare: Initial questions
You may have already done a personal inventory and feel like you are ready to get the ball rolling towards your new business venture. However, you may want to consider the following:
- Do you have enough canine experience to feel comfortable leading others in this venture?
- Is there a need for dog boarding in your area?
- Do you have the financial capacity to open your own business and cushion to get you through your first year?
- What is your end goal?
- Financial freedom?
- To be your boss?
Doggy daycare: Business plan
Putting together a detailed business plan will help you to answer many of the questions about starting a doggy daycare. As with many things in the business realm, figuring out your finances should be a top priority. You’ll also need to be realistic about the operating costs of starting a business to ensure your business is sustainable.
If you are not confident in managing your finances, it may be worthwhile to hire a financial advisor while you focus on other areas of importance. Outlining how many employees that you expect to keep, what your annual salary will be, and day-to-day costs will be beneficial for your financial advisor to know to enable them to make the best decision about your finances. A business plan will also help you to dive deeper into issues that you may not have yet invested time into assessing — include items such as whether you will provide dog training or grooming in addition to boarding.
Doggy daycare: Dedicated space
Assessing where you live, and the location for your doggy daycare is a must-do in your initial planning. If you are in an urban setting, begin vetting places that are close to the business hubs of your community. Choosing an easily accessible location to those that spend long hours at the office may be just what you need to keep your company thriving.
If you live in remote or rural space, your clients may have dogs used to having more room to run. Investing in a large, open area that allows the dogs to run themselves ragged could be an appeal for some pet owners. I
t may also be a good idea to invest in a dedicated space for dogs to stay and enjoy other activities and amenities, such as a barn designed as a dog kennel — this may also provide a safe space for dogs that are prone to anxiety.
Doggy daycare: Personal protection
Although it’s easy to focus on the fun parts of running a doggy daycare, it’s essential to acknowledge critical steps in creating a small business, including getting proper insurance to protect your business. Insurance will do more than protect your building it also protects your company name, your finances, and other unforeseen issues.
Some dogs may act aggressively, and it’s important to consider this to protect yourself, your clients and the other dogs. For instance, the likelihood of boarding an aggressive dog is high and could provide you with some different liability issues. You want to make sure that your policy will cover medical care of your staff in the event of a dog bite or cover the cost of legal fees if you are sued because the aggressive dog attacked another client’s pet.
Doggy daycare: Spread the word
Consider how you are going to spread the word about your services. Will you hire a marketer to do the work for you? Perhaps you have an extensive social media following that you could use to help spread the word about your new doggy daycare business. Be wary about depending too much on loved ones and friends to help in this effort, as they can quickly be burnt out by seeing your advertisements repeatedly in their social media feeds.
Start locally with your messaging to reach your closest potential client base before going widespread with your message. Design a clear and concise message about your offerings and pricing to catch your intended audience’s attention — the more questions that you can answer in your advertisements, the better.
Creating a space that you would want for your dog when you go on vacation is your doggy daycare goal. Make sure that you have crossed your T’s and dotted your I’s before setting off into the world of entrepreneurship.
Doggy daycare: Conclusion
Owning your own business can be very rewarding when done well. If you feel you have laid out a well-designed plan, seek out the new adventure of owning a doggy daycare!
– Noah Rue