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The Ark Pet Spa & Hotel’s franchise crew just returned from the IBPSA (International Pet Boarding & Services Association) conference and trade show in St. Louis, Missouri. The Ark is a leader in the pet care industry, but we always strive to do better and educate ourselves so that we can pass that value onto our guests! We do this by learning from experts and attending the best educational conferences we can. Here are a few takeaways from attending the IBPSA Conference.

Using technology effectively will separate the pups from the alpha dogs. 


Like in most industries, technology is changing the game. Tech is changing the way we interact with everything and everyone. Those who can effectively utilize new technology in pet care will be the the leaders of tomorrow. Tech cannot and should not replace human to human or human to pet interactions, but should be used to make those interactions even more personalized.

The Ark is using technology to better serve our customers by providing online booking, payments, and webcams. Behind the scenes The Ark is using technology to leverage our marketing efforts. The Ark’s software systems allow us to effectively market to our existing guests with email, online retargeting, social media, and text campaigns. This gives our front desk crew more free time to be able to create more personal one on one relationships with our guests and their fur babies. Again, we want to use technology as a tool and not as a replacement to real life interactions.



The general public still needs to be educated about the pet care industry.


During our time in St. Louis we had the chance to speak with many pet care facility owners and there was a common issue; there is a general lack of education in our national and local governments about our industry. For instance, a state government recently attempted to pass a bill limiting pet care providers with a crew to dog ratio of 1 crew member per every 2 dogs if the dogs weighed over 75 lbs. On a daily basis that would mean The Ark would need nearly 38 crew members at a time to care for our daycare dogs alone! Luckily, the IBPSA monitors such legislation and quickly educated the government officials and the bill was shelved.

The Ark has now taken on a new initiative to help in this education process with additional blogging, press releases, and face to face interactions with state and local officials as well as the general public. We believe education is power. Stay tuned to our blogs and social media content for more about the pet care industry!

Posted by Ark Crew  | Category: Franchising

You love the idea of owning your own business, being your own boss, you love pets, and you love The Ark Pet Spa & Hotel franchise concept… now what? How can you pay for the start up costs? The vast majority of potential franchise owners will need to finance some portion of the startup cost. We suggest these five ways to seek funding for your new Ark franchise!

Conventional Bank or Credit Unions

Most conventional banks will see a potential franchise owner as a “start up”, but having the ability to show The Ark’s track record over 12 years will only help your case. It is important to remember that banks are investing in the business concept and the franchise owner. Be prepared, and present yourself well with a developed business plan, proof of performance documents, projections, and determine if you can put additional liquid capital down. Most banks will required you to place a minimum of 15%-20% down on a business loan, but the more cash you can put down the better.

Small Business Association (SBA)

The SBA is a great resource for future franchise owners. Several criteria have to be met before securing an SBA loan, but these loans offer smaller down payments and longer repayment terms than conventional bank loans which is great for those just starting out with a new business venture. You can even secure a SBA loan and a conventional loan if needed. One of the most common SBA loans is the 7(a) Community Advantage Loan. These loans range between $50,000 and $250,000 and only require a min.10% down. We recommended checking with your bank to see if they have a SBA program. The Ark Pet Spa & Hotel is listed on the SBA's preferred franchisor directory, which will speed up the time it will take to acquire your SBA loan!

Partnerships

Not quite liquid enough to open an Ark on your own? It may take two people to make your franchise dreams come true. A trusted partner can be valuable if they bring equity into the mix, but they can also be a nightmare if you partner with the wrong person or persons! Be wary and make sure you have clear written expectations and guidelines when venturing down the partnership road.

Friends & Family

Want to avoid paying large interest rates on loans? You may look to friends and family members for some of the funding. One of the top advantages to borrowing money through this route is that you can establish your own payment plans with family and friends that fits better into your personal finances. You can also have an easier time in amending the payment plan when your financial situation changes. It is still important to have clear written expectations and guidelines when borrowing money from your friends and family!

Stock and Mutual Fund Assets

Stocks, bonds and mutual funds can provide you with the money to finance the franchise or provide money toward a loan offered by a lender. Check with an advisor to make sure these funds are not tied into any retirement accounts or you could be penalized with taxes and fees!

Starting your own business can be scary and very exciting all at the same time! You are taking a risk and putting your money and future on the line. All of your choices should be well thought out and done so with a certain level of confidence. The Ark Pet Spa & Hotel franchise crew will do everything in our power to make you successful by sharing our decades of business development and pet industry experience.

For more information about financing options or about The Ark Pet Spa & Hotel franchise please visit visit www.thearkfranchise.com and fill out the “Join The Crew” form and an Ark crew member with begin the conversation!

Posted by Ark Crew  | Category: Franchising

The Ark's Story!

September 14th, 2018

Fun | Safe | Loving

The Ark Pet Spa & Hotel was founded by Jay Floyd in 2006. Jay and his family were in search of a pet sitter or boarding facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Unfortunately, in 2005 there were no good options. While there were veterinarians and kennels none gave them the safe, fun, and loving feeling they wanted for their beloved fur baby. They were not alone, and they knew it, so in 2006 Jay opened the very first Ark Pet Spa & Hotel on Chattanooga’s North Shore. Jay wanted something better and knew he could create it with a strong crew around him. The Ark would be different than the competition; The Ark would provide hospitality to pets of all kinds. Like The Ark’s name and logo imply, it would be an all inclusive pet hotel and spa. Not only would The Ark provide a loving, safe, and fun environment for dogs, but it would also provide those things to all pets from cats and birds, to hamsters and even pet lizards. While the majority of the expected business was from dogs The Ark was prepared; and from the start created dedicated square footage to board animals of all.

Jay also knew that simply building an Ark would not do, he needed a strong crew to keep the business afloat. The goal was always to find honest, pet lovers to crew The Ark, but not everyone knew how to properly care for pets in a safe and fun manner, that is why he sought guidance from experts in the the pet care industry. The knowledge gained from the experts trickled down to every member of the crew. To this day, crew training is a key to The Ark’s success. Without a strong, loving, and well-trained crew The Ark would surely fail. Jay wanted to make sure that every day and every year The Ark would move forward and improve it’s crew, facilities, and systems.

Jay positioned The Ark Pet Spa & Hotel to be a very professional, well developed business from day one. He developed strong procedures and trained the crews to provide premium customer service to every guest and their pet. The Ark's reputation grew. Shortly after opening their doors in 2006 the recession hit, and devastated many small businesses, but while some struggled to stay afloat The Ark continued to grow. In fact, during the height of the recession, from 2007 to 2008, The Ark Pet Spa & Hotel gross revenues grew +22%. While others failed The Ark grew! The company has now expanded from one to four locations in the Chattanooga and Atlanta area. With a proven business model, a strong brand, a growing industry, a great crew, and a vision for expansion Jay decided to create a franchise offering.

If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about The Ark Pet Spa & Hotel or our franchise opportunity please do not hesitate to reach out. You can visit www.thearkfranchise.com and fill out the "Join The Crew" form and an Ark rep will begin a conversation with you! You may also call 855-611-PETS

Posted by Ark Crew

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A fun, secure environment for pets. a fun way to secure your future.