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Be Your Own Boss

We are heading into a new year, and it is time for a new year resolution. We believe in small business and independence. Here are five reasons why we think you should become an independent, small business owner in 2019.

You are in the driver's seat.

Taking on the role of small business owner comes with many challenges, but it also has some pretty great advantages. For one, you are in control of your destiny. You determine how you will manage your crew, how you will manage your time, and your agenda. This should give you a sense of freedom that will help you stay positive and productive.

You get the chance to grow something of your own.

One of the fun things about starting your own business is watching it grow. Just like a puppy or child growing up, you should take pride in watching your business grow and hitting new milestones. It maybe hitting your first ten employees, or it maybe hitting your first million dollars in sales. Both, should give you a feeling of accomplishment that would not feel the same if you were working for someone else who reached those goals.

You can help your community by providing jobs.

Many business owners realize their most valuable asset is their crew. Providing jobs to your community is something to smile about. The average Ark employs between 10-20 crew members. This is not only helping your business function, but it is also providing your community with rewarding and competitively compensated careers.

You hold the power to control your work/life balance.

Growing a small business can take a large amount of work and time at first, but the wonderful thing about owning your own business is you have some control over your schedule. If you hire properly and create a strong crew, you maybe able to take some time away from the day to day tasks, and focus on you and your family. Also, sometimes you just need to take a step back to look at your business in a strategic way that you may not be able to do if you are in the trenches day in and day out.

You are not putting profits in someone else’s pocket

If you are sick and tired of working for someone and putting profits into their pockets you may be ready to start looking into starting your own business. Again, you will be in charge of your own destiny. By opening your own business you are taking on a financial risk, but on the other side you may see a significant financial reward.

If you are curious about opening your own business in 2019 please feel free to reach out. I would love to help out in any way I can. If you want to avoid some costly mistakes new business owners make you may want to look into franchising. Franchisors will guide you through the start up phase and give you continued support throughout your journey!

For information about The Ark franchise opportunity visit:

Posted by Ark Crew  | Category: Franchising

So you want to open a doggy daycare because of the industry's steady year over year growth, and the ability to play with dogs, and make money doing it? If your only credentials are a love for dogs and a desire to play with them all day then you may want to seek a different business venture. It takes much more than a love for dogs to be successful in the pet industry. Do not get confused though, a passion for pets is among the many qualities you must possess to be successful in our business. Here are four things you will need to be able to handle if you enter into our world!

Managing A Crew

You must have the ability to lead, manage, and maintain a quality crew. This takes leadership skills, patience, delegation skills, and the ability to communicate effectively and on a personal level. The average Ark employs between 15-25 full and part time crew members at any one time. These employees include, kennel crew, front desk crew, groomers, a kennel manager, a general manager, and occasionally a dog trainer, and bather. Leading a crew of typically young, entry level positions can be a challenge that you must keep on top of.

The Pet Parents

Let’s start by saying we love our pet parents for so many reasons, they keep us in business, they put smiles on our faces when they tell us stories of their pets and their antics, or even the occasional tray of “thank you” cookies during the holidays. However, these lovely pet parents can quickly turn into “those pet parents” if something ever happens to their fur babies while boarding or playing at daycare. A joke in the industry is that pet parents can care and fight for their pets more than they would for their human children. Jokes aside, we do understand that to many of our guests their pets are their children or family, they are loved just the same. We have 100% compassion and understanding to that fact. You must have the ability to drop what you’re doing and cater to these pet parents. You must learn to actively listen to their concerns, hear their thoughts, have empathy, and offer solutions if necessary. A happy pet parent is your best advocate and #1 marketing tool!

There Are No Off Days

Owning a pet hotel is a year round endeavor, there are no off days for you or your crew. There will be pets and crew members at your facility every day of the year, and because of that you must be ready to handle situations as they arise no matter the day or time! Hire properly and groom managers to help reduce your need to put out as many “fires” throughout the year. This is not a business you open and forget about; it takes constant attention.

Dog “Deposits” & Lots Of Them

In the beginning of any start up business the owner should work in every department of the business. The Ark has several roles and they all involve some level of interaction with dogs, cats, and other small animals. Cleanliness is one of our top priorities at The Ark. There can be over 120 dogs in our facility on any given weekend, and that is 120 dogs eating, drinking, and well, you know… If getting a little dirty, smelly and picking up “doggy deposits” all day makes you want to run then you may want to to do just that. You may not have to like it, but it is part of our wonderful business, so you better get used to it!

If you can handle these four things you are on the right track to benefitting from the steady growth of the industry. The pet industry is not a fad and The Ark is not either. Our top location is doing well over $1 million in gross sales with an average 26% profit! (See The Ark Pet Spa & Hotel FDD Item 19 for full disclosure)  If I haven’t scared you off yet, and you still want to learn about how to be successful in the pet industry, or if you would like to learn about our franchise opportunity please do not hesitate to reach out! [email protected] | 423-707-6457

Posted by Ark Crew  | Category: Franchising

The old adage is correct, it is all about location, location, location. After twelve years in the pet industry and five locations later we consider ourselves well versed in site selection. Historically, kennels have not been viewed as a part of everyday urban life, and location was not a significant factor when opening a boarding or kennel facility. The Ark may not have been the first, but we certainly realized from the very first Ark location that convenience is key. Long are the days of driving out to the farm or country kennel to board your pup! Society is changing and so is our industry. Our guests expect to have convenient pickup and drop off on there way to and from work, to and from shopping, or to and from school. Below are a few things The Ark’s franchise crew does when selecting a new location.

Survey Existing Guests

One of the benefits of having several locations and thousands of guests across the Southeast is having a large and ever growing contact list. Several times a year we send out surveys to determine who are guests actually are! Without accurate information it is hard to “scientifically” understand who our target market is. We ask about income, home ownership, travel habits, education levels, number of pets, and type of pets just to name a few indicators.


Next, we utilize our survey data and our site selection software to identify similar demographics in surrounding areas. We use heat mapping overlays to find “hot spots”. Once our hotspots are identified we put boots on the ground (or online) to begin identifying properties that are suited for an Ark in our newly identified target market.

Zoning & Permitting

One major hurdle in our line of business is zoning and permitting. It is important to identify the allowable uses in certain zones in your target market. Finding a property that is not properly zoned for “kennel” or “boarding” can break a deal. Zoning can be changed, but it can add months and several hundred or thousands of dollars to a timeline. We suggest only identifying areas in which kennels are allowed, as this will save time and money.


Convenience is a key to The Ark’s success. Each Ark location is located on, or just off of a major street. Our goal is to locate our guest’s paths to and from work, shopping, and school. If we can place ourselves on those major arteries we have a better chance for success. This is especially important for our daycare and grooming guests. The average time to drop off and pick up a pup from daycare is around 3-5 minutes. That’s on par with grabbing a chicken sandwich at Chick-Fil-A!

Size & Style

The physical building is also very important to think about. The Ark has remodeled and built from ground up. There is no one way to do it. However, purchasing or leasing an existing building and remodeling is typically a quicker and less expensive endeavor. Ark locations range between 5,000 and 10,000 square feet and can house anywhere from 100-200 pets.

If you are interested in learning more about The Ark Pet Spa & Hotel or our franchise opportunity please don’t hesitate to reach out! 423-707-6457 or [email protected]

Posted by Ark Crew  | Category: Franchising



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