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 CrewYou 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 ParentsLet’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 DaysOwning 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 ThemIn 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