How can I serve you?
If you're just starting perhaps you've spoken to an architect. Maybe you've met with someone that designs state-of-the-art kennels and can build you the facility of your dreams. Now that doggie daycare has been around for a while, you'll find lots of amazing experts that can help you. What I offer is a bit different. I offer realtime answers, solutions, and feedback to the problems that you face on a day-to-day basis. What made my first few years the most difficult was not having someone that I could count on, someone that could give me clear guidance as to what to do in particular situations. My sister was supportive. She always answered her phone when I called. My parents were amazing too, but they didn't really "get it." My family lived far away and besides that, unless you've been in this industry you just can't understand how difficult it can be. We get to play with dogs all day, right? How stressful can that be? Let me answer that...a lot! Pet owners have high standards. They want their dog to play and have a ball all day but they never want their dog to get a scratch. They want live webcams, little or no breaks for their dog, an immaculate facility, convenient hours, holiday pick-ups (but with no fees), and, of course, they want all of this to be accompanied by outstanding customer service. Dog daycare owners constantly have to find the balance between always making the customer happy and making sure the dogs are truly experiencing an enriching and safe environment. Dog daycare is a business like no other. I'm here to be the mentor to you that I wish I had when I began.
Staffing is another challenge. Traditional kennels can hire one set of people who interact with the clients and then another set of people who do the care of the pets and the cleaning of the facility. Different skill sets, different personalities, different positions. Daycares have to find all of these qualities in just one person. The daycare attendant must shine at customer service, being able to communicate about a pet's day to a worried owner. They have to be friendly and upbeat, have a knowledge of dog behavior and group play behavior, AND be willing to clean up poop and dog hair from the bottom of the outside fences. That's a tough combination to find. Once you do find that special employee, now you have to keep them around, pay them fairly, actively manage them and most importantly, make sure they have the training they need to be successful playgroup supervisors. With a staff of over 50 employees, I get lots of practice with managing team members.
Examples of ways I can help
Dreaming of starting a dog daycare? I can help you with the following:
- Give you a realistic picture into what it's like to own a dog daycare (even letting you spend time at our facility to see behind-the-scenes)
- Help give you an idea of the kind of income you can expect to earn in this industry
- Give you direction on calculating your start-up costs
- Serve as your "expert" if needed when approaching banks for start-up loans
- Help you decide whether you should start by renting or buying your facility
- Look at (online) and talk to you about potential rental or purchase properties
- Much more...
Is your dog daycare in the works? I can help you with the following:
- Look at your blueprints or rental space and help you with design and layout
- Give advice on products and companies I've worked what I would recommend
- Tell you the things that are must-have's and what project items can either wait, or would be a waste of money
- Walk you through my facilities showing you layout, products used, and which areas produce the most income
- Evaluate, or help formulate, your logo, "brand", website and all marketing material
- Provide paperwork such as enrollment forms, dog evaluation forms, etc.
- Provide a training plan for new staff
- Much more...
Already own a dog daycare? I can help you with the following:
- Evaluate all promotional materials; logos, your "brand", website, social media, etc.
- Evaluate your training material and suggest changes or provide use of our training materials
- Allow you and your employees to have in-facility training at one of our locations focusing on anything from playgroup management to customer service
- Be a "secrect shopper" and help evaluate where you might need additional customer service training
- Be on-call for daily questions and chats as needed (sample calls below)
- Much more...
Example questions and phone calls from owners already in business:
- "One of my superstar employees doesn't think she should trim pet toenails without being paid more? Should I agree?"
- "I had a dog get injured on a playroom gate, should I pay for the vet expenses to have it looked at?"
- "Should I allow pitbulls in my playgroups?"
- "How can I better prepare my staff for tough client conversations?"
- "At what point do you dismiss a daycare dog?"
- "Help, Department of Agriculture is headed our way for an inspection and I'm nervous."
- "How would you suggest testing a dog for playgroups?"
- "I don't normally allow unneutered males but this one is a show dog and I really like the client, should I bend the rules?"
- "I found a really great groomer, how much should I pay her?"
- "I really think it's time to raise my prices but don't want to make my clients mad. Should I just wait?"
Want to ask me a question but not sure you'll need a full package? "Let's Chat" offers you a chance to get to know me via phone and ask a few pressing questions that are on your mind. We can talk at your convenience for about 30-minutes. This service is offered only to first time clients. If you find you need additional information the cost of this package can be applied to upgrade to another more in-depth service package.
The most basic package includes unlimited phone calls and emails for one year. I can help review marketing material, social media, training material, and much more.
Mentor & Train
This package includes unlimited phone calls and emails as well as digital files for training materials, a complete Illnesses & Injury Binder, and complete Dog Behavior & Playgroup Management Binder. This package also includes me reviewing your paperwork, promotional material, website and social media as requested.
All Access Pass
The most comprehensive plan, the All Access Pass package has all the bells and whistles of the other packages with the added benefit of in-our-facility training. This allows you unlimited phone calls and emails, digital training files, Illnesses & Injury Binder, Dog Behavior & Playgroup Management Binder, reviewing any paperwork, websites, promotional materials, and social media.