5 Requirements for Running a Doggie Daycare
Do you love pets? Are you thinking of starting a pet-related business to spread that love even further?
If so, then you’re in luck, as the pet industry is currently generating billions of dollars in profit annually, and financial experts don’t anticipate this will change anytime soon. Besides there being a record number of pet owners in the country today, research also shows that these people are willing to spend more on their furry friends than pet owners generally might have in the past.
Naturally, these business conditions are ideal for people who own or work at pet stores, grooming services, veterinary clinics, and other pet-related enterprises. Doggie daycare businesses are seeing an especially promising boom, with more than 16,000 firms currently active in the United States. For entrepreneurs thinking of establishing their own doggie daycare services, the following five requirements are essential to get off the ground successfully:
A Solid Business Plan
Before you even begin making any kind of concrete preparations for your doggie daycare, it’s wise to define the exact nature of the service you intend to provide.
Will your daycare center include services like walking, training, or bathing? What will your operating hours be, and do you intend to charge guests by the hour or according to some other scheme? It’s also important to figure out how many dogs your daycare should be able to accommodate on any given day, as this will influence the locations and facilities you choose, the number of staff you hire, and other important considerations.
Factors you should take into account when drawing up your business plan include sources of funding, intended marketing strategies, projected expenses, and the presence of possible competitors in the area. Physically writing down your business plan or filling out a premade business plan template may help you visualize the particulars of your imagined doggie daycare much more easily.
A good doggie daycare will need to be outfitted with all sorts of care-related equipment, such as cages, kennels, beds, food and water bowls, dog treats, and cleaning materials. You’ll also want to set up a play area at your daycare center, which will require you to invest in toys and playground equipment.
If you have the capital, it’s always a better idea to spend on quality equipment and tools upfront rather than constantly having to replace cheap items due to wear and tear. Consider outfitting your daycare center with pet merchandise from reputable companies, as these products are sure to work well and last you a long time. Running a facility that’s well-stocked with superior equipment will also make a favorable impression on your customers, all of whom will undoubtedly want only the best service for their beloved pets.
An Appropriate Facility
The question of location is another important one when preparing to establish your doggie daycare. If you intend to run your daycare business out of your home, for instance, you’ll have to make sure your property is big enough to comfortably accommodate multiple dogs. Or you may decide to purchase or rent a separate facility that will afford your four-legged clients enough space to rest and play comfortably. It’s especially important for your chosen venue to be spacious both indoors and outdoors.
Proper Licensing and Documentation
Just like any other type of business, you’ll have to make sure your doggie daycare complies with any licensing regulations and other ordinances in place in your local community. Since rules and regulations for setting up new businesses may vary from state to state, and even from city to city in some cases, it’s best to consult your local government about the licenses and permits you’ll need to obtain. Do note that animal-related businesses may also be subjected to additional health and safety guidelines.
Determining your business structure is one of the most important technicalities you’ll have to figure out when starting a doggie daycare of your own. Consider whether you’d like a sole proprietorship or a partnership with one or more business partners. You can also establish a Limited Liability Company (LLC) to insulate your personal assets from most cases of business debt or potential lawsuits. From there, you’ll be able to figure out what paperwork you need to file to get your business up and running. It’s also a good idea to hire a lawyer for reliable advice on how to iron out the legal details.
A Well-Trained Team
It’s impossible for anyone to look after more than a few dogs at a time, so you’ll definitely want to set aside a portion of your budget for hiring a capable team to help out at your daycare. Look for people who not only love dogs, but also experience caring for them. Examples of prime candidates include those who have previously worked as groomers or pet-sitters. Experienced, knowledgeable employees will be able to create a safe, restful, and enjoyable environment for every dog that comes through your establishment’s doors.
If you like the idea of looking after people’s dogs while they’re traveling or otherwise engaged, running a dog daycare center might just be the perfect pet business idea for you. Adequate preparation and an intelligent business strategy will ensure that you’re ready to serve clients’ precious pooches sooner rather than later.