A few things you need to know before opening a doggie daycare.
For a dog lover with an entrepreneurial mindset, the idea of owning a dog daycare seems like a dream come true. Imagine spending your days taking care of furry, adorable pups while making a living out of it. It takes a certain level of passion, patience, and dedication to start a doggy daycare business from scratch and turn your dream into reality. Read on as we break down the ins and outs of owning a doggie daycare and the things you need to think about before making the ultimate decision.
Your Job Responsibilities
Your job as the owner of a doggie daycare will include a variety of tasks, from caring for the dogs to managing finances and your employees. Some of your daily duties may include
- Feeding, playing with, and walking the dogs
- Handling customer service inquiries
- Marketing your business
- Staff management
- Managing finances and record-keeping
- Ensuring health and safety compliance
- Making plans for emergency preparedness
Required Skills and Qualifications
Running a successful dog daycare business starts with the individual. Do you love dogs? Are you business-minded? Do you have the ability to establish business relationships? Then you’re on the right track!
Other skills and traits that are needed to succeed in this business include:
- Excellent customer service
- Time-management skills
- Strong organizational skills
- Positive can-do attitude
- Excellent communication skills
- Basic marketing knowledge
- Strength to lift 50+ pounds
- The ability to multi-task
- Basic first-aid knowledge
- Familiarity with canine body language, behavior, and care
While you do not need a formal education to run a dog daycare business, completing a dog daycare course or canine care program will give you the knowledge and skills needed to be successful. It’s also important to supervise employees and provide ongoing training.
Pricing Your Dog Daycare Services
When it comes to the price of your dog daycare services, finding the right balance will help you attract a wide range of customers. If you go too low, pet parents will worry that their fur babies won’t be receiving quality care. If you go too high, you’ll have to justify the price by providing unparalleled services. Having a complex pricing model will also turn off potential customers and drive them to seek daycare services from your competition.
You want to conduct thorough market research to know what other doggie daycares in your area charge for their services and make sure you’re in the right bracket for your business’s prices. If you increase prices, justify that with enhanced services, and be sure to offer discounted rates to recurring customers.
The profitability of your business will depend on a few factors, including the services you offer, the demand for those services, how you price your services, and your ability to reach your target audience. Also important are your fixed and variable business costs and how you manage your money.
Common Dog Daycare Rules
Before you open your business, you’ll want to set some ground rules so your customers know what is expected before their dogs can visit. Setting rules will also help mitigate risk and protect you from liability. Some of the most common doggie daycare rules include:
- Behavior: To protect other dogs from aggressive or misbehaving dogs, institute a rule that says dogs should not have a history of aggression toward people or other dogs.
- Age restrictions: Young puppies can be at risk in a daycare setting. To mitigate risk, specify age restrictions, such as no puppies younger than five months.
- Vaccination: Before allowing dogs to stay at your daycare, make sure they’re up-to-date on their vaccinations.
Essential Tips for Owning a Doggie Daycare in Florida
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s take a look at how to actually start a doggie daycare business. Here’s what you’ll need to think about before getting your dog daycare business off the ground:
Create a Business Plan
You should have a solid business plan in place before opening the doors of your dog daycare. A good business plan should include your mission statement, information about your target market, your pricing strategy, your marketing strategy, financial projections, and plans for growth.
Think About Your Brand Identity
Your brand identity makes your doggie daycare business unique and sets you apart from your competitors. It comprises your logo, name, tagline, color scheme, font, and other elements. One of the best ways to protect your brand from infringement and copycats is through trademark registration. A trademark attorney can help you secure, manage, and defend your trademark, allowing you to build a reputation and gain a competitive advantage.
Choose a Business Structure
Choosing a business structure will determine how you can raise capital and how your business is taxed. The most common business structures for startups are sole proprietorship, limited liability company (LLC), partnership, and corporation.
Choose a Location
Find a suitable property and enter into a rental or purchase agreement. When choosing a facility, you must consider your budget, the distance from your target customer base, and the space you need. Ideally, you want your dog daycare facilities to have enough indoor and outdoor spaces.
Obtain Licenses and Permits
Once you’ve found the perfect location for your dog daycare, you’ll need to see what permits, licenses, and insurance you’ll need to operate your business.
While you may be planning to go above and beyond when it comes to your services, there are a few basic things every doggie daycare needs to be successful. You want to make sure you have playground equipment, toys and balls, playpens, leashes, bowls, cleaning supplies, poop bags and scoopers, kennels and crates, and first aid kits.
Hire and Train Staff
If you need employees, you want to make sure they’re up for the task. Look for dog lovers who have experience working with dogs, especially in a professional capacity. Supervise new staff members closely and provide them with the training they need to do their job well.
Advertise Your Business
A comprehensive marketing plan plays a huge role in connecting with potential customers and earning their trust. To make your target audience aware of your services, spread the word through multiple channels, including:
- Direct mail/flyers
- Social media
- Local radio/TV ads
If You Need Legal Assistance for Your Doggie Daycare, Contact The Goodwin Firm
Pet care is a thriving business as more and more pet owners see their dogs as an extension of their families and will go above and beyond to ensure they have the proper care they deserve. Still, the pet industry comes with a set of problems, including unique legal issues.
Whether you’re planning on starting a doggy daycare in Florida or looking to solve some legal issues, The Goodwin Firm’s attorneys are here to help.