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Thread: Advice Needed

  1. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Everywhere
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    8,089

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    Quote Originally Posted by Petekids View Post
    A couple of things - I admire your research into this career before you start it - make sure you realize owning and running a boarding kennel is a 24/7 job, 365 days a year. Finding good, honest, dependable help is a priority.
    What Emma123 said - you need a definite budget and a business plan to make this successful. And remember, the first couple years are the roughest.

    We thought about all the questions you've brought up before we bought our existing boarding/grooming kennel almost 12 years ago. We like our job, but it's basically working from morning to night without many breaks. Our kennel is very small - 11 runs, and I groom 3-4 days/week - 10-12 hour days. We have done extensive remodeling, but there is always something else to fix. This year we have more interior chain link to replace. We have one part-time employee (about 25/hrs a week - she makes about $13/hour). Not only is she the bather, but handles a lot of kennel and reception duties as well. Luckily she worked for a vet for 22 years - great with dogs!.

    In the economic area we are located, luxury suites wouldn't be profitable. Our clients are plenty happy with the services we provide. This is a tourist area. Summers, from now until Labor Day, we are usually at capacity for boarding - winters not so much. When we did our business plan/budget we anticipated 65% capacity year 'round. The overall average has come pretty close to that.

    Here is our website - yes, it needs updating, I just haven't had time (family health issues and my second job). It's just an idea, but from your initial inquiry, it sounds like you're going way, way bigger than what we have!
    http://www.chazlynboardinggrooming.c...-facility.html

    Good luck!
    Nice facility Pete! Dog friendly, clean, but not over the top.....and yep boarding is 24/7, weather be damned....as your pics show.
    Ain't always easy to stand up for what is right.

  2. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Emma123 View Post
    I could be 100% off on this, as I often am, ha ha, but when I read your post, what I see is someone who is a Trainer or Behaviorist or Shelter Program Creator, rather than a dog boarding business owner. Profit margin seems to have less of a place in your plans that I would imagine to be the situation when dog businesses are planned. That could be a good thing. It just was noticeable to me that budget isn't mentioned in your plans, as sort of the place to start and then from there, figure out what can be done on that budget? Anyway, that's not the question you asked, so sorry in advance for poking my nose in.
    You're not wrong at all, please, don't apologize. I have a passion for dog behavior, learning, and genuinely love volunteer work, but I don't have the right mind for professional training/behaviorist work. And I have been flipflopping on a reasonable budget (leaning toward 250-300k) as I'm inexperienced in this matter. Much of the research I;ve done in the past was geared toward fantasy projects of the What-If variety, so I need to pay more attention to being realistic now that I'm determined to turn thius into a reality.

    Thank you for taking the time to reply.

    Quote Originally Posted by dogma View Post
    I'm still having a problem with the vision of barbed wire. Really? Barbed wire on your perimeter fencing?

    And I agree with Emma. Budget planning is huge. Not asking you to disclose this, but the "groomers would make the price sheet and basically have free reign..." is a huge red flag.
    It's all well and good to say "I'm going to give this bonus, pay this amount for starting pay, etc etc" without first figuring out how much it costs to run the business, pay your taxes, loan payment, taxes, your salary, taxes, etc etc etc.

    I've worked in boarding kennels before. Good quality kennels. Unless it was holidays the kennel was rarely completely full. So my suggestion would be to make a budget that runs on a kennel that is half full.

    Good luck to you. Running and managing a boarding kennel was the hardest work I ever did.
    Barbed wire is the most common theft deterrent seen on perimeter fences in the area. Would it be better to have a good camera system and clearly placed signage indicating the use of a security company? Much of what I write ends up in the "It sounded good at the time, " pile so I'm cool if this is one of those things.

    As for budget planning, I'm young (21yo), inexperienced, and I honestly do need to pay more attention to budgeting, I'm lucky in that I have resources many don't (my mother is a certified financial consultant for NYL) so I need to put more effort into establishing and sticking to a realistic budget, thank you for bringing it up.

    In regards to groomers having free reign over price sheets and what not, I worked as a bather for 2 1/2 years but have little experience with grooming and at many of the places I worked the owners/managers of the grooming department had less experience than I do and were allotting very little control to the professionals they kept on staff. I thought doing the opposite and allowing the professionals to run that side of the business would work out better for all involved. Would it be better to look into a product like Grooming Business in a Box? I've seen it touted as a great product on this forum, but I'm a bit skeptical.

    Good to see I've been doing something right as I've worked in a few local boarding kennels and I got to see first hand the ebb and flow of the business, I don't expect to have a full kennel at all times, but am hopeful that holidays and sports season will keep me busy enough. Every time I attempt to calculate potential gross earnings I always divide by two at the end for boarding.

    Quote Originally Posted by Petekids View Post
    A couple of things - I admire your research into this career before you start it - make sure you realize owning and running a boarding kennel is a 24/7 job, 365 days a year. Finding good, honest, dependable help is a priority.
    What Emma123 said - you need a definite budget and a business plan to make this successful. And remember, the first couple years are the roughest.

    We thought about all the questions you've brought up before we bought our existing boarding/grooming kennel almost 12 years ago. We like our job, but it's basically working from morning to night without many breaks. Our kennel is very small - 11 runs, and I groom 3-4 days/week - 10-12 hour days. We have done extensive remodeling, but there is always something else to fix. This year we have more interior chain link to replace. We have one part-time employee (about 25/hrs a week - she makes about $13/hour). Not only is she the bather, but handles a lot of kennel and reception duties as well. Luckily she worked for a vet for 22 years - great with dogs!.

    In the economic area we are located, luxury suites wouldn't be profitable. Our clients are plenty happy with the services we provide. This is a tourist area. Summers, from now until Labor Day, we are usually at capacity for boarding - winters not so much. When we did our business plan/budget we anticipated 65% capacity year 'round. The overall average has come pretty close to that.

    Here is our website - yes, it needs updating, I just haven't had time (family health issues and my second job). It's just an idea, but from your initial inquiry, it sounds like you're going way, way bigger than what we have!
    http://www.chazlynboardinggrooming.c...-facility.html

    Good luck!
    This may be a bit tmi for some but I feel it's necessary in fully replying here. I have chronic depression, anxiety, and other various physical and psychological problems that I manage through my work with animals. Pool cleaning, my current job, gives me a reason to get going in the morning, because it pays my bills, but it isn't satisfying. Every weekend I schedule at least one animal related appointment (bathe a dog, trim a horse's hooves, volunteer at a rescue) so that I will genuinely feel good and accomplished to prepare for the coming week. I am thoroughly excited at the possibility of having a never ending stream of animal related work.

    My local demographic is already starting to lean toward the higher class, an oil (pit, deposit, vein?) was found locally and the economy is already starting to shift to accommodate the influx of people and wealth. I don't believe I'll have a problem with finding a client base for this business (I've already heard many complaints from customers of the current faux luxury boarding kennels and don't believe I'd have much trouble snatching them).

    I'm honestly going to be putting more effort into establishing a budget as it has now been fully brought to my attention that I have been neglecting an integral part of this business plan. I'm glad I've been doing something right though, in that every attempt I've made at determining potential gross income has been calculated at 50% capacity.

    Thank you for posting a link to your kennel. It's you must take great pride in maintaining it as even in harsh weather it looks gorgeous and well kept.

    Initially I was planning on a go big or go home kennel, but I've fussed with the plans and cut back to about half the size I was initially going to go for (9 8*8, 6 4*8, 1 14*8 for daycare, and 12*16 for grooming with 1-2 groomers/bathers). Though I am hoping for a lower maintenance facility by investing in masonco kennels indoors, possibly rhino kennels outdoors, and epoxy flooring/floor drains everywhere (including in outdoor runs).

    Thank you for your input and please let me know if any of that sounds absurd, I love researching to find alternatives.

    Quote Originally Posted by Moses View Post
    2 cents.... your less desirable communication wise, usually end up some of the best workers. If you are planning on this form of boarding reception staff is where the client communication will be of utmost importance. Also, daily task forms and communication forms with detailed info are IMPORTANT . A check box is great for people with bad writing skills. Safe, clean, calm and consistent That is what I look for anytime I go to snoop around. Another thing, it is not fair to pair a newbie up with dogs that are known to potentially have aggression issues. As the owner you will be held liable for any bite that could occur. I understand your reasoning but to me that is a bad scenario, not only for the people but the pets you have adopted. How hard did you work to reset behaviors? How hard did they work to trust you? Not to be negative but I would rethink the rest out process. You will go through allot of people. Those of us that work with pets are touched. (Insert smile) we are special. Just think about it
    I do need to start researching ways to stay organized and on task, thank you for bringing that to my attention. Many of the places I've worked previously were probably losing thousands with all the down time there employees wasted goofing off in the kennels (I'd prefer to avoid that),

    Hiring someone with poor communications skills may be entirely out of the picture at this moment as I want to make myself and my business the best it can be and have recently come across two organizations that, through certifications and continuing education courses, can help me do that (ibpsa.com and paccert.org). Please don't think poorly of me, but I'm unsure if someone with poor communication skills would be able to pass these courses (I don't know for certain as I've just scratched the surface in my research into these organizations and their courses).

    As for the potential test I was thinking of integrating into the interview process, I'm thinking I can replace that with practice exams based off of some of the resources provided by the aforementioned organizations. I can even alter some canine body language posters to be unlabeled, but I would like to integrate live animals into the interview process in some way as the job will revolve around work with live animals. The dogs I would use are my own and have never bitten, they are mostly pyr mixes so are naturally stand offish, but all are easily redirected, recalled, etc, the risk to the interviewee would be minimal.

    Thank you all for your continued input, I don enjoy conversing and brainstorming to turn this into a more feasible plan rather than the fantastical mess I had at the beginning of this thread.

  3. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    4,354

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    Petekids, I think your website looks great, and so does your boarding kennel. I especially like the clarity of your website. It's very easy to read. Nice!

    Quote Originally Posted by Petekids View Post
    A couple of things - I admire your research into this career before you start it - make sure you realize owning and running a boarding kennel is a 24/7 job, 365 days a year. Finding good, honest, dependable help is a priority.
    What Emma123 said - you need a definite budget and a business plan to make this successful. And remember, the first couple years are the roughest.

    We thought about all the questions you've brought up before we bought our existing boarding/grooming kennel almost 12 years ago. We like our job, but it's basically working from morning to night without many breaks. Our kennel is very small - 11 runs, and I groom 3-4 days/week - 10-12 hour days. We have done extensive remodeling, but there is always something else to fix. This year we have more interior chain link to replace. We have one part-time employee (about 25/hrs a week - she makes about $13/hour). Not only is she the bather, but handles a lot of kennel and reception duties as well. Luckily she worked for a vet for 22 years - great with dogs!.

    In the economic area we are located, luxury suites wouldn't be profitable. Our clients are plenty happy with the services we provide. This is a tourist area. Summers, from now until Labor Day, we are usually at capacity for boarding - winters not so much. When we did our business plan/budget we anticipated 65% capacity year 'round. The overall average has come pretty close to that.

    Here is our website - yes, it needs updating, I just haven't had time (family health issues and my second job). It's just an idea, but from your initial inquiry, it sounds like you're going way, way bigger than what we have!
    http://www.chazlynboardinggrooming.c...-facility.html

    Good luck!

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