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  • Am I sick?

    Ok, let me set the scene: I rent from a dog training facility. They are in 2 huge buildings. The building I'm in contains me, a small store, doggie daycare, a dog rehab/fitness center, and 2 other bays with non dog related stuff, like construction or something.

    Well, my landlady and I were talking about what we can put in those last 2 bays when their leases are up, and try and get the 2 full buildings all dogs. The major thing we're missing is boarding. I think it's a straight money making oppurtunity to open a really really high end boarding facility. Small, homey type 10-15 dogs MAX. Webcams, overnight attendants, daycare, training, swimming, day of glamour, etc.

    In my right mind, I'm thinking I'm an idiot to even consider this sort of undertaking, especially since I'm complaining about the workload I have now vs. my home life. I don't really need to be talked out of doing this, as only 25% of me wants to do it. However, I would like info on how you small boarding spots started, and how it went over. We'd be booked from day one just with our pre-existing clientelle. So, please, opinions, advice, tips?
    Erin
    No Fur, No Paws, No Service.

  • #2
    Only 25% of you is decided...on those webcams, swimming, overnight attendants, day of glamour, etc...

    Sounds like you haven't spent much time thinking about it, ROFL...

    I have no advice for ya on this one, but had to tease you about your lack of ideas (Sarcasm). In theory I think it's a great idea but, like you, it sounds like a lot of work.

    Tammy in Utah
    Groomers Helper Affiliate

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    • #3
      Hey Erin. I have a small boarding facility that I have a love/hate relationship with..lol.. It IS WORK!!! The times when you are busiest are the times you really want to spend w/family (Christmas, Thanksgiving, Summer vacation...etc). I do have help, but nonetheless I still end up working holidays since we are all usually required to come in. The money is GREAT, which does a lot to ease the pain of all the extra work....lol...

      Sometimes I think I really need to get rid of the boarding, and other times I think I need to expand. See, I told you it is a love/hate relationship!! Think hard before you get into it and make sure you have good, reliable help or you will LIVE there. Right now I have a good "crew", but there were times when I was doing it all by myself. NOT FUN!! You seem to me to be a "planner" though so I am sure you will have it all detailed to the finest point! BTW, I couldn't really understand but if you do this will it be a shared kennel from all of the business in your building?
      SheilaB from SC

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      • #4
        Yep - twisted LOL

        Honestly though that kind of set-up requires 24/7 attention, unless you don't plan on taking part in the boarding part at al.

        Secondly from a grooming stand point that means needing to have someone available at least six days a week to perform at least baths on the boarding dogs going home. It doesn't necessarily have to be the same person but it's a consideration.

        That's the problem I'm having on whether or not to accept the job at the Kennel because I don't want to work 6 straight days in a week or rather I should say it's not physically possilbe for me.

        Their talking 7 groom and several bath dogs on Monday and Saturday alone with Wednesday being the only "slower" day but stil not dead. I'm gonna do my grooming interview and if they offer me a spot try and see if we can't work out some part-time job sharing arrangement. That's the only way I'll survive.

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        • #5
          How are you going to make money paying for an overnight attendant and only housing 10-15 dogs.
          If your dog is fat, you are not getting enough exercise!

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          • #6
            by charging elaborate prices LOL! if she is going to do a homey type setting...ie doggie suites with child sized beds, tv's, a couch and a chair for them to curl in....specilized attention per dog....etc etc...she can EASILY charge 50 or more per night. depending on the clientele in the area, and the fact that they have a max amount of dogs they can board is going to get those people who NEED to be in an exclusive doggy club (even if its a boarding facility LOL!), to book MONTHS in advance. and given the fact that theirs a doggy daycare right next door...maybe they can work something out where boarding dogs can go for daycare during the day or at least for a few hours? she can also offer free baths after so many days of boarding. last time i boarded my dog he got a free bath after boarding for 3 days. as for paying the overnight person....if she charges say....50 dollars a night....and she has say...10 dogs...thats 500 dollars a night shes making...and say the night person is there from say 9 pm to 7 am thats a 10 hr shift...they only make 90 dollars if they are paid 9 dollars an hr. or if you have 2 night shift people...one working 9pm til 2am and the other working 2am til 7am thats a 5 hr shift for both of them...you raise your price your going to pay them...to say...11 an hr...thats 110 for 2 employee's per night...your still making 390 a night.
            thats how that works LOL!
            (im not taking into consideration business expenses or anything like that...but figure that out into the total amount...thats about what she'd be making per night depending on her charges)
            Hound

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            • #7
              For some reason it's not allowing me to EDIT my post, so I have to fix it in a separate one.

              I said: "In theory I think it's a great idea but, like you, it sounds like a lot of work."

              I meant: "In theory I think it's a great idea but, like you SAID, it sounds like a lot of work."

              Ejmj30, YOU are not a lot of work, lol, but the IDEA sounds like it's a lot of work. Sorry about the screw up. 30 lashings with a wet noodle for me!

              Tammy in Utah
              Groomers Helper Affiliate

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              • #8
                Decisions Decisions

                It looks to me like your grooming business is doing well so if I were you I'd have to ask myself "Why do I want to do this?" Then weigh out pros/cons on paper.

                I do pet sitting (started out pet sitting) in addition to my grooming. The pet sitting has carried me thru slow times. (Pro) In busy times, I run myself ragged! (con) There have been many MANY times I work 7 days a week. It's not hard labor but in my mind- I'm working. I'm not at the beach or where ever so it's work.

                I know kennels are somewhat different than p/s but just a question- It's Christmas, Easter, Birthday (fill in the blank) & you have finished the grooming, thinking ahhhh relaxation with the family at_____. But now one of your boarders is not feeling too well & may need vet care. So it's STRESS instead of relaxation.

                I'm not saying don't do it. I'm saying "why?".

                On the other hand if you need/want the money boarding is often for me more lucrative cause if the plans have been made the owners are going! It's not like "Oh Fluffy can wait another weeks to get the haircut"

                Hope this helps,
                Erica

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                • #9
                  It does sound like a lot of work, but I think its a brilliant idea. I say... drink a lot of coffee and then do it!

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                  • #10
                    my summer will be spent boarding

                    Ok, I can totally relate to SheilaB's post!! 100%!!!! I have just a small little boarding facility and I only cater to my regular rebooking clients. I thought when I started it, I would be able to keep it small and easily manageable that way. Geez, was I wrong. It is definitely a love/hate relationship. I love that I can offer this to vacationing clients, but hate that their vacations fall on times when I want a vacation. And it is SO MUCH WORK! My dad always said there's no such thing as easy money and in this scenario he was so right (even though I hate to say it). I have 1 - p/t employee. Plus my hubby helps out with the boarding alot! I call my kennels Suites and they have their own indoor/outdoor run and play areas. Fun wall border, doggy pictures, radios, theraputic off the floor beds and all (no concrete floors) along with outdoor play equipment. When people found out about it, they went crazy...and now I'm booked until Aug. I have clients calling to see when I have availabilities so they can book their vacations. It's a HUGE committment and I wasn't quite prepared for how busy it was going to make me. At some moments I think, hmmm it's not so bad...maybe I should do a big boarding only facility and then the next moment I'm thinking...Geez, I need to get out of this whole boarding thing all together. It really TIES you down. Now, I don't mean to discourage you at all, if it's something you want to do. But had I known before hand the work, time and effort involved which falls on top of my already heavy workload, I wouldn't have done it. Take some time to think about it.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by SiotehCat View Post
                      It does sound like a lot of work, but I think its a brilliant idea. I say... drink a lot of coffee and then do it!
                      Or a few shots...

                      (LOL)

                      Tammy in Utah
                      Groomers Helper Affiliate

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If you do this, charge by the day, not by the night. They pay for the first day no matter what time the dog arrives- you can set a check-out time, like 10am, and if they pick up before that time, they're not charged for that day's board. After that time, they are. Just like a hotel. You'll lose money if you charge per night.

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                        • #13
                          no.......no.......no

                          Sorry about the screw up. 30 lashings with a wet noodle for me!

                          Tammy in Utah[/QUOTE]

                          Tammy,
                          for us groomer's it's not 30 lashings w/ a wet noodle.......it's 30 splashings by a wet poodle!lol oh i just crack myself up!

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                          • #14
                            Already thought of a name!

                            No no, you guys aren't discouraging me at all. I want to know the good, the bad and the ugly. I want to hear that you love it, but then when you wish you were somewhere else, bam, boarding kennel calls.

                            Do any of you own a small homey type kennel and not work there at all? I'd be on the premises almost all the time, seeing as how I groom only 2 doors down in the same building. I'm thinking if I hire someone to work for me, I'd still be making tons of money.

                            Diamie, like Hound said, you get a really sweet upscale setup and can charge for that. The daycare I'm next to charges $40/day, and they're booked. They only take 10 dogs a day, maybe 13 if there's some small ones in the mix. Thing is, I'd be booked by the time I opened pretty much just with my clientelle and the training place's clients. Sooo many people ask for a reliable place nearby, and there really isn't any within a 45 minute drive.

                            I'm sorely tempted to start looking into it. My sister's advice is to research it and maybe do it in a year or two...no rush as I'm making money with the grooming anyway. I also thought of a fabulous name, "Lizzie's Boardin' House" Though I won't use it, but wouldn't it go great with the Little Shop of Howlers? I don't think it would instill a sense of peace though when gaining new customers. People who know me already would think it's funny, but sounds a bit harsh to the newcomers.
                            Erin
                            No Fur, No Paws, No Service.

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                            • #15
                              I did boarding for about four years, small scale, 2 to 10/night. Like others have said, it's a lot of work. My biggest problem, and the reason I stopped, was because of holidays and vacations. We usually travel out of state for holidays because my entire extended family is two hours away. I just got tired of spending every holiday and school vacation with boarding dogs. It was a great relief to let it go, although the money was pretty good.

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