Starting a Dog Boarding Business: Step by Step
5 Things to Consider
There is a lot of research that goes into starting a dog boarding business, but don’t fear! We’ve created this blog to kick-start the process and give you the tips you need to succeed with your new venture.
1. Zoning Regulations: Make sure that one of the first things you research is if your town allows you to run your business since some areas are zoned for residential use only.
2. Profit Margins: Of course this number can vary and fluctuate like any business but it’s good to go ahead and do the math and estimate how much profit you should expect per customer/month/service.
3. Laws: Research your local laws, regulations, insurance, and licensing requirements for you to have your business. You may need a vendor’s license as well as a kennel license.
Go to your state government’s website for regulations. Your town hall will also be able to answer most of your questions or point you in the right direction.
4. Equipment: Make sure you have enough money to invest in the proper equipment you need for your facility. Consider kennels, food, leashes, collars, fencing, etc.
5. Software: Make sure you have pet software before opening your business. This software will save you hours of time and eliminate paperwork that can be hard to keep track of. It’ll keep your pet’s records, pet owner’s information, scheduling, and more.
Pricing can be a tricky subject. It’s crucial that you price your services so that you’re making a profit margin, but not high enough that you begin to lose business.
Pricing varies around $18-25 per day depending on the size of the dog. A good rule of thumb would be to look at your competitors and see what they’re charging, the quality of their services, and how busy they are. It may be a good idea to list your services slightly lower in the beginning to gain customers faster, and then slowly increase the prices once you gain more credibility. Also, remember you can always charge extra for other services like baths, treats, extra walks, cleanings, nail clippings, and much more! Don’t forget there are so many ways you can get creative with making extra profits here and there.
Create a Business Plan
Make sure you create a business plan that defines the following for your business:
- A mission statement for your business
- Your businesses objective and goals for the future
- Your brand and marketing strategy
- An outline of your competition and what your competitive advantage is
- The facility you plan on using
- All the numbers: your estimated profits, costs and expenses, and revenue.
Research Your Competition
This is important for so many reasons: how to price your services, finding your competitive advantage, and more. Make sure you study the top competitors in your area and see what services they offer, the quality of the facility and services, and their web/social media presence.
- Set competitive pricing compared to other pet businesses in your area. Don’t set prices outrageously high as well as setting prices too low that you loose credibility. Customers may question extremely low prices and wonder how reliable the quality of your business is.
- Use your social media and website as leverage for your business. Stand out from your competition by a bright and informative social media presence, as well as an easy-to-understand website that can answer all your customers questions and can allow your customers to schedule your services online.
Choose the Right Facility
Make sure that the facility that you choose is within a close distance to lots of residential homes and in a high populated area if possible.
Make sure that your facility has these two features:
- Enough space to where if you wanted to expand your facility, you would be able to (build more fences, building more buildings or adding on to your current building)
- Within your budget so that it doesn’t take a huge majority of your profits.
Software to Run Your Business
- Customer profiles to store their data (immunizations, payment info, pet notes, etc)
- Online booking. Customers should be able to book your services online on your website as well as on their mobile device.
- Employee portal where your staff can easily access your businesses calendar, appointments, immunization and records, customer profiles, and more.
- Communication features where you can easily message customers about promotions, marketing campaigns, and where customers can ask questions.
- Marketing capabilities where you can set up marketing campaigns that go to your customers to up-sell services, promote sales, and more.
- Loyalty programs and discounts you can offer your customers to increase your sales and grow your pet owners into life-long customers
At RunLoyal, our mission is to provide you with all of the above and more so your pet business can grow and succeed. Our pet care software is trusted by the best in the business. Click HERE to read what our customers have to say and click HERE to schedule your free personalized demo.