How to Effectively Manage a Dog DayCare Business
Introduction: Managing your dog day care at the highest level is about so much more than merely managing a business. It is about relationships, working within a community, making connections with other businesses, the local government and customers, development of employees, and maintenance of your facility for the present and the future.

Each of these pieces of support for your business takes work and involves time. Your reputation is multifaceted. You will be judged by the public on your manner of doing business, and your interaction with community members and supporting their wants and needs. You will be judged by how your employees act and care for animals, how your facility operates and is kept up, your involvement in the schools, with other pet care professionals, and on the care you show to their pets.

Your location, options for improvements or expansion, use of your facility, and provisions to simply make life better for dog owners and other pet people all offer the community ways to assess your worth.

The value you bring as a person, a community member, a business, and an ally are equally important to the future of your success. You have to remind yourself daily that financial success rests upon relational success. Look beyond the four walls of your facility if you want to increase your financial worth. Higher levels of success can and has been done with less monetary funds and more time spent. If you decide down the road to expand, open a second facility or develop a new venture, your investment in the people of the community might make or break that idea.

5 Woofs for Products and Services: You probably started this process thinking you were selling a service of caring for dogs while their owners go and do things without their dogs. You probably thought about other services like dog training, grooming and health services. What you may not have thought about is services you can offer, not to the dogs, but to the dog owners. Dog owners may pay for dog training classes of some type.

You can also offer services at no costs. Owners who've lost a dog might need a support group. People in the community might enjoy a monthly get together with their pets. Community pet owners might need a place for overnight care or emergency care. Families who are thinking about adding a dog might want to meet with those who have dogs and see how their children react. There are an infinite number of services to offer, both for pay and for free if you learn to listen to the pet people in your community and observe their actions.

Convenience is a great thing to provide busy families of pets. Having supplies to sell in your center will allow owners to make the one stop to get their dog on the way home from work a valuable one. Offering dog food, health products, grooming products, and gifts might increase your income greatly. It is also easy to stash old pet carriers, leashes, and other used items for needy customers or just to loan for a trip or a visitor to their home. You must also have a website where you provide all information about your facility, update fees and charges, sell products and list classes and times for services. You also need to provide educational information by way of the website. Having lots of resources in your site and easily accessible will pay off in many ways. Keep it and your small boutiques within your facility organized and updated.

5 Woofs for Employees and Facility: Your facility location should be well thought out with possibilities for some expansion - just in case. You might find your community would support a dog gym of some kind, a water play area that could be made available on weekends too, an in house vet or vet assistant, a grooming station that could be self-service or not. You want to make your facility like the home away from home for both the dog and their owners. You want them stopping in to pick up items to buy, to borrow, or just to say hello.

Keep the facility clean with little dog odor or a heavy scent trying to cover it up. Continuous cleaning needs to be at the top of the employees' list of jobs each day. Offer your facility for use as often as you can. The more time the community spends coming into your day care, the more connected they will feel with you and your business. That is a very good thing.

Train your employees well and communicate clearly in writing, through training and orally. Don't think that once an employee is trained that's it. You have to update their training to both evaluate if they are continuing with your requirements and to remind them about the importance of consistency of employee behaviors within the facility. Employees are human and after awhile they begin to let go of important details. Success is all about the details. If you see this happening, don't get angry, retrain.

Interested in learning more? Why not take an online How to Run a Dog Day Care course?

Make a way to offer increases in wages and bonuses to keep your employees working hard, keep them from leaving for better pay or hours, and stay involved with them on a daily basis. They need to know you care about them, you are around to see expectations are being met by everyone and that one person is not being taken advantage of. Employees will rarely complain, they will just quit one day and you will have no clue if you are not involved. No matter that the employees can run the place, they need to have you around. Demonstrate respect for them, be aware of their work, and pay them what they are worth. They need to know how they will increase their take home money.

5 Woofs for You and Your Relationships: Your characteristics, values, and the way you relate to others has as much to do with your success as anything else. You are the face of your business. You may be very shy, but you have to find a way to relate to your customers and employees or they won't know you are shy and will think you don't like them, avoid them, or are just rude. It takes effort to overcome personalities that prefer privacy. When you open a business, especially a dog day care you have little privacy. You will become a local celebrity of sorts. People will stop you and tell you stories about their animals, ask for information or advice. How will you react?

Before you get started into this adventure, lay down, close your eyes and get an image of your facility, yourself in it and customers coming in. Try to see yourself walking along the side-walk and going into a hardware store or a coffee shop and running into people who stop you at every hand. Try to imagine what it will be like. Or go and spend a few days with another business owner in his community and experience it for real. Before you write your plan, talk to the business owners in the area and ask them how they connect with their customers. Talk to business owners that look successful and also those that do not. You might find those who are less successful spend their time behind a counter and are very friendly to those who enter their place, but they never frequent other business in the area. If you want a job where you are isolated, maybe be a forest ranger.

5 Woofs for Growing Your Business: Often it is better to begin small with a plan for expansion. As you look at locations and facilities, keep this in mind. You may want to start big if the area calls for a large need of such services. Either way, if your location is in a progressive area, and it doesn't matter if that is slow or fast progression, you must attend to growth. There is growth that happens in different parts of your business. One is simply enlarging the facility and adding employees, but continue in the same way. You have to look at the data to know if that is a good move or not.

There is financial growth due to added services, increased fees and charges due to increased cost or offerings, and demand. This must be weighed as well. If you specialize and the need is there, you can move toward a high end customer base or a customer that wants more pampering for their pet. Adding "suites" instead of mere kennels, putting in beds off the floor and other special treatment, if wanted can be added and increase income. Some dog day cares have increased business by putting in park areas, pools and dog gyms. These could be offered on weekends for a fee. You could charge less if the owner comes with the dog.

There are always added services of other professionals like groomers, dog health care workers, and trainers. Expanding in these ways may require more space or a better use of your building during off peak times, like evenings. Expanding a business can mean so many things. You might decide to expand your small product area to more of a boutique. You can offer a lending library, or bring in speakers. You can offer homemade food for dogs who need a very special diet. You can offer one on one care for dogs if there is a need. You could purchase a van and add a "take-out" option. Offer grooming, health checks, and products or training at someone's home. You can do grooming parties, training parties, dog birthday parties, and dog fairs.

You can expand how your facility interacts within the community by sponsoring events related to dogs and dog care. Growing your business, responding to current trends, needs and wants, moving with your community and updating the way you work will keep your business fresh and growing. If you are out of ideas, just look on line. People are so creative when it comes to their pets. Remember that growing a business is not always about expanding your facility.

Dog FAQS: Many companies these days offer child care, cafes, and gyms, but many are also offering animal friendly work areas. These companies allow employees to bring their pets to work. What a great place for an animal love to work, and what a great place for an animal lover to start a day care business with employees who can walk the dogs from the employees cubical and back or take the dog out for a run.

Etsy in New York and Trupanion, which is a pet insurance business and archer>malmon, an advertising and marketing firm in Memphis are the top pet friendly companies. Some allow just dogs and some only dogs and cats. All started out to try the idea and all have continued with no reservations. Though some of the company did admit to some issues, they more than not provided inspiration that far outweighed any of the issues.

It is said that the company Autodesk that is near San Francisco was the original company that allowed dogs to come to work on a regular basis. That may be true for large companies but many smaller businesses have allowed dogs long before that.

Our world is becoming more dog friendly. Many small shopping areas set out water dishes and allow dogs in their stores. Hotels, restaurants and other public places are opening up to allow it. It is because dog owners have demanded it. Dog owners want to take their dog children to the store, the restaurant and to church with them. Let it be!

Summary: To get top ratings from your customers, your business associates, your employees, and your community, it takes more than merely doing your job. The owner must go above and beyond the requirements. They must listen to what people say, be honest and trustworthy and cooperate with others in community betterment.

Owning a dog day care can be a great investment if the owner has done his homework, is ready to recognize all the work involved and that success depends as much on relationships with others throughout the community as it does with what they charge for a dog to spend the day.

To get a top or a 5 woof rating in different parts of the business, an owner has to stay involved, know what is going on, and enjoy the work. A dog day care owner who finds success in business will first find success with the local community. His reputation depends on the care of the dogs each day of course, but it also depends on his involvement in the lives of others, especially dog owners in the neighborhood. Businesses in a community go the way of the area. If the area is thriving, more than likely, your business will thrive. If it is failing, more than likely your business will fail. Because of this you have to concern yourself with the local governance that leads the community. Get involved for the progress of your business and your community.

A 5 woof rating in all areas must be earned. Never ignore one area over another. Keep each one in front of your eyes and pay attention. When you know your community, you can stay one step ahead of anything that might create a negative tug. Work with others and act in progressive community ways, cooperating, leading, and following as needed.