Your dog day care business is about the welfare of an important piece of a family's life. You must be trustworthy, honest, caring, understanding, fair and knowledgeable. It will be expected from all corners. This attitude about what you are about to does requires you to pay attention to more than simply your facility, your employees, their training, or the dogs and their owners. Your survival will depend upon your community relationships.
Your success is built on your ability to interact within your system or community in a highly positive manner. You can't display negative, uncaring, or careless behaviors or actions anywhere. Like a teacher in a school, your public demands a different set of standards. You, after all, will be responsible for their pet children. The expectation is that you will support all animals and their owners, and advocate for animal rights even beyond your own community. You have to straddle the line between business owner and local advocate for the best relationships with people.
You may not understand it yet, but you will be judged on every word, every step taken, and on what you don't do as well. You need to earn your place with other business owners in the area and become part of their fraternity. You need to use the community resources and demonstrate your happiness there. One word to anyone that even might be twisted into a negative comment must be stifled. Your energy and your time must be spent developing good associations about town. A dog day care, not unlike a child day care, must create a level of sincere support for families with dogs plus a collective attitude about the community.
You must develop a give and take with home based dog daycare givers about town. Make sure they know that you are not there to take their business and more than that, make sure they know that you will support what they are doing in any way possible.
Other retail establishments in your area will need your support in the form of doing business, joining with them in professional organizations, and with personal cooperation in community or town organizations.
You are on public display if you like it or not and everything you do and say, every relationship you develop, and every employee you hire will determine the level of success you gain.
Relationships with other pet owners: Other pet owners have many interests and most if not all are ready to stand up and speak up for the rights of animals. This is a narrowly focused group of people. Included within this set are those who care for pets in their homes or backyards for income. These people can make or break you. Don't alienate them. Ever. You must work with them. Invite them to come in as a group to meet you, see your facility and meet your employees. Discuss ways you can help them boost their business. Check to see if they are aware of all the on-line free sites they can sign up for and make it easy for people find them.
Because this group and you will have so much in common, you might consider asking one of them to do a training session with your employees on something specific they know about. Encourage them to start a home pet care organization and offer your facility as a meeting place. Suggest ways that you can work together. If you have too many dogs, you could refer them. If you have special needs dogs, you might suggest they would fit better in a home day care. And you might find that some would be willing to sub in for your employees as needed. Or they could refer their clients to you if they are unavailable on some days.
You can work together to come up with a list of people with dogs or pets who might enjoy joining a local organization for the promotion of safe and healthy pets. You can work together on your website and offer newsletters and specialized training sessions. Become a place where people can check out books about animals, maybe rent some equipment cheaply and offer fun items to sell in one part of your store. There are so many fun and interesting events and joint ventures this group might work at. Holding a dog parade, collections for the humane society, or scheduling play dates among the group.
The more you become ingrained into the society of this group of pet owners, the deeper your roots grow in the community and the more stable your business will be. Spending time with pet owners will keep you aware of the local trends and future growth. If you think you don't have time to develop these relationships, you are wrong. The time spent with them is marketing that is worth more than you could ever afford. The bonds you develop will nurture your business and help build it's potential.
Relationships with Community Members: As a business owner, you are a community member, if you live in the area or not. You will have to spend time getting to know these people who in essence will be supporting you, paying your wages. All of these people may or may not be animal lovers, but that is not the basis of your relationship with them. The people in the community where your business resides is the group that binds you to the movement of the community. The transitions that take place as a community grow and shrink or changesin some way. These relationships will tie you into the web of the ever difficult decisions that bring the businesses and the community member together. Listening to what they want and expect of their community is hopefully something you can support. Knowing the needs and difficulties of the people there and how you fit into this active and working community force is essential.
Having the ability to work in a community, as a business owner, to improve the affairs for all, is a narrow road to manage. People are often overzealous when it comes to their community affairs. Being able to see both sides of a situation is difficult to do. Every business owner, like it or not is a leader by default in every community. People see the business owner as a person who is capable, knowledgeable, and smart enough to make good decisions, that is until you make one that goes against how they feel.
What you have to understand is that like it or not, you are there and you have to figure out how to play by the community rules. But first you have to figure out those rules if you are new. Don't have the attitude that you will just keep your head down and move one foot at a time through the day and keep your nose in your books. The community will not let you. You will be disturbed until you join in. There is an honest way to work this out. Sincerely care that your community is able to make improvements, upkeep, remain a safe place to live and work with flexibility and cooperation among the residents. You'll figure it out little at a time, but don't try to avoid your community residents. Make every effort to build friendly relationships with them.
Relationships with Your Business Peers: As you begin to gather ideas and plan for your dog day care, there are several business relationships you might want to pursue before you begin. These are organizations for entrepreneurs. You can find them on line. They offer a variety of support and information that you might want to use as you go forward.
Some are as follows: Entrepreneurs' Organization, the Young Entrepreneur Council, Founders Card, Social Enterprise Alliance, Startup Grind, the Edward Lowe Foundation, Vistage, Association of Private Enterprise Education, Young President's Organization, United States Association Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Ashoka, The Entrepreneur's Club.
You will need some support and possibly mentoring as you grow so contacting a professional group of entrepreneurs is a logical step to take. Learn everything you can. Educate yourself as you hear from others who are doing what you are doing all across the United States and beyond. Over the years you will not only get the support of others who have similar goals but develop friendships.
Working with the other business owners in the neighborhood is important. The state of the community is heavily based on the success of local businesses. The success of those businesses is on the shoulders of the business owners so you have to work in cooperation with this group of people. Hopefully it will be a group that leads the community in a forward direction with the city council and neighborhood groups. The best places to live are the places where the community, the city and the business owners all come together.
Dog FAQS: Canine freestyle dancing can be an exercise for fun and for competition. Using music, a dog trainer or an owner uses dog tricks they have taught their dog and puts them together into a routine. The rhythm of the music and the beat it provides helps the dog learn to do the tricks at specific moments. Of course training for such tricks to be performed in sequence is required.
Dog owners are finding that their dogs love it. The dogs will often create a movement of its own. An important part of this art is to give the dogs equality in the performance. If the human dresses or dances in a way that takes all the attention away from the dog, it loses its performance appeal. Joan Tennille president and co-founder of the official organization for the promotion of these competitions developed a video showing how it can be done and that's all it took to begin the movement and excitement of dancing with your dog. Joan Tennille hired a choreographer to help her show how advanced a dog can become in dancing a routine.
They offer different competitions for older dogs with older companions and for dogs with disabilities. Dogs are all so different from each other that the way you create a routine will be different for each one. And, because dogs are four footed, and more agile in leaping, you have to work around them which means some dancing with your body on the floor. In some of the competitions, dogs have changed their routines during the dance, but their partner just kept own dancing and the dogs amazingly and on the fly, so to speak, the dogs delivered a stunning performance.
The Musical Dog Sport Association (MDSA) offers performances at hospitals, senior centers and schools. Their website offers further resources for interested dogs or for their owners.
Summary: You've heard it said that it takes a community to raise a child. It takes the people of the community, town hall, and the local business owners together to make a successful neighborhood. Every business owner wants to start a business in a great neighborhood. What many don't understand is that a great neighborhood is the result of the community, the local government, and the local businesses working not just toward the same goals, but doing it together.
It doesn't all hinge on you specifically, as a dog day care business owner in the community, but to know that these relationships will increase your chances of success and to act accordingly, does hinge on you. Take nothing for granted. Pay attention to the details of your business and pay attention to the broader scope. Organize and balance your professional life between the community, the local government and the local business aspect effectively. It is not an easy task, but do not isolate yourself. Pay attention, listen, and get involved. When you step into the public arena you commit yourself to the public focus.
Recognize that business ownership cannot be set apart from the community. It is part of the community. It's like a body. If part of it is hurting, the rest of the body will hurt. The connections, the relationships, and the movements of this body have to find a coordination and you can and should be part of that coordination. Take responsibility as a dog day care business owner and join the community in a real and sincere way. Be real, be honest, and be trustworthy and success will find you.
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