Starting a Pet Boarding Business could be fun and rewarding for pet lovers. The success of any small business depends on how you begin your journey as a business person. The more informed you are; more chances you would be successful. One of the most important things is to make sure you have everything that you need to start your pet boarding business. This checklist covers everything you need to start your own pet boarding business.
1. Perform Market Research
Start participating in local pet community by volunteering and begin networking. Perform local market research. Learn everything about your competitors. Make sure to document your competitors’ price and services they offer. Check online reviews for other pet boarding service providers. Focus on what customers like the most and what they complain about. See if there is any gap in services that other local boarding facilities are not providing. Research on what growth potential you have in the local community.
2. Test your idea
Start providing in-home boarding for your friends and family member pets. See what kind of response you get. Also, learn how to read pet’s body language. Be sure to ask for suggestions.
3. Make arrangements for funding
Starting any business is not free. There is a cost involve to establish and run pet boarding business. Prepare a budget of how much it will approximately cost to setup your pet boarding facility. You might need to pay rental deposit and build-out of the facility. If you are going to get funding, make sure to prepare a business plan. Take help from local chamber of commerce. Often time, they provide free services for people who are looking to start business in local community
4. Brand your pet boarding business
A strong brand is essential to increased sales and customer loyalty. Below are some of the things to get you starting with branding your business:
- Choose a name that is easy for people to remember, yet catchy for your business.
- Develop a tag line to define your pet boarding business message.
- Chose a color and font them for your brand.
- Create a logo. You don’t have to pay thousands of dollars to develop a professional logo. There are cheap logo design services available online starting at $10 per custom logo.
5. Make your pet business legal
Before you start your business, make sure you have registered your pet boarding business name. Be sure to get all necessary local and state licenses required to run pet boarding. Visit your town/city hall and ask what would be required to start a pet boarding business in your area. Obtain Employer Identification Number (EIN) or tax ID number. Register a domain name for your pet boarding website.
6. Setup your pet boarding facility
Once you have all necessary licenses and certificates, begin setting up your pet boarding facility. Prepare boarding kennels, dog play areas and registration area. Get insurance – this is extremely important! The type of insurance you are looking for is Liability Insurance. Shop around for insurances and ask your agent if there is any additional insurance required to protect you.
Perform a criminal record background check for yourself to show it your future clients. Some customers would feel more comfortable leaving their pets knowing you do not have any prior criminal records.
7. Familiarized yourself with five freedoms
The five freedoms as currently expressed are:
- Freedom from hunger or thirst by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigor.
- Freedom from discomfort by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.
- Freedom from pain, injury or disease by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.
- Freedom to express (most) normal behavior by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind.
- Freedom from fear and distress by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.
8. Prepare clear client contract
Have a rock-solid contract, and get ALL client info EVERY time (vaccine records, medical condition specifics, etc.). Let no one slide through if they’re not up-to-date on rabies and other vaccinations. A good record keeping habit will prevent you from legal troubles down the road.
9. Prepare a marketing plan
This is the most important thing that is often overlooked by new pet business owners. Prepare a grand opening event. Setup your business website. Setup profiles on various popular social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Four Square and more. Define your monthly marketing budget. Track and analyze your marketing channels to see which ones are giving the most business.
10. Get lots of poop bags
You will be surprised how many poop bags you would need. Try to get them from discount sites like Groupon or wholesale places.
Wish you all the very best for your pet business journey!