- Starting a Dog Daycare: Everything You Need to Know
However, before opening your doors, it's important to understand the financial considerations, legal requirements, and management practices to ensure your business's success.
At Easy Busy Pets, we specialize in providing dog daycare software and have helped hundreds of new owners navigate the process of starting a dog daycare.
Our top tips include:
By implementing these strategies, you'll be on your way to a successful dog daycare business.
Staff: Wages and other expenses for employees that will help you run the business.
Equipment: It's important to keep in mind that investing in high-quality equipment upfront may save you from constantly replacing items due to wear and tear, and it will also make a good first impression on customers.
To ensure customer satisfaction and repeat business, dog daycares need to establish a loyal customer base. Instead of constantly trying to acquire new customers, it's more cost-effective to keep current customers coming back.
There are several ways to achieve this, including:
Packages: Offer customers the option to buy packages of daycare services in advance, such as a package of 10 for the price of 8. This makes it more convenient for them and streamlines the experience because the system keeps track of all the credits seamlessly.
Memberships: Create a sense of VIP resulting in loyalty while helping scale the business significantly. Customers can sign up and receive discounts on daycare services and memberships renew to maintain the status.
Specialized Services: Offer additional services such as training, grooming, dog walking, pet sitting, pet transport, hikes, or some extra attention that are not commonly found at other daycares. When planning your daycare business, consider which of these options you would like to incorporate and make sure to include it in your business plan.
Programs: Offer customers the option to sign up for group courses or a series of events, such as obedience training classes or doggy play dates. This provides a new experience for customers and keeps them engaged with your business.
Factors that will impact the financial success of your dog daycare include:
When setting prices for your dog daycare services and products, it's important to find the right balance to attract a wide range of customers. Pricing that is too low may make customers question the quality of care, while pricing that is too high may be difficult to justify without offering exceptional services. Additionally, a complicated pricing model may discourage potential clients.
To determine a fair price point, research the prices of other dog daycare facilities in your area. When increasing prices, ensure that it is accompanied with an improved service offering. Additionally, promoting loyalty or membership programs that offer discounted rates can be an effective way to retain recurring customers.
Sometimes it can get a little more complex than that: You've established what you think is a good initial price for services. Then you explore how to price your memberships and packages and realize you need to iterate on your service price for it to all make sense. Here's an example on how to price a package of doggy daycare services:
1. Choose your top selling pet service, one that is requested often. [Ex. Full Day Doggy Daycare]
2. List out what you charge for one appointment / visit or overnight stay. [$40]
3. List how many appointments you feel the client would value from a package, or the number of classes a training session would take. [20 days]
4. Multiply #2 by #3. [$800]
5. Make a complete list of all the add-ons you give clients with this service. [ex. An exit bath if they get too dirty, etc.]
6. Put a $ value on the resources and add-ons you provide a pet as part of the service. For example, driving time / gas, email report after a dog training class is completed, or clean off their paws after a dog walk before you drop them off at home. If you water their plants or clean their dishes. Value it all. [$100]
7. How much extra time and expertise given away by not accounting for it in one time appointments. An example might be initial consultation, additional advice, spending an extra 10 minutes walking the dog because they simply just need it. [10 mins]
8. Value of your extra time and expertise. Multiply #7 by the per hour rate you charge in #2. [$5]
9. Add together the total values in #4, #6, and #8. This gives you the total value of the package. [$905]
10. Take the total in #9 and divide by #3 (the number of sessions you want to offer in the package). [$45.25] This is your TRUE per appointment rate because it factors time behind the scenes and the value of the resources added. We often adjust this now to make an even number. Determine your ADJUSTED rate for a one-off session. [$45]
11. UPGRADED VALUE of the Package. This adjusted one-off session changes the value of the entire package. We now base the value of the number of sessions from #3 at this new ADJUSTED rate. Doing this also raises the value of the entire package. You determine the new value of the package based on this ADJUSTED rate. New value of package by changing #2 to your ADJUSTED rate from #10, and then update #4 and add together the NEW total values in #4, #6, and #8. [$905]
Using the example above for a full day daycare package, set your package price to $800 for x20 full day daycare visits to encourage value based purchases. Then update your one-time (ex. a-la-cart, ex. per-diem) service pricing to $45 per daycare day visit. This ensures you are not losing money on one-offs, while pricing a package that has a meaningful discount, especially when pet owners compare to the a-la-cart option.
It's important to remember that your pricing sends a message to potential clients about the level of service they can expect from your business, so it's crucial to make a good first impression.
When determining prices for your dog daycare services and products, it's important to keep in mind that your pricing communicates to potential clients the level of service they can expect from your business. Therefore, it's essential to make a strong first impression with your pricing strategy.
It is important to note that all the above are general rules and regulations. It is recommended to check with your local government agency and/or an attorney, to ensure that your business is in compliance with all the laws and regulations in your area.
✅Obtain necessary licenses and permits
✅Find a location
✅Create policies and procedures
✅Market your business
✅Keep accurate records
In order to successfully launch a doggy daycare facility, it's crucial to first understand the demand for such services in your area. Conduct market research to find out how many pet owners in your community have a need for dog daycare services and what specific services they are looking for. Additionally, research your competition. What are the existing daycare facilities in your area offering? How many are there? What are their strengths and weaknesses? This information will help you create a more competitive business plan.
A business plan is essential for any business, including a doggy daycare. It should include your goals, target market, financial projections, and a detailed description of how you plan to operate your business. Your business plan should also include a marketing strategy that outlines how you plan to attract and retain customers. A well-written and thorough business plan will help you secure funding and attract investors if needed.
Resource: Profitability calculator for doggy daycare and kennel businesses.
Starting a doggy daycare business requires obtaining the proper licenses and permits. These may include business licenses, pet care facility permits, and health department inspections. Be sure to comply with all regulations to avoid any legal issues down the road.
Location is crucial when opening a doggy daycare facility. It should be easily accessible for your customers and have enough space for the dogs to play and exercise. Look for a location that is highly visible and has a high traffic flow. You will also need to consider the cost of rent, utilities, and other expenses when choosing a location.
Hiring experienced and qualified staff is crucial for the success of your doggy daycare. Look for individuals who are passionate about working with dogs and have the skills and experience to provide proper care for them. It's also important to hire staff who are able to handle the physical demands of the job and can work well in a team.
Obtaining liability insurance is essential for any business, and a doggy daycare is no exception. This type of insurance will protect your business from any potential accidents or injuries that may occur. It's important to research different insurance providers and compare their coverage and costs before making a decision.
Developing policies and procedures for how dogs will be cared for is crucial for the success of your doggy daycare. These policies should include guidelines for feeding, exercise, and behavior management. They should also outline the procedures for handling emergencies and any other contingencies.