If you love taking your pets to pet care facilities like kennels, pet boarding businesses, and pet resorts, you may dream of the day when you own your own pet care facilities. There’s nothing like feeling a sense of pride when you have a pet care business to call your own. When it’s hard to find facilities in your area that match your personal preferences for your pet care facilities, you can be the change you wish to see by opening up a shop of your own that will cater to like-minded individuals for years to come.
1. Make Sure You’re Up-to-Date on Safety Measures
For anyone who wants to own your own business that involves caring for pets, safety has to be a priority. Over time, safety regulations may be subject to change. As our ability to create better and more efficient safety equipment improves as a society, you’ll see an increase in the quality of safety measures that professionals like fire sprinkler contractors can provide. Although you might have an idea of what safety measures were in style and appropriate years ago, you’ll want to review the current best practices on keeping your business and those who patronize it safely before you set up shop officially.
To stay safe, you may want to rely on inspectors and professionals in the field to evaluate your facilities for safety concerns. Depending on what types of animals you provide care and services for in your facilities, you may have specific concerns that you need to address. For example, if your pet care facilities care for birds or other flying animals, you may have to take extra care to eliminate safety concerns in places that large, land-bound animals would have a hard time reaching.
Some types of pets may also become ill or even die if they’re exposed to certain chemicals or substances that are safe for humans. For this reason, you need to make sure that you lower their exposure to these hazardous materials in any way that you can as a pet care facility owner. The last thing you want to do as someone who owns your own business is hurt or kill someone else’s pet. This could lead to a bad reputation, lawsuit, and other consequences beyond the emotional toll that it will take on the pet owner and yourself.
2. Make Your Business Known to Passerbys!
No one will know that you own your own business unless you make that fact known to everyone in your community. If you’re a shy or reserved person, you may have a hard time telling other people in your circle that you have a business in the pet care industry if you’ve been spending most of your career working in other fields. Unfortunately, if you never let people know about your business, you may not succeed as a business, so you should let as many people as you can know about what your business has to offer that others may not in the area.
When you own your own business, you can let people know about it by having a sign in the window that says what your business is called, what your hours of operation may be, and what your contact information is. Before you put a sign on the window, you can contact a custom window treatment company to prepare the window for putting a sign on it. They may also be able to paint on a sign or apply a vinyl sign that could stay on the window on a permanent or temporary basis.
To get the word out about your business, you’ll also want to have a strong marketing campaign that incorporates digital and analog marketing tactics. While the best way to market a business is by getting referrals from former customers to new customers through word-of-mouth marketing, this may be hard to get if your business just opened. In the meantime, you can encourage new customers to leave reviews online to establish credibility for your brand and create an active social media presence so that you have a good chance of reaching a wide audience for your pet care facilities.
3. Be Prepared For Accidents
While we might want everything to go right in our business, it’s almost inevitable that things will not always go our way in the world of business and life. When you own your own pet care facility, it’s even more likely that crap will happen–literally! Pets are notorious for making messes by leaving little “presents” in our homes and it’s no different when they’re in someone else’s care at a pet care facility.
If you own a pet boarding business, you may find that pets who stay there have a tough time using the appropriate methods of waste elimination when they get to your facility due to being nervous or out of sorts from travel. Having a few reliable carpet cleaning companies can help you take care of messes quickly and efficiently. You’ll also want to have a regular housekeeping team who can clean the facilities to prevent the spread of diseases and other unwanted consequences of having a dirty business.
4. Be Legal and Insured
If you own your own business, you’ll know how important it is to protect your business with the right commercial coverage. You can look into different types of business insurance to see what kind of coverage may be best for you. If you have at least one employee, you’ll need Workers’ Compensation Insurance to cover your employees and protect against injuries.
You’ll also need commercial insurance policies that cover equipment in your facilities and any company vehicles. What’s more, you should have liability coverage that protects your business if you find yourself on the receiving end of a lawsuit. When you work with animals, you may be at a higher risk of certain concerns that business insurance policies are meant to address. Before you settle on a specific type of commercial insurance policy, you should speak with an insurance agent who understands the laws around commercial coverage in your state to ensure that you aren’t going to be underinsured.
5. Keep The Temperature Appropriate
When you’re working with animals, you don’t want it to be too hot or too cold. As you own your own business, you’ll be the one who has to call all the shots from how warm it is in the winter to how cool it is in the summer. Since some animals may overheat if a place is too warm, you’ll want to make sure that your business’s air conditioning system works properly before you start allowing animals to stay there.
As you start having furry and feathered guests stay in your facilities, you may find that you’ll need to have certain areas of the facilities kept cooler for animals that require cooler temperatures while keeping other areas warmer for those that require heat. Outside of adjusting the temperature of the entire place, you may find that it’s better to control the temperature through the use of devices like fans, heat lamps, and AC units in individual areas. For animals who are finicky about their temperature preferences, this can make it easy to adjust the temperature if you notice that they’re getting too hot or too cold for their safety.
6. Set Up an Exterior for Safety
When you own your own pet care facilities, you’ll learn that it’s crucial to construct an outdoor area where pets who are not safe to keep inside at all times can stay. Many pets like dogs and horses need time outside to stay active and happy. When you have an exterior area where pets can stay or spend recreational time playing, you’ll want to contain the area with strong reinforcements like chain link fences.
Although chain link fences may not be the most attractive thing to have on your property, they’ll be a good idea for keeping things safe in the outside area of your facilities. After all, you wouldn’t want to see a dog run astray on the highway or for another incident to happen because you failed to contain the pets. Having a fence keeps those who are walking by your facilities safe from harm while also keeping the pets in your facilities safe when they go outside, so you mustn’t skip this step even if it goes against your aesthetic preferences.
7. Find and Prepare an Appropriate Building
As you may know, you can’t just have any type of building as the place that hosts your pet care facilities if you own your own pet care business. Depending on where you choose to build your business, you may need to call roofing companies to make the roof better suited for your preferred business activities. Some things to consider when you’re choosing the right building for your business include the size of the building, the location, and whether there’s space outdoors for animals to play.
In some areas, you may also have to pay attention to zoning laws that dictate where you could host this kind of business. If you try to run your animal care business in an area that’s zoned for residential buildings, you may not be able to legally occupy that area with a business. You might also find that places that are in densely populated areas have stricter standards about what you can or can’t build in a specific part of a town or city.
8. Make a Spacious Outdoor Area
There’s nothing like the great outdoors to make pets feel happy and excited to be somewhere. When you own a pet care facility, you’ll want to have ample space for animals to play outside safely. If you don’t have enough space for the animals to occupy together, you may notice an increase in conflict and issues between animals that could result in one or more of them getting hurt. When you’re preparing an outdoor area for pets in your pet care facility, you should take care of everything from mowing the grass to performing the appropriate tasks for tree care.
In your outdoor area in your facilities, you should also think about whether you’ll be hosting different kinds of animals that may need different things in this outdoor space. For example, horses might like to have a stable where they can stay and large pastures where they can graze grass. Alternatively, birds will need to have an enclosed space from which they can’t escape. Dogs will like all the regular provisions of a dog park with plenty of space to run and a fence to keep them from straying into nearby properties or roads.
9. Have Reliable Transportation
If you own your own business, you may find that it’s important to have transportation that you can count on when you need it. Before you can start your business, you’ll need to take the family van for your business, you’ll need to take your vehicle into the shop for any van repair jobs that you may have been putting off for the past few years.
10. Remember to Keep Things Tidy and Clean
When you own your own business in the pet care industry, you’ll need to have a plan for how you’ll manage the waste in your business. After all, pets in pet stores will produce hazardous waste such as bodily fluids that may need to have specific methods of disposal that may not work if all you have are regular dumpsters.
While you might not know the first thing about owning and operating a business at all, much less one that works with animals, most folks find that reviewing specialized resources before they dive into opening a specific kind of business can set their minds at ease and give them a boost in confidence before their first day as a business owner. Although everyone has their path to owning a business that’s right for them, it’s hard to disagree with the idea that knowledge is power when one is starting a business. When you know more about business practices, regulations, marketing strategies, and pet care than your competitors, your customers will feel the difference when your business officially opens.