Starting a Business..

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Brittlver
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Starting a Business..

Post by Brittlver » Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:50 pm

Hello all,

Me and my wife have been talking a lot about starting our own kennel. We would like to get it to the point were we can train dogs and breed as well, but for now we are looking into starting a boarding kennel. So I am coming to you guys that have or had a business. Where do we start, Who do we talk to. I am thinking about traveling to a few different kennels to talk with the owners/managers to see how daily ops are run. I think we would start off with 1 building with maybe 40 kennels then eventually move to a second building if needed. We would have one fenced area for reviewing the dogs before releasing them to the others. I would also have a 5+ acre fenced play area. My services would include washing the dog when they got there and then washing and trimming the nails before they leave. I would offer 1 night stays on up with long stays getting a discount. I was also thinking about maybe offering a daycare if I can work that in. All this will be a long way off as there is a lot of research that needs to be done and people to talk to. But first I want to get some of your thoughts and experiences. Any do's or don'ts. What to have in my kennels or how to set them up. Here is a quick sketch of what I am thinking.

Image

Jesse

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DougB
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Re: Starting a Business..

Post by DougB » Sun Dec 04, 2011 3:54 pm

Start with writing a business plan. Everything involved with running a business goes into the plan. Lots of research needed. Laws, state and local. Cash needs with expenses and sales projections for several years. Insurance requirements, method of bookkeeping, location of vets, advertising, identity of your market (who and how many), hours of operation, staffing needs, vacation plans, emergency plans, sources of cash for operation. Facility plans and expansion plans. Everything related to the business, and how you will handle every situation.

Formats are available on the internet. The more you plan ahead, the better the chance for success. My son has a retail business, and tells me that right now, bankers are being tight with lending. Good luck.

http://www.score.org/resources/business ... te-gallery
http://web.sba.gov/busplantemplate/BizPlanStart.cfm
Why own a dog? There's a danger you know,

You can't own just one, for the craving will grow.

There's no doubt they're addictive, wherein lies the danger.

While living with lots, you'll grow poorer and stranger.



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Brittlver
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Re: Starting a Business..

Post by Brittlver » Sun Dec 04, 2011 4:19 pm

Thanks for the advise. I think it will be a good 5+ yrs before anything is done.

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dog dr
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Re: Starting a Business..

Post by dog dr » Mon Dec 05, 2011 12:21 am

FIrst things that come to my mind:

1) talk to a local vet, tell them your plan and make arrangements for after hour emergency care. You might also talk to them about vaccine requirements, quarantine protocol if needed, sanitation tips in regards to preventing spread of disease, etc.

2) make sure that play area and review area has an EXCELLENT fence. Remember, all dogs can dig like gophers, and many can climb like monkeys!

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Re: Starting a Business..

Post by birddogger » Mon Dec 05, 2011 2:04 am

Hey Jesse, did the move to Colorado fall through? I was just wondering.

Charlie
If you think you can or if you think you can't, you are right either way

Vman
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Re: Starting a Business..

Post by Vman » Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:31 am

You might consider buying into an existing operation. Not only do you get the business but also the existing clientele. There are a couple of kennels for sale in S.Wi. at this time.

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Re: Starting a Business..

Post by Ruffshooter » Mon Dec 05, 2011 10:10 am

Another thing to consider are the zoning ordinances.
Sound levels. etc.
Will you do completely inside kennels, so you can have proper cleaning methods.
Knee walls separating the kennels and isolation kennels. etc.
The best part of training is seeing the light come on in your little prot'eg'e.

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Re: Starting a Business..

Post by PntrRookie » Mon Dec 05, 2011 10:49 am

Put in a radiant floor heat system - especially here in WI. Was at a WI trainer yesterday and he had a nice floor (in and out) heating system.

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Brittlver
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Re: Starting a Business..

Post by Brittlver » Mon Dec 05, 2011 12:15 pm

Thanks for all the responses. The fences would have some sort of underground protection against the diggers and would probably go a 6' fence. Not to sure what to do about the climbers yet but I am sure me and a fence company can figure something out. For the ordinances we would be out in the country a little ways as the kennels would be in/outside. I plan on having the overhang go past the kennel to cover the walkway outside. The fence for the review area would then go up to the overhang. This will allow me to run a screen down it to protect the kennels from the wind. I would defiantly have radiant floors and thinking about having used oil heating system to heat the kennels. I also plan on taking some classes on running a business so hopefully that will also help. Thanks Vman for that info and we will look into those. Might swing by something to talk to you more if you have the time. Maybe possibly help you around the kennel and see what you do if that is ok with you.

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Re: Starting a Business..

Post by Ryman Gun Dog » Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:12 pm

Brittlver,
Doug is absolutely correct, when starting a business, start with a business plan. Starting a boarding kennel with a grooming operation is a good idea today, remember however it takes a substantial investment to meet all the building codes, especially for housing dogs in states like Pa. Each state now has its own laws for setting up these kind of operations. Check the laws out carefully in your state, before you invest.
RGD/Dave

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nj gsp
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Re: Starting a Business..

Post by nj gsp » Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:47 pm

Lots of good info here: http://www.sba.gov

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Re: Starting a Business..

Post by proudag08 » Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:54 am

DougB wrote:Start with writing a business plan. Everything involved with running a business goes into the plan. Lots of research needed. Laws, state and local. Cash needs with expenses and sales projections for several years. Insurance requirements, method of bookkeeping, location of vets, advertising, identity of your market (who and how many), hours of operation, staffing needs, vacation plans, emergency plans, sources of cash for operation. Facility plans and expansion plans. Everything related to the business, and how you will handle every situation.

Formats are available on the internet. The more you plan ahead, the better the chance for success. My son has a retail business, and tells me that right now, bankers are being tight with lending. Good luck

http://www.score.org/resources/business ... te-gallery
http://web.sba.gov/busplantemplate/BizPlanStart.cfm
This is crucial. I lend money for a living and I love to see individuals that have already done their research when they come talk to me. I have so many people that come in saying "I need $XXXXXX to start this business idea that I have" Then when I start asking questions about the risks and the "what if's" most of them have never thought of those things. Get your plan together, type it out, and take it with you if/when you go see a banker.

Youre son is right... lending abaility is tight for all banks right now.

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Re: Starting a Business..

Post by Vman » Sat Dec 10, 2011 10:04 am

Jesse and others that may think this a dream job. First off let it be known that in my previous life I was a Toolmaker for 25 years. I enjoyed the work but it was a poor way to make a living. I would not go back into a shop for nothing unless I owned it. I have had pointing dogs for over 25 years and trained many dogs before I started this business. I am an independent cuss and enjoy working for myself. I enjoy the dogs that come here for training and boarding. I enjoy helping people with their dogs and many times work for free. I enjoy helping others out. It was how I was raised and my folks are the same way and that is where I get it from. I grew up on a dairy farm and learned early in life what a days work is. I am good with animals and that certainly helps in this business.
With that being said, what I am about to write is not complaining, just an example of what you can expect.
Recently I had a customer bring in his dog for boarding. This dog is a very nice dog that I trained steady to shot. I enjoy this dog and the owner is a nice guy and it seemed we enjoyed each others company. The dog is now 2 years old and he informed me that it would need phenobarbital because the dog has been having epileptic seizures. Just so happens he bought this dog from a Vet that doesn`t have a clue about breeding but may know something about making money. The customer was going on a big game hunting trip with the Vet. He told me he was going to be out of touch and of course use my best judgement in case of emergency. Standard operating procedure here.
I noticed that the dog had a cloudy eye when he arrived but did not think much of it. We got talking about his upcoming trip and hunting and because this dog lives in the house with him I just assumed he noticed it also. He leaves and I check the eye several times per day to see if it is getting better or worse all the time wondering if it has something to do with the phenobarbital.
After a day or so I happened to be on the phone with my Vet, who is a friend of mine and I asked him if this medication could cause a cloudy eye? He told me that eyes can be very tricky. He asked if it was swollen or if the eye seemed painfull?
I said no. The dog acted normal and was as always happy as a clam. He didn`t think the medication was the issue. He told me to just keep an eye on it and see if it gets better or worse or the same, which I did. Just so happens he himself was in N.D. hunting so having him see the dog was not an option.
I kept watch on the eye and the condition never really changed.
When the owner came to pick up the dog I told about the condition. He wasn`t shocked or overly concerned at that time. I told him I discussed it with my vet and was told too monitor the condition. He told me he would take the dog to his Vet in the morning. So the next day I was in my car traveling and gave him a call to check on the diagnosis. He told me the Vet squirted some saline solution or something similar into the dogs eye and the third eyelid receded and all was well. I was happy to hear there was nothing terribly wrong. Never heard another word from him until a couple of days ago.
He sends me an e-mail informing me that his vet gave the dog some ointment to put into the eye for ten days and it did nothing to help the condition. The Vet then tried some other type of ointment for ten days and still not better. So they decide 25 days later that the dog should go to the UW vet clinic in Madison for a diagnosis. The UW says that the dog has a detatched retina and the eye would need to be removed.
He then goes on too tell me, basically that I dropped the ball and this was all my fault. He thinks one of my 40lb Vizsla females caused this by clawing the dogs eye or sudden impact, like one of my dogs can box. He felt that I should pay for this operation, and give him his money back for the time of boarding. This would be approximately $1500 total.
NEVER did he or his Vet think that the dog may have had a seizure and hit its head on something. NEVER did he mention that his vet misdiagnosed the situation for over 25 days.
I don`t know if he is going to sik his lawyer on me or not at this time. But just want to let you know that this is the kind of stuff you deal with in this type of business.
The dogs are usually fine, it is the people that make it not worth it sometimes.
Be careful what you wish for. :?

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ultracarry
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Re: Starting a Business..

Post by ultracarry » Sat Dec 10, 2011 10:21 am

That's small claims court stuff. Don't worry about a lawyer view you can't have one (at least in Ca). Good luck with the whole situation thought.

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Re: Starting a Business..

Post by GUNDOGS » Sat Dec 10, 2011 10:48 am

Vman wrote:Jesse and others that may think this a dream job. First off let it be known that in my previous life I was a Toolmaker for 25 years. I enjoyed the work but it was a poor way to make a living. I would not go back into a shop for nothing unless I owned it. I have had pointing dogs for over 25 years and trained many dogs before I started this business. I am an independent cuss and enjoy working for myself. I enjoy the dogs that come here for training and boarding. I enjoy helping people with their dogs and many times work for free. I enjoy helping others out. It was how I was raised and my folks are the same way and that is where I get it from. I grew up on a dairy farm and learned early in life what a days work is. I am good with animals and that certainly helps in this business.
With that being said, what I am about to write is not complaining, just an example of what you can expect.
Recently I had a customer bring in his dog for boarding. This dog is a very nice dog that I trained steady to shot. I enjoy this dog and the owner is a nice guy and it seemed we enjoyed each others company. The dog is now 2 years old and he informed me that it would need phenobarbital because the dog has been having epileptic seizures. Just so happens he bought this dog from a Vet that doesn`t have a clue about breeding but may know something about making money. The customer was going on a big game hunting trip with the Vet. He told me he was going to be out of touch and of course use my best judgement in case of emergency. Standard operating procedure here.
I noticed that the dog had a cloudy eye when he arrived but did not think much of it. We got talking about his upcoming trip and hunting and because this dog lives in the house with him I just assumed he noticed it also. He leaves and I check the eye several times per day to see if it is getting better or worse all the time wondering if it has something to do with the phenobarbital.
After a day or so I happened to be on the phone with my Vet, who is a friend of mine and I asked him if this medication could cause a cloudy eye? He told me that eyes can be very tricky. He asked if it was swollen or if the eye seemed painfull?
I said no. The dog acted normal and was as always happy as a clam. He didn`t think the medication was the issue. He told me to just keep an eye on it and see if it gets better or worse or the same, which I did. Just so happens he himself was in N.D. hunting so having him see the dog was not an option.
I kept watch on the eye and the condition never really changed.
When the owner came to pick up the dog I told about the condition. He wasn`t shocked or overly concerned at that time. I told him I discussed it with my vet and was told too monitor the condition. He told me he would take the dog to his Vet in the morning. So the next day I was in my car traveling and gave him a call to check on the diagnosis. He told me the Vet squirted some saline solution or something similar into the dogs eye and the third eyelid receded and all was well. I was happy to hear there was nothing terribly wrong. Never heard another word from him until a couple of days ago.
He sends me an e-mail informing me that his vet gave the dog some ointment to put into the eye for ten days and it did nothing to help the condition. The Vet then tried some other type of ointment for ten days and still not better. So they decide 25 days later that the dog should go to the UW vet clinic in Madison for a diagnosis. The UW says that the dog has a detatched retina and the eye would need to be removed.
He then goes on too tell me, basically that I dropped the ball and this was all my fault. He thinks one of my 40lb Vizsla females caused this by clawing the dogs eye or sudden impact, like one of my dogs can box. He felt that I should pay for this operation, and give him his money back for the time of boarding. This would be approximately $1500 total.
NEVER did he or his Vet think that the dog may have had a seizure and hit its head on something. NEVER did he mention that his vet misdiagnosed the situation for over 25 days.
I don`t know if he is going to sik his lawyer on me or not at this time. But just want to let you know that this is the kind of stuff you deal with in this type of business.
The dogs are usually fine, it is the people that make it not worth it sometimes.
Be careful what you wish for. :?
sorry to hear the issue you are dealing with vman, its always the businessmen/women who mean well, do right by others and go the extra mile that seem to get " the shaft" from a customer...although its not dog related my husband and i have a construction company and deal with "all kinds" of people, for the most part they are good honest people, BUT sometimes you get those ones who want thousands of dollars of work for free and will resort to anything to get it for free :roll: i will give an example of an issue we recently had with a "gentleman" we did work for..my husband laid tile for a customer and his wife, this tile included a custom shower, all the floor and the side of a corner tub (lots of tile), the gentleman told my husband to put the dark chocolate tile in the shower with a light border tile in the middle and the lighter tile on the floor and along the corner tub and my husband asked him if he was sure because the dark tile would make the shower darker when the door is closed and he may want to have the lighter tile in there..the customer insisted the dark tile go in the shower so thats what my husband did, when it was all finished (3 days to mud, lay and grout) my husband went back to put the trim on and the wife came home after a weekend away and asked my husband why the dark tile was in the shower :? he told her that her husband instructed him to do it that way and he did what was asked of him, the wife then told him to rip it all out because she wanted the light tile in the shower not the dark tile so he told her that would not be a problem as he wanted to ensure she was happy but that she would have to discuss it with her husband since he was instructed by him to do the tile like it was done and that if they decide they want it redone for the color change it would cost them to redo as it wasnt OUR error but was a change in what was originally asked of him..she told him NO and that he should do it for free since it was too dark in the shower and that he should have known better and her husband then said he didnt ask for the dark tile to go into the shower ( im assuming to save having to sleep on the couch for the rest of his married life) to make a long story short we refused to redo it without a payment agreement and therefore they refused to pay for the job he had already done so we filed a case with small claims court and it didnt go farther then mediation when they saw we had proof that the husband wanted the dark in the shower simply by the amount of tile he had ordered and had delivered to his home as there was ALOT more light tile then dark due to having more floor square footage, also the customer had told the delivery guy about wanting the dark tile in the shower when the guy was bringing it into the house and we had a statement from him, they agreed to pay us and we waived the fees we had spent to file just to be done with the issue.. im sure wont be the last person who lets us finish work and then cancels a check or refuses to pay in order to see if we will walk away and let them have the job done for free..thank goodness the hundreds of great customers who are honest and appreciate great work make up for those few PIA'S...ruth
GUNDOGS SHORTCREEK IRON HORSE (HARLEY)

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kninebirddog
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Re: Starting a Business..

Post by kninebirddog » Sat Dec 10, 2011 11:07 am

Other parts then already mentioned
Planning on Training....Apprentice build a name..what kind of training will you do..if you plan on any trial type training you will need to show with your own dogs the ability to handle and train your own dogs

Kennel is the easy part but then plan on some client bring a dog paying for part then disappearing on you leaving you with a dog or dogs in your kennel now you have some unpapered dogs trained or not they are unpapered and you need to figure out what the legalities are on recouping your loss and your ability to sell those animals ..Dog food ain't cheap :wink:

Breeding....Getting quality animals proving your stock..easy part is tossing two papered animals in a kennel to do what comes natural..Effort is Learning pedigrees what to look for and have a goal in the program. Also proving in a public format that your breeding has all the potential ...Until your pups build a name for you..You will be relying on what your pedigrees and dogs will say for you

Kennel Blindness is the fastest way to undermine your own program when you are out proving your dogs listen to what others say that are judging your dogs take it all in good and bad...understand there will always be people who will bash anything you do and will never acknowledge when you do good...do not worry about the likes of them..Only concern yourself with those that count ones that have the real success under their belts :wink: ..Go educate yourself as to why certain dogs are sought out more then others compare the styles that people like to what you are hunting behind.


As also suggested looking into a kennel that is already established may be by far the more economical start...

Good Luck and understand it is a real labor of love and frustration ...

The other thing is learning how to bite your lip when you have to deal with someone that you have worked their dog and the dog has their number and knows that the owner has no follow through and in the course of one day will undo everything you have done over the last few months and understand this will be your fault no matter how good the dog handled for you. :evil: Stuff like that will make the inside of your mouth scarred and like shoe leather after a while :roll:

OH and what Vman posted about.. There is nothing like people who bring their dogs down and do not tell you about pre existing conditions or just hand you some pills and do not tell you the truth about what is going on with their dog...We had a jerk that brought his dog down asking us to run his dogs on some birds and run him a bit ...This was a death sentence for his dog and He knew it..The dog had addisons disease and excessive heat exercise " Stress" is the last thing these dogs need..Then he tried to hold us liable when we had to rush his dog to the vet because lesions started to show up a long with some other clinical signs...Our vet was fuming and wrote up a report as he himself wanted to turn the owner in for Animal Abuse...Hard way to learn about a disease

As for other clinical issues..you will also need to learn how to take care of minor things and know what to try and when to get the dog to the vet ASAP
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Brittlver
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Re: Starting a Business..

Post by Brittlver » Sun Dec 11, 2011 3:17 pm

Thanks for all the advise. I am sure over the next couple years I will be calling on all you some more. I will be asking alot of questions and may be asking if I can come out and work with you guys to see the in's and out's. I am planning on taking a program through out local tech college on running a small business and also will be asking to work with the local vets to learn a few things from them. Hopefully this will get my foot in the door and give me a fighting chance. Thanks for all the advise guys.

Jesse

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Re: Starting a Business..

Post by birddogger » Sun Dec 11, 2011 5:28 pm

Jesse, it sounds like you have a passion for this.....If so, do your home work and refer to my signature. :D

Charlie
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Re: Starting a Business..

Post by C.painter » Sun Dec 11, 2011 7:00 pm

Jesse- I have a friend that does exactly what u r talking about. He maybe be willing to talk to u. I can check w him if you would like and see if that would be ok...

Cory

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Re: Starting a Business..

Post by Scott Linden » Sun Dec 11, 2011 8:57 pm

DougB wrote:Start with writing a business plan. Everything involved with running a business goes into the plan. Lots of research needed. Laws, state and local. Cash needs with expenses and sales projections for several years. Insurance requirements, method of bookkeeping, location of vets, advertising, identity of your market (who and how many), hours of operation, staffing needs, vacation plans, emergency plans, sources of cash for operation. Facility plans and expansion plans. Everything related to the business, and how you will handle every situation.

Formats are available on the internet. The more you plan ahead, the better the chance for success. My son has a retail business, and tells me that right now, bankers are being tight with lending. Good luck.
All good advice. I taught entrepreneurship at the local college, and would only add: nobody in the banking business will lend to a startup, so plan to use your own funds to launch; whatever you think your customer base will do (number of customers, what they will pay, etc.) cut it in half or even more. Plan enough funding to have little or no business for a long time, and when they beat a path to your door, you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Follow the hunter with the longest nose!
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