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Old 07-27-2016, 02:25 PM
 
158 posts, read 144,768 times
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Background: BA in an unrelated field, interested in opening a dog daycare or dog cafe. I have limited business experience from being a realtor - I understand some of the basic concepts (EDDM marketing, SEO, determining your target demographic and how to appeal to them, etc.) but was wondering how beneficial it would be to take an intro to business class at a local community college before I plunge into this. I'm hesitant to do so because most of what I studied to get my real estate license was completely worthless, almost none of the ~1000 pages of material was relevant to the job at all. Is this something worth pursuing?
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Old 07-27-2016, 02:28 PM
 
Location: Aiken, South Carolina, US of A
1,789 posts, read 4,236,482 times
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Golden,
Yes! Do it! Sometimes they make you set a "business" up as part of the class.
There is a lot involved in starting a brand new business, so take it.
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Old 07-27-2016, 02:49 PM
 
2,718 posts, read 2,532,882 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKiwi View Post
Background: BA in an unrelated field, interested in opening a dog daycare or dog cafe. I have limited business experience from being a realtor - I understand the basic concepts (EDDM marketing, SEO, determining your target demographic and how to appeal to them, etc.) but was wondering how beneficial it would be to take an intro to business class at a local community college before I plunge into this. I'm hesitant to do so because most of what I studied to get my real estate license was completely worthless, almost none of the ~1000 pages of material was relevant to the job at all. Is this something worth pursuing?
I wouldn't bother with the class.

The most important thing you can do is just jump in and get started. Put together a very basic business plan. It doesn't have to be overly complicated. Don't know how? Google and learn etc.....

Concentrate on sales, marketing, and know your numbers. You can have plenty of sales, but it doesn't mean you are going to be profitable.

Where does the business need to be to be profitable and what is it going to take to get there?

Once you know, get busy building that business.

Everything else you can learn and do later as needed as you move along in the process.

My only caveat would be if you are going to open a brick and mortar, besides having a bag of cash, you must learn about commercial real estate some. Since you have a background in real estate you should be fine. If you don't know I am sure you know someone you can call and learn from.

The more capital you need to put up first, the more detailed and certain of risk you need to be.

The pet business is an excellent field.

Are you planning on an actual brick and mortar type business?
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Old 07-27-2016, 02:53 PM
 
158 posts, read 144,768 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by High Altitude View Post
I wouldn't bother with the class.

The most important thing you can do is just jump in and get started. Put together a very basic business plan. It doesn't have to be overly complicated. Don't know how? Google and learn etc.....

Concentrate on sales, marketing, and know your numbers. You can have plenty of sales, but it doesn't mean you are going to be profitable.

Where does the business need to be to be profitable and what is it going to take to get there?

Once you know, get busy building that business.

Everything else you can learn and do later as needed as you move along in the process.

My only caveat would be if you are going to open a brick and mortar, besides having a bag of cash, you must learn about commercial real estate some. Since you have a background in real estate you should be fine. If you don't know I am sure you know someone you can call and learn from.

The more capital you need to put up first, the more detailed and certain of risk you need to be.

The pet business is an excellent field.

Are you planning on an actual brick and mortar type business?
Yes. Finding a B&M location for this would likely be difficult because ideally I would like to have some outdoor space.
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Old 07-27-2016, 03:05 PM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ and Redwood City, CA
10,419 posts, read 6,721,880 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKiwi View Post
interested in opening a dog daycare or dog cafe.
It would be helpful to know the size of the potential market. Of course, not everyone with a dog will want to be a client, so how will you get in touch with likely prospects?

Speaking of doggie daycare, there's a business here in Silicon Valley that operates six cargo vans. They pick up medium to large high energy dogs from their homes and take them on "hikes" on 750 acres of private land in groups of 10 to 15 dogs running off-leash.

That's only one of their services but it's one you could start without having a brick-and-mortar first.
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Old 07-27-2016, 03:22 PM
 
158 posts, read 144,768 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post
It would be helpful to know the size of the potential market. Of course, not everyone with a dog will want to be a client, so how will you get in touch with likely prospects?

Speaking of doggie daycare, there's a business here in Silicon Valley that operates six cargo vans. They pick up medium to large high energy dogs from their homes and take them on "hikes" on 750 acres of private land in groups of 10 to 15 dogs running off-leash.

That's only one of their services but it's one you could start without having a brick-and-mortar first.
My logic is that here in San Diego (and any big city in the US) there are plenty of people like me (late 20s/early 30s, college educated with a decent job) who are unable to buy a home with a yard due to the high cost of living. We love dogs but not having a yard does not prevent us from getting one or two of them. Because we don't want them to be stuck in a small apartment/condo all day, we are willing to pay to have them properly socialized and taken care of while away, including overnight stays while traveling.

As far as prospecting, I feel an annual or quarterly EDDM (every door direct mailing) to any areas with potential clients would be a good idea. As far as SEO, I think having a simple name like "Dog Daycare San Diego or Dog Daycare SD" might help. Possibly Google AdWords if I deem it to be promising. Probably the most important, getting good yelp reviews from actual customers!

As far as the business you mentioned, that's an interesting idea - what's the name of the company? I'd like to look into them.
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Old 07-27-2016, 04:59 PM
 
5,418 posts, read 3,685,111 times
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I would go to a SCORE or SBA class before a college class.

Your most important task is to start working on a business plan, investigating costs, crunching numbers, making timelines, lists and flowcharts to decide whether or not this will work.
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Old 07-27-2016, 05:06 PM
 
2,718 posts, read 2,532,882 times
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In SD, your most difficult hurdle is going to be enough capital and finding the right location for a B&M that can be profitable. Everything else is just turning the wheel.

Personally, I would do a dog sitting/walking business and forget the B&M.

Website that allows your customers to log on and reserve time slots.

Then you hire people to do the actual work.

The website ties everyone together for scheduling.

You could even have separate pages for every "caregiver" so clients could pick their favorite, and you pitch to the "caregivers" how they are building their own brand etc...... this gets the people doing the work to have some buy in.

You will basically be a broker.

If your really ambitious come out with your own app for your business.

Use technology as much as possible to streamline the whole business and get your customers involved.

You would work more on marketing/sales/staffing/business development etc....

It wouldn't cost hardly any money to get it started.

Pound that pavement for customers until word of mouth takes hold.

Don't be afraid of competition, I bet there are a lot of people doing it in SD, but SD is HUGE.

Awesome website, great message and customer service and it would work with some solid sales work behind it.
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Old 07-28-2016, 09:02 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
25,535 posts, read 33,565,558 times
Reputation: 53020
The SBA (Small Business Administration) sponsors classes. Those classes are a requirement to get a SBA loan. They are very good nuts and bolts information, no theory, just the nitty-gritty "how it works".

Figure out where those classes are offered and take the whole series, not just the introduction.

If you do not understand some of the basic business principles, you have a greatly increased chance that your business will fail.
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Old 07-28-2016, 11:57 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
32,173 posts, read 52,355,667 times
Reputation: 21739
If you have to ask, then you may need to take a class.

Just dont forget that often what is taught in school might not align with reality.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlVDGmjz7eM

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