Running your own boarding kennels

Executive Summary

Waggle World is a one-stop shop for all dogs needs. Waggle World will offer grooming services, veterinarian services, training services, boarding services, and a doggie day camp.

The target market is the families living in Lincoln County MO. This is an area with a growing population and most employers are located a distance greater than 25 miles from the residents.

The future of the pet industry remains constant. Pet owners will continue to spend on their pets even when the economy is down. The future of Waggle World will be dependent upon the quality of services. The company is perfectly elastic so the price is set by the market. The market has a few competitors so the price of the services will be an average of those competitors. The niche in the market will be that all dogs' needs will be in one location eliminating the need for the consumer to have to drive from location to location. The other niche is that Waggle World is centrally located in Lincoln County and the biggest competitor with the exact same services is located 20 miles away.

General Company Description

COMPANY DESCRIPTION

Waggle World offers a one-stop shopping experience for dog owners. Waggle World wil provide the same kind of care the pet owners would provide. Pet owners will feel at ease bringing their pet to Waggle World knowing their pet will receive the same loving care they receive at home. At Waggle World Doggy Day Camp will provide a fun environment for dogs to play. Yappie hour and yap time will provide a relaxing environment. At Waggle World clients can drop their dogs off in the morning and pick them up after work or after they have finished their business, as well as overnight boarding for travelers. Those boarders in the overnight kennels will also play at the Doggie Day Camp during the day and retire to their own individual kennels at night.

MISSION STATEMENT

Waggle World is in business to provide a safe, social, clean, fun, comfortable, and healthy environment for dogs. The company will provide convenience and peace of mind to dog and pet owners through superior service and exceptional care. Our goal is to find a balance between profitability and ethics, but foremost do what is best for the dogs in our care.

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

Goals are where you want your business to be. Objectives are progress markers along the way to goal achievement. A goal might be to have successful company that is a leader in quality and customer service. Objectives might be specific measures of customer satisfaction, or awards received for quality.

COMPANY PHILOSOPHY

The company philosophical objective is to develop fun, healthy pet care programs for pets, their owners, and the community; to create a working environment that attracts and retains outstanding employees and volunteers; and to build an operational and efficient facility.

OWNERSHIP

Waggle World will be a Limited Liability Corporation. The advantages of forming an LLC are that the members have limited liability and have pass-through taxes similar to a partnership. An LLC is a way to limit owners liability, increase exposure, and limit taxes of the owners.

With an LLC, the bottom-line profit of the business is not considered to be earned income to the members, therefore is not subject to self-employment tax even if each owners share of the bottom-line profit of the LLC is considered earned income, and therefore is subject to self-employment tax.

Products and Services

BOARDING

It can be taxing at times to come home after a hard day's work, and an often lengthy commute, only to find Fido hyper and ready to romp and play for an hour when all you want to do is kick off your shoes and relax. Occasional trips to your local dog day care mean a night or two of rest and relaxation with a dog that is more apt to snuggle than drop a ball at your feet every ten seconds. Having a well-behaved dog at home is not the only reason people are choosing dog day care. "Puppy play times" at local pet stores become more popular. Dogs are social animals by nature they like to be around other dogs. They are used to running in packs. Once a dog is socialized they will be more adapted to being with other animals.

In spite of all of the benefits of day care, it is not right for every dog and not every day care is the same, nor is every veterinary clinic, or grooming facility. A dog is less likely to be seen as "just a dog" than as a member of the family. Our facility will be open for tours to prospective clients and a senior member of the staff will be on hand to answer questions. There is no doubt Waggle World will be the perfect place for people to leave their pet with peace of mind.

GROOMING

There is a growing demand for pet grooming services. A good pet groomer does not just wash the dog, they provide other services such as trimming nails, cleaning teeth, and trimming or shaving their coat. These value-added services call for your expertise and creativity in the work and thus they can fetch you a higher profit. (Koh)

TRAINING

Without training, most dogs are hard to live with. Without the help of professional trainers, many dogs owners do not know how to manage their dogs. Waggle World offers dogs obedience training to prevent behavioral problems and solve existing ones. Waggle World trainers will also teach the owner and the other people who live or work with the dog. Trainers must convince people to stop their bad habits, such as feeding the dog from the table, and explain the reasons behind dog behavioral. (Kasper)

VETERINARY CARE

The Waggle World veterinary clinic has a goal to decrease the percentage of dogs that die due to illness. A recent survey conducted by Pet Health Insurance Companies revealed that illness and not old age as the primary cause of death in dogs. Thirty-Five percent of all dog deaths are due to illness. (Doctor-do-little.com)

Our clinic will become American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) accredited so that our veterinarians are up-to-date on changes in veterinary medicine. By being accredited with the AAHA, we will have challenging benchmarks to reach, which, in turn, means better care quality for our patients.

Marketing Plan Market Demand and Competition

MARKETING

To create awareness and generate customers, Waggle World will use a variety of marketing techniques. The company will have two types of customers, the pet and the pet owner. Waggle World will also target kids, who can influence their parents decisions.

Waggle World will be featured in newspapers, magazines, television shows and various web sites as a wonderful alternative to the traditional kennel. Businesses do not become successful overnight. Waggle Worlds quality services will build a reputation, and soon the business will grow by word of mouth.

MARKET DEMAND

Over fifty eight percent of the US households have companion animals as household pets, thirty eight percent of Americans own dogs, according to the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, and during 1998, owners spent nearly $300 on average on their pets, not counting veterinarian bills. (Knight, 1999)

Though pet owners love their pets, sometimes they cannot have them due to travel, relocations, guests who do not like or are allergic to animals, or remodeling, fumigation, other reasons for temporarily not having pets around. The demand for pet resorts, doggy day cares, and kennels is there and it is a growing market.

CUSTOMER DEMOGRAPHICS

The total market target will include Moscow Mills, Missouri and surrounding cities including Troy, Wentzville, Flint Hill, and Old Monroe. (APPENDIX A)

The population for these areas according to the 2000 US Census as provided by hometownusa.com is 15,875 total people of which an average of 70% is above the age of 18. According to the Humane Society of the United States, the following statistics were compiled from the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association2009-2010 National Pet Owners Survey, which was conducted by Ipsos, Inc.

  • There are approximately 77.5 million owned dogs in the United States
  • Thirty-nine percent of U.S. households own at least one dog
  • Most owners (67 percent) own one dog
  • Twenty-four percent of owners own two dogs
  • Ninepercent of owners own three or more dogs
  • On average, owners have almost two dogs (1.7)
  • The proportion of male to female dogs is even
  • Nineteenpercent of owned dogs were adopted from an animal shelter
  • On average, dog owners spent $225 on veterinary visits (vaccine, well visits) annually
  • Seventy-five percent of owned dogs are spayed or neutered

According to the APPA, $3.2 billion dollars was spent on pet services in 2008, projected to grow over 6% to $3.4 billion in 2009. No one will be particularly surprised to see this growth continue for several years to come. (Bennett 1)

It has long been thought that pet-related spending is recession proof and 2009 certainly tested that theory. As a result, I think we can certainly say the pet category is at least recession resistant, with pet-related sales growing slightly in 2009. There are not too many categories that can say that in this difficult economic environment! (Bennett 1) The market for pet-related services is very inelastic.

The market will continue to grow in the area as the population continues to increase. Statistics on proximityone.com show that the market area population has increased in size by 22,544 total people or 238% from 2000 to 2008. (APPENDIX A) Lincoln County is one of the fastest growing in the country with a population of 48,855, whichincreased by more than 17.4% from 2000 to 2004. (STLRCGA)

PROPOSED LOCATION

The proposed location is 444 Gracie Lane, Moscow Mills, MO 63362. This is a high traffic area with highway and intersection visibility. It is in a great location adjacent to the new Highway C overpass. There is already a 12,500 square foot building sitting on 2 acres of ground. The budget for advertising is small so the location is essential for business. High visibility is important.

COMPETITION

There are direct and indirect competitors to Waggle World. Kennelwood, Inc. is the main direct competitor for Waggle World. Since 1974, Kennelwood Pet Resorts has been the industry leader offering the highest level of pet services for your dog. (Kennelwood) Kennelwood has three locations:

The competitive advantages that Waggle World will have involve the target market. The target area does not currently have a large number of groomers, veterinary clinics, or kennels. The current demand for the services offered by Waggle World is high considering the unavailability of these services in the current market.

There are currently nine dog groomers in the area, none currently located in Moscow Mills. There are two in Troy, MO and three in Wentzville, MO. The rest are in farther outlying areas.

The target area has six kennels in the area, again, none currently located in Moscow Mills. There are two in Troy and two in the Wentzville area. The rest are in farther outlying areas.

The target area has five veterinary clinics. There is none within the immediate area. The current market has to drive 15 miles to the nearest certified veterinary clinic located in Lake St. Louis.

Important indirect competitors will include chain stores such as Petco and PetSmart. They are considered competitors when they sell over-the-counter medications that consumers will purchase to try to save money and a trip to the vet. They also sell shampoos and grooming supplies that consumers will purchase and groom their pet themselves rather than taking Fido to the groomer.

When comparing Waggle World to the competitors, the advantages are location and the aspect of one stop shopping. In todays busy society, consumers would rather stop at one location and get everything done rather than going from place to place to get specialized services for their pets. Waggle World prices will be competitive with the market. Since the services offered are in a perfectly competitive market, Waggle World does not have the luxury of setting the price. The strategy is to gain customers by offering the highest quality customer service and care with trained, certified employees. A happy employee equals a happy customer. The niche that Waggle World has in the market is that a consumer can go to one location and get all of their pets needs taken care.

PRICING

Waggle World will set prices at the national average. According to Consumer Reports, national average cost for some common medical procedures for dogs are:

  • Adult canine wellness visit (Includes physical examination, rabies vaccine, DHLPP vaccine, corona virus vaccine, bordetella vaccine, leptospirosis vaccine, Lyme disease vaccine, heartworm combination examination and fecal examination.): $145
  • Broken leg: $350
  • Torn ligament repair: $388
  • Gastrotomy (retrieving a swallowed object): $274
  • X-rays: $50-$60
  • Anesthesia (per hour): $56
  • Pre-anesthetic sedation: $23
  • Spaying: $147-$194 (depends on weight of the dog)
  • Neutering: $127-$156 (depends on weight of dog)

Pricing for grooming will be based on average of the local competition, which will be $30 for each pet. Pricing for Doggie Day Camp will also be average of local competition, which is $23. The price set for Boarding is also the average of local competition, which is $21. Training costs will vary depending on the type of training. Canine Good Citizen training and certification will be only $50; this could also vary after the interview with the pet depending on level of aggression. Agility training or show training will range from $110 -$160. Doggie Day Camp prices are based on the average of the competition of $85 per week.

Since Waggle World is in a perfectly competitive market, the prices are set by the market.

OPENING STRATEGY

Waggle World will open different lines of business in stages. (APPENDIX C) The reasoning is some businesses can bring income to the business while other areas are being constructed. The Kennels will open first. This portion of the business requires fewer operating expenses and will bring in income right away.

The grooming salon will be the next area to open for business. Same as with the kennels, this area of business does not require a large amount of supply costs. Mainly it is shampoos and conditioners.

The veterinary clinic will be the next area to open. Three months into operations will give Waggle World the time and opportunity to hire a veterinarian and make sure the clinic meets AAHA standards. An application for accreditation will be sent after a few months of operations.

The training area and Doggie Day Camp will be the next area to open. This portion of the business requires additional staff and liability insurance.

SWOT ANALYSIS

The following SWOT analysis captures key strengths and weaknesses of Waggle World. See the competitive analysis. (APPENDIX D)

Strengths

Ample time will be given to each customer and enough employees will be on staff to ensure and dedicate the appropriate amount of care to each pet.

There is not a lot of competition. The nearest competitor is Kennelwood, Inc., which has offices in St. Peters and St. Louis County. Our facility will be located in an area where there is not one like it. Lincoln County residents generally have to travel further distances to get to their jobs. Most jobs are in St. Charles County being the closest to St. Louis County and St. Louis City, which is approximately a 30-mile commute. These people need the services of Waggle World the most.

Pet owners are loyal. Once Waggle World gains a customer base, word of mouth will promote the business.

Weaknesses

Waggle World is a new business with lack of visibility in the community. With start up costs being high, there is a limited marketing budget, so most of business will develop from word of mouth. The population of Lincoln County is not very large and in order to achieve maximized profits, customers need to know who, what, and where we are.

The barriers for entry into this market with Waggle World being a new company are typical:

  • High capital costs the start up costs for this business are high.
  • Consumer acceptance and brand recognition consumer acceptance will be a barrier. Pet owners are loyal. They may wish to continue to travel the distance rather than give up on a groomer of vet that they have come to know and trust.
  • Training and skills The population being small and young, it may be difficult to find the skilled workers in the area.

In order to overcome the barriers, Waggle World will offer incentives such as a percentage of education reimbursement to employees who remain with the company for a period. Waggle World will pay for application fees for certifications and licensures for its employees.

Opportunities

There is a growing population in Lincoln County. Statistics have shown that even with economic downfalls, pet owners do not stop spending on their pets. Waggle World does not have a customer base so the only thing to do is grow.

The major expense of this business is the fixed costs, which are being incurred at start-up. The other normal fixed costs such as utilities and grooming supplies are reduced when spread over multiple dogs. The more customers Waggle World has, the average fixed cost per pet is reduced.

Threats

Pet spending trends show that pet owners do not decrease their spending on pet expenses when the economy declines. However, a slump in the economy will reduce peoples discretionary income, thereby reducing their opportunity to travel, which will lower the need for some of the services Waggle World offers.

New competitors could move into the market realizing the markets potential.

Legal Environment

INSURANCE

Waggle World will purchase insurance for the Boarding / Kennel Groom Shop, with a supplemental policy for the dog training. An additional insurance policy will be taken out for liability of the officers, employees and directors of the company. Applications for insurance have been completed and a policy has been returned. (APPENDIX E)

LICENSING AND BONDING REQUIREMENTS

According to Missouri Consolidated Dog Laws, No person shall operate an animal shelter, pound or dog pound, boarding kennel, commercial kennel, contract kennel, pet shop, or exhibition facility, other than a limited show or exhibit, or act as a dealer or commercial breeder, unless he has obtained a license for such operations from the director. An applicant shall obtain a separate license for each separate physical facility which is operated by the applicant. The license fee shall range from one hundred to five hundred dollars per year. The license will be applied for, and inspection of facilities will be set up as soon as construction is completed.

HEALTH, WORKPLACE, OR ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS

The Environmental Protection Agency will look for site impacts on the neighboring environment such as noise, dust, fumes, water, odor, waste, etc. Pollutants from the kennel have the potential to contaminate water supplies unless the facilities are properly designed. Our kennel will have will have an impervious floor, which will drains to a disposal system that will treat the waste without contaminating water supply. The walls will be insulated to enhance noise control.

Chemicals will be stored under lock and key in the supply room inside the building. The chemicals used are non-toxic and safe for both human and animals.

Management and Organization

STAFFING

All pet services will be provided by staff trained in animal care. On startup, we will have six trained staff to provide pet services and expect to hire four more this year once financing is secured. The management of Waggle World consists of co-owners Pat King and Micki Luensmann. Pat has extensive experience in animal care while Micki has sales and marketing experience. Both partners will be taking hands-on management roles in the company. The salary for each of the co-owners will be $60,000.

All veterinarians will be licensed in the state of Missouri. Waggle World will pay for the application fee for all full-time permanent veterinarians on staff stipulating that the veterinarian will remain in the employment of Waggle World for one full year.

A license or certificate to groom dogs is not required in the state of Missouri; however, pet owners and pets could be at risk if unqualified pet groomers provide services. Waggle World pet groomers will have to attend a school of pet grooming, apprentice for an adequate period of time with an experienced professional pet groomer, or be in the process of seeking certification as a pet care professional. Waggle World will have one National Certified Master Groomer (NCMG) on staff.

Financials

START UP COSTS

A total of $890,000 is the estimated need to maintain operation for one full year. Waggle World is seeking a loan for $800,000 to finance our first year growth.

Together, the co-owners have invested $45,000 each to meet working capital requirements. The pet industry is growing strong and most animal care facilities have not been adversely affected by the downturn in economy.(Heikkila,) Financing guidelines have tightened a bit, but a good business and a good buyer will still find financing without any problems. There are lenders who are eager to finance animal care facilities.

Waggle World has met with Live Oak Bank for the loan. Live Oak Bank is the leader in veterinary loans. (Live Oak Bank) To qualify for the business has to generate enough income to cover debt service (after owner compensation), the buyer has to be credit worthy and have relevant experience in business management and the pet industry. If the business is strong, and the buyer meets the qualifications, a purchase can easily be financed.

SALES FORECAST

Boarders fess will provide most of the income at start up. (Cavill 34) The first month will be used to set up the kennel space for the dogs, submit the advertisement to the Humane Society newsletter and hiring staff. Beginning month two there will be some business, then business will grow throughout the summer months. (APPENDIX F)

There will be fluctuating periods during different seasons and holidays. The summer months will draw more customers to Doggie Day Camp and Boarding since people generally take their vacations during this time and need a place to keep their dogs.

The holidays will see an increase in grooming customers. Pet owners get their pets gussied up for the holidays and many get extra special grooming for family pictures.

The veterinary clinic will see less fluctuation but business will start out slow before word of mouth on the reputation of the clinic gets out and then business will grow.

The training facility will not have any seasonal or holiday fluctuations. This line of business, much like the veterinary clinics, will start out slow and see a steady incline in sales. The maximum occupancy is 16 pets per training session.

8.3 12-MONTH PROFIT AND LOSS PROJECTION

The 12-month profit and loss projection is the centerpiece of the plan. What it will take for the business to make a profit and whether or not it will be successful is detailed in the 12-Month profit and loss projection worksheet. (APPENDIX G) Waggle World will not recognize a profit until the ninth month of operation.

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