Dog Families- Help

Discussion in 'Business, Goods and Services' started by novagirl, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. novagirl

    novagirl Beach Comber

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    To all So Wal dog owners (and any one else interested), I am working on a plan to open a self serve dog wash house. I have been working on this almost 3 years now and I am on the verge of selling my home to finance this. Before I make that final leap (I have 3 generations of family that depend on me) I would appreciate some feedback. My idea is waist high tubs with everything needed to wash and dry your dog in comfort. "You clean the dog, We clean the mess!". Possibly if there is an interest I would later expand to dog daycare. So please take a moment and tell me if you would use a dog wash and/or dog daycare. Or if you wouldn't . Either way I would be very grateful for the info. This wanna be, first time, single woman, business owner THANKS you!!:wave: P.S. Any advice or thoughts are also welcome.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2010
  2. scooterbug44

    scooterbug44 SoWal Expert

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    What is the incentive/hook for me to bring my dog to your place, wash them myself, and pay you for it?

    Is it mainly that I don't have to clean up the mess or are there more perks like you providing shampoo, clippers etc?

    The Scooterhounds are very low maintenance (grooming wise at least) and either get hosed down in the yard/shower or get washed by pros when they get boarded at the kennel, so I may not be understanding your plan properly.
     
  3. bepinkston

    bepinkston Beach Comber

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    I think this is a great idea.

    I recently moved to sowal, but managed a pet store for 3 years prior, and before that managed a boarding kennel (Now I care for a different sort of boarder...I'm a high school teacher ;-).)

    The perks that I've experienced have been just as you said: shampoo, brushes, dryers, nail clippers- all provided. I think the biggest perk, though, is being able to keep your house dry and hair free! My dog is gigantic and long-haired, so bathing him at home is such a hassle, not to mention getting him dry in a timely fashion! A proper groomer's dryer makes all the difference.

    I'll support you!

    I'm happy to chat/give advice/ideas/past experiences of my own if interested!

    Best of luck!

    Bobbi
     
  4. Danny Burns

    Danny Burns Beach Fanatic

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    I wish this had been done long ago! My vote is a big YES!
     
  5. Will B

    Will B Moderator

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    If you are going to go with the big tubs, I would suggest having one of them full of flea dip solution. There used to be a place here in Atlanta that did that during Saturdays during the summer, and they were packed. It really drove the walk up business.
     
  6. Snerd

    Snerd Beach Lover

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    Novagirl, I know you didn't ask for advice on selling your home but I think that is the worst mistake you could do...to invest (i'm guessing) your largest asset into a business that you are so unsure of you are asking on a message board. I am sorry if that sounds mean, but I don't know how else to say it.

    As far as the dog wash, we have two dogs and if we were going to go to the trouble of driving them somewhere to get washed, we certainly wouldn't be doing the washing! That being said, we normally wash them outside at home. ;-)

    Best of luck with it.
     
  7. novagirl

    novagirl Beach Comber

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    Thank you all so much for your input! To answer the question of why you would come to my place. First of all the comfort of not having to bend down over your tub because I hate that when I'm washing my dog. It kills my back. Then there is the convenience of having everything provided with a variety of shampoos, ear and eye wash, nail clippers, tether to keep your dog from escaping from the tub(mine does that a lot), no dog hair clogging your drain, attached table for drying with a walk up ramp(no lifting),low heat dryers, and even bows and ribbons when your done! As far as the comparison to a groomer this would be much cheaper. According to size the most you would pay for a normal bath would be $21 & the least being $12. I do want to have a special clipping table for those who want to use it with all supplies necessary to do that. To Singingchicken, that is an excellent idea for a flea dip! That will definately go in the plan. To Snerd, I also have thought about offering to do the washing/drying , just that and no grooming, with a small fee added which would still make my prices considerably less than a grooming salon. I guess I'd have to say my prices would be my hook. Thanks again everyone and I'd love to see some more opinions!!!
     
  8. wrobert

    wrobert Beach Fanatic

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    There is one of these on Mary Ester Cut-Off. You should consider going over there and seeing how it is laid out. Never been in, just saw the signs.

    Please make sure you check with Walton County Planning as to the suitability of your business at whatever location you are looking at. Nothing worse than seeing someone spend a lot of dollars starting something then they get hauled in front of the code board and are found to be violating the rules and are told to close down. I have seen that happen on more than one occasion. Because we do not have occupational taxes in Walton County, people sometimes think we do not have rules.
     
  9. novagirl

    novagirl Beach Comber

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    Yes you are right about Mary Esther. I have checked them out and I think they must be doing fairly well because they started a couple of years ago (maybe 3) and they are still there. And, yes I am going to check everything thoroughly. I've been working on this for some time and I have a fairly good idea of permits and such. But I am going to be very careful. Thanks for the heads up though!
     
  10. heartbren

    heartbren Beach Fanatic

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    self serve dog wash

    I thought this was a great idea and recently thought of it myself although i can't afford to get it going. I was in Texas for 5 months after Katrina (I am from New Orleans). I have a way to wash my dog easily there but I do not here. I have a small dog but he still needs a bath. In Texas a girl opened one of these and her place was like a revolving door. She had a lot of business. She appeared to be doing well. I think it is a great idea, but I also worry about you selling your home. If you believe in something bad enough and really want this perhaps it is worth the risk. I am a pet sitter here in SoWal and am trying to get my
    business started. I had a booming business in New Orleans until the recession hit there. I moved here b/c I love it and am going to do the same thing. Perhaps I could help you and you could help me, getting the word out that is. My business is Heart Pet Sitting. I think as well as the big tub, maybe you should have a smaller one also for the small pets so they are not so intimidated by the size of the tub. Just a suggestion. If you care to talk to me my number is (850) 622-3352 and my name is Brenda. I wish you the best of luck and I think it may just work from what I/ve seen in Texas.

     
  11. novagirl

    novagirl Beach Comber

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    Thanks Brenda, You hit the nail on the head, if you believe! I have always wanted my own business and was never able to do it. Now I own my place and I would rather have just gotton a loan against it but that just isn't possible. There are other reasons for selling besides the business too but the main one is to finance this. I take care of my invalid mother and I am also helping to raise my granddaughters. We need a bigger home and I needed a way to make an income that I can't do with a regular job. Yes I would definately support you any way I could. I always try to support local businesses. Your idea is a good one and I appreciate your input. I have been praying about this for a long time and I feel like I should go for it. I'm trying to be as knowlegeable as I can about it but in the end all I can do is try. Thanks again and BTW I'm Jane.
     
  12. heartbren

    heartbren Beach Fanatic

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    Self serve dog wash

    Hi Jane! If you need some help let me know. I am not working at this time. If you want to call and talk to me my number is (850) 622-3352. Please don't be afraid to call. I am happy to help with anything to do with animals. I am just trying to get my business started also. Let me know. Have a great day, Brenda


     
  13. criollolove

    criollolove Beach Comber

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    A self service dog wash can be a great business. It is better if you combine it with daycare and/or boarding. Also remember to have a low tub for the really big guys. I worked for a canine resort in KC with self service and they were always busy especially on the weekends. Good luck.
     
  14. novagirl

    novagirl Beach Comber

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    Actually a dog daycare was my original idea and I now have plans to get this going and hopefully add the daycare down the road. Thanks for your input!.
     
  15. novagirl

    novagirl Beach Comber

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    Thank you so much for your offer to help Brenda. Things are going a bit slow right now. I have to find a place for us to live and then finish the deal on my place in order to start working on a place to open. I know I want to try to open on 98 in the SRB area. And I'm trying to figure out how I want to design the inside. I know how I want to do the baths (including some of the great suggestions from everyone) but I'm not sure about how to decorate or paint the inside walls. I've never been good at that sort of thing.
     
  16. heartbren

    heartbren Beach Fanatic

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    Hi Jane! How would you like to get together sometime and we could talk about your plans? I might have some ideas about how to decorate the inside. I need to make some good friends anyway especially animal lover friends. You can call me at (850) 622-3352 or (504) 231-5358 or you can give me you number and I'll call you. I would love to meet you. Brenda

     
  17. Shells

    Shells Beach Comber

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    I have a miniature dachshund and he is super easy to wash and dry, so I wouldn't use the dog wash place. I'm guessing this might be a better idea for bigger dogs, which would lessen the number of possible clientele.

    I would, however, use the dog daycare on occasion. I think adding that service would help build clientele considering those who wouldn't do the wash like myself. Although, I would be picky about the environment I left my dog in while not with him; so there would have to be a lot of thought and planning involved to make me feel comfortable with my dog being there without me.

    Hope my input helps. :D
     
  18. Minnie

    Minnie Beach Fanatic

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    I am not sure what the market for this is in the 30-A area but its huge here, and I was on my way right now to use the one in my area.

    As to why, at the doggie wash, they provide tubs that my dog can walk into with me having to lift her 70 pounds, the tubs are raised so I don't have to bend over to wash her which is great for my back.

    They provide everything you need, towels, dryers, shampoo, conditioner and a water proof apron.

    Also I don't like my dog to scratch up my tub in my house with her nails and washing her outside with cold water is not good either.

    Good luck and if you do it, I will look you up when we are down with our dog.
     
  19. chrisjohnson850

    chrisjohnson850 Beach Comber

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    I think it is a good idea and I love to see innovation. The only advice I will give you is what I am sure you have already thought, we are still in a recession. The type of business you are planning will not apply to people who do not want to give their dog a bath nor people who are on a tight budget. If this is three years in the making and you are infact liquidating one of your last assets, I would say put it back on the burner give it another year for peoples finances to level out.

    The type of service you are offering is targeting those who dont pay for dog grooming, so they are probably not as financially secure and watching what they sepnd. Normally this is a good customer and target market to offer a service to at a good price, but right now, that's the customer that has cut having coffee out to save 2.00.
     
  20. heartbren

    heartbren Beach Fanatic

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    Dog Wash

    :wave:Hi Jane! I washed my "little" chihuaha the other day and had to do it in the kitchen sink which I did not like and they don't have the spray nozel like I had in my home in N.O. He is afraid of a tub so I have no where else to wash him. I think all size dogs would benefit from your dog wash if people like me have a hard time washing their dog inside. The place I saw in Texas that was very busy gave me the idea to open one but I just don't have the money. She did very well. Her prices were very reasonable so people used her service. I would use your service. My dog was very scared when I washed him since I had to use the faucet and not the spray nozel. I did not like it and neither did he. I think most people take their dog to a groomer these days because they don't want to wash them in their tub and I just don't think many people wash dogs outside anymore. I think you will do well with it even though things are rough right now. People live here and still have to wash their dogs. Perhaps you could hire a groomer to do a little grooming if they need it after they wash the dog. It would cheaper than going to a groomer for the whole process. I would love to talk to you and tell you about what I have seen and the set ups I've seen that I thought were great. I volunteered at a doggie day care also. For that you have to have enough land with. Please call me. (850) 622-3352. I want to help. It is risky, but everyone who starts a business takes that risk. I think 30A could benefit from your dog wash. I get tired of driving to Destin for everything. Thanks and I hope you call. Benda
     

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