Are you about starting a dog training center? If YES, here is a complete sample dog training business plan template & feasibility report you can use for FREE.
Okay, so we have considered all the requirements for starting a dog training business. We also took it further by analyzing and drafting a sample dog training service marketing plan template backed up by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for dog training businesses. So let’s proceed to the business planning section.
Why Start a Dog Training Business?
The demand for dog training services is very high especially in areas where a large number of people own dogs and where dog owners have shown willingness to invest in the welfare of their dogs. Starting a dog training business can become something that will be profitable in a short while plus it has flexible start-up costs as the owner can decide to use little, or large funds depending on the scale in which he intends to start the business.
Dog trainers usually have vast experiences working with varying dogs and in different capacities, so it would be wise to have some sort of experience before starting this business.
As simple as the business looks, it is necessary for you to carry out a thorough research before starting this business so that you do not throw away your little financial investment. Asides from conducting a research on your dog training business, it would also be wise if you write a business plan as well.
A business plan might seem like a huge task for such a small business but it is highly necessary if you intend to run a successful dog training business. Your business plan need not be a huge affair, it can be a simple draft intended to guide you in making decisions during the course of running your business. Below is however a sample business plans for your dog training business:
A Sample Dog Training Business Plan Template
- Business Overview
According to statistics, the United States of America has more than 77.5 million dogs, with the number projected to grow each year. This has also caused an increase in demand for dog training services. States such as New York and California have a large number of dogs and dog owners and so this makes it a thriving place for dog training businesses.
Data from the American Pet Product Association stated as at 2012, that those who spent on their pets in the United States of America, climbed to a new record revenue level of $53 billion dollars. Pet services, according to data of which dog training is a part of, generated $4.4 billion dollars in 2012, and the projection for the next several years shows a positive gain.
According to a 2015 survey, 65% of households in the United States of America own at least a pet, these amounts to over 300 million pets that need to be cared and catered for. The pet industry on its own has products and services (training, food, daycare, medical services, toys, and a whole lot of other services) on ground so as to keep these pets healthy, alive and happy.
Pets are being owned by all economic levels of households in the United States of America; however, households with higher incomes accounted for about 60% of the total money spent on pets.
Data from the American Pet Products Association (APPA) has revenue in the pet industry to be projected at $62.75 billion in 2016, which is an increase of over 4% from that of 2015. Since 2002, the average growth rate annually has been 5.4% and the revenue has been steadily growing over the last two decades.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has states that the job growth for the pet industry is expected to be above average as it had been experiencing 11% growth from 2014 which was expected to last till 2024. Also, revenue for pet services grew from $5.41 billion in 2015 to $5.73 billion in 2016.
Baby boomers are not only spending on their pets according to statistics but pampering them as well. It has been found that spending for pets has peaked between the ages of 55 and 64. Also, millennials (those born between 1985 – 2010) who have disposable income are also spending for and spoiling their pets.
The pet industry has continued to grow even during major economic downturns, which shows that the industry has a huge advantage over others.
Dog Training Business Plan – Executive Summary
Woofy Dog Training Services is a standard dog training business in San Francisco – California, USA and intends to ensure that customers who owned dogs are offered training services as well as other services, such as dog sitting, grooming and so on for their dogs.
We also intend to offer consultancy and advisory services to those who intend to start the business but do not possess the know-how. Our vision is to ensure that we become the preferred dog training service here in San Francisco – California and also the top six dog training business in the whole United States of America by 2020.
To attain our vision and objectives, we have ensured that only the best professionals = from management staff to the low end staff – have been hired by us. This shows how willing we are to go the extra mile in ensuring that we lay a solid foundation in our business structure.
Our staff will not only be the best paid employees across the industry amongst similar start-ups, but they will also undergo training and performance appraisals to ensure that their skills as well as their productivity are enhanced. We know how important having a good location that is convenient for our customers is and so we have chosen a very strategic location that is not only convenient for our customers but also our employees as well.
We abhor cruelty to animals and indeed pets and so we will ensure that we hold ourselves and employees to that standard of not applying cruelty to the dogs in which we will be training. Also, we believe in achieving customer excellence and due to this, we intend to train our customer care executives in the act of answering and handling our customers – the dog owners.
While Bill Trump holds a Doctorate degree in Certified Applied Animal Behavior with clinical work for the past 10 years focused on behavioral problems in dogs; his wife Maggie holds a Masters in Business Administration from a prestigious school. The two who love dogs also have several dog training certifications and experience in this industry, and will therefore bring their experience and expertise to bear in this business.
- Our Products and Services
Woofy Dog Training Service is an established dog training service that intends to offer all our customers and their dogs varied services in a bid to make their experience at our company a delightful one.
The reason why we intend to offer other services in addition to our main service is so as not to be able to attract more customers in our target market to our business but also boost our sources of income thereby ensuring that we have a healthy bottom line.
Our offering of other services will however be in line with the permissible laws of the United States of America. Therefore some of the products and services we intend to offer are:
- Boarding kernel
- Doggie day care
- Dog walkers
- Pet sitters
- Dog show handlers
- Pet taxi
- Pooper Scooper
- Pet boutique
- Consultancy and advisory services
Our Vision Statement
Our vision is to be the preferred dog trainer in California and amongst the top six dog training business in United States of America by 2020.
- Our Mission Statement
Our mission is to ensure that we will meet the demands and preferences of our customers by offering different services in our dog training business for our various customers here in California.
Our Business Structure
No matter how low scaled a business is, having the right business structure is very important, and so at Woofy Dog Training Service, we are committed to ensuring that we get it right from the beginning by hiring employees who are not only dedicated and hard working to handle all the various positions in our company, but also committed to the company’s true vision and objectives.
Because we want only what’s best for Woofy Dog Training Services, we are ready to ensure that we not only correctly source the right individuals for the different available positions but that we also pay the right amount that will not only keep them committed but also improve their productivity and invariably boost out bottom line.
We intend to ensure that our management staff are those with vast experience and have the required knowledge that is necessary to ensure that we attain our goals and objectives and also be able to communicate these values not only to the employees under them but also to customers of Woofy Dog Training Services as well. Therefore, below is the business structure we intend building for Woofy Dog Training Services;
- Chief Executive Officer
- Admin and Human Resource Manager
- Dog Trainer Supervisor
- Marketing Team
- Customer Service Executives
- Purchasing Manager
- Security Guard
Roles and Responsibilities
Chief Executive Officer
- In charge of making strategic decisions on behalf of the company
- Drafts and ensures company policies are understood and implemented by the employees
- Evaluates the success of Woofy Dog Training Service
Admin and Human Resource Manager
- In charge of recruiting competent employees on behalf of the company
- Reviews employees work rate by carrying out regular performance appraisals
- Ensures that the administration of the company runs smoothly
Dog Trainer Supervisor
- In charge of all the dog trainers in the facility
- Reviews dog training methods and changes ineffective or inappropriate ones
- Remains updated about happenings in the industry for the benefit of the company
- Responsible for conducting market research that will identify new target market
- Drafts and implements marketing strategies on behalf of organization
- Promotes the company via its social media platforms and official website
- In charge of invoices and dispensing cash to be used within the office
- Prepares financial statements and records on behalf of the company
- Ensures that tax is adequately prepared and submitted to the tax authorities
Customer Service Executives
- In charge of answering customers’ enquiries and resolving complaints
- Keeps and updates an accurate customer database on behalf of the company
- Carries out any other duty as might be determined by the Human resources manager
- In charge of ensuring adequate supplies of items at Woofy Dog Training Services
- Liaises with reliable vendors and distributors and keeps a mutually satisfying relationship with them
- Prepares and reviews contracts for vendors and suppliers
- Ensures that all within the premises – people and property – are safe during work hours
- Keeps guard over facility after work hours
- Conducts all the ferrying of the dogs to and fro the facility
- Carries out light maintenance on vehicle and reports major faults to appropriate quarters
- Carries out any other duties as might be determined by the Human resources manager
- Ensures that the facility is kept hygienically clean at all times
- Ensures that the rest rooms are kept neat for visitors and employees
- Carries out any other duties as determined by the Human Resources manager
Dog Training Business Plan – SWOT Analysis
Due to our need to start off on the right foundation, we got the best consultant here in California who had an experience of this industry to look through our business concept and determine if it was worth the time and effort we were willing to put into it.
To ensure that the results were accurate enough, our consultant made use of the SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis to determine if the business was worth going into and if we were likely to succeed going into the business.
Below is the preview of the results from the SWOT Analysis that were conducted on behalf of Woofy Dog Training Service:
Our strength lies in the fact that we will be offering our customers other services in addition to our core service – dog training so as to be able to meet up with our customers varying needs whilst also attracting more customers to our business.
Another factor that is to our advantage is that we have well qualified staff that will ensure that the business attains its original goals and objectives here in California as well as the whole of the United States of America. Another huge strength in our favor is the husband and wife tea, Bill and Maggie Trump who are dog lovers and have several certifications as well as years of business.
California is a city after New York, where there are a lot of dog owners and dogs, which means that there are enough dog training services here in California making the market seem saturated and posing a challenge for us who intend to make an impact into this business. Regardless of the fact that our location might be our weakness, we are confident that grand opening party will pave the way for us to penetrate and grab a fair share of the market.
The opportunities available to us as a business intending to make an impression are limitless as we intend to continually re-innovate our services so as to differentiate us from other dog training services. Also, we intend to offer consultancy and advocacy services as well as franchises for those who intend to start up newly in this business and have no inkling what to do.
The threats we are likely to face while starting or running a dog training business are, liability as the dogs might damage property while undergoing training; new competitors are likely to crop up in our location making it more difficult for us to hold onto our market share as they will compete with us for a share of the market.
Another threat is an economic downturn that will likely affect how dog owners spend on their dogs. As a business, we are aware of the fact that threats will crop up but we are also confident and optimistic that our laid down proactive strategies will combat any threat that might likely occur.
Dog Training Business Plan – MARKET ANALYSIS
- Market Trends
Generally, this business is one that can be started with low capital as money for overhead is very low. Generally trainers rarely have a physical location to operate their dog training business; instead they travel to the homes of clients or go to boarding facilities for dogs in order to provide their services.
Also, asides from not needing to rent a physical location in which to start the business, there is also little investment that is needed in order to buy the equipment necessary to ensure that the business is being run efficiently. If you need to acquire any extra equipment at all, this might include a few extra leashes, dog treats, clickers as well as other aids that can assist in training the dogs.
Another trend is on the pricing structure where dog training rates are usually within same range in the same location, so as to make it easier to compete. However, those who tended to offer special discounted rates or give out a free session were those who were new trainers and did that in order to attract clients and grow the business.
Also, the rates for dog trainers usually fall in between the half-hourly and hourly rates especially when it is a private lesson. The rates are also lowered for group training classes.
Finally, the last trend is the use of the internet, which has been used as a major tool of penetrating the market and attracting new customers from the target market, whilst also communicating the core values of the brand via publicity through its social media platforms.
Dog training services especially those that operated from home knows how powerful deploying the internet effectively can be. Furthermore, , dog trainers’ network with kernel boarding facilities, pet boutiques and groomers, so as to be able to source for clients for their dog training business.
- Our Target Market
Even though plenty households in the United States of America own dogs as pet and California and New York are amongst states where the highest owners of dogs and dogs themselves live, thereby spiking the demand for dog training services in this area; we still however cannot limit our target market to just households, especially here in California.
It is for this reason that we conducted a thorough market research on this industry so as to be able to garner accurate facts and data that would allow us correctly predict what our customers and the target market would be expecting from us, which would allow us better draft strategies that would serve them better.
We are therefore in business to offer our dog training services to the following groups of people here in California;
- Corporate Executives
- Business people
- Celebrities and important personalities
- Sports men and women
- Boarding facilities
Our Competitive Advantage
Our vision when starting Woofy Dog Training service was so that we could be the preferred dog training business here in California and also amongst the top six in the whole United States of America by 2020. To achieve this vision, we know how necessary it is for us to come up with competitive advantage strategies that will stand us apart from other dog training businesses here in California.
First off, we are going to ensure that we offer training services mixed with other dog services for our customers, as this will allow us attract and grab a better share of the target market.
Another competitive strategy is the fact that we have hired the right management staff for our company that are not knowledgeable and have vast experience but one that knows our core values as a business and also knows understands how to bring the business up from scratch to become something to be reckoned with.
We intend to ensure that our customer service executives are adequately trained to handle all our customer’s enquiries and complaints and ensure that all are promptly resolved on behalf of the organization. Asides our management staff, we intend to ensure that all our employees are adequately trained, paid and have welfare packages that are the best amongst similar dog training start-ups here in California.
Dog Training Business Plan – SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY
- Sources of Income
Woofy Dog Training Service is a business that has been established with the aim of making profit and favorably competing with other such businesses in the pet industry in California and in the United States of America. We intend to offer different services to all the dogs of our various customers here in California as well as all over United States of America.
Therefore the sources of income we intend to generate at Woofy Dog Trainers are:
- Boarding kernel
- Doggie day care
- Dog walkers
- Pet sitters
- Dog show handlers
- Pet taxi
- Pooper Scooper
- Pet boutique
- Consultancy and advisory services
According to the American Pet Association, dogs are amongst the top three pets owned by most Americans, which means that demand for dog training services will continually surge.
California is one of the two top cities that have the most dog owners and dogs, which makes it a good enough place for us to not only generate enough income for our business but also start to make profit that will grow our business from the second year into the business.
The sales projections were done after much critical evaluation conducted by us as well as by a sales expert familiar with this industry. The sales expert was able to come up with this reliable forecast after gathering accurate data from similar start-ups here in California.
Below is the expected sales projection for Woofy Dog Training Services based on present data that is deemed reliable:
- First Fiscal Year-: $200,000
- Second Fiscal Year-: $400,000
- Third Fiscal Year-: $800,000
N.B: It should be noted that the above projections were done with available data and information that was obtained from the pet industry at the time and that was deemed accurate. The projections were done on the assumptions that the love and ownership for dogs would not decline, there won’t be any major competitors and that there won’t be a major economic meltdown to warrant customers not having enough to spend extra for their dogs. Any change in the above factors is likely to affect the sales projections figures to go up or down.
- Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy
Marketing is a very important aspect of any business as it does the purpose of ensuring that money is generated for the business whilst also creating awareness for the business. However, to be able to draft effective marketing strategies for Woofy Dog Training Services, we intend to first conduct a critical and thorough marketing survey that will allow us best understand the market we intend going into and how best we would penetrate it.
Carrying out this market survey required us sourcing and getting reliable and detailed data so as to get an accurate result from our market survey, which will allow us compete against other dog training service businesses here in California.
To help us in conducting this market research, we hired a marketing expert who is not only reputable but has a deep understanding of the pet industry and what it would take to be able to penetrate the target market for customers who owned and cared for their dogs. The expert has already come up with strategies that will allow us get a large percentage of the market here in California.
Also, our marketing tea have not been out of the picture, as they have been empowered to draft, modify or review and implement effective marketing strategies to sell our services as well as products on behalf of Woofy Dog Training Service.
Marketing has however evolved digitally due to changing times, as few people are relying less on the word of mouth direct marketing and instead using the search engine or social media platforms to make their findings. And so, if you are looking to survive in this new age, you will need to ensure that you build a website for your dog training business and also get an Search Engine Optimization (SEO) expert to help you with ensuring that your website pops up on search engine when people are searching for anything related to dog training service.
Therefore, at Woofy Dog Training Service intends to adopt the following marketing and sales approach towards selling our products and services;
- Word-of-mouth or direct marketing
- Launching of a website with unique colors and logos to market our dog training services
- Place ads in local newspapers and magazines as well as on radio and television stations here in California
- Print fliers and distribute it in target areas to dog owners and lovers
- Network with dog walkers and veterinary clinics to get information about potential clients
- Ask customers for reciprocal referrals and give discounts for those who do
- Start our business with a huge bang by throwing a dog costume themed party for dog and in extension pet owners here in California so as to create awareness
- Leverage on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to market our dog training services
- Ensure that our dog training business is listed in local directories
Dog Training Business Plan – Publicity and Advertising Strategy
No matter what kind of business one intends to go into, ensuring that one drafts and implements effective publicity and advertising strategy is very important. Also, offering publicity for our Woofy Dog Training Services will ensure that we are able to not only attract the intended customers we seek but also to compete favorably against other competitors in the market place.
There are several things that boosts the success chances of a publicity strategy and we at Woofy Dog Training Services intends to exploit these factors for the benefit of our company here in California and so as to be able to achieve our vision and objectives in the United States of America by 2020. We also intend to combine several factors in ensuring that we publicize and advertise our dog training business successfully.
Below are the publicity and advertising strategies we intend to use in promoting and communicating our Woofy Dog Training Business to customers.
- Sending out newsletters and coupons to customers – existing and potential
- Print business cards with relevant information and logo and distribute in relevant areas
- Place adverts in local newspapers, magazines as well as on local radio and television stations
- Attend dog fairs and events and create awareness for Woofy Dog Training Services
- Sponsor dog events and other related dog programs in local community
- Distribute our fliers in target locations and also paste in legal conspicuous places
- Ensure that we print customized tee-shirts for all our employees here at Woofy Dog Training Services
Our Pricing Strategy
Before deciding on the pricing strategy for our dog training business, we would need to conduct a thorough market research on what other dog training centers are offering their customers. Normally, trainers usually offer rates depending on the services required from customers, and so we would ensure that we offer various packages that would require different rates for our customers.
However, because we are just starting this business newly, we intend to offer prices that were slightly lower than that of our competitors in the first six months of business. Our lower rates will however still be within comparable range of existing businesses so that we do not run our business at a loss. We have carried out a detailed strategy and seen that this will encourage more customers to patronize our business.
- Payment Options
Woofy Dog Training Services intends to operate a payment policy that will suit all our different customers and whatever paying options they might prefer in paying for services offered them by our company. Therefore, the payment options we intend to offer our various customers are;
- Cash payment
- Payment via credit card
- Payment via check
- Payment via Point of Sale (POS) Machine
The above payment option platforms were carefully chosen by our bank for our target market, and we have been assured that the platforms will run without any hitches.
- Start – Up Expenditure (Budget)
Even though the dog training business is not seen as a capital intensive business for any entrepreneur that wants to go into such business, it still however needs to generate capital to be successfully operational in its first few months of business and sort overhead expenses especially if it intends to rent a facility and employ staff as well as pay certain utility bills that will be incurred during the process of running the business.
Therefore the key areas where we intend to spend our start-up capital on at Woofy Dog Training Services include;
- Fee for registering the business here in the United States of America – $750
- Licenses and permits, accounting software as well as other legal expenses incurred during the registration process – $1250
- Cost of hiring a business consultant – $2,000
- Insurance coverage (General liability, property insurance, and workers’ compensation) – $4,000
- Cost of purchasing start-up equipment in bulk (such as leashes, clickers, dog treats as well as other dog aid training materials) – $10,000
- Cost of leasing and renovating a facility for dog training business for at least a year – $33,000
- Marketing and publicity expenses (for grand opening party as well as normal business operations) – $5,000
- Operational cost for the first six months of running the business (employee salaries, payment of bills) – $100,000
- Other start-up expenses which includes furniture, stationeries, phone, and computer – $5,500
- Cost of purchasing an official vehicle – $30,000
- Cost of launching a website – $500
- Cost of throwing a grand opening party – $3,000
- Other miscellaneous expenses – $5,000
From the above calculations, we would need an estimate of $200,000 if we intend to fully start and successfully run our dog training business here in California. It should be noted that the half of the start-up capital will be used to pay the salaries of our employees as well as pay certain utility bills that would be incurred during the months of operation.
Generating Funding / Startup Capital for Woofy Dog Training Business
Woofy Dog Training Services is a business owned and run by husband and wife, Bill and Maggie Trump. This is a family business and as such we do not intend to have any external partner which is the major reason why our sources of generating capital have been limited to three.
Therefore the areas which we intend to source for capital for our dog training business are:
- Generate part of start-up capital from personal savings
- Sourcing for soft loan from wealthy family members and friends
- Applying for loan from the bank
N.B: From our personal savings, we were able to generate the sum of about $30,000. The soft loans from our wealthy friends and family members amounted to $40,000. We approached the bank several months bank for a loan of $130,000 and after submitting several paper works; we have not only been approved for a loan but the amount will at any moment from now be credited to our business account.
Dog Training Business Plan – Sustainability and Expansion Strategy
Establishing a business whose intention is to make profit and compete favorably with its competitors is just one aspect of running a business, ensuring that the business is sustained and even expanded later is another aspect that requires certain strategies, such as employees’ competence, customer loyalty as well as well as re-innovation of services strategies.
Any business that wants to remain in existence for a long time has to see to it that they employ staffs that are competent and knowledgeable enough about the business’ objectives to be able to bring it to fruition. This is why it is very important that we employ only the best hands for our dog training services from the management staff down to our trainers and other low end staff.
We intend to not only pay our workers well but also continually see to it that they undergo training every now and then that will not only enhance their skill but improve productivity for the company as well. Another aspect we intend to look into whilst implementing our sustainability and expansion strategies include ensuring that we keep our customers happy and satisfied with our services as this will ensure that they remain loyal to us.
We will continually improve on the services we offer our clients and will endeavor to listen to and act on feedback. We will also give our loyal customers discounts for every referral they bring our way, this way; we seal our customers’ loyalty to us.
Finally, we intend to ensure that our services are continually reviewed and re-innovated as this will ensure that we continue to have an edge over our competitors. With these ways, we are sure that we will comfortably be able to sustain and then expand our own business at our own pace.
Check List / Milestone
- Business Name Availability Check: Completed
- Business Registration: Completed
- Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts: Completed
- Securing Point of Sales (POS) Machines: Completed
- Opening Mobile Money Accounts: Completed
- Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
- Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
- Application for business license and permit: Completed
- Purchase of Insurance for the Business: Completed
- Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
- Generating capital from family members: Completed
- Applications for Loan from the bank: In Progress
- Writing of Business Plan: Completed
- Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
- Drafting of Contract Documents and other relevant Legal Documents: In Progress
- Design of The Company’s Logo: Completed
- Graphic Designs and Printing of Packaging Marketing / Promotional Materials: In Progress
- Recruitment of employees: In Progress
- Creating Official Website for the Company: In Progress
- Creating Awareness for the business both online and around the community: In Progress
- Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement (License): Secured
- Opening party / launching party planning: In Progress
- Establishing business relationship with vendors – wholesale suppliers / merchants: In Progress
- Purchase of trucks: Completed