This week I have the pleasure of interviewing Jordan Kaplan from New York City Dog Trainers . Jordan has a dog training business in New York City that offers private in home lessons, group classes, and puppy playgroup and socializaton classes.
1. What kind of business do you run?
I personally am a dog trainer in New York city, I also own a dog walking business.
2. How long have you been in business?
I started pet sitting in 2001 and training in 2004.
3. How did you choose to start a pet care business?
I have always been an entrepreneur ever since I was a kid charging my neighbors to shovel snow off their driveways in the middle of winter. I enjoy helping people and after 9/11 I was working in corporate and the time seemed right to make the jump back into entrepreneurship.
4. What advice would you give someone about to launch a new pet care business?
Do your homework, make sure there is a need in your area. Scout out your competitors to see what they are doing. If you can, start while keeping your full time job and slowly make the transition.
5. What has been the greatest challenge in growing your business?
Competing in a hyper-competative marketplace.
6. What are the pros and cons of your profession?
Pros – make my own schedule, choosing who I work with, flexibility, joy of making people happy. Cons – Potential lawsuits, getting bitten by a dog, people with unrealistic expectations.
7. What daily tasks do you enjoy most?
Speaking to first time dog owners and helping them bring a dog into their lives
8. If you could have done anything differently what would it have been?
Started my business sooner!
9. Did you have a mentor or business coach? If so how did they help you?
I had both, my mentor is Steve Diller, a well known trainer who has been in business for 30 years. I worked with a Fabinenne Fredrickson from Client Attraction, she was very helpful in creating systems to attract new clients.
10. Are you a member of any professional organizations? How have they helped you?
I am a member of many organizations, Assoc of Pet Dog Trainers, Intl Assoc of Canine Professionals to name a couple. TheyÂ have given me geat exposure to learn from other professionals in the dog training community. the annual convention is a weeks worth of seminars and is worth the cost as you get a lot of hands on work with the top trainers in the country.
11. What forms of marketing have you found most effective in reaching pet owners?
Working with veterinarians has really been great, mainly referrals and word of mouth.
12. Do you offer clients incentives for giving referrals?
13. At what stage of your business growth did you choose to take on help?
When I was loosing potential customers because more time had to be spent on back office work
14. Did you choose to use employees or independent contractors?
We use independent contractors and hired a human resources consultant to make sure we were compliant with IRS regulations
15. What have you found is the best way to find new staff members?
Referrals from current staff or clients. Craigslist is not bad but you have to have a good system set up to find your ideal staff.
Thanks Jordan for sharing that information with us.Â If you would like to be interviewed at Working with Pets please send me an email with your contact details – firstname.lastname@example.org.