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How to Write a Dog Boarding Business Plan

Creating a dog boarding business plan is one of the first steps most dog kennel owners have to take before opening their doors. From defining the target market to outlining a competitive marketing strategy, writing a dog boarding business plan is your roadmap to success!

Business owners who take the time to plan are 152% more likely to launch their business. So a business plan might just be the tool you need to make that exciting first step in opening your very own dog kennels.

What is a dog boarding business plan?

Think of a business plan as your roadmap for the journey ahead when starting your dog boarding business. It lays out where you want to go and exactly how you’re going to get there, spelling out three main things:

  • What your business is about and what services you’re going to provide
  • What you plan to achieve
  • The actions you’ll take to achieve those goals
person writing dog boarding business plan
Source: iStock

While a business plan will set key goals for you and keep you on track, it’s also necessary for approaching outside investors. If you plan to have outside investors own equity in your business, a business plan will almost always need to be presented.

A detailed business plan usually includes:

  1. Setting clear goals and objectives, defining the short and long-term goals of the business. It can also include your goals to open multiple locations.
  2. All the goods and services you plan to offer. This will include any other services like dog walking or dog training you plan to provide in addition to the dog boarding service.
  3. Market research that includes industry trends and gaps in the market to see where your business fits. Potential challenges in the market such as low seasons can also be included.
  4. Business operations, including the day-to-day running of the business and the number of employees needed.
  5. Financial planning, including how you plan to fund the business and the expenses you’ll encounter.
  6. The way you’ll measure progress and KPIs.

Importance of a business plan.

For a dog boarding business, a business plan can be incredibly valuable. It allows you to think about and set goals for your business. This helps keep you on track and ensures you don’t lose sight of the bigger vision you have for your business. 

A dog boarding business plan also forces you to think through every single aspect of your pet boarding business, from the services you’ll provide to the pet owners you’re trying to target.

It allows you to really analyze your financial goals and research the overhead costs your business will incur. It will also detail how you’ll raise the capital to fund these expenses and whether outside investors or a bank loan is needed.

Today, the pet boarding and grooming services are a whopping $11 billion industry. A well-detailed pet business plan can help you define exactly how you will take a chunk of this market and stand out from your competitors.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, it allows you to communicate your vision for the business to others in a clear and targeted way. It gives everyone on your business journey a map so they know exactly where you’re headed. 

How to write a dog boarding business plan - 8 necessary items.

Writing a dog kennel business plan can seem like an immense task, but breaking it down into smaller sections can make the process a lot easier to accomplish and not feel so overwhelming.  

You can start by including the below 8 items in your business plan and then add in any other sections you think necessary later.  

1. Executive summary.

An executive summary is a concise overview of your business. It details the main key points to anyone taking a quick glance at your business plan. 

What do you include in an executive summary? 

An executive summary should contain:

  • Name and location of your business 
  • A brief mission statement 
  • The founding date and current status 
  • Products and services offered
  • Target market 
  • Unique selling points 
  • Financial summary  
  • Requirements and regulations 
  • Plans for growth

Although this is the first section of a business plan for your dog boarding facility, it’s often written last as it’s a key summary of the rest of the plan. 

2. Business overview.

The business overview should provide a comprehensive look at the company. It will cover aspects like the location, the vision for the future, where you see the business in the market, and any key metrics you will use to measure the success of the business. 

3. Organization and management.

Your business plan should cover organization and management, including the founder of the company and any key personnel and roles already filled. It should also include what the future staffing structure will look like.

Additionally, you can include how you plan to organize your customers when they come through the door. Will you use a barcode system or a more basic system?

4. Market analysis.

Business plans should also include market analysis, demonstrating an in-depth understanding of the market and your target demographic. It should include if there is a gap in the market that you can fill and how much competition you will likely face. 

Additionally, your market analysis section should also include any zoning regulations you will need to follow and any licenses you may need before opening your doors. 

market research being performed for a dog boarding business plan
Source: iStock

5. Marketing strategy.

Your marketing strategy should detail how you plan to price and promote your services. Will your pricing be competitive, or will you position your business as a luxury brand with a higher price point? 

It should also include how you plan to create a strong business image and what you will do to promote your brand. Marketing strategies such as content and SEO, email marketing, advertising, and social media marketing can be included in this section. 

This section is also a great place to record how you plan to receive positive reviews online to help boost potential customers' trust in you. If you plan to use a pet care software like PetExec to help with review acquisition, you can record that in this section too.

6. Financials.

You’ll also need to provide some details about your financials. This will include all the expenses incurred to run the business like a pet care business software, funding requirements, how you will use those funds, and the potential ROI for investors so they can see the benefit of your business. 

7. Financial projections.

Financial projections are also great to add to your business plan. You can break these down into quarterly periods so they’re easier to digest. The projected profit and loss, as well as a sales forecast, are useful to have in your plan. 

8. Risk analysis.

Lastly, the business plan should include a risk analysis. This includes the risks that you predict you will face in the market as well as how to mitigate them and any contingency strategies. 

Lots of dog boarding businesses experience seasonal fluctuations. Your business plan can include how you plan to cover costs during the low seasons and methods you’ll use to increase revenue such as selling retail products

Tips for writing a boarding and dog daycare plan.

When writing a dog kennel business plan, there are a few tips to keep in mind to make the plan easier to follow. 

Firstly, keep it concise and focused. Although it can be tempting to explain every thought you have as a passionate pet boarding business owner, it’s important to make sure you’re only covering the necessary information without going off on tangents. 

creating dog boarding business plan with sleeping dog
Source: Unsplash

Secondly, make sure you consider readability in your business plan format. Use headings and bullet points to create a lot of white space and ensure it’s both easy to read and scannable. No one wants to be hit with a wall of text when trying to read a business plan!

Lastly, make sure you support every statement you make with data and research. Part of the goal of the business plan may be to convince investors why your pet care services are worth paying attention to. If everything you say is backed with evidence, it’s easier to convince them of your worth. On average, small businesses need $40,000 in the first year, so being prepared for outside investors is recommended. 

Business plan template.

Below is a detailed example of a business plan template, feel free to copy and paste this and customize it to fit your business needs.

  1. Executive Summary:
  • Business Name
  • Location
  • Mission Statement
  • Founding Date
  • Products and Services
  1. Business Description:
  • Legal Structure
  • Founders/Owners
  • Key Personnel
  • Location(s)
  • Boarding Services
  1. Market Analysis:
  • Industry Overview
  • Target Demographic
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Market Trends
  • Regulations and Licenses
  1. Organization and Management:
  1. Boarding Services for Dog Owners
  • Detailed Description
  • Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
  1. Marketing Strategy:
  • New Customer Acquisition
  • Advertising and Promotion
  • Pricing Strategy for Services
  • Review Acquisition
  • Budget
  1. Operational Plan:
  • Location and Facilities
  • Service Process
  • Suppliers and Inventory
  • Staffing Requirements
  • Health and Safety Protocols
  1. Financial Plan:
  1. Risk Analysis:
  • Identification of Risks
  • Mitigation Strategies
  • Contingency Plans

Final thoughts.

Creating a dog boarding business plan is what turns your exciting idea into a reality. A business plan not only solidifies the goal for you but explains it to others who have the potential to get involved in your business too. It sets out a roadmap you can all follow together for success.

To learn more about how PetExec can help with your dog boarding business, book a free demo today!

Commonly asked questions.

How to start a dog boarding business?

To start a dog boarding business, firstly make sure you conduct thorough market research to understand the demand and competition in your area for dog kennels. Secondly, you’ll need to secure an adequate location with enough space for the dogs you plan to host. Once you’ve taken these steps, you can start to create your business plan with all of the aspects mentioned above. 

How to choose a business management software? 

Identify your specific needs before looking into business management software, such as project management or accounting. When you know exactly what you need in software, look for user-friendly software and check customer reviews to gauge if they have superior customer service and customer satisfaction. Make sure to take advantage of free trials or demos to test the pet care business software out and make sure it’s right for you. 

How to conduct market research for a pet boarding business plan?

Start by researching local competitors who provide overnight care for dogs and understanding your target customers. You can then use surveys, interviews, and online research to craft your market research.

How often should you update a business plan? 

You should regularly revisit and update your business plan to reflect market changes, your business’s performance, and any adjustments to your business’s strategy which will happen naturally over time.

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