When pet owners travel, their pets deserve to stay in more desirable digs than kennels. Sometimes called resorts, pet hotels provide animals with luxury treatment which cannot be found at a kennel or other pet boarding facility. If you are an animal lover interested in starting a pet-related business, consider a pet hotel. Pet care is a growth industry according to the U.S. government but this work provides rewards much greater than a paycheck!
Step 1: Find a suitable location for the establishment based on its purpose. Create a luxury getaway within a large city or establish a country-style pet resort on several acres of land so the animals have plenty of room to run and play. Ensure that the interior design of the hotel accommodates pet sleeping and play areas as well as a pet infirmary, bathing and grooming facilities, kitchen, and space for at least one washer and dryer. Research local zoning requirements to make sure this type of business is permitted.
Step 2: Create a business plan that includes objectives, a budget, cash flow and income statements, and a marketing plan. Be realistic when calculating startup costs because this will prevent the business from running short on cash during its initial stage. If startup capital is needed, find investors or apply for a business loan.
Step 3: Most areas have licensing and insurance requirements for pet resorts so adhere to these.
Step 4: Make a list of needed supplies and equipment and find a low-cost supplier. If the hotel will offer upscale spa services, consider selling the products used. This should provide a supplemental income stream from pet owners who want to continue the pampering at home.
Step 5: Research what other pet hotels charge and consider what the local economy can bear when establishing prices.
Step 6: Establish pet drop-off and pick-up hours to streamline operations and staff the operation for a 24-hour operating schedule so there will always be a staff member on-site.
Step 7: Establish healthy hygiene practices for cleaning pet sleep and recreation areas and bedding. Promote these in public areas within the facility and in advertisements.
Step 8: Let friends and family members be your first customers and use their feedback as testimonials on the resort website and in flyers, brochures, and print ads.
Step 9: Take advantage of free publicity by issuing online press releases, advertising in online classifieds, and encouraging satisfied customers to spread the word.
Step 10: Always provide exceptional service. To increase profits, add services like transportation to and from the facility, pet spa and grooming services separate from boarding, and onsite obedience training.