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    4 Replies Latest reply on Jan 7, 2010 12:58 AM by Berner55

    Looking to start boarding kennel

    Berner55 Newbie
      I am currently looking to start a boarding kennel in the northwest area of Iowa. I currently work in a veterinary clinic that does a small percentage of boarding (small due to limited facitlities), so I have an inside track on getting customers and have a good idea on the need in our area for a business of this type. I have a business plan and some estimates on what I would need for financing. My biggest hurdle is that I need to build the facility from scratch and need to find financing. Where to begin? There are so many sites out there and how do you know if they are valid? Is it best to start close to home? I don't have a lot of extra money to put down right now, is it still possible to get financing?
        • Re: Looking to start boarding kennel
          phanio Pioneer
          Seems like you have the perfect idea for you. Financing is hard in any market.

          My first question to you is why do you need to build from scratch? Most landlords will help with build-out and include the costs in the lease agreement. Or, find a building you can lease or rent and build it out as you grow - start with a small section - get some business. Then as your demand grows - add more - much cheaper this way.

          For financing - it really does not matter if you are close to home or not. What matters is the deal. You want a deal that is favorable to you - low interest, low fees, low down payment and the least amount of requirements.

          Have you looked into a SBA loan? Most SBAs these days only require 10% equity down and they are waving their fees. There are also many non-bank lenders that deal only in commercial property. These may be easier to get but will be more expensive. They require great credit, good income and at a minimum 20% equity down on your part.

          Have you thought about partnering with your vet? Maybe together you could work a partnership out where the vets puts up the money and you do the rest for some split of the profits.

          Business Money Today

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          • Re: Looking to start boarding kennel
            DomainDiva Ranger
            I would like to offer a 'consumers perspective' here. IF you provide the very best in pet care you will be rewarded since pet owners are quick to reccommend great pet care. Conversely, pet owners are quick to tell their friends and anyone who asks that a particular facility was not liked by their pets.

            Our groomer started 18 months ago with her little shop, at our last appointment in December 2009 were were given a 2010 card with all of the grooming appointment dates already set. THAT is what you want to achieve. She has a 45 wait list for new 'clients'.

            Remember the pets come first. All the money follows nicely.

            Good Luck, DD
            • Re: Looking to start boarding kennel
              LUCKIEST Guide
              Looking to start boarding kennel

              Start by visiting SCORE. SCORE is FREE.

              Would like to read your business plan, LUCKIEST
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                • Re: Looking to start boarding kennel
                  Berner55 Newbie

                  In response to DomainDiva, I am definitely in this for the welfare of the pets first. I went to college in hopes of attending vet school. After having two children, I had to cut my dream short in order to provide for my family. At this point in time, I have the opportunity to re-pursue my dreams. I also know the benefits of happy "pet parents" when it comes to a boarding experience. Reality is that if you have a good experience, you will tell people about it and if it is a bad one, you'll tell seven times that many people!

                  Is it best to go in to a SCORE office in person and meet with someone, or can you get just as much done through e-mail? I have tried to contact the office that is nearest me, but received no response. I would like to find someone to consult with, but I'm not sure how to get in contact with anyone on this forum.