Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Big Move...

So here's the story.  

Don't worry, I'm not closing my doors.  What's going on is that I'm having to relocate by December, put together a revised business plan, apply for a minor Use Permit with the Town of Mammoth (no small feat), and get some investments lined up in order to open Après Pooch in a commercial space.  And if I can't do all that in the next two months, well then I need to arrange for temporary in-home daycare space until after the busy season.  Then I'll have more time to pick up this big-move project in the spring.

Attention! Winter 2010 vacationers

I just thought of this.  If you are considering a trip to Mammoth this winter, please be sure to call me as soon as you know your dates.  I'm already getting bookings for this winter!  Omigoodness, I am excited.  Repeat clients!  I cannot wait to get my annual "dose" of puppy love.  So far I've got Ra, Ti, Hu & Bi, Ja, Ze, Mu, Mo, Ch & Su booked; you know who you are.

Here's the problem: I don't want to let anyone down

Yes, I'm a dog lover, and I get the most satisfaction out of my day when I see that I've really helped someone's pup become comfortable here, or in letting my client know something hilarious that their pup did that day.

But I'm also trying to be a smart business owner, and one of my marketing goals is for clients to trust that I will be here for them year after year.  That (as long as they give me at least a few weeks' heads-up that they're coming into town) I will have a space for their pup.

The reason I didn't want to post this is that I don't want to let my clients down.  After all, what if I can't open up this facility?  I'm super-excited about the potential expansion, but the What-Ifs make sharing this new step pretty scary.  My clients are great, though, so I don't expect anyone to get mad at me over the uncertain location for this winter.  Whether it's at a nice, new fancy facility or just another in-home spot, I'm still going to provide the same attention and love to the dogs, they'll still be with me and the other pups.  That's what essentially defines a "good day" for the Daycare (or Boarding or Sleepover) pups.  But it's still frustrating not knowing where we're going to get to have that good day.  

What happened?  Why do you have to move?

I've been pondering this one for some time.  How much to share.  On the one hand, the point of this blog is to be honest and let everyone know what's happening, and on the other, I am still emotional over having to make the choice to move.  I think the best way to handle this is to leave out the history of why this is happening until a later date; until I can be a bit more objective in telling the story.  Hopefully within a few months it won't be such a touchy subject. 

So I'm going to leave it with the following answer: A non-life-threatening, not-too-life-changing personal event occurred, and I chose to move the facility to Mammoth.

In the end, it's pretty cool

This was my original plan when I decided to go into pet care.  I'm just ahead of schedule.

My original goal was to start seriously planning for a "real-life" facility in Mammoth or the surrounding area in April or May 2011.  In fact, on the customer surveys I've sent out, I'm sure you've seen the little note about opening a Daycare the winter of 2011/12.  I've been dabbling in those plans (in my "free" time) since 2007.  Planning has simply intensified, and rather than having 9 months to put things together, I have three months.  Yikes!

I gotta say, thank goodness for a slow-ish October, because I don't think I could get this done if I was as busy as this past summer.  Whew!  I've got one pup at my feet under my desk right now (Bella's sister, "Krissy"!!!), absolutely loving my "belly rub breaks" every twenty minutes or so as I type-type-type away.  Talk about personalized care.  She's got it pretty good this week.  I tell ya.

She's one of those pups that would much rather stay glued to my hip than play with the other pups.  Well, that's not true.  As long as I'm out there playing with her, she's more than happy to play games.  But if I move away from the group at all, look out.  Here she comes, wondering, "Where are you going?  What are we going to go do now?"  The only thing that she's more fascinated in than me is Toby (our 6-month old kitty), who is having fun with Krissy by hiding behind the closet door and poking his paws out at her, then slipping back into the darkness.  Krissy is absolutely thrilled by this game.  Puts a smile on my face to watch.