An average of $11 is the half-day rate. This is the rate for simple services and does not include additional services such as grooming, vet care, or training. The pricing landscape of the competition is largely homogeneous and is relatively price sensitive. Differentiation in the market will not be likely to be achieved through price differentiation. There Product Differentiation
Many doggy daycare centers in the area offer grooming and access to veterinary care services. These services have become standard in the industry. A few provide doggy gymnastics and some provide basic training and obedience. The dog etiquette and trick training being offered by the proposed doggy daycare center will differentiate the services offered from those of competitors. The training services being offered by this facility are unlike those of the competition as they go beyond the basic training offered by other doggy daycare services.
The doggy daycare facility will make a special effort to make the dogs and their owners feel comfortable and welcome. It will provide a homelike atmosphere, rather than a stark, cage-like kennel atmosphere. Working to provide a homelike, rather than an institutional atmosphere will also help to differentiate the facility from its competitors. It is expected that the atmosphere alone will allow the facility to charge slightly higher prices than its competitors. However, it is not expected that the rise in price can be significant, as the market is price sensitive. Pricing slightly higher than the competition will also add to the "feeling" that the new facility is more upscale than its competition. Using this strategy will allow the facility to attract a clientele that is less price sensitive than pricing the facility as the "bargain basement" center.
From a management standpoint, pricing is part of building the company's brand image. Consumers expect to pay a certain price for a specific good or service. This is the base price and is often a result of competition that is already established in the area. For doggy daycare centers, this is around $16 per day. The base price is the expected price. However, slightly higher pricing will give the customer a sense of value. They will expect that a slightly higher priced service will provide better care for their beloved pet. It is a common mistake to think that a lower price will naturally result in more sales. In fact, the opposite is often true. A slightly higher price is part of the high-end brand image that the center wishes to convey (Gilkey, 2011).
The new doggy daycare center will differentiate itself from its competitors by offering a home-like atmosphere and pricing that suggests to the customer that their services are higher quality than those of their competitors. In addition to these features, the new doggy daycare center will offer training services that go beyond those offered by the competition. Most facilities only offer serves that teach the dog basic commands and manners, such as sit, down, come, stay, and perhaps heel. A few offer help with problem behaviors such as snapping when taking treats, jumping up, and hand mouthing. Most only stick to the basic commands, leaving the owner to deal with problem behaviors when they get home.
Many owners do not have the knowledge, time, resources, or patience to teach there dog commands, or to deal with problem behaviors. They just want to relax with their dog and enjoy them. These is where the propose facility will come into play. The facility will also offer training in the basic five obedience commands and it will offer etiquette training so that the dog is a pleasure to be around for the owner, their family and guests. However, in keeping with the objective of strengthening the bond between the dog and their owner, trick and performance training will also be offered. This will give owner and their dogs a way to have fun and bond in the few hours that they have together. Tricks will include, dancing, jumping through hoops, play dead, roll over, and others. No other facility ha been located that offers this level of training.
The first and foremost resource that needs to be obtained will be a building that has adequate resources to house the program. The building will have to have at minimum enough space for play, runs, gymnastic items, and rest kennels. It will have to have proper ventilation, flooring and outdoor exercise areas. It will have to have adequate waste handling considerations as well. The most likely building for this purpose will be a large warehouse facility. Other miscellaneous resources that will be needed are toys, food, bedding, a grooming table and supplies, clickers, and all other items needed for specific training.
Staff that goes beyond basic knowledge of dog training is another resource that will have to be considered. There are plenty of staff available to carry out standard activities such as cleaning, walking, grooming, feeding and other standard care of the dogs. However, to find trainers that have the experience to conduct the advanced training required by this facility might prove to be a challenge. The most likely source for personnel with this level of experience may be retired circus trainers. However, persons who train for agility, film, stage, and canine freestyle might also be possibilities. Once a few persons of these capabilities are on-board, they can assist other employees to learn the advanced techniques requires.
The target market for the new facility will be dog owners who must leave their home to attend work, vacations, out of town events, or otherwise leave their dogs at home unattended for various times. The market will include those that have jobs placing them in the mid to upper income ranges. The most likely target market will be those who already use grooming, training, or other services for their dogs. There is also a market segment in new dog owners and those who work with rescues and adoption agencies. New and existing dog owners need to be educated about the need for the services that the new business has to offer. The target market will include dog owner of any age group, whether they have one dog, or many dogs. It will include owners who pamper their pets and who are willing to spend extra money to make certain that they are well-cared for.
Several technical issues must be addressed that could create a potential for loss or risk in the business. The first is that the dog might have prior health concerns or contagious diseases that they might transmit to other dogs. This is a risk that the competition has as well. Many of them resolve the problem by requiring that owners provide proof that their dog is healthy and that is have the required vaccinations, including distemper/parvo, and kennel cough (Dogs at Play, 2011). Policies that state these health requirements, as well as policies about what will happen if the dog becomes ill while in daycare will help to alleviate a majority of these problems.
There is also a risk that a dog might be aggressive or harm a worker, individual, or another dog. This can also be handled by the development of managerial policies that account for these situations. Aggressive dogs will not be tolerated in the facility and the facility will have the right to refuse any dog that the manager feels is a threat to the safety of humans or other dogs. For problems such as food aggression and hard mouthing, training services will be offered in lieu of dismissal of the animal.
Despite the development of policies and procedure to ensure the health and safety of animals and people in the facility, a chance still exists that an accident or health risk might occur. For this reason, the daycare facility will carry an insurance policy that guards against these types of occurrences. It will carry insurance for the people, animals, and property. The specifics of this policy will have to be chosen closer to the time of start-up.
There are no federal requirements to open a doggy daycare. However, there are county, city, and local ordinances that might require the licensure of the facility. Many include similar licenses to a boarding kennel. These procedures include annual health inspections, proper sanitation procedures and steps to help prevent the spread of infectious disease to other animals and humans (Paws Dog Daycare, n.d.). Once a facility is located in which to house the business, ordinance that apply to that area will have to be researched.
The need for doggy daycare arises from market trends in the pet industry and the growing number of dog owners. Doggy daycare offers a better alternative to home kenneling as it promotes better adjustment and health outcomes for the dog. The proposed facility will differentiate itself from its competitors by offering advanced services in training that will promote the development of…