If you are a veteran looking for a post-military career, becoming a dog daycare owner could be an exciting and rewarding opportunity. Besides the fact that you get to work alongside furry four-legged friends each day, dog daycare ownership can align with the traits you already exhume or have previously developed during time spent in the military.
With the growing pet care market expected to reach approximately $232.14 billion by 2030, it is clear entering the pet industry as a franchise business owner can be an optimal choice if you’re looking for an opportunity that boosts yearly growth and continuous expansion.
According to a survey conducted by VetFran, 99 percent of franchisors think veterans are a good fit, while 97 percent say veterans make excellent franchise owners. With veterans making up 14 percent of franchisees in the US, becoming a dog daycare franchise owner may be the next step in your career.
Below are some of the many ways veterans make great dog daycare owners. If you are interested in pursuing a franchise with Dogtopia, be sure to check out our Why Dogtopia? page with more details about us and the pet industry.
THE ABILITY TO FOLLOW A ROUTINE
In the military, especially during training, following a strict routine is commonplace. From waking up at the same time to eating at the same and performing various tasks throughout the day in a routine order, those who served in the military are not unfamiliar with following a schedule.
Running a dog daycare requires a strong sense of routine. There are certain routines to follow to ensure each dog is playing, sleeping, and eating at the same time, and it is up to the daycare team to reinforce them. Being able to structure the day and correctly time out certain activities, while being devoted to following the routine set in place is very familiar for veterans. While a dog’s routine is not necessarily the same as a human’s, the premise remains the same. It is up to the daycare owner to ensure their own commitment and dedication comes through to remain on schedule.
Dogs thrive off structure, and who better to enforce one than someone acutely aware of the importance of a routine and how to follow one effectively?
KNOWING THE VALUE OF TEAMWORK
It takes a great amount of teamwork to run a successful dog daycare, especially when you need to rely on your staff to handle several large groups of dogs all requiring consistent attention and care. Not everyone has the skills to work in a team or find enjoyment in doing so, but this is not usually the case for those who have served in the military.
Teamwork is critical for those who have spent time in the military as they are alongside their squad (or multiple squads) on a daily basis working together to achieve a certain task or mission. Communicating effectively and utilizing everyone’s strengths are only some of the traits of those who know and understand how to lead a team. As a result, many veterans can have an almost instinctive ability to leverage their team to yield positive results within a business environment.
Maintaining positive emotions around dogs is important when working with them. Delegating tasks effectively is a good way to ensure everyone on the team is working together and not feeling stressed – dogs can pick up on stress and become reactive, so we want to do our part to avoid this. Determining who is doing what, putting a plan in place and following a steady system are key components when working in a high-energy space like a dog daycare.
QUICK DECISION-MAKING SKILLS
In almost any type of business, making quick decisions is often necessary but not always easy. While it is a good idea to effectively plan business decisions, this cannot always be the case. Being able to make a decision in the moment is an ideal trait of any business owner. This ability to quickly make a decision and stick to it is a trait many veterans exhibit, as their time serving led to them making quick decisions, often in a stressful environment, and carrying through with said decision.
Many veterans have the ability to quickly process a given scenario, think of options, choose which route they want to take and stick with it. This decisiveness is a great quality to have as a business owner, as it can help propel your business closer toward its goals.
STRONG LEADERSHIP QUALITIES
Pet parents want to feel assured that they are dropping their dog off at a daycare that is safe and that has a team that possesses positive qualities, including a passion for and love of dogs. However, the work it takes to build a successful team often starts with its leader, or in this case, the owner. Being able to lead by example with leadership qualities such as empathy, patience, and the ability to motivate can often lead a team to do the same.
Many of those who served in the military develop leadership traits such as passion, courage, and decisiveness, which easily translates to effectively leading a team within a business environment. Transformational leadership, which means leading by example, is often seen in the military, and veterans who were exposed and operated under this leadership style while serving can cultivate their own team to think and operate similarly.
ABILITY TO COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY
With customers, team members, and even daycare dogs, being able to communicate effectively is key when running a franchise of any kind, but especially in the pet industry. For veterans, communication skills are engrained within them as it was critical to communicate needs or tasks during a mission. Thriving within a team and communicating effectively go hand-in-hand. In order to care for pups in a daycare environment and ensure tails are wagging while communicating with team members, head office members and pet parents, a strong set of communication skills are necessary. Effective communication is an important way to reach positive outcomes, which is a skill veterans fully understand and utilize to thrive.
DOGTOPIA’S WORK WITH VETERANS
Part of the work we do with the Dogtopia Foundation is funding service dog training for returned veterans. Partnering with organizations like America’s VetDogs, K9s for Warriors and Next Step Service Dogs, Dogtopia daycares help to provide the support military veterans need when they return from service. For many veterans looking to become a franchisee and own their own business, aligning themselves with a brand that supports the mental health and well-being of service members is important.