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Starting and Running a Do-It-Yourself Dog Wash-Doug Gelbert

  • Title: Starting and Running a Do-It-Yourself Dog Wash
  • Author: Doug Gelbert
  • Released: 2002-01-01
  • Language:
  • Pages: 160
  • ISBN: 0964442787
  • ISBN13: 978-0964442788
  • ASIN: 0964442787

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Review You say this would be the perfect small business to start. This is the book that tells you how. --Forbes.com Books

From the Publisher From the introduction...

When I first started in the self-service dog wash business there was no resource like this manual available. I had first gotten the idea for such a service in 1993 after reading a two-line filler article in the Philadelphia Inquirer that simply mentioned the existence of a place where people were paying to wash their own dogs. That was all. After doing as much research as I could into the world of self-service dog washes I still didn't know much more than I had learned in those two little lines in the newspaper. Lewis and Clark knew more about the uncharted West before embarking on the Voyage of Discovery than I knew about the do-it-yourself dog wash business before plunging in.

Hopefully that will not be the case for you.

What information I could find came from a few web pages and widely scattered articles from across the country. As I was soon to learn, much of this information was highly suspect, provided as it was by people in the business whose mission was to obviously bathe themselves in the most favorable light possible. My favorite self-serving article came in the cover story of a leading pet industry trade journal. A pet store owner was raving about the tremendous success of the recent installation of a 4-station, self-service bathing area in the store. More than 300 dogs were bathed during the Grand Opening Weekend alone, the owner boasted proudly. A neophyte to the dog washing business might very well read that and by doing some quick math, multiplying that number of dogs by, say $10, and conclude there was $3000 to be made in a single weekend and well over $100,000 in annual revenue from those four little tubs!

Actually being in the dog wash business it is possible to see past that propaganda. Assuming a verrrrrrrrrrry long weekend of 12 hours on Saturday and 8 hours on Sunday, the store would be able to achieve that level of business by averaging 15 dogs per hour - or 4 dogs per tub, per hour, every hour. That gives each customer 15 minutes to wash and dry a dog (I wonÕt even include the time required to clean each tub between 300 washes). I know most customers take at least 30 minutes to get the job done, hardly any are in and out in 15 minutes. But giving the store owner the benefit of the doubt and assuming his customers were all herded out in 15 minutes, he would still need divine intervention to get exactly 4 customers to show up every 15 minutes to keep the assembly line humming. Anyone in the dog wash business knows that most of those 300 people are going to want to wash a dog between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m on Saturday.

The moral of the story is that no matter how much people tell you about their business and how much you study you are never really going to know what a business is like until you jump in yourself. That is the mission of this manual - to walk you to the edge of the diving board with as much knowledge as I have gathered in more than 5 years of the self-service dog wash business. But I donÕt know what the waters will be like when you jump in. You may do fabulously well in the self-service dog wash business, better than I could ever imagine, or you may do miserably. How anyone else has done in the business before you is largely irrelevant. It is your journey that matters. You are reading this book because the flicker of entrepreneurial spirit glows inside you. The information that follows will only fan that exciting flame.

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