So…what do you think?

I’m looking for a little constructive (I’m talking to you Gerard) criticism from readers on an idea for my latest endeavor (get poor quick scheme) since my real estate career was taken out back and put down. Daphne gave me some good advice the other day regarding following my passion so maybe it’s time to do something that I can have some fun with. I have most of the infrastructure in place so now it is just a matter of:

Step 1; Come up with an effective marketing plan.

Step 2; ?

Step 3; Make lots of money.

Who says I’m not a savvy businessman. Below is a draft of a brochure I cobbled together this evening. It is a rough draft at this point, suitable fonts, pictures and the like will be added, but I thought I’d toss it out there as a concept and see what you all thought.

My primary worry is that by this time next year people will be eating their pets rather than boarding them at waterfront resorts so if this comes to pass, I will at least be well stocked with protein for TEOTWAWKI.

Pearl
K-9 Club
“Eat, Run, Sleep… A Dogs Life.”

“The Site”

Located on the eastern shore of Hood Canal just outside of Poulsbo Washington, Pearl K-9 Club is a fully fenced waterfront facility combining three acres of forest and pasture with access to miles of sandy shoreline. Catering to the busy dog owner looking for an extended stay facility, we specialize in visits of a week or more for those seeking to reduce the anxiety inherent for owner and pet alike when vacation or business plans dictate that you must briefly part ways with your most loyal companion. A day rate is available however for shorter visits

“A Dog in Full”

Your dog will never be locked in a cage and “warehoused” for hours on end at Pearl K-9 Club as is common at many pet boarding facilities. We will treat them as one of our own. Hosting only six dogs at any given time means that your pup will be given the maximum of individual love and hands on care. The dogs are free to wonder the property and our home at their whim, exploring the woods, digging in the dirt, visiting with our dogs and livestock, or simply curling up on one of the oversized pillows in the house. At least once a day depending on weather we will run your pooch on the beach and let them take a swim in the bracing salt water of Hood Canal. In the summer months, much of your dogs day will be spent running the miles of beach and then sleeping on the warm sand by the waters edge. A small creek flowing from the beach head provides plenty of fresh water. If you’re looking for one of those places where the dogs get manicures, herbal baths, shiatsu massage and the like, this is not that place. Dogs are happiest and most well adjusted when allowed to indulge their canine nature. To encourage your canine to become “a dog in full” while visiting is our mission at Pearl.

“Facilities”

In addition to having the run of our place during the daytime, your pooch will spend his or her evenings in one of our six guest suites. Each measuring approximately thirty five square feet, the suites are immediately adjacent to the house in order to best address any late night needs your pet may have. The suites are covered to protect from the elements and feature radiant heat rubber mat floors to ensure a clean sleeping environment and maximum comfort in any weather. A warm water showering and drying room is adjacent. Each suite is equipped with a privacy shelter, sleeping pad, food of your choice, and plenty of fresh water.

“Rates”

We like to keep it simple here at Pearl K-9 Club. You will never be “nickel and dimed” with additional services and charges. The standard daily or weekly rate is all inclusive. Beach walks (individually and/or running with the pack), bathing and grooming as needed (they will get dirty here!), and any other miscellaneous needs that they may require are covered. Any stay of a week or more includes free pickup from and delivery to your home in the Puget Sound region. For shorter stays something can be worked out depending on distance and our schedule.

Daily Rate: $50.00
Weekly Rate: $300.00
Monthly Rate: $1,000.00

“Pearl K-9 Club Philosophy”

Moving here from the city in 2003, we took advantage of the space available to us and began to indulge our passion of rescuing and re-homing dogs with friends and family members in need of canine companionship. We began to notice that in our setting of woods and water, free from the distractions of city life, the opportunity to interact with other dogs freely while under our careful supervision caused even sullen or neurotic pooches to rediscover the fun of being a dog in a remarkably short time. After a while friends started telling their friends about our little dog paradise on the shore and how their canines would return home after a visit rejuvenated and joyfull. We started taking in a border or two when pet owners had to leave town and Pearl K-9 Club was born. Our philosophy is based on a simple premise. “Dogs don’t care if you are rich or poor, handsome or homely. No matter your station in life, give them your heart…and they will give you theirs”. We look forward to welcoming and caring for your most loyal friend during those times when you can not.

Contact: blah, blah, blah.



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14 responses to “So…what do you think?

  1. I’m for it. I’ve been paying $35/day for our pooch when we’re out of town, and it’s hardly your rich environment.

    Just one fee-related thing: my doggie day care charges me a per diem regardless of how short the day: drop the dog off Tuesday night, pick her up early Thursday morning– and get charged three days, not two. So don’t do that, and you’ll be a huge success–

  2. Thanks Daphne. The place is fenced although there are a few holes to patch here and there.

  3. I usually just lurk here, but since I have dogs and refuse to board them anyplace involving long periods of confinement, I just have to say I’d be thrilled if there were someplace like this nearby. Sounds like a great idea to me.

  4. Thanks for your input Julie.

    I know what you mean by lurking. I think I read various blogs for five years or so before I ever left a comment anywhere.

  5. I’d lose “Pearl” but keep “The K-9 Club.”

    Bivalves are not the target demographic.

    The real target demographic are the endlessly proliferating young couples of all persuasions who have dogs instead of children. Secondary target: empty nesters with animal companions.

    “Eat, Run, Fetch, Sleep…”

    Ads of happy dogs romping free in local weeklies.

    Make friends with and give gifts to and parties for local vets.

    Referral commissions?

    Leaflet parking lots near big Pets stores.

    Instore Point of Sale advertising.

    “Promise. BIG promise. Is the soul of advertising.”

    Senior living developments and assisted living developments. Pets in transition when their owners are in transition.

    Shelters and pet rescue people.

    Take a look at Jay Conrad Levinson’s Guerilla Marketing. (The first book for sure.) Tell him his first editor, Gerard, sent you.

  6. A nice concept, close to but not exactly like yours, is

    http://www.barkwells.com/

    in the Carolinas.

    You might want to work the hotels and bed and breakfasts that don’t accommodate dogs to get some referrals since they could package your offering together with theirs.

  7. I not really stuck on the pearl thing. Hood Canal is known for oysters and I kind of liked the graphic and the”diamond in the rough” analogy of a pearl but maybe to obscure. I’m with you on the dogs as a substitute for kids demographic. Seattle is stinky with them. Great ideas Gerard. I get the feeling you have a little experience as an ad man. BIG promise? Example?
    I’ll check out the book.

  8. My only concern is potential liability should one of your borders be not completely friendly with another of your borders. You might have to be extra vigilant in initial screening.

    OTOH, I have always been very impressed by the behavior of the many free-running dogs at various “dog beaches”, most notably in San Diego. If they are not on their own home-territory, they seem much more prone to sociability.

    One more thought, you might advertise that you have on-call arrangements with a qualified veterinarian should an emergency medical condition arise.

  9. Yet another thought…… you might look into the possibility of getting pet medical insurance on a short -term basis for your borders. We now have fairly complete medical insurance for our 1 year old chesapeake bay / black lab cross. At 6 months, she leaped into the air to catch a tennis ball (the love of her life), landed wrong, and broke both the tibia and fibula in her rear leg. Three thousand dollars later, she has a plate in her leg and is completely back to her wild puppy antics.

    Our insurance now costs about $30/month. I would think it possible to contract with a pet insurance company to provide some type of short term medical insurance for each of your borders at a reasonable price. If so, this could be another great selling point for your business.

  10. Great thoughts Bob. Insurance and vet care in the event of accidents will be must haves.

  11. If the world ends as we know it next year, you could probably convert to a cannery. But seriously, good luck to you. My father had to reinvent himself after failing to make a living selling pianos. Every decade he added a new and rarer skill to his already mad ones: In his 30s, he learned to tune the piano. In his 40s, he mastered the art of refinishing them, and in his 50s, he learned to rebuild one from the ground up. Believe it or not, he is constantly working, and he’s in his mid 70s now. He’s even engineered thingamabobs and doohickeys for rebuilding Steinways. He says they aren’t built like any other piano. They call him from as far away as Boston to have him rebuild pianos.

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