In this episode, I interview Rhiannon Beach, the Founder of Pups4Fun, Canberra’s leading dog daycare and dog adventure center specializing in behavior-based service. Pups4Fun offers daycare, playgroups, and out and about excursions, activities usually associated with children. Rhiannon was ahead of the curve when she started Pups4Fun, tapping into the sentiment that animals in a household were not just pets, but members of the family.
Her journey into small business ownership started in 2005 when was completing her high school. A great teacher pushed her to enter a business plan competition and she went on to win the Australasian award. Aged 19 in 2008, she started a law degree part-time and launched the dog daycare, walking, and sitting business. There were only two other dog daycare businesses in Australia at the time. They currently walk up to 50 dogs at a time and take them to unusual locations like the war memorial. Rhiannon clearly has a passion for dog wellness. The business has grown every year, on average at 180%, from herself alone to now 29 full-time employees. When she launched the business, the industry was worth $3.8 Billion per annum in Australia and is now at $12 Billion.
In 2017, she bought another salon 30 kilometers away and two years later, she closed it and brought 98% of the customers to headquarters. At the end of 2008, she got a $10,000 loan for a few months from her father to replace her 1982 small car. That is the only financing she has ever had. In late 2013, she had burnout which led to an infection in her brain and it took 6 months for her to recover, but it was the best thing to ever happen to her. She had to let go, trust her team, and let them run the business. She felt she succeeded when she achieved work-life balance and started getting great feedback from clients.
She believes the hardest thing about growing a small business is, “Sacrifices you make and letting go” She shares that the one thing she would tell herself on day one of starting out in business is, “Set systems and procedures up to where you want to be, not where you are now” Sit back, relax and enjoy as Rhiannon shares her awesome small business ownership story.
This Cast Covers:
“When you get to a place of having a high level of customer satisfaction, your staff are happy, you’ve got life balance, and you can pay your bills, what more can you want?” – Rhiannon Beach
“Know who you’re selling to and adjust your strategy accordingly” – Rhiannon Beach
“It’s great to have advertising bringing customers in, but if you’re not retaining them, you’re just wasting your money” – Rhiannon Beach
“Let it go, step back, trust in your employees and get advisors to help you” – Rhiannon Beach
“The moment you stop trying to control everything is the moment you grow” – Rhiannon Beach
“Don’t be desperate when hiring” – Rhiannon Beach
“Set your systems and procedures up for where you wanna go and the size you wanna be, not where you are now”