Here is what Canine Creche had to say about tough times:
As a doggy daycare we certainly have it easier than most with regards to staying passionate about our occupation. It is hard to look into the eyes of a puppy, full of love and excitement about life and not, at least temporarily, forget about everything negative going on in the world. Unfortunately, the daily grind and cash-flow problems can suck the joy and motivation out of the best business, even ours.
When we started in 2014 doggy daycare was a fairly new industry in South Africa, so despite having done months of research to gauge the market demand, it still took us 6 months longer than expected just to break-even. We knew cash-flow problems are what cripple most start-up companies within the first year and while we had a few very stressful months, we did eventually break-even and can honestly say it was worth pushing.
It is hard to anticipate every problem a new business might face, and even after feeling elated at having made it pass our 1st year and proud when we finally turned a profit, a few months later we ended up having a very rough Christmas. We learnt the hard way and learned the importance of a business having money saved as cash-flow-buffer for when “Murphy” inevitably strikes and for lower income months.
Fortunately, we have learnt from every unpleasant experience and made a point of putting a plan in place to ensure we never repeat them. The other big lesson learnt was to outsource the things that are important for your business, but that you either are not proficient at, or simply never manage to find the time to do. As a new business we focused on marketing and ensuring we were providing an excellent service. We knew given enough time we could earn a good reputation and would get word of mouth referrals, but we needed to grow quickly to survive and thus needed to advertise to let potential clients know we even existed.
While we now have a team of 6-7, when we opened it was just my husband and I and so things like accounting took a backseat. We had basic bookkeeping but since there have not been enough money to pay ourselves salaries, we have not even setup a payroll, let alone thought about the prospect of UIF, EMP201s and 501s, Provisional Tax, Income Tax, VAT, etc. It was horribly daunting and caused many stressful days and sleepless nights until we found Recro and met with Claire. Recro gave us peace-of-mind and allowed us to keep focusing on the heart of our business, which is our furry-kids and their parents.
April 2020 will be the start of our 7th year in business and we have been extremely blessed to have had mostly smooth sailing and great clients. We have much more competition now, but despite that we have a waiting list of furry kids wanting to enroll.
We have stayed motivated and worked hard because we constantly reminded ourselves why we started the business in the first place, and it really does set us apart. A labour of love often does not feel like labour at all.
To learn more about Canine Creche and how they can be of service, please visit their pages:
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