Ask These Questions Before Buying a Dog Kennel Business

Posted On: / By: Brian Knoderer
Buying A Business

Over the last several years, the pet grooming and boarding industry in the United States has exploded. In fact, from 2014 to 2019, the sector experienced 6.2 percent annualized growth, reaching a total industry revenue of $9 billion. If you’re passionate about dogs and looking for ways to turn that passion into a career, buying a dog kennel may be a business opportunity worth exploring.

What to Ask Before Buying a Dog Kennel

Knowledge is power when it comes to buying a business, especially in the pet-care industry. Ask the following questions to determine whether buying a dog kennel is right for you.

Who Should Consider Buying a Pet Boarding Business?

Owning a dog boarding facility is about so much more than just a love for dogs; it also requires extensive knowledge of customer service, sales, financials, and management. The average kennel owner-operator should be prepared to be on his or her feet quite a bit, and actively manage kennel managers, attendants, receptionists, and even groomers and trainers depending on the business model.

What is the Benefit of Buying a Dog Kennel Business vs. Starting a Dog Kennel?

Buying an existing dog kennel business has many advantages over starting one on your own. Not only is an established kennel or dog daycare going to have existing clientele, but it’s also going to have trained staff, an established brand, existing cash flow, and a fully-equipped facility. With so much of the business already set up and flourishing, you’re minimizing risk for yourself and investing in a proven business model.

Where Should I Buy a Dog Kennel?

Choosing where to purchase a dog kennel can be one of the more challenging to-do’s when searching for dog kennel businesses for sale. In general, it’s best to choose a location based on the disposable income of the surrounding population, as well as population density. Pet owners with higher disposable incomes tend to pay a premium on pet care, grooming services, training, and boarding. If you find a profitable dog kennel for sale in a high-income area, it may be worth exploring the opportunity.

What Should I Look for in a Pet Boarding Facility?

Aside from location, look for a boarding kennel that sets itself apart from the competition. Things that may differentiate a pet boarding kennel from its competitors include:

  • Offering a wide range of services: Look for a boarding business that has multiple services, including doggie daycare, overnight boarding services, grooming, dog training, and even veterinary care. With so many pet care services in-house, an all-in-one pet care facility could become a consumer’s one-stop-shop for all things pet-related. Plus, the more services a facility offers, the more revenue streams it will have. If you find a facility you love, but it doesn’t have all of these services, consider what it would take to start these services out of the facility.
  • Keeping a top-of-the-line facility: Another thing to critique when you visit a pet care business for sale is the facility itself. Consider the condition of the real estate, play area, sleeping quarters, and waiting area. Pet owners want a facility that is clean, spacious and provides a premium, safe experience for their dog.
  • Providing structured activities for the pets: Consider whether or not the current business owner has an established routine for the kennel’s borders. Dog owners want to see that their furry friends are maintaining a regular schedule while they’re away, so ensure there is a set schedule for walks, potty breaks, meals, group playtime, and sleep. Some of the most luxurious pet resorts even have pool time, cuddle time, and massages.
  • Sending updates to the owners: Nowadays, many dog lovers consider pets a part of the family and treat them accordingly. That’s why many of the top-tier dog kennels send updates to owners while they’re away. Updates may include photos of dogs during playtime, or even live camera feeds of the kennel area.

These are just a few ways that you can tell that a kennel seller has established a business model that is built to last.

How Much Does a Dog Boarding Business Cost?

dogs playing during doggy daycare

Asking prices for dog boarding businesses vary tremendously based on location, size of the facility, assets, revenue, and cash flow. When inquiring about a dog kennel business for sale, be sure to ask the business owner if he or she received a third-party business valuation. If a professional valuator or business broker appraised the kennel, it is likely priced reasonably. If not, the asking price could be inflated by emotional attachment to the business and is likely negotiable.

To learn more about buying a dog kennel or doggy daycare business, contact a Sunbelt Business Brokers office near you. Our brokers have years of experience helping entrepreneurs like you find their ideal business. Not only can a broker help you identify the right business for your lifestyle and budget, but he or she can also guide you through financing options, negotiations, and closing a deal.

Brian Knoderer is the President of Sunbelt Business Brokers. He has over 20 years of experience as a business owner and managing business transactions. As a seasoned intermediary, Brian has successfully represented companies in a broad range of industries helping business owners achieve their desired exit strategy or growth initiative.

Brian is also co-owner of Sunbelt Indiana and Managing Director of MMI Capital Partners, a franchisor focused investment banking firm.

Previously Brian was involved in several entrepreneurial ventures as well as having held corporate roles in Franchise Development for Prime Hospitality and Choice Hotels.

Brian is a graduate of Ball State University with a degree in Management Information Systems and earned his MBA from Butler University. He has received the Certified Merger & Acquisition Advisor (CM&AA) designation, holds both the Series 7 – General Security License and the Series 63 – Uniform Securities Licenses, and is a licensed Real Estate Broker. He has been affiliated with several organizations including the Entrepreneur Organization, a Member of the International Business Brokers Association, Venture Club, and a Board Member of The Entrepreneur Institute.

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