Everyone knows that being organised can save you a lot of time, and that time saved is money saved. This is especially true when running a kennel boarding or cattery business. In general, we think of all sorts of ways to be organised, like filing paperwork, itemising receipts, keeping your Inbox under control - you know, typical business organisational tips. But here are some tips specific to your pet service business.
Specific Tips for Kennel Boarding and Cattery Businesses
Yes, online booking. This one particular item will save you loads of time and keep your booking process streamlined and organised. Let your customers check availability right from your website or your Facebook page. Can you imagine the time saved? You are smiling, aren't you? :-) Online booking is easy to use and your customers will be grateful that you offer it. Win-win-win. You win, your customer wins, the pet wins.
Policies and Procedures
It probably seems obvious that your business would have policies and procedures, but you would be surprised at how many companies do not literally write them out. Policies are rules and guidelines created and adopted by your company to reach certain goals. Procedures influence all major decisions and actions with day-to-day operations. Together policies and procedures can assist with challenges and obstacles within your business. They can help employees make smart decisions and can help customers feel confident in your service competency. Creating this in advance can prevent lots of headaches (and unnecessary expenses) in the future.
Policies and Procedures can be presented on your website, posted on the wall in the reception area of your kennel or cattery, or provided in printed, booklet format for your customers and staff. They can include:
Frequency of walking / human contact with pets
Rules and procedures for sick animals
Medical care policy
Bathing policy and recommendations
Check in / check out policy (times, procedures, etc.)
How to ask questions or make further enquiries
Terms and Conditions
We see company T&C's all of the time, and blindly agree to them to expedite service. But when it comes to something as important as pets and animals, you want to make absolutely certain that your customers understand the terms of your service.
You will probably want to add your terms and conditions to your website, so people can take their time and review them in full. You can create a digital Terms and Conditions agreement form and/or you can offer a paper form version from your facility. In either instance, you will want to ensure that your customer agrees to your terms prior to engaging in service with them.
Your Terms and Conditions can include:
Minimum, maximum stay
Vet bills incurred
Type of facilities explained
Damage to property
Risk and insurance
Code of practice
How can you ensure that a customer has read the terms? Here are some ideas:
Provide the terms in advance, via email or post.
Provide them in your email correspondences, so your customer always has access to them.
Go over them in person.
Ask if they have any questions.
Provide a copy (with their signature) to them for their records.
Having this legal document available to every customer will save lots of time. Time arguing, time explaining, time used hiring a lawyer should things get messy. This is not time well spent - people appreciate knowing and understanding the rules so provide them.
Kennel and Dietary Sheets
Talk about kennel / cattery specific! Kennel sheet, feeding sheet, dietary sheet... You care for pets; you know what this is. If you do not currently use them, you probably should be.
Dietary sheets hold valuable information specific to each pet:
To make it even easier, why not implement a printable dietary sheet, that can be updated from your online kennel / cattery software? A real time saver!