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From the Publisher FROM THE PUBLISHER
IBPSA ADVISORY BOARD 2021
18 18 23 22
IBPSA Advisory Board 2021 New IPBSA Members &
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iDogCam Provides peace of mind for Pet Parents
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iDogCam Team, an IBPSA Vendor Member
IBPSA interview with PetExec President, Paula Mosteller
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from 0 to 10,000 Clients in 6 Months: Innovation Success Story By Alex McKinnon
Your Knowledge on Certification
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Resources Best Practices
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Veterinarians Should Know About Pet Resorts
By First Financial Bank, an IBPSA Vendor Member 55
NEW IBPSA MEMBERS & SPECIES-SPECIFIC CERTIFICATIONS
Human Resources Management Standards By Community Foundation of Canada, An IBPSA Resource
PET CARE PRO QUARTERLY
PET CARE PRO QUARTERLY ONLINE Find Pet Care Pro Quarterly information, issues, articles, and more at ibpsa.com/petcarepro WANT TO CONTRIBUTE TO AN ISSUE? Submission guidelines are online at ibpsa.com/petcarepro/submissions HAVE EXCITING INDUSTRY NEWS? Submit press releases to email@example.com WANT TO ADVERTISE? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org GET SOCIAL! Follow IBPSA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @petcareservices
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FROM THE PUBLISHER Hello Members! You have made it! Hopefully this issue of Pet Care Pro Quarterly is finding you very busy with a full house of pets to care for. While you are busy caring for pets, IBPSA is busy putting the finishing touches on this year’s Conference & Trade Show. We have new branding! Why FLOW? It is a word that expresses change. Our industry has been changed by the events in 2020. I expect that we will continue to experience change in the years ahead. IBPSA, with the FLOW Business Conference for the Pet Care Industry, will be at the cutting edge of all those changes. Here are some highlights about the conference this year: o 4 Roundtable Sessions facilitated by PACCC Board Members. Each session will focus on a topic where participants will discuss best practices. These best practices will become part of IBPSA facility standards. o 4 Workshops – In each workshop you will walk away with a completed plan for a specific area of your business. When you get back home it should be plug and play! o 9 – 90-minute sessions: Pet Nutrition, Financial Basics, Marketing Tactics, Brand Protection, Customer Service, Employee Wellness, Freedom & Financial Success, Profitability, Automation & Personalization o 16 – 60-minute sessions: Marketing, Separation Anxiety, Best Cleaning Practices, Dog Housing Solutions, Membership Models, Health Insurance, Fights & Bites, Digital Marketing, Think Visual, Rewards-Based Pay, Dog Behavior, The Role of Leaders, The Innovation Mindset, No Going Back, The Rosetta Bone o 4 – Pre-Conference Sessions: § Pricing for Profit § Designing for Flexibility in a Post-Covid World (formerly Build/Design Boot Camp) § Pet CPR & First Aid § Heroes for Healthy Pets Trade Show Floor, Cash Bar, Fantastic Outdoor Activities for your down time, and did we mention that lunch and snacks are included in your ticket price? AND Most Importantly – Plenty of time for NETWORKING! I look forward to seeing all of you at Conference and celebrating not only surviving 2020 but Thriving in 2021!
Carmen Rustenbeck Publisher, Pet Care Pro Quarterly Founder & CEO, IBPSA International Boarding & Pet Services Association
New IBPSA Provider Members!
New IBPSA Provider Members!
New IBPSA Vendor Members!
Learn more about IBPSA membership at ibpsa.com.
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You’ve been debating about providing cameras and live video access for your customers. You have decided it’s the right thing to do. There are options, and you’re not sure what you should be looking for. This article can help you break down some of the key features to focus on. There are some trade-offs, based on the type of access and features that matter most to you and your customers. Based on market research we’ve conducted, two of the most important factors in selecting a web camera provider are reliability and quality. If you’re someone who works at a boarding facility, you know your time is valuable. Making sure the cameras work for all customers will minimize calls about the cameras and promote an enjoyable customer experience. Select a camera service provider who not only has good system uptime, but when problems do happen, the provider is proactive in solving them. Additionally, when you inevitably do need help, make sure the provider has reputable customer support. The best place to get this information is through industry message boards and Facebook groups. Talk to other owners and find out their experiences – that’s the most authentic way to get information. Once you have narrowed down some reliable providers, lets address quality. This is a particularly tricky area since there are so many factors that can affect the quality of video provided. Without getting too technical, here are some factors to analyze:
• Facility internet UPLOAD speeds. • Local network infrastructure. • Camera quality. • Quality of end user viewing device . FACILITY UPLOAD SPEEDS The number one factor in determining the quality of your cameras to your customers is your Upload speed. Typically, Internet Service Providers are focused on advertising high download speeds. Download speeds factors into your personal internet experience, however web cameras need to leave your location, so upload has to be addressed. Most Internet Service Providers (ISP) limit upload speeds to maximize download. If your upload speeds are too slow, your camera quality will need to be reduced through lower resolution and higher compression. The total number of cameras you want to provide will also need to be considered. In order to successfully stream a number of cameras simultaneously, 150 Kbps per camera is a good number to use for calculating total Upload required. Ten cameras would need approximately 1.5 Mbps of upload bandwidth. Upload is also shared with your other devices as well, so you will want to have some
additional bandwidth reserved for daily internet usage and devices. LOCAL NETWORK INFRASTRUCTURE Depending on how many cameras you plan on providing, you need to make sure you have a solid network in place. A 1 Gbps network minimum should be installed and is fairly typical these days. In most facilities, your network will not only handle the cameras but also all your computers, connected wifi devices, other internet traffic and sometimes a VOIP phone system. Downloading or streaming movies, or uploading to cloud-based applications can all affect the network and quality of your camera streaming. All these devices share your bandwidth so it’s important to install a robust network with a high-quality router. CAMERA QUALITY There are a wide range of camera options and quality continues to improve. Keep in mind, the higher the quality, the higher the bandwidth needed to stream. Most cameras have built in firmware to adjust the quality to match your network capabilities. A camera might be 4K, but your network and ISP upload bandwidth may not be able to support it. THE END USER’S VIEWING DEVICE This is an often overlooked component in the decision process. The most beautiful, high resolution single 4K camera may be streaming but most of your customers will not be viewing it on a 4K device. All the effort and expense you put in is lost. Or you may have the smoothest streaming video but half of your customers can’t view it since they don’t have the proper device to stream the highest quality video streams. You must decide what’s more important, adjust your video to the “lowest common denominator” customer so that EVERYONE can view your cameras, or increase quality and restrict who can view – potentially adding annoying calls asking why they can’t see your cameras. Confused yet? Well at least now you’ll have some guidelines to narrow down a few of the options. But wait. There’s more! Just because reliability and quality are the top considerations, there are others that are likely to be important to you. These include features such as integration into your ERP/customer management software, integration onto your website, ability to customize the on and off times when your customers can view the cameras, camera recording, the camera security, and wanting to avoid technology that can go obsolete. You don’t want to invest thousands of dollars in hardware
only for your system to be outdated in five years. This is a consideration you must make when purchasing off-the-shelf, traditional NVR security systems. Moore’s law roughly states that technology will double every two years for the same price point. It’s a good idea to have a roadmap that includes technology upgrades that aren’t going to cost an arm and a leg. Systems that accommodate swapping out cameras which are higher in quality and lower in cost can be more advantageous than replacing entire off-the-shelf systems that aren’t compatible with new technology. A good pet camera service provider will be able to stream your NVR cameras, so all is not lost if you do want to go the off-the-shelf security system route. Some providers offer computer and software driven systems that can be updated regularly to ensure you continue to have the newest features without having to invest in new hardware and cameras in the future. And while we’re talking security, you might be interested in understanding how to make sure the cameras you have on site can only be seen by the customers you want to see them. The best way to accomplish this is to have individual password access and authentication. For the ERP/customer management software that has camera integration as a module, the logic and authentication is handled within the software. The ERP/customer management online user accounts will be granted camera access when the software indicates they have a pet checked in and restricts it when checked out. This ensures proper security for camera viewing and also automates the process. If you’re not using software that has the camera features installed, there are pet camera providers that can offer password assignment during check in. Your staff can add a unique password to a camera or cameras that can be pre-designated. Once the pet checks out, that password can be manually cleared and access is restricted again. Selecting a pet camera partner can be a lot to think about. Look for reputable providers. And after all your considerations, you want to select a provider who will partner with you and customize your camera system to work exactly as you need for your business. You don’t deserve anything less. iDogCam has been a Vendor Member of IBPSA since 2019. IBPSA Members can learn more through the Vendor Directory in your Member Dashboard.
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Recently IBPSA conducted an interview with PetExec President, Paula Mosteller. PetExec has been a Vendor Member with IBPSA since 2016, and will be an Exhibitor at the Flow Business Conference in September.
IBPSA: What is the most common advice that your clients ask for, or what is the most needed service that they do not realize they need? Paula: I have to think about it for a minute because everybody asks for different things. I think the most important thing that people ask for, is advice on how to set up their system to be efficient and easy to use, for both the staff and the pet parent. I would say the most common questions I get are, "How should we set our pricing? What should we include in a contract?" And other important things like, "Should we use packages? Should we discount our services and by how much? How should we advertise?" These are all important questions that people need to know when they are starting out. Without the right answers or the right resources, it could land them in trouble quickly. I do my best to lead them to the associations or vendors who I trust in tandem with the right software system. IBPSA: It seems that their first questions are all about business systems. and not really software. Paula: Yes, that’s correct. There are many factors to consider in order to run a pet business well. At PetEx-
ec, we have a lot of associations with like-minded vendors. We like to share knowledge to prevent pet professionals from making costly rookie mistakes. We conduct live events on Facebook or use other various ways to connect with people who have the knowledge and can answer questions about pricing, profitability and other other important topics in our unique business. While those questions are being answered, we can address the additional information that people should know before choosing the right software system. One of the most important pieces of advice I give to pet businesses to get them on the right track fast is to make sure pet parents are able to help you wit your daily tasks. I think it’s very important to have an easy, fun, and addicting way for the pet parents to utilize technology. For instance, PetExec’s mobile app or owner portal can be setup in a variety of ways to appeal to the pet parent. It allows the customer to schedule or request services, sign contracts, view past messages and transactions, display current announcements and many other tasks. Pet parents enjoy the flexibility of performing tasks at their convenience. This pet owner input can revolutionize the entire business practice. IBPSA: It sounds like using technology such as app type program helps meet the needs of the customer as well as the business owner. Paula: Apps are the future. We use them all the time in our everyday lives. No matter what age or technical ability, nearly everyone has a smart phone. People love the ease and convenience of apps so they become addicting. There seems to be an app for just about everything! Here at PetExec we say that we didn’t create the addiction, but we feed it by having a really nice app. Much of the burden of what facility owners did in the past is now passed on to the customer via technology. This creates less work for staff as the customer uses technology. App technology is a win, win for everybody. IBPSA: How did technology change during COVID? What was something different that maybe the customer had asked for that you think you will either expand on or continue to do? Paula: We learned a lot during COVID. We didn’t expect certain services like grooming and training to be so impactful. These services did not lose money during the pandemic. In fact, quite the opposite, they actually gained in popularity. As people adopted dogs the need for trainers and groomers grew. This caused us to be more focused on our app to be sure we
were meeting our clients’ needs. The biggest impact that I didn't expect to see is how many people brought their new pets to board-and-train or just training, and grooming. The service numbers for training and grooming increased when other services such as standard boarding dropped. Many people that were focusing their business solely on boarding were in big trouble unless they switched gears. If they pivoted to board-and-train they had a much better chance to thrive. Businesses that offered board-and-train were busier than ever during the Covid pandemic. That was an eye-opener for me. I always knew board-and-train was a great service, but I had no idea how it could outlast a pandemic and take such a lead over other services. IBPSA: Was there any other way that business changed during COVID where you really saw an app work for customers and owners? Paula: Yes! When people were calling in sick because they didn't know if they had COVID or not, some businesses were reduced to skeleton crews. It really helped to have the app or the owner portal because pet parents were using curbside pickup and drop off instead of coming inside the facilities. When businesses were down to a smaller number of staff, the ability to have pet parents use curbside as well as schedule and request appointments online and other tasks was a lifesaver. Business owners were already stressed out dealing with the impacts of COVID. It was like a wrecking ball to a small business. But the people in the pet industry are a scrappy bunch. They powered through the worst of times and survived. They looked ahead instead of focusing on the disruptions. We were in this together and we were going to come out of this stronger. At PetExec, our development and support remained full steam ahead as if nothing was happening. All of our employees stayed working with no fear of losing their jobs. We are here to help our Packmate clients and nothing was ging to stop us from fighting for them. We survived a rough patch and are looking ahead to a very bright future. My biggest takeaway from going through Covid was that if we work together and keep our eyes looking forward, nothing can stop us. We are more motivated and resilient than ever. Bring on the future! IBPSA: Thank you Paula! You are right, the pet care service industry is full of scrappy people. IBPSA is thrilled that the industry found a way to not only survive but thrive in 2021.
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How to Go from 0 to 10,000 Clients in 6 months
Skiptown’s Innovation Success Story
By Alex McKinnon Are you an owner of a pet care facility looking for forward-looking solutions that are COVID-19 proven, Millennial focused, technology-driven, scalable, and a lot of fun? If so, we think you can learn quite a bit from Skiptown. This story is based on an interview with Niki Chimberg who is Skiptown’s Head of Product, which includes all their products, service offerings, and technology.
Context Skiptown launched in August 2020 right in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic in one of the most competitive pet care markets in the country, Charlotte, NC. Skiptown focuses on making lives easier and better for pet parents and uses technology for a better experience for both the dogs and all people involved. They are targeting Millennials and Gen Z who live an on-demand lifestyle, and who love making dogs a joyous part of their lives. Their business is divided into a pet care side, and a dog focused bar side designed for optimal socialization for canines and their humans. The pet care side of the business is focused on daycare and boarding, with no training
or grooming services as of today. Within 6 months of launch their overall business added 10,000 human clients and 12,000 pet guests, of which 1,500 are on the pet care side, and the remainder on the dog focused bar side. Based on this success, they have started expansion plans into Dallas and Atlanta. Hopefully this amazing success will inspire you to read on to learn more.
Conflict Many other Charlotte boarding/daycare facilities were experiencing revenue declines of 25-40% during 2020. The primary difference between these companies’ performance and Skiptown’s is Skiptown’s understanding and focus on their clients’ experiential and unmet technology needs. Skiptown’s research pointed out that many pet care businesses are not necessarily designed to enable the client to interact with their pet in a fun way at the facility. They noticed that many businesses are dog friendly, but not dog focused. As an example, some breweries welcome dogs, but do not focus on the dog having the best experience. Furthermore, they noted that most pet care facilities do not have a place where you can
socialize with your dog. Also, very importantly many pet care facilities ask clients to communicate using their method of choice as opposed to the client’s preferences. For example, the facility offers phone numbers when the customer wants to text, or ask that they use a computer to email them vs. an app which the customer might rather use.
Climax Skiptown provides an experience where clients can see and participate in their dog’s fun, have fun themselves during the experience, and communicate via the technology they prefer. Skiptown also focuses on convenience in virtually every aspect of the client experience. A big part of their business is a 20,000 square foot dog focused bar area where clients come in with their dogs after the pets have been checked for their vaccines and spay/neuter status. The humans can socialize with other pet parents over wine and beer while their dogs play with other dogs in the exact same space. The whole area is also supervised by Skiptown employees to make sure that the dogs behave. To further reduce liability with the dog focused bar, they do not admit minors, spread people and dogs out over a large area, and provide outsourced food options to go with the drinks, e.g., food trucks drive up and serve right next to the bar area. This bar is a big driver of their overall volume of 10,000 clients and 12,000 pet guests. The key here is that the pet parents have fun, but the dogs have even more fun which everyone sees, and the experience is a gift for the dogs. Obviously, this drives a lot of cross selling and participation in the pet care side. This also encourages people to come back and visit more often even
when there is no need for boarding or daycare. For example, this gives them the opportunity to offer timely human themed events and/or promotions on a regular basis, giving them many more options to draw in and delight existing and new clients. The dog focused bar area also delivers some unexpected benefits for the dogs playing there. Niki told the story of a client with two dogs, one extroverted chow chow mix who loves other dogs, and a maltipoo named Macon who originally hated other dogs. That said, after Macon visited the dog focused bar area with his Mom and dog brother on several occasions, he evolved due this socialization process to now loving to play with other dogs. What a great success story of using socialization to put a dog in a place of transforming their life for the better, and now with the ability to make and enjoy a lot more furriends in a fun environment whether on the bar or pet care side of the business. So, let’s say you own a facility which does not and cannot invest in real estate for a dog focused bar. No problem at all, says Niki. Skiptown made it very clear that having a bar as a feature is NOT required to have this success. Rather than focusing on the feature of the bar, they pointed out that the reason for success is the benefit of having a standout visual and physical experience with your dog where you can observe how much fun your dog is having. As examples, you could host clients at events at most pet boarding/daycare facilities in an existing place in the building or outside where they get to interact with the dogs, share a drink, and achieve the exact same fun results. The key is showing the client all the fun the dog will have, which can be difficult to accomplish with just a quick tour of a facility. These events could also have the benefit of having participants show their experiences on social media. Niki shared
another example of showing clients how much fun their dog can have is marketing the mental enrichment programs you may already offer at your facility. Skiptown offers these as well but hasn’t yet had the time to market them. On the pet care side of the business, i.e., daycare and boarding, the current results of this approach in March 2021 are that Skiptown is fully booked most days in daycare with 110 dogs, and last weekend had 55 boarding dogs out of a capacity of 70. Given these results after just 6 months, they are ordering 90 more runs and adding two more play yards. Skiptown views this a great opportunity but also understands it can be a problem if they can’t keep up with the growth and not meet their client’s needs. Skiptown is using technology to continue to drive more growth, with the foundation being their custom app. It enables you to book any service, monitor your dog’s time at the facility, to share photos on social media, etc. The app allows you to communicate with Skiptown by texting and/or email which has been a huge success with most clients texting with Skiptown. This really helps client integrate the brand into their lifestyles Skiptown also uses technology for marketing to drive new
client growth. Existing clients love sharing photos of their dogs at the boarding/daycare facility with their friends over social media which they receive on the app. Skiptown can then reshare them via their Instagram account to fully leverage these great experience photos. Skiptown now has 8,300 Instagram Followers who not only post and promote Skiptown actively to their friends, but also many use the DM function to contact Skiptown with all sorts of questions. This makes Instagram another customer service tool for the brand. Other marketing learnings are that in addition to strong social media, Skiptown has learned to build a good partnership with local media, who often help promote what Skiptown is doing as dog care is growing everywhere, and pet parents need to know about these innovations. Tied closely with technology is Skiptown’s focus on making the client experience as convenient as possible. This includes texting and using Instagram DM to communicate with clients. To build on these initial successes, they are adding even more convenience benefits with ongoing upgrades of their custom app. For example, they are rolling out
soon the app functionality of “I’m here now for drop-off in parking spot number X.” New functionality will also let them promote and be able to order new add-on services on the app as well. It is important to note that having an adaptable staff is key for success. As Skiptown is constantly learning and adapting, whether it is with the offerings, the technology, and/or the marketing, it is key to have staff who are good with change and enjoy constant learning as well. This starts at the top with Niki having done virtually every job there is at the facility at one time or another to be sure that she knows exactly what is needed and expected from the greater team. Related to their staff who are primarily Millennials, Skiptown says that environmental sustainability is important to them. All food serving bowls are biodegradable and recyclable, the poop bags they use are biodegradable, and all cleaning products are earth friendly.
truly the quality of the experience, and the value in that, which is driving the tremendous growth. Furthermore, they point out that in Charlotte, and many more areas around the country, there are more dogs than facilities can handle. As such, they don’t view other local facilities as competitors, rather as potential friends, or partners. They are quick to point out that most pet parent clients value location and convenience, so different facilities are sourcing customers from different pools. As a local client and vendor to Skiptown here in Charlotte, my family will continue to enjoy the great services and experiences their team provides. If you would like to learn even more from them, please contact them via their website at https://skiptown.io/ and observe them on social media at https://www.instagram.com/skiptown.clt/ .
Alex McKinnon is an accomplished brand builder via leadership in innovation and teamwork driving significant business growth. Currently Alex is Founder and CEO of Kinn, Inc., a Member of IBPSA’s Advisory Board, a Fear Free Certified Professional, and a Member of the Board of Directors of the Charlotte Symphony. He has 30 years of increasing responsibility in general management, brand marketing, and design/product development senior leadership roles with Kinn, Gillette, Braun, Bell Sports, Sara Lee, Sylvan Learning Center, Hampton Products International and TopicalNet based in USA, Spain, Germany, and Scandinavia. He has an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University in Marketing-Finance-International Business, and a BA from Duke University in History and Spanish.
To achieve Skiptown’s exponential growth, other boarding/daycare facilities may need to tweak the design of their experiences so that they can participate more in the dog’s fun and communicate with technology their customers are most comfortable using. Part of this may also be ensuring that the design of the facility and all the equipment used is at or above industry standards. Another lesson from Skiptown is that they do not see the need to discount vs. other local pet care facilities, as it is
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE ON CERTIFICATION 1. What is a CEU? a. Certified Ecological Credit b. Certificate of Education by the University c. Continuing Educational Unit 2. PACCC is another educational non-profit. True or False 3. I attended a session at conference and got a certificate for that session. I am certified! True or False 4. What does PACCC stand for? a. Professional Animal Care Certified Certificate b. Professional Animal Care Certification Council c. Professional Animal Cause Certified Certificate d. Professional Animal Cause Certification Council 5. I took a class online and got a certificate. I am certified! True or False 6. PACCC is: a. A nonprofit 501 c6 b. A testing only organization c. A 3rd party certification authority d. A, B & C 7. I took a class online and got a badge. I am certified! True or False 8. PACCC certification is tied to a specific program of study, that must be completed before testing. True or False
9. PACCC certification requires CEU’s to maintain certification. True or False 10. PACCC certification: a. Increases the professionalism of the industry b. Costs a lot of money c. Is provided in every language d. Shows competency in the industry e. A, C & D 11. IBPSA provides education that will be valuable for CEUs and preparation for the PACCC exams. True or False 12. To be considered a “certification”, the credential must: a. Have a specific course to complete b. Have an expiry date and be revocable c. Have a manual to read and study d. Be available to obtain 24/7/365 To find out how well you did follow this link to listen to Coffee with Carmen with Stephanie Shipley. Stephanie is currently the President of the PACCC Board of Directors and will be the Keynote Speaker at IBPSA’s Flow Business Conference in September in Orlando, Florida.
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Human Resources Best Practices In order to maintain a motivated employee pool and to ensure fair administration of proper Human Resource (HR) Policy and Procedures, a written HR Manual must be in place. This Manual must adhere to current Best Practices and Procedures that are lawful in the location of your business. The following list includes some of the must-have items in your HR Manual, but is not an all-inclusive list for your business, as each business has some specific policies (ie., leave of all kinds.) • • • • • • • •
Mission Statement to include purpose of HR Manual and non-discrimination clauses Orientation and Training Objectives Employment Policies (such as Attendance, Tardin ess, Sexual Harassment, etc.) Job Performance Evaluation to include expectations in all areas (customer service, phone courtesy, hygiene, etc.) Hours, Pay, Overtime, Vacation, Sick Leave, FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) All items relating to payroll Resignations; both voluntary and involuntary A policy as it relates to company Email, Internet Usage, Social Media, etc.
• • • • •
Benefits – Health, Dental, Vision, 401k, Workers’ Compensation, Life or Disability Insurance (if any of these are offered) Facility Policy & Practices to include Safety Program, Accident Reporting, Emergency Proce dures (Bomb Threat, Robbery, Medical Injury/Illness, Fire, Weather etc.), Workplace Violence, Solicitation by employees/outside sources Smoking Policy Drug and Alcohol Policy Notebook of HR, Safety Reporting, etc. Forms Safety Data Sheet Notebook with all up to date chemicals being used in the facility HR Handbook Receipt Form (to be signed and maintained throughout the employee’s tenure)
It may be beneficial to seek outside consultation if you feel the production of the aforementioned documents can’t be produced in house by your HR Specialist. It might also be advisable to have your attorney review your program before implementation.
(This document is for consultative purposes only and should not be viewed as the legal requirements of any Human Resource Program)
What Veterinarians Should Know About Pet Resorts As a veterinarian, you care deeply about the welfare of your animal clients and want to provide them with the best that vet medicine has to offer. But have you ever considered ways you can serve your pet patients outside of your practice? One of the hottest trends in animal care is pet resorts, upscale facilities that take traditional boarding options and turn them up a notch. The pet industry market is booming American owners spent $103.6 billion on their furry friends in 2020 alone - and the demand for high-end animal services is growing. In fact, the pet grooming and boarding industry is one of the few established industries to report consistently strong gains over the past decade, as an increasing number of pet owners begin to treat their animals more and more like family. If you’re interested in expanding your business to meet your clients’ growing needs, then opening a pet resort could be the right choice for you. Below we’ve included things you need to know about pet resorts that will help you determine whether or not entering the luxury animal boarding market is the best strategy for your business. What kind of services do pet resorts provide? The vast majority of pet resorts not only house animals, but pamper and educate them as well. They offer a range of services, including boarding, daycare, grooming, training, spas, and entertainment, among others. A quality pet resort will keep experienced groomers and trainers on their roster in order to provide the high-end services that clients expect, which can include massages, aromatherapy treatments, facials, behavioral therapy, and more. The most lauded pet resorts have knowledgeable staff certified in animal first aid, post-secondary training, and other animal-related fields. What that means for you as a potential owner is that you’ll need to find animal enthusiasts versed not only in how to teach a dog to sit, but also how to give them a relaxing blueberry facial to exfoliate their skin. What upfront costs are involved with opening a pet resort? As with any business, there are a number of factors specific to each market that will affect your pet resorts’ start-up costs, such as location, local laws and regulations, and regional wages. Unless you plan to build your resort onto an existing facility, you’ll need to consider the cost of leasing or buying the property for your business, along with any additional features you might need to add. You’ll want to put together a solid business plan. To do some “what if” calculations, check out our online calculator to get loan payment estimates for your business.
Who is the target audience for a pet resort? Pet resorts charge clients for each night their pets are boarded, along with whatever additional accommodations and services they may choose for their four-legged friend. The clientele for these services will likely be nearby pet owners who travel frequently and have the resources to provide top-notch care to their animals. Research shows that Americans spend about $126.19 on their pets every month, though spending by state varies significantly. For example, Delaware owners spend an average of $311.90 per month on their animals, while Idaho pet parents spend only $20. Take a look at this state-by-state survey of most spoiled pets to see where your state ranks and to help you determine if your clients are likely to splurge on your pet resort. What’s needed to promote a new pet resort? Good marketing is key for every business to announce to the world (and potential customers) the services it has to offer. A strategic marketing plan involves research into local demographics relevant to your industry, which in the pet resort business includes consumers with disposable income, proximity to airports, and statistics on pet ownership, to name a few. You’ll also need to be aware of competing businesses in the area in order to distinguish your own services and avoid market oversaturation. You’ll want to factor in the time, energy, and costs associated with advertising and outreach, which are essential to gain new customers. We recommend doing a deep dive into what a robust marketing strategy entails before moving forward with any growth plans. Is opening a pet resort a strategic move for your business? Pet industry trends and projections suggest that consumer spending on animals will continue to soar, including on pet resorts. These optimistic forecasts mean that there’s an increasing opportunity for your veterinary practice to expand to better meet the demands of its animal and human clients, but you’ll need to be informed in order to execute a successful pet resort. Knowledge is power, so be sure to do your research to determine if expanding is the right choice for you and your business. Need help putting together this business plan? Find help here.
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HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT STANDARDS The discipline of Human Resources is one of the most important aspects of a company. If there is not good direction for the Staff then it is hard to achieve a common goal. It is important that a good HR Manual cover everything from minimum Legal Standards to Organizational Value Promotion. The following outline will give you direction on setting or tweaking your program. The intent of HR Management policies and standards is to create a workplace where: • It can be assured that minimum legal require ments are being met. • Best practices appropriate to the organization can be documented and implemented. • Management decisions and actions are con sistent. • Employees and the organization are protected from the pressures of expediency (conve nience). • The organizations values are promoted.
HR Management Policy Framework
a. HR Management policies are formalized and documented. Policies should include those issues that stipulate the work requirements and actions of employees. These policies should include: i. Employment Policies, Recruitment and Hiring ii. Non-Discrimination Clause iii. Age and Citizenship Requirements iv. Orientation and Training v. Probationary Period vi. Employee Performance and Evaluation vii. Work Schedules viii. Standards of Conduct ix. Customer and Team Practices, Service and Care (including handling complaints) x. Telephone Courtesy xi. Management and Employee Relations xii. Team Meetings, Teamwork, and Communica tion xiii. Employee Benefits
xiv. Health and Safety xv. Facility Policies and Practices xvi. Accidents and Emergencies b. HR Management policies comply with employment, workplace health and safety, and other requirements as applicable in the city, county, state, and country in which the organization operates. c. HR Management policies are reviewed on a regular basis and revised if necessary.
a. Managers and Supervisors are provided with oppor tunities to develop their leadership skills. b. All employees have a work plan and performance objectives that identify the tasks/activities and expected results for future performance. c. The performance of each employee is fairly assessed, at least annually, at the end of the work plan or performance period.
Employee Training and Development
Every employee’s training and development needs are reviewed at least annually and a plan estab lished to address any gaps/deficiencies. b. During the development of the annual budget, consideration is given to including appropriate resources to fund employee training and develop ment.
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Organizational Employment Standards
a. The organization is committed to providing a safe work environment. b. The organization is committed to supporting employee work/life balance. c. The organization ensures a work environment free of harassment. d. The organization is committed to promoting an inclusive workplace. e. The organization has established procedures and informed employees with regard to how to resolve conflicts within the organization.
Adapted with permission from Community Foundations of Canada © hrcouncil.ca. All rights reserved, 2016.
a. A job description is completed for all positions. b. Recruitment is through an objective and consistent process. c. Selection criteria are established and documented. d. Letter of employment is given to all incoming employees. e. All new employees receive orientation as it relates to the position and the organization. f. Plans are maintained to address any potential key employee turnover.
needs resulting in a plan to address those needs. b. Critical positions in the organization are identified and succession plans are established to address any potential gaps.
a. The organization has a process to review staffing
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