Nancy, the owner of Dingo’s Dogsitting & Doggy Daycare, was recently interviewed for Boston Voyager magazine! The article is re-posted below for your viewing pleasure. To see the piece live on the Boston Voyager site, please follow the link here: http://bostonvoyager.com/interview/meet-nancy-beaurpere-dingos-dogsitting-doggy-daycare-beverly-ma/
Nancy, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Dingo’s Dogsitting began as a means to socialize and exercise my dog, Dingo, who I was bringing to the office of my other business, First Call Trucking & Courier, daily. But as anyone who has owned a young puppy can attest, I quickly realized that Dingo needed more attention during the day than I could lavish upon her whilst still trying to do my job. With the consent of my co-worker (my dad), I decided to put an ad on Craigslist offering our office-warehouse as a play-space for anyone in the immediate area who wanted to drop off their dog for a few hours. I figured if Dingo had a “friend” she would be more content and the two to three dogs could run around the warehouse, which was enclosed, safe and clean, to burn off some energy. After getting no replies for a “free play group”, I decided to re-post but to advertise as a paid service instead of offering the time and space “au gratis”. From a sociological and psychological standpoint, it made perfect sense that only then did the flood of emails and calls begin rushing in! My first lesson in “perceived value”!
As a life-long lover of dogs, once I realized that I could generate income by caring for them, I really started to get my “side-hustle” on. In addition to the play-groups, I also started offering dog-walking and dog-boarding out of my apartment in Charlestown. I quickly learned that there was a need for quality, professional dog-care at a reasonable price. When the demand for my services outgrew my apartment in Charlestown, and then my home in Swampscott, I realized I needed to take the next step and open a commercial location. In August of 2013, after applying for and receiving a kenneling license and business permit from the City of Beverly, I opened Dingo’s commercial location at 33 Tozer Road. In sum, Dingo’s started out as a “side-gig”, something a lot of people in today’s economy can relate to, and it grew, more or less organically, into what it is now — a 3,9000 square foot indoor/outdoor commercial space devoted solely to dog play, pleasure and fun.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I think one of the toughest challenges any sole proprietor faces when looking to grow is how to scale and, maybe more importantly, how to scale at a rate that does not alienate your current client-base. Also, I went from being solely responsible for all the dogs in my care to hiring staff so learning how to manage people and delegate has been an important lesson as well.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Dingo’s Dogsitting & Doggy Daycare – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Dingo’s Dog sitting & Doggy Daycare is a full-service pet care company. While our “bread and butter” is the daycare itself, we also offer leashed walks as well as off-leash hikes, dog boarding, house-sitting, and cat-care. Unlike a lot of daycares in the area, we are proud to offer our clients pickup and drop-off services in both our “Dingo’s Fun Bus” and our smaller SUV that we refer to as the “Dingo mobile”.
Our sustainable competitive advantage hinges on the fact that we offer the highest staff to dog ratio of any commercial daycare around. There are a number of daycares both in Boston and on Boston’s Northshore to choose from, but what sets us apart in addition to our staff to dog ratio is the fact that we offer both inside and outside play areas. There are couple daycares and playgroups that do not have an indoor area for the dogs, as well as quite a number that do not have any sort of outdoor area. We offer the best of both worlds in that we have both a 2,000 square foot fenced yard as well as a 1900 square foot indoor play area.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
We’re constantly updating both the yard and indoor play space so I would love to own a building of my own one day as ownership would allow me to see more of a return on investment on any building modifications that I make. In the immediate future, I know I will need to add to my fleet as the need for daycare pick-up has been growing exponentially.