Several months ago I attended an industry conference in Denver. There were lots of presentations about all sorts of issues associated with pet care – how to clean and disinfect, dog body language, and of course the critical one for any small business, exit strategies. Now let me start by saying that Virginia and Mark have no intention of exiting Pet Camp (though if you’re interested in purchasing a pet care facility feel free to make us an offer we can’t refuse), but I was struck by one fact in the presentation by Teija Heikkila of National Kennel Sales & Appraisals. Heikkila said that the on average someone owns a lodging facility for only 7 years! She explained that some founding owners (like Virginia and Mark) might wait up to 10 years before selling but this is offset by the fact that most re-sales happen within 5 years of purchase.
So what does all this mean? Lots of businesses are sold all the time and sadly the majority of small businesses simply fold within 3 years of opening. But we think pet care is different from other types of businesses. We think that longevity and consistency is important. We want you to know you and your pet are equally important, and we want to make sure that you know us. Sure while some counselors may come and go, the core values of San Francisco’s Pet Camp remain the same almost 18 years after we opened our doors. Based on our conversations with other pet care facilities, we think the longevity of our counselors far exceeds what you’ll find elsewhere and we think this is good for us, for you, and of course for your pet.
So what do you think? Why are so many pet care facilities changing hands? Could it be that after 5 or 7 years owners want to return to a “normal life” of 9 to 5 and holidays off? Do you think that Virginia and Mark’s life at home with 4 teenage kids and 3 dogs makes life at Pet Camp seem more relaxing?
Thanks for reading!