If you love dogs, you may have thought about being in a business where you could spend more of your time with dogs. You may have even considered starting a dog walking service or a dog grooming business – or maybe even a doggy daycare. 

I put on my consultant hat and talked with Bob Duncan who is the owner of Dog Days of West Hartford in Connecticut. Duncan shared how a corporate downsizing led him to buying an existing business where he had been a customer. 

This was a smart move because he understood his customers since he had been one, and he also understood marketing, which was his professional background. 

But marketing a small business with a very limited budget is different from working in the marketing department at a large company. Duncan shared that he needed a more immediate ROI and sometimes resorted to “guerilla tactics” with his marketing. 

On top of that, he needed to learn about HR and hiring, and local zoning laws.  

His doggy daycare business includes dog grooming and dog walking, but you could open any of these as a separate business.

Duncan echoed what I have frequently heard Carol Roth say: Go see what it’s like before you invest. 

Yes, you will want to shadow someone or work for someone else’s business before you invest your time and money in your own business.

I am sure you will enjoy this interview.