Off-Leash K9 Training, LLC is a dog training business that happens to be one of the highest rated dog training businesses in the United States. They are known for their celebrity dog training and military/police precision obedience that they are able to give regular dogs.
Nick White started Off-Leash K9 Training in 2009 and now has 9 locations throughout the United States and growing.
MO: What inspired you to start Off-Leash k9 Training?
Nick: I was inspired to start Off-Leash K9 Training based off of my love of training dogs! I loved training dogs, seeing the changes, seeing the owner’s expressions when their dog performance a new command. I started training dogs for free for friends and family and soon found myself in demand from their friends and neighbors. I quickly learned the key to being successful and happy is find something you love to do and find a way to make money doing it. So, I decided to start a business doing what I loved.
MO: Do you have any tips for our readers who are struggling with obedience issues with their dogs?
Nick: If you are struggling with obedience issues with your dog, see professional guidance and training as soon as possible. On a daily basis, we talk to owners who have been dealing with issues with their dog(s) for months and even years, when it was a problem we were able to easily correct within just a couple sessions! If you have an issue with your dog, they will not “grow out of it” nor will it “fix its’ self.” Seek professional guidance and get your dog in the right direction as soon as possible.
MO: Startups typically need to pivot and evolve their business model over time, especially as customers start to use the product or service. Can you provide some advice or lessons learned to entrepreneurs on pivoting while keeping your business moving forward at the same time?
Nick: I have found when adjusting your business or going through a transition, it’s best to let your customers know! Be honest with them and tell them they will see some changes in the near future; however, they changes are taking place in order to provide THEM with a better service and/or product! Anytime we change something, we always let the customers know how the changes BENEFITS them! I continue to move my business forward by having monthly meetings with my staff and we collectively figure out how we can improve, new ideas, new marketing strategies, and ways we can continue to grow! We get a lot of great ideas out of the meetings that help us continue to grow and expand!
MO: What tips would you give to a company considering expanding?
Nick: The advice I would give for expansion is to expand slowly, I have found that to be the best advice! Anytime you expand, there are going to be issues, kinks, and things you did not expect; therefore, it’s important to expand one location at a time so you can figure out all of the variables that you did not consider. If you expand too rapidly, you can find yourself with a lot of unexpected problems all at once which not only effects those new locations, but it also effects your current location because you are taking time away from it on order to focus on the problems of all the others.
MO: Learning from mistakes is critical for entrepreneurs. Can you share some lessons learned from your past or how you would have approached things differently?
Nick: There really isn’t too much I would have done differently. One of the best decisions I feel that I made was to start from scratch and as I made money training dogs I slowly built my business up. I never took out loans, credit cards, or got financing. I expanded my business slowly by using the money I was making and immediately reinvesting it in order to grow and expand the business. I never spent money I didn’t have when it came to the business. I see a lot of start-up businesses spend thousands and thousands of dollars on all of the best stuff before they even have any business or income coming in. I did the opposite, I started with nothing and grew the business as income came in.
MO: How important is social media as part of your marketing strategy?
Nick: Social media is very important for our business model. We have over 400 videos on our Youtube channel so people can actually “see” the results we get in our training programs, which is obviously very powerful marketing. Additionally, we use Facebook on a daily basis, which is why we have over 15,000 followers. We keep our fans engaged in our most recent videos, pictures, screenshots of emails from happy customers, etc. Also, I find it gives a way for owners to “connect” with us; meaning, we are very interactive on our Facebook page which I see a lot of businesses fail to do. We read every single comment on our Facebook page and try to reply to everyone, as well. By doing this, people know that we actually read their remarks and answer their questions; therefore, it keeps our clients very engaged on our Facebook page. We get a lot of customers based off of our Youtube videos and our Facebook page, so I couldn’t imagine running a business without them.
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