If you are one of those who have decided to take the path less traveled and are having a hard time trying to make your dog training business stay afloat, you are not alone.
According to Fundera, about 30% of small businesses fail within their first two years. In fact—and this might scare you from pursuing your entrepreneurial dreams—this failure rate increases to 50% by the fifth year and becomes even higher at 70% by the end of the decade.
Such low survival rates apply across all industries. However, they are believed to be even higher for the dog training sector, where sustainability is a foreign concept.
Fortunately, people like Ines McNeil firmly believe in helping dog trainers like you stack the odds in your favor.
Founder of The Modern Dog Trainer, Ines has taken it upon herself to help great dog trainers create profitable and sustainable six-figure businesses.
“I found that there was really just not enough business information on the business end of things of being a trainer. You know, people go to school, and they spend thousands of dollars investing in their how-to-train-dogs education. And then they get out there in the community, and they don’t know how to really turn that into a solid career that is profitable, that you can save for retirement, with anything you would expect from a normal career. So, I wanted to help people out with that.”
(Click the “Play” button below to watch the video)
In an industry where customers don’t stick around forever, Ines understands just how important marketing can be. Because of this, she starts out with helping her students attract clients who are happy to invest in professional training services for their Fidos. The aim is for the students to set up more efficient systems that allow them to deliver an even better customer experience, which eventually turns into precious, revenue-generating referrals.
“Growing up, my mentors always were like, ‘Training never stops. The dogs are always learning, just like we do. We’re always learning.’ So, I found that it just didn’t make sense for training programs or packages to stop. When we’re over here, we talk about how training never ends, so we are kind of flipping the script on that and creating programs that people love to go through and then graduate from and then continue training with,”
When asked how The Modern Dog Trainer began, she shared that it started with her helping people on an individual level. However, it got to the point where she began catering to a lot of students, so she created a program that has now evolved into The Modern Dog Trainer Academy.
Founded around June 2020, The Modern Dog Trainer program caters to individuals who need relevant information but couldn’t find them. From how to teach a group class and how to run a private lesson to how to onboard new clients, Ines and her team teach their students what it takes to start, run, and grow a successful dog training business.
This is made possible through The Modern Dog Trainer Program’s free business planning resources and business articles produced from an expert perspective. They also have podcast interviews and Facebook Live training where students could tune in for industry experts’ suggestions, client-trainer communication tips, and many more.
“I had access to a mentor and got to see how she did things… She was amazing… But I’m a millennial. I use the Internet, Google things, too. And I just could not find this kind of information online. I could only see that I basically was resorting to just asking questions and random Facebook groups and hoping that it was good advice.”
This further cemented Ines’ wish to create an online platform where anybody, regardless of their location, can discuss topics related to running a dog training service.
“I think we really need to let go of the ‘work hard’ mentality. It’s very prominent in the industry, and for good reason. We want to make sure we do good, and we want to make sure we serve people and their dogs well. But there’s no reason that you have to scrimp, barely make ends meet, or not be able to save money and live in a house that you enjoy living in or take time to raise your own puppy. Those are the things that I’ve helped people do…because of the way they’ve kind of shifted how they’re running their business and serving their clients,”
Unlike other academies and schools, Ines and her team veers away from the norm of teaching trainers how to perfect their craft of training dogs. Instead, they focus on the business aspects—from marketing to sales to the customer journey—to help their dog trainer-students earn a lot more and create a really sustainable business.
“Sometimes, less qualified trainers with just better marketing and sales are more visible and attracting more clients, when really, the amazing trainers that I’ve worked with are not necessarily the best marketers or the best business-savvy people. But they are really the best, highly skilled trainers that I’ve ever seen… So, I really want to highlight that it’s about being profitable. It’s also about being sustainable. And I think that you can’t really have one without the other,”
With numerous students from The Modern Dog Trainer Academy already sharing some of their successes as a dog trainer, as a business owner, and in life, it’s clear that Ines and her team are on the right path toward changing lives. So, if you believe it’s high time for you to take your dog training business to the next level, you might want to learn more from the program on how you can get started.
Ines closed the podcast,
“I’m just really excited about the future of the industry. I think when really great trainers are able to make more money from their expertise, it’s going to only open up opportunities. They’re going to be able to contribute to more resources or build more resources for the general public to have access to for free. There’s just so many things you can do when you have money in your pocket, and you feel safe and secure financially, you’re able to really step up and do more.”
Wanna learn more about The Modern Dog Trainer?
Visit their website at themoderndogtrainer.net.
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