Our private dog walking services emphasize physical, mental and emotional engagement with our clients’ pets. We only work with one household’s pets at a time and we assign the same employee to work with the same dogs daily. We believe that this system gives an opportunity for all dogs to thrive regardless of breed, age, medical condition or temperament.
The COVID-19 pandemic, the shelter-in-place order, and work from home situations created some unique challenges for our business. Once we realized that these challenges were going to be hard to overcome we reached out to the San Francisco SBDC for assistance. Marketing Advisor Valerie Camarda was assigned to us. She helped us focus on new clients after it was determined that old clients were unable or uncomfortable to return to our service — Valerie shared messages of education and value.
We shut down our business in March, which could have been a record-breaking month before the pandemic occurred, and reopened in May but saw very little activity in May or June. The SBDC helped us apply for PPP loans which enabled us to operate the business. As the loan was expiring, Valerie helped us add 20 clients to our client list. Without those new clients, we would have been operating at a loss in fall. October 2020 was our best month since February 2020. We are slowly trending up and hope to return to pre-COVID numbers by early 2021. With Valerie’s guidance we believe we are now set up for long term growth. One client may generate $500+ in revenue per month, many of them work with us for multiple years. Our oldest clients have been with us for ten years.
As a result of working with the SBDC we have been able to hire 4 new employees and increase our revenue by 23%! It has been an amazing experience to work with Valerie and the SBDC. The PPP loan helped us survive Spring/Summer 2020 but with Valerie’s guidance we have a clear path to reach our goals in early 2021 and hit new records by summer 2021. Without the SBDC’s assistance we’re not sure we would have found all of the tools we needed to succeed.