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The Realities of a Small Local Business

As many of you have probably seen from social media and the news, these last few years have been really tough on al UK small businesses, when opening your own local business was already tough enough!

Many sadly have had to close or start doing their service/products online and work from home instead as physical locations became too expensive to maintain.

Waggy Tales is no exception. We are a small, local, family business in South Northamptonshire and started completely from scratch and by ourselves. We opened just as Covid became known, we survived, just as we were getting busy global stability took a hit, prices for everything increased, we survived, we devised new fun ways to keep daycare different and fun to keep our bookings stable, but the economy is painfully slow to recover, we are still surviving.

While it is a miracle that from the staff dedication, and our wonderful dog owners still able to use us when they can, the company has continued the last two years. However, now, we need to start looking towards not just surviving but thriving.

We are aware that our company, like many others, is considered more of a luxury than a necessity (unlike vets, groomers and pet food companies would be), and completely understand this means often daycare is cut out often from household budgets as there are other options or dogs don't need daycare but usually just come for fun sessions. This is where it is key for us to have many dogs on our books so that while some take a break, other dogs are booking on these weeks/months helping us to reach our minimum target of dogs per day, so we are making enough to pay wages each month.

So, getting our name out as much as possible is just as important as booking daycare sessions, so any recommendations online, in person or to people you know all really help us. For a small local business to grow, it needs its community, its extended family, to help especially during tough times.

Just like us, so many other small businesses reply on their customers to keep them going and keep the loop intact, we help the public, they help us with their

custom, we can continue to keep being open to help the public. This is why small businesses get so excited over every single sale, client or customer because unlike big corporations where the individual gets lost, to us each person is a lifeline in the machine that keeps the whole business turning each year.

So, make sure you keep supporting your local businesses, small businesses and anyone who have helped you and your dogs because they need you just as much!

How you can help us (and these can be applied to other businesses too):

  • Keep using our services when you can - we love seeing your dog's come in and play with their friends they made at WT

  • When chatting to new people on dog walks, why not tell them all about WT and that your dog loves it with us

  • Know someone getting a puppy? Adopting a dog? or just a friend or family member that you think their dog would love daycare? Why not tell them all about WT and what we offer

  • Seen on Facebook there is an owner in a local dog group asking for walking, pet visits or help with socialising etc? Tag @waggytales in a comment so they can find us and see if daycare could help their dog

  • Loved one of our daily Facebook posts? Why not like the post, post us a comment or even share it?

  • If your dog in one of our Facebook or Instagram stories or posts? why not share it so other can see on your own Facebook profile? Or even share into local dog groups to share the fun your dog has with us and help others find us!

  • Love the idea of one of our special weeks but are unable to join us for that week? Why not share the info to your own Facebook or Instagram page to help get the word out

  • Friends with your local village pub or shop owners? Why not see if they would let you pop up a poster for us in their notice board for local people to see? We have posters available we can hand out to be put up!

  • Lastly, if every owner who has used us before and loved our services, please leave us a review on both Facebook recommendations, and on google business. This is where people look first to see if they want to enquire about daycare and the first impression really counts. Our reviews for a small business are absolutely vital for getting noticed and we have so many owners not yet shared their experience with us!

Our 2022 thank you's!

Firstly, a huge shoutout to every single person that has booked their dog in with us this year! We know how hard times still are at the moment and they keep looking like they are going to take longer than hoped to get better. We appreciate how the costs of everything has gone up and that we are all feeling the nasty squeeze still. But with every booking made, you are helping to pay each of our bills, rent, living costs and this means the absolute world to us to still have bookings to support us, despite the ongoing crisis.

When I say we wouldn't be here if it wasn't for you guys, we really wouldn't have survived without your continued support throughout the year.

Secondly, thank you to anyone who has supported us in other ways this year, liking/sharing Facebook or Instagram posts, following out page, telling people about our services, getting family or friends to join, recommending us on local pages/groups on Facebook for owners looking for care, using our new sitting service, or buying items from our little shop. Each of these things still has a massive impact for us, to be able to reach new people and gain more reach for owners to find us and use our services. This means we have new dogs join us each week, building up our client base and therefore ensuring we get towards our target of dogs per day to be able to continue running.

Thank you! x

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