Last Updated: March 12, 2024 • Visit Blog Homepage


Budgeting for a dog daycare can be a complex and challenging task. Not only do you need to make sure you're financially stable, but you also need to make sure your business is operating efficiently and effectively. It's easy to get carried away with the day-to-day business operations and forget that you have large upcoming expenses. It's also easy to spend too much on certain products without realizing that you're going over budget on your "pet food" expenses for example. Fortunately, there are several tips and tricks that you can use to make sure your budget is accurate and that your dog daycare is successful. Here are 10 tips to help you get started.

Make a Detailed Budget

The first step in budgeting for a dog daycare is to create a detailed budget. This should include all of your expenses, such as rent, utilities, staff salaries, and supplies, as well as your expected income. This will give you a clear picture of your financial situation and help you identify areas where you need to cut costs or increase revenue. It might be intimidating to create your first budget, but once you have it done, you're going to be happy that you have an easy document that you can look at when you need to see how much money you're spending and how much money you're able to spend on certain things.

Use Software to Track Your Expenses

There are many software programs available that can help you track your expenses and manage your budget. These programs can help you see exactly where your money is going and make it easier to identify areas where you need to make changes. DoggieDashboard gives you an easy way to track your revenue and your expenses. You can even separate your expenses and revenue into different categories so that you can see how much you're earning from boarding vs daycare, as well as see how much you're spending on cleaning supplies vs rent, etc.

Set Aside Money for Emergencies

It's important to have a contingency plan in case of unexpected expenses, such as emergency repairs or an increase in rent. Setting aside a portion of your budget for emergencies can help you avoid financial stress in these situations. If you don't have a rainy day fund, you're putting your business at risk. Many small businesses are running on a shoestring budget. They're spending every dollar that comes in and they're not prepared for the unforeseeable future. What happens if you have a bad month and you lose 50% of your boarding revenue? Can you survive the month or are you going to have to put the business up for sale? By having a budget, you can see your emergency fund and know how much wiggle room or "runway" you have available.

Negotiate with Suppliers

Negotiating with suppliers can help you save money on supplies and other expenses. For example, you may be able to get a discount on food or toys if you buy in bulk. Let's imagine that you provide food for your clients' pets. If you're buying a good brand, you're probably paying a decent amount of money. However, you can most likely save money by buying in larger quantities. Instead of buying 50 pound bags at a time, it might make sense to order an entire pallet and save $100 or more. As long as you have the storage space, it's a great way to save some money.

Monitor Your Expenses Regularly

Keeping a close eye on your expenses is key to successful budgeting. You should regularly review your expenses and income to ensure that you're on track and to make changes as necessary. One of the easiest ways to monitor your expenses (and even earn from them) is to set up a business credit card. This way, you can look at the card each month and see exactly how much you're spending. You might not think that spending a $20 bill here and there on certain supplies will matter much, but when you're doing it 10 times a year, that's $2,400 per year that is most likely not getting accounted for (unless you remember to mark down each cash expense).

Make Adjustments as Needed

Your budget should be a living document that changes as your business grows and evolves. Be flexible and make adjustments as needed to ensure that your budget continues to meet your needs. A budget is never fixed in stone. It ebbs and flows with your business. You're most likely going to have to budget more money for utilities during the winter when you're heating your facility and also the summer when you're using AC. However, during the spring and fall, when you're able to keep the heater and AC turned off, you're going to have some extra money that you can use for improvements, etc.

Take Advantage of Tax Breaks & Use Professionals

There are many tax breaks available to dog daycare owners, such as deductions for staff salaries, utilities, and supplies. Be sure to research these breaks and take advantage of them to reduce your tax burden. If you're struggling with budgeting, consider seeking help from a professional. They can help you create a budget that works for your business and provide advice on how to improve your finances. It's always a good idea to work with an accountant that can help you better visualize your cash flow. They'll also know about different tax breaks that your business can take advantage of.

Make Use of Technology

There are many technology tools available that can help you manage your budget and improve your finances. For example, you can use tools like QuickBooks to track your expenses, or Mint to create a budget. QuickBooks doesn't cost that much money and it has many tools that you can use to better visualize your expenses. You can also connect it to your bank account so that it ingests your expenses directly from the bank. It's slick. We here at DoggieDashboard use QuickBooks for our own accounting. It works well and doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

Invest in Your Business

Investing in your dog daycare can help you increase revenue and improve your bottom line. For example, you can invest in training for your staff, or new equipment that will improve the quality of your services. It might be hard to imagine how investing $5,000 in a new fence will make your money, but if that fence encourages more people to use your daycare services, because they see the new fence and know their little Fido will be safe, then it's only a matter of time before you pay off that investment with new earnings. You can even set up a spreadsheet to see how much money you need to earn extra each month to pay off the investment.

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