Last Updated: April 14, 2023 • Visit Blog Homepage


Reducing operating costs is crucial to the success of any business, especially in the competitive world of dog daycares. Running a dog daycare can be expensive, with the costs of food, staff, supplies, and equipment adding up quickly. Even if you're a consistently profitable business, reducing your operating costs is a great way to increase your year-over-year profit, without having to increase your business revenue. Simply cutting down on some of your current expenses will help keep more money in your bank account, instead of having to spend it.

How does a business go about reducing their operating expenses, you ask? Here are six ways you can do just that:

1. Negotiate Supplier Contracts

Negotiating contracts with suppliers can help you get better deals on the supplies and equipment you need to run your dog daycare. Ask for discounts, better payment terms, and volume discounts. If your dog daycare provides food for clients, there's a good chance that you can contact your food provider and see if they're willing to offer bulk discounts. If you're currently buying your pet food from the local CostCo, it might make more sense to contact your supplier directly and see if you can work out something like a pallet delivery. This way, you're cutting out the middleman and you're going to see big savings as a result. Just make sure you store the food in a low-humidity location and that you're able to use all the food before it expires.

2. Automate Processes

Automating processes can save you time and money by reducing the number of staff members needed and reducing the risk of errors. For example, consider using an online booking system for appointments and an automated billing system for payments. Many dog daycares are using Venmo, Square or Clover for their payment processing needs. These platforms give you an easy way to collect payments and they directly deposit the paid funds directly into your bank account. If you're currently using a bookkeeper to keep track of your finances, you might want to look into something like QuickBooks Self-Employed. After the initial learning phase, you might be able to manage your expenses by yourself and get rid of your monthly bookkeeper fee. You're obviously going to want to have an accountant look at your end of year books to make sure you're on the up and up, but getting rid of monthly bookkeeping by using software might help reduce costs.

3. Invest in Energy-Efficient Equipment

Investing in energy-efficient equipment can help you save money on your energy bill. Look for Energy Star certified products, as they use less energy and can help you save up to 30% on your energy bill. Air conditioners and heaters are going to be the two appliances you want to think about replacing as soon as possible. If you're using outdated models, you're most likely spending way more than you need to be for your heating and cooling needs. You also might want to look into better-insulating your facility so that you're not wasting money heating a drafty building. It's a one-time expense that should be able to get paid off rather quickly. The same goes with installing solar panels and using LED lights instead of incandescent bulbs.

4. Use Employee Scheduling Software

Employee scheduling software can help you keep track of staff schedules, reduce the risk of scheduling conflicts, and save time and money by automating the process. Take a look at your current employee scheduling system and see if there is a way you can better utilize your staff so that you're not paying for extra employee hours when you don't need them. Morning check-in time is always the busiest, but maybe after that, having two employees plus yourself is unnecessary. Look at cutting some of those wasted hours during the middle of the day to save some money.

5. Adjust Your Business Hours

This one might seem a little counterintuitive, but if you're staying open at hours when no one is utilizing your business, you're just wasting money. Having 8am to 5pm drop-off hours forces you to have an employee at the front door in order to deal with incoming clients. By setting more restrictive hours, you can staff during the busy hours and not during downtime. You, the owner or manager, will still be there to deal with any emergencies, but you're not going to have employees sitting around twiddling their thumbs on the clock.

6. Learn to Maintain Your Own Website

How much are you currently paying for your website designer? I bet it's a pretty penny. Most businesses keep a designer on retainer so that if they have any issues or need something changed on their website, they can call that person and have the change made. Would it really be that hard to learn how your website works so that you don't need to rely on someone else to make the changes. Take an online WordPress course, or watch some SquareSpace tutorials and you'll be able to save the monthly website designer expense.

The easiest way to increase your profit is to reduce your expenses. You don't need to worry about finding new clients or doing any up-selling. You just need to cut costs and your profit will increase. Simple!

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