Sandra Blakley is the Founder and CEO of Dog Kidz Country Daycare & Boarding. Sandra is a thought leader, influencer, visionary, and successful entrepreneur. Sandra provides the leadership and energy that has inspired the creation of Dog Kidz Country Daycare & Boarding. Sandra Blakley joins other leading Bestselling Authors, International Speakers & CEO's and Founders taking part in our Leader Roundtable Interview Series. The DotCom Magazine editorial team is delighted to have Sandra join us for our Leader Roundtable Interview.
Let's start by telling us about your business.
Must love dogs! It's all about the four legged friends (ok, 2-legged birds as well). I created Dog Kidz in 2006 and we board all kinds of pets but especially dogs. Our boarding pens are huge with incredible 26 foot runs. We have a separate building for the little guys as well as some fun and unique cat rooms. On top of that, Dog Kidz has a three section daycare for small (tots), medium (teens), and large dogs. They run in to the playroom and out to the yards at will with pools and climbing equipment, toys, and beds inside. Top that off with a dog park and you are at Dog Kidz.
Q: Please tell us how you make sure your customers will become raving fans of your company?
Pets are member of the family. Period. And it is all about making sure our clients know they can trust us. They trust us with the safety and the very lives of some very important kidz — their family pets. We run cameras in the daycare that they have access to so they can check in anytime. Folks are welcome to walk around most any part of the property and see whatever they need to. At any time, any staff member can give a specific report to a client on any pet. This is who we are.
Q: Please tell us the one thing that separates your business from the competition?
Objectively, we have those roomy pens and amazing runs for the boarders. Additionally, our daycare cams are all about transparency (and a bit of fun!). Subjectively, we care about each and every dog, cat or other small pet under our watch and have double check systems in place to make sure we do everything right.
Q: And to finish this section, Please tell us what is the one major key to your company’s success?
Me. Hey, that has to be it for every small business out there run by it's founder. It's the founder's idea and hard work that makes it all happen. Of course, as the company grows, managers come into place. But despite the fact that small business owners work hard than anyone else, it isn't just the actual work. But even if the founder retires, that truth remains in the company's attitude, systems, and whole creation. It takes an incredible amount of everything to turn an idea into a successful business.
Q: For our readers just starting to build a company, what advice can you give entrepreneurs just starting out with a new venture?
Be prepared. Recognize that you your entire life is going to center around this venture for quite some time to come. Be cautious with your start up money. It will almost certainly take longer than you think to build the business so hold enough back to carry you for longer than you think. It's tempting to throw it all in the build up or the improvements you want but just don't. Be very careful about who you hire. Never take on someone just because you're tired of interviewing or just need to get on with it. Your people are you when you can't be there.
Q: For entrepreneurs seeking to build a business as successful as yours, what big piece of advice can you give them when times get a little challenging?
Persevere. Repeat to yourself: Failure is not an option.
Q: In today’s fast changing business environment, how do you stay abreast of things?
Industry publications and seminars.
Q: What is your “Why”? In one sentence, why do you get up in the morning?
I like it!
Q: In one sentence, what is the most important thing one has to do to be a great leader?
Listen to others and incorporate their ideas so they know they are essential to the company's success.
Q: In one sentence, describe how important your customers are to your business?
Clearly, no customers means no business.
Q: In one sentence, describe a positive way that technology can make the world a better place?
The innovative technology, arriving a breakneck speed, continues to save us time in every way so we can do more and do it better.
Q: In one sentence, tell us how something positive to motivate our readers?
We've learned recently that 50% of the workforce is employed by small business — you are a leader in the world.
Q: In one sentence, tell us how you start your day to get ready?
No, I have no tricks, no yoga, no morning meditation or moment of zen; I just jump out of bed and come in to feed the doggies!
Q: In one sentence, describe how you handle rejection and setback?
It is very stressful if someone leaves an unfair negative review or if you get hit by a pandemic but after a moment of grief, you have to rally and think how can I best mitigate the damage of this?
Q: In one sentence, describe what your hiring philosophy is?
Don't settle – wait until you find the right person.
Q: In one sentence, describe how you keep your sanity in a competitive business environment?
I have a built in stress reliever — I'm surrounded by dogs (as well as my own!).
Sandra Blakley, thank you so much for participating in the DotCom Magazine Leader Roundtable Interview Series. We appreciate you participating in this important roundtable interview series, and helping our readers learn more about what it takes to build a great company and become a great leader. We wish you, your family, and of course Dog Kidz Country Daycare & Boarding, nothing but the best.