The Real Reason Why Your Dog Training Business Is Struggling
By Tenille Williams
And what you can do about it right now…
If you’re a dog trainer in business, you’ve likely heard many times about what a struggle it is to make a living running your own dog training business. Maybe you’ve heard it so much that you believe it and now you tell yourself that it’s true.
Yet, you KNOW there’s trainers out there making a full time living with their dog training businesses. Some are making a high income as a solo trainer! How do they do it, and if they can do it, why can’t you?
If you want the answer to these questions, grab your favourite beverage and stick around because I’m here to help you grow the dog training business of your dreams.
Who Am I?
Hi, I’m Tenille. Nice to meet you.
I run a dog training business. When I started it LOTS of people both in and out of the industry told me not to get my hopes up, dog training is not a money making career, it’s a side business, etc.
Orrrr.. well meaning people looked at me with confusion and asked if I was a vet or groomer because they’ve never even heard of a dog training business as a career.
Have you ever heard any of those things? I bet you have. And it might be what led you to read an article like this one.
Here’s some of the myths I continue to hear about the dog training industry:
- Dog training is a low income career or a side hobby business
- There is no money in dog training
- You need a facility to make money in dog training
- People aren’t willing to spend a lot on dog training
- You need a husband supporting you if you want to train dogs full time
- You need to compete on price with your competitors
- You should have 10,000 hours experience before you charge any amount of money for training dogs (LOL)
- You need to work a lot of after hours and on weekends to run a dog training business
- You need to run group classes if you’re a dog trainer because that’s what people want.
Despite being constantly told why I couldn’t make it, I did. And I did it on my terms.
Here’s what MY dog training business looks like:
- I don’t work weekends unless I choose to
- I see clients three days per week – all week days
- I see a max of 3-4 clients on any given day
- In a recent 12 month period I have made over $111,000 revenue from one on one dog training clients alone – only seeing clients 3 days per week
- I don’t have a facility
- I don’t do board and train
- I bring home more than my husband
- The latest I finish work is 7:00 pm and that’s not often
- I don’t currently run group classes
So as you can see, dog training is viable business and in fact can be lucrative and you don’t have to sacrifice your desired lifestyle to do so.
In case you know me a little and were wondering, the other days of my week, I work on providing online content to lovely people such as yourself and dog owners, but I didn’t include any income from that in the above figure.
Whether you’d like to take more time off, spend weekends with family, take more vacations or just take off the financial pressure, you don’t need to give up doing what you love to achieve that.
That’s a really strong belief of mine – everyone should be able to do a job they enjoy. We spend a lot of time at work and this life is short – we should enjoy it and profit from it too. Don’t you agree?
The Struggle Is Real
I get it, it doesn’t always seem easy. You might wonder if I’m just lucky or have some amazing secret. You might be stuck in a job afraid to leave it’s security, like I was.
Like sooo many other trainers are.
I had a full time government job and I just couldn’t see a way out, so I definitely get where you’re at if that’s you.
The thing is, I was so scared to leave and run a dog training business because I believed the myths about it. And if you aren’t willing to let that belief go and replace it with a new belief that it’s possible for you, you’ll never make it.
In fact, I believe the biggest obstacle to many business owners is FEAR. And the fears come from those myths, from listening to others who don’t know the possibilities, and from letting it become the voice in your head that tells you that you can’t do it.
Hopefully by telling you my story, I’ve started to address that for you.
Once I started to see that a full time income was possible and I stopped listening to the people who were telling me to play it safe and keep thinking small, the next step was to set up my business in a way that it could be profitable enough to replace my job’s income and support me.
But at first, I didn’t know the best way, so I kind of fumbled along. I was making some money but it wasn’t enough to support me. It was a slow road but I worked hard and I got to the point I was able to take a part time job instead of a full time job. Having more time to put into the business, it definitely grew faster. I got to the point I could almost afford to leave my job, but it was still so scary I put it off way too long.
Let me tell you, my only regret is not taking that leap sooner. FOCUSING, all in, on growing your business makes a massive difference if you’re able to do it.
But if I knew then what I knew now, it would have taken off even faster.
I did go full time hours with my business, but I was making, “just enough.” I think this is a place a lot of trainers stay in their businesses – just enough to get by.
And when you’re working so hard but making just enough or not enough, that leads to burnout. NOT a place you want to be.
I actually got to a point I thought about finding something else to do for a living. That’s when i started learning about marketing. I enjoyed it. And I realised, I can apply this to my dog training business and make it soar.
And that’s when things really took off.
I’m going to tell you the key changes I made so that you can do it too. By putting these three things into place in your training business, this could be your reality in the near future:
- Your dog training career is both a passion, and a profitable business
- You can make a full time living without needing a facility
- Clients happily pay you higher prices
- You can choose your rates, regardless of what your competition is charging
- Your clients rave about you to everyone they know
- You work your hours, on your terms
- Your clients do their homework
- You keep your passion for dog training AND make a good living!
So if you love working with dogs but don’t want to struggle…
If you wish your clients would do their homework more…
If you want to stop feeling like you’re working so hard chasing clients only to feel like you’re barely staying afloat…
If you’re ready to increase your revenue without burning out…
If you know other trainers out there are successful but you’re not sure how it can happen for you…