Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in pet care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Cami & Annie Sanchez, founders of Barks Canada Tours, located in Canmore, AB, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Our business is Barks Canada Tours. We offer small-group guided hikes for dogs and their humans in Banff, Kootenay, and Yoho National Parks. We are the first and only hiking company in the Rockies that is focused solely on dog owners. We created a place for dogs and their adventurous owners to come together, explore and make memories that will last a lifetime.
Our trips take you and your pup deep into the rocky mountains. They include a delicious locally catered lunch (for humans), mouthwatering treats for humans and dogs, unforgettable views, a hiking 101 lesson before starting the trip, plus the chance to spend the day surrounded by other dog-loving friends! We have also created an in-depth travel guide to dog-friendly hotels, restaurants, breweries, and parks to help all of our customers extend their Rocky Mountain adventure past our tour.
We are also professionally trained guides, and we make sure to keep you and your pup safe on the trail while we share local tidbits about nature, history, and culture. Our hikes are welcoming to people and dogs of all skill levels, and we pride ourselves on making sure our trips are inclusive, informative, and most of all, fun!
Tell us about yourself
Annie and I (Cami) have been professionally guiding humans around the Canadian Rockies for about five years now. However, In 2021 we decided to adopt the cutest little dog, whom we named Kiwi (like the fruit), from the Bow Valley SPCA, and it was the best decision we have ever made! As new puppy parents, we quickly realized that life (and travel) with a dog is very different, but we were committed to having Kiwi be involved in our daily lives as much as we could.
As travel began to re-open, we started looking for new places to explore with Kiwi, but we quickly found out that it was really hard to find dog-focused or dog-friendly tour companies for us to go and explore with him. Being professional tour guides, we knew exactly what to do…we needed to create a space where dogs and dog owners can discover the Canadian Rockies together, a place where dogs are always welcome, and that's why we created Barks Canada Tours!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
We feel so honoured to be the first dog-focused guiding company in the rockies. Being in this position makes us really proud since we are creating a space for humans who want to make memories with their pups and not leave them behind when they go on vacation. At the end of the day, we are the only family our pups know, and we want to make sure all pups get to experience life to the fullest with their humans by their side!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Being a business owner doesn't come with a rulebook, so the hardest part is knowing if what you are doing is the best you can be doing. We are lucky to be surrounded by great friends and advisors that want the best for us, which makes the decision-making process a whole lot easier and helps quiet that uncertain voice in our heads. They definitely inspire us to put our best foot forward and encourage our trust that we are doing the best we can.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Find yourself a good supportive community. Being a business owner can be lonely, but it doesn't have to be.
- Get creative. Times are changing, which opens the floor to new ways of thinking, new ways to market, new products needed, and new things people seek to do.
- Do everything with passion and love. As cheesy as that sounds, if you love what you are doing and you are passionate about it, you will increase your chances for success by an exponential amount.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Thank you for giving us a platform to showcase our business; we are so stoked for our Summer 2022 trips and beyond. If you think what we are doing is neat, please give us a follow on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok, and tell your friends about us!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.