Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in pet care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Mindy Jarvis, Owner of Noble Beast Dog Training, located in Denver, CO, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am the owner of Noble Beast Dog Training here in beautiful Denver, Colorado! We specialize in dog/dog socialization and group play dynamics, offering group manners, behavior, and obedience classes, private in-home training, and specialty classes like The Playful Pup and Camp B.A.R.K. (Behavior And Relationship Kinetics for dogs) to help dogs with their dog/dog social skills. We are also very well versed in supporting owners with behavior challenges that stem from fear and anxiety - leading to reactivity. We work with all dogs of all ages - no matter the breed and have helped thousands of dog owners over the years with our 14 years of being in business. For solid pet dog training that supports a harmonious life with your dog - we got our clients covered!
Tell us about yourself
Ever since I was a little girl competing in 4-H horsemanship and dog handling, it was evident to my family that I had a unique relationship with animals, especially dogs. I took my first obedience class with my Newfoundland, Tina, when I was 7 years old, and throughout life, I continued to train all my dogs, not because I felt it was necessary (as necessary as it is), but because I loved connecting with my dogs. As an adult, while dog training part-time, I was also the CEO of a mortgage lending company, where I developed a gift for working with people. I pride myself in the fact that I am able to relate to all sorts of people, regardless of their different backgrounds and personalities. After a debilitating intestinal disease that caused me to be unable to work for several months, I decided that I had to do something that was good for my soul. That something was working with dogs!
In founding Noble Beast Dog Training back in 2008, I combined my dog training knowledge and people skills, starting a company that would ultimately improve thousands of dog/human relationships over the years, as I grew my business from just myself to a dog training team of over 50 people. I have professionally developed my dog training team through continuing education and experiential learning via the development of Camp B.A.R.K., a dynamic dog socialization program, while at the same time ensuring that the human side of the dog training equation was equally cared for and compassionately coached.
Myself and the entire Noble Beast Dog Training Team utilize RELATIONSHIP FOCUSED training techniques to help ensure dog owners maintain a positive approach to training, further ensuring a trustworthy bond for both dog and owner – ultimately leading to keeping dogs in their forever homes.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner would be creating and developing the Camp B.A.R.K. program. Being the creator and founder of this program, it is unique to Noble Beast - meaning, there is not another program like it around - at least in Colorado! We have helped thousands of dogs over the years!
At Camp B.A.R.K. (Behavior and Relationship Kinetics for Canines), we provide a dog-centric communal environment, giving dogs a safe and positive learning experience (one of the most critical components of a skills-based training program for dogs) while supporting them in social skills, where they are able to build confidence, explore new dog relationships, help let go of negative associations, and experience new directions, leading to much more fulfilling lives as we provide them with experiences to help them cope better socially, especially with other dogs.
In short, this fun and critical life-skills experiential training help dogs be successful out and about in our big human world!
As a dog training team that has specialized in dog-on-dog socialization and group play dynamics for over a decade, we understand the social needs of dogs and thus have created an energetic and dynamic dog-centric communal program that works your dog's mind, body, and soul!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner has been scaling. As you grow, you need more people and well-qualified people with solid morals and values. The more people you hire, the more people you have to train and manage. Furthermore, you don't just train and manage them; you have to motivate them, lead them, and sometimes let them go. It has taken years for me to get to a place where I felt comfortable with all of this. I had to build a leadership team to help support the management of our ever-growing team due to the demand for our services, all while maintaining quality dog training services. Sometimes this worked out, and other times, I failed miserably, but I have amazing resilience and a solid ability to learn from my mistakes - and an amazing leadership team that helps me run hefty small business!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Make sure you have a solid coach and/or business group of like-minded folks that you can get guidance and direction from. Don't be shy about the questions you have, and be extremely honest about the details of any situation you are seeking support and direction with. As you grow your business, you may outgrow your coach or a business group, which is ok. Continue to seek those who can coach and support you with what you don't know and where you want your business to be - each step of the way. Surround yourself with people who are where you want to be or simply have the same aspirations for their business as you have for yours.
- Set your business up properly and legally with processes and guides in place that you can build and grow - no matter how small your start out. Strictly maintain these processes and guides as you scale and take time to interview those professionals who will support your business, such as accountants, payroll companies, and even coaches. Don't just go with the first one you interview, no matter how amazing they are - make sure you interview at least three to find the right fit for you and your company. All of this will make scaling your business much easier. If you don't scale - your business will be amazingly well organized and run.
- It is critical to be extremely practical when running a business. You have to look at the facts in decision-making and eliminate as much emotional connection as possible. This should be applied to hiring, firing clients, large purchases, financing, and scaling your business. If you are feeling emotional, it means you need to take a breather - and that breather can be a few days or even a week on some decisions. Take a break, do something that puts a smile on your face, exhale - and then get back into the kitchen - your decisions and direction will be all the better for it!
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
When I opened Noble Beast Dog Training 14+ years ago, it was just me. I had no expectations of where my company would go, and the thought of having a team of 50 people did not enter my mind at all. Noble Beast grew because I was passionate about helping put smiles on the faces of dogs and their humans. The more I helped people find harmony with their dogs, the more creative I became. The more creative I became, the more demand I had - which led to huge growth. If you asked me what I would have done differently, I would say that instead of trying to expand to match the demand, I should have scaled more slowly and thoughtfully. Raised my prices and put more strategic thought into the direction I was going. With that said, looking back, some of my greatest lessons were due to my greatest failures, so no matter what happens, know that it's all good!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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