Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Bryndon Golya, Owner of OC Canine Coaching, located in Costa Mesa, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Training dogs for obedience as well as a variety of difficult behavior concerns is my day-to-day. I work privately with my clients, who are dog owners here in Orange County, mostly around the coastal areas from Huntington Beach through Newport Beach.
Tell us about yourself
I love dogs and have been working with them for the past 12 years. I started OC Canine Coaching as a completely new endeavor when I was forced to get out of my previous job, which was mostly sales in the financial sector at the time. I made the decision to start this business around the 2008 recession when people were spending less money on frivolous items saving money to spend on family and necessities. Dogs were one of those. I enrolled in a year-long training and hit the ground running after that. Within a few years, I had enough clientele to work privately full time.
Every day I spend setting my own schedule to help people with their pets is a good day here in sunny California. This is not an easy business to get right without a lot of work. Working with animals who don't have the same language and have real feelings, fears, and lack of good experiences is challenging. There is a never-ending learning curve with behavior, so I spend time weekly and monthly learning and continually enhancing my techniques to get the best out of my dogs and humans. Without training the humans, the dogs won't get anywhere on their own.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I'd say the biggest accomplishment is knowing that I'm working off almost 100% referrals now, and I'm able to tackle some of the most complex issues dog owners have presented. We often work with very fearful dogs who have never met a person or dog successfully except for one person and need to relearn everything. I've had some great success lately with helping these dogs, mostly with choice-based learning. Something I have really taken to in the past few years. I also got a chance to compete on a show featured on Discovery Plus last year, so that was fun.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Managing my time, staying focused, and planning for the future are all very challenging. I'm very good at what I do on the day-to-day as far as training, but I had to learn quite a bit about online marketing, scheduling, planning, and working with customers efficiently. People skills are very much required in the dog training world. That is something I feel I am fortunate to have already had from my previous life before dog training.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Research the market. Dogs are recession-proof so far, especially here in southern California. Educate yourself and look for mentors. Do something that you are already interested in regardless of money. For me, money isn't the only thing that gets me out of bed. It is the freedom to learn and help those I love. Dogs and their owners.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I would say be very flexible and don't set strict timetables. I get frustrated by setting too high of expectations and have found that the ability to know when plans need to change is crucial. Go with the flow but stay in the game every day and be kind to everyone. Life will work out if you get out of the way, and kindness is magic.
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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