Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in pet care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Bailey Schroeder, Co-Founder and CEO of Petcademy, located in New York, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Petcademy provides accessible training and behavioral support to pet parents across the US, Canada, and Australia. Pet parents love us because we provide them with the support and confidence needed to be able to smoothly transition a new animal into their home and navigate any challenges that arise.
Animal welfare organizations partner with us because we help them reduce the number of animals returned to the shelter, increase the number of successful adoptions and improve efficiency at the organization.
Tell us about yourself
In the summer of 2018, I adopted Harry - a three-year-old Chow Chow with anxiety and fear of new places, people, and things. After talking to a friend about how to help Harry transition to his new home, I was introduced to Annie - co-founder of School for the Dogs in NYC. After months of training and endless conversations about how to pass other dogs on the street, where to put Harry's bed, how to navigate new people, and what to do when friends came over, Harry settled into his new home and life with me.
Because of the support I received, I was able to keep Harry in my home, go on adventures every weekend, and have a beautiful life with him. Not all dogs and cats are as lucky as Harry. Last year over 200,000 animals were returned to rescues and shelters in North America. To make matters worse, shelter populations are also at a three-year high, making it really hard for shelters to find space when an animal is returned.
Historically the only option a shelter has had when it comes to proactively or retroactively managing an animal's behavior and trying to prevent returns was to hire an in-person behaviorist or trainer. This solution isn't affordable for most rescues, shelters, and pet parents. I started Petcademy to provide these folks with a high-quality, affordable solution to training and managing animal behavior. I believe that we can create a world where no animal is returned because of behavioral challenges. This is what motivates me every day.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
We have a thriving partnership with the largest microchip registry in North America, and over 60,000 pet parents have benefited from Petcademy's services.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Splitting my time between developing the product, managing partner relationships, financials, and business operations. There are so many things to do, and it can be challenging to know what to prioritize in any given week. To help me prioritize, I start my day by looking at my list of priorities and asking myself, "Is this list still correct?" If not, I make adjustments and then start my day.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Talk to your customers often. This will help you feel confident that the product you're building, or the service you're offering, meets their needs.
- Focus on unit metrics. If you get these right, scaling and profitability become more attainable.
- Take breaks and rest! It can be tempting to work all the time, but carving out time to recharge is important for your mental and physical health and will ultimately position you to build a better company.
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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