Interview with Chris Kane, Co-Found and CFO at The Dog Stop

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Starting a business is a big achievement for many entrepreneurs, but maintaining one is the larger challenge. There are many standard challenges that face every business whether they are large or small. It is not easy running a company, especially in a fast-paced, ever-changing business world. Technology advances, new hiring strategies, and now, political changes coming with the new administration, all add to the existing business challenges that entrepreneurs, business owners, and executives have to deal with.

Maximizing profits, minimizing expenses and finding talented staff to keep things moving seem to be top challenges for both SMBs and large corporations. We have been interviewing companies from around the world to discover what challenges they are facing in their businesses. We also asked each company to share business advice they would give to a younger version of themselves.

Below is our interview with Chris Kane, Co-Found and CFO at The Dog Stop:

What does your company do?

The Dog Stop® provides a premium services and retail experience for dogs and their owners. Our one-stop shop focus allows pets to enjoy boarding, day care, grooming, and training all within the confines of one facility. Our concept alleviates the stress of traveling to multiple locations and dealing with strangers on a daily basis. The Dog Stop® model allows our highly trained staff to build relationships with our clients, both four-legged and two. In addition, our carefully selected retail offering has a health and wellness focus from foods to treats and holistic treatments.

What is your role? What do you enjoy most about your role?

I am the CFO and co-founder of the company. The best part about my role is the flexibility that it offers. One day I am in the stores teaming with the staff to ensure each dog has a great experience, the next I am working with a franchisee to help understand sales trends and forecasting for future growth. The diversity of the franchisees also adds to the fun. We have everything from business executives to doctors to military personnel. Each brings their own set of experiences and skills. One might need help working with their profit and leads statement, while another franchisee needs assistance with customer service. Each day at The Dog Stop® brings new opportunities and challenges, and I would not trade it for the world.

What are the biggest challenges in your business right now?

The biggest challenge in our business is the lack of a true accreditation for the services that are offered. As it stands now, any Tom, Donna or Harry can say they are a “certified” dog trainer or groomer. Some of these people are performing these services without any type of schooling or training, just a certificate from the internet. It is like being ordained online – no actual experience or schooling needed. These individuals make it more difficult for the true experts to perform their tasks. Our focus is on hiring trainers and groomers with the schooling that it takes to safely handle the dogs.

If you could go back in time, what business advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?

If I could turn back time, I would tell a younger version of myself to take more risks. I was at HJ Heinz and Del Monte for the first ten years of my career. I did very well in the corporate world but was never really fulfilled. The joy and contentment that accompanies the creation of something is hard to explain or duplicate. It was like holding my first child; it is something that will always be a part me, something that I did and no one can take away. Even if Jesse and I were still operating a single store – nothing can replace that feeling.