How this popular kennel found a profitable new business with Sniffspot

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If there’s one thing Janice knows and understands well, it’s the needs of dogs and their owners, and how to meet those needs. No stranger to the petcare game, Janice, a dog trainer herself, has been running a successful dog boarding and training facility just 30 minutes north of Seattle since 2001. When business slowed down a bit during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Janice looked into additional ways to bring in more income by using what she already had available to her. 

“People had told me about Sniffspot in 2019 and said I should rent out one of my places,” she said. “I have five acres and don’t use all of it all the time, so I thought: side money. At first I dismissed it because of the time management involved, business was doing OK so I didn’t want to add more to my plate. Then I looked into it more last year because I was desperate for money.” Fortunately for her, and for countless dog owners in the area, Janice’s choice to add Sniffspot rentals to her existing business proved lucrative, bringing in high margin income with little associated expense. 

Working with what she’s got 

Janice now hosts Emerald Field, a fully fenced in acre of land that’s attached to her boarding facility. With the world just starting to open back up again and people antsy to get out of town, Janice finds herself busier than ever. Fortunately, her work as a host with Sniffspot didn’t require any additional investment in her space, and takes up a relatively small amount of her time. “I didn’t make any improvements for Sniffspot, I just offered what I had,” she said. “I had already built a pretty secure fence for the boarding business because I can’t have people’s dogs run loose. That seems to be very important to some people.” 

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Janice’s spot has grown organically since she opened it. She attributes her success to location.  “It’s not too far from civilization, I’m fairly close to the freeway and not too far out of Seattle city limit,” she explained. “I didn’t have any signage up at first, but I do wish I did. I was thinking about it and then Sniffspot mailed me a sign, so I don’t need to add anything, I just used that one.” 

First time visitors are asked to stop and chat for a quick check in with simple instructions for how to find and enjoy the space. “I just ask them to stop the first time, and I think that’s pretty common for people to chat with the host the first time they come out,” she said. “I basically just tell them how to get there and to look for the sign at the entrance of the driveway.” After that, repeat visitors are welcome to just show up during the time that they have booked, allowing her guests to enjoy privacy while she can focus on her own business without needing to be involved with the spot visitors.

Interested in hosting?

Learn more here about how your land can help dogs and you can earn up to $1,000 per month!

Making it work 

When Janice started on Sniffspot her first priority remained her boarding business. One thing she does to ensure that she handles her business properly is by asking for a bit of notice before visitors arrive to allow for ample time to open gates and set up a safe visit. “I use it for the business, and now that we’re so busy I just need more notice,” she said. Compared to running her boarding business, however, hosting with Sniffspot has been a seamless addition, and not much additional work. “Sniffspot is a lot less work, it’s much easier. I just need to make sure it’s kind of sort of clean and that people have access, that’s really all I do,” she added. “I have two fields that I use on this property for boarding dogs, so I let people use it after 3:00 PM. And there are quite a few things that I need for the business that also works for Sniffspot, like pick up bags, and water access. That takes a lot of construction to build but I didn’t add it for this — I need to have water access myself so that’s already there, like the fencing. So really the only thing I need is to know when people are coming.” 

Reevaluating for the future 

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Janice originally measured her businesses by how much revenue they contribute. By that measure she always prioritized her kennel, because it brought in more revenue. However, recently she has begun to realize that Sniffspot is much higher margin than the kennel, so maybe Sniffspot is actually more profitable. “I have to pay a lot of employees to do the boarding, but I don’t have to pay a lot of employees to do Sniffspot,” she said. “I could do a lot of it myself, so I actually need to re-evaluate that part.”

In the meantime, Janice will keep doing what she loves and does best by offering her services to dogs and their guardians, even enjoying some crossover in clientele, and making for even more additional income. “Some of my Sniffspot guests have now become customers,” she said. With the world starting to get back to normal and her boarding and training business booming, hosting allows her to dedicate the time she needs to her existing endeavor, while still earning additional income without the hassle of making too many changes to her day to day routine. 

Interested in hosting?

Learn more here about how your land can help dogs and you can earn up to $1,000 per month!

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