Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Douglas College Self Employment grad opens doggie daycare

Zoomies owner Craig McDowell loves his clients.
It’s a dog’s life – and Craig McDowell wouldn’t have it any other way. Craig graduated from the Douglas College Self Employment Program in July and soon after opened Zoomies, the largest doggie daycare in New Westminster. Here’s what Craig has to say about the Self Employment Program and his new venture.

On working with animals
I've always loved dogs, but I've had a couple of really challenging dogs that pushed me to look for answers that were not easy to find. Through that process I discovered how exciting it can be to work with animals professionally and realized that I have a lot of skills that allow me to help people going through the same sorts of challenges that I did. After doing some film work and providing private consultations I decided it was time to fully realize my dream of starting a daycare and training centre to create a place where I could help dogs and their owners to learn new skills and have fun in a safe and friendly environment.

The thing about Zoomies

Zoomies provides all the support that people with busy schedules need to be able to enjoy quality time with their pet. At over 4,000 sq. ft., we are the largest dog daycare in New Westminster. We provide classes and workshops in obedience, agility and many other fun activities. We have a fantastic dog wash area that offers both full-service and self-service dog washing, nail trimming and ear cleaning. Our boutique retail features fantastic cookies and birthday cakes from Three Dog Bakery and other essential items like toys, food, supplies and treats.

Thank you, Self Employment Program

I would absolutely recommend the program to other entrepreneurs, with the caveat that you will only get out of it what you put into it. Going through the program helps keep you organized and gives you tools that present you with opportunities, but you have to be willing to do the work and keep pushing yourself in order to take advantage of those opportunities.

A word to aspiring entrepreneurs
Be ready to work long and hard at it, and be persistent, especially when times are hard. It's important to remember that it's about running your business first and foremost – marketing, finance, operations and sales are all equally critical to your success. Don't get so focused on one aspect of your business that you ignore the others. If you aren't good in one area, then try to find someone who is to help you.

You and your pooch can find Zoomies right across the street from the New Westminster Campus, at 804 Agnes Ave., zoomies.ca. For more on the Self Employment Program, visit the website.