Mission Small Business

We Need Your Help!

Get Pets Wet! is attempting to open an indoor dog park facility that will allow pets and their owners a place to play and train.  This facility will provide an exciting and safe atmosphere for dogs to socialize, run, jump, and have fun.  It will also give owners and their dogs a spot to practice for agility and rally-o competitions, attend obedience training, and other activities, while having the comforts of being indoors.  To pay for the cost of this project, Get Pets Wet! has applied for a grant from Chase and Living Social for $250,000.  These grants are being issued to growing small businesses to help build and revitalize their local communities.

For our application to even be considered, Get Pets Wet! has to get a minimum of 250 individuals to support us in our efforts for this project by June 30th, 2012.  We need your help. We hope that you will vote for Get Pets Wet! to be one of the recipients of this grant.  The voting process is simple and can be completed in less than 1 minute.  Should you decide to help us out, please follow the steps below.

 2.  Click on "Log In & Support" - found on the right hand side of the screen.
 3.  Log in using your Facebook account email and password.
 4.  Once logged in, use the search box found at the bottom titled "Business Name" to find us.  Type in
      "Get Pets Wet" in the field and click "Search".
 5.  Click "Vote" found directly to the right of our business.
 6.  Pass this message on to friends and family and encourage them to vote for us.  You can even share a
      link through Facebook and Twitter right from the voting page.

It's that simple.  We hope that you find these steps to be quick and easy to follow.  We appreciate your time and hope that with your help, we will be considered as a recipient for this financial grant.  250 votes does not guarantee we will be awarded the grant, it simply allows us to be considered.  We have submitted a full proposal for this venture to Chase and Living Social.  This proposal is now available for you to view below.  Once this project is successful, we will expand our territories so that others can enjoy as well.  Thank you for your support.

Grant Submission to Chase & Living Social

Tell us about your business; how successful is it and why is it unique?
Get Pets Wet! specializes in products that promote dog water safety and fun.  Since 2005, we have been helping pets and their owners enjoy the outdoors.  We are proud to say that we have built a name for ourselves as one of the leaders in this targeted niche.  Our business carries several product lines from manufacturers located in the USA. As a matter of fact, over 55% of the products we sell are made in the USA.  Our business has become successful as we have focused on educating and selling product on a subject we love, dogs and the water.  Our business has increased sales revenue every year since its inception.  Our growth and recognition has shown steady increases, and we hope to continue this trend for years to come.  Currently, Get Pets Wet! operates primarily online but also travels to local events and trade shows in Ohio to promote products for dog water safety.  We hope to be able to expand to a brick and mortar building where we will be able to provide additional services to our client base.  Services will include dog training and an indoor play area for both dog and owner to enjoy.  This new facility would not be a doggie day care facility but a supervised indoor dog park.  We would be unique as no other area business offers an indoor dog park for pets to play in.

How is your business involved with the community you serve?
Since 2006, Get Pets Wet! has been attending local dog events in the N.E. Ohio area.  At the end of the season, community swimming pools offer "Dog Swims" which allow dogs and their owners to swim in the pool together.  Each year, Get Pets Wet! travels to several of these events as an event sponsor to offer information to pet owners on teaching dogs to swim, dog safety, water safety,  and to retail products that are perfect for water fun.
Get Pets Wet! has helped area foundations and charities by giving product donations and participating in events that help their cause.  Some of these include The Cleveland Animal Protective League, which encourages pet adoption of homeless animals, cares for mistreated animals, and discourages animal cruelty and suffering, The AMP Philanthropic Foundation, which "brings awareness of adaptive athletes and people with special needs striving to overcome personal barriers, both physical and mental", and Newfoundland Dog Rescue, a non-profit group that trains Newfoundland dogs for search and rescue, water rescue, and other activities.

What would a $250k grant mean to your business plan and how will you utilize the funds to ensure long-term growth and stability?
If awarded this grant, Get Pets Wet! plans to open an indoor dog park and activity center. Several of the local businesses in our community have closed down in the recent years. As time goes on, it seems that more and more buildings have become vacant in the economical down turn.  This grant would allow Get Pets Wet! the finances to open our indoor dog park and dog activity center.  There are several benefits to this project:
A:  This dog park would eliminate one of the many perfectly good, but vacant commercial properties in our community. A portion of the money awarded would go to securing the facility for a minimum of a two to three year period.
B:  We support American companies.  For materials used in the renovations and creation of our facility, we plan to purchase from companies that manufacture in the USA as best as possible.  This will help boost our area economy.
C:  This business will help to create jobs for roughly 8-10 people, not including those involved in renovation and creation of the facility.
D:  The community that we enter will experience increased sales tax, property tax, and income tax revenues, helping to build a stronger and more beautiful neighborhood.
E:  Dog owners would now have a place to let man's best friend play and socialize with others.  It is perfect to have an indoor play area because during winter months, our snowy climate prevents dogs and owners alike from enjoying the outdoors freely.  They now will have a place to come at all times of the year and be free from worries of rain and snow.
To ensure long term stability, we plan on providing dog training classes for dogs of all ages.  There will be a series of classes to ensure a repeat customer base.  Each class will be six weeks long and the dog will advance in skills with each class. We also plan on carrying dog food and pet supplies to maintain a repeat customer base. The following year we plan on expanding our facility to include a bakery.  Local companies provide baked goods for dogs and we would love to carry their products.  Both of our companies would benefit from the arrangement.  Portions of the grant will be used for local marketing to build our customer base.  We hope to run a marketing campaign that will include direct mailing, radio, and potential television ads. As interest in our dog facility increases, word of mouth referrals and spotlights in local media will help ensure a long lasting customer base.

What types of challenges can you identify with your plan and how will you overcome them?
There are challenges involved with this new business plan.  One challenge is creating a flooring system that is safe for dogs to play on while also having the ability to be cleaned and washed frequently. A second challenge is to keep the building smelling pleasant after dogs have had their fun.  A third challenge is determining the proper number of employees to have present in comparison to the number of dogs using the facility. The final challenge we will face is determining how to regulate the use of the facility to keep the number of dogs to a controlled amount, allowing freedom of movement and safe play without becoming overcrowded.  

For the flooring system, a few options exist. We currently believe that the best option for flooring is to utilize rubber tiles specifically designed for indoor or outdoor playground use.  This product is typically found at children's play areas at schools and playgrounds in city parks.  This product provides a cushioned surface perfect for active people and dogs.  Each individual tile is removable if replacement should become necessary.  This product will allow for individual spot cleaning as needed, is water proof and can withstand the elements, and is safe with over 2.5" of padded material.  If cleaned frequently, proper ventilation is in use, and an occasional air freshener is used, we should be able to keep the area odor free and provide and inviting atmosphere.
This facility is intended to be used for owner supervised training and play.  Because of this, employees will be focused with cleaning up after dogs and less involved with handling and monitoring dogs activities as this is something that the dog owners will be involved with.  Once a happy balance of dogs have been reached and the building is at maximum capacity, a time schedule will be implemented allowing dogs to play for a pre-determined amount of time. As dogs exit, others will be allowed to enter, keeping a balance and harmony between the number of employees, the number of dogs, and the amount of space that is available.

Describe the talent on your team and how they make your business successful.
Our current team is based on a family owned and operated business.  Having always been dog owners,  we have dedicated much time and effort to making our pets happy.  We see the passion that other people have for their own pets. We want to make an enjoyable spot where dogs can play and owners can shop for unique dog products not carried by the average "big box" dog store.  We have proven to be successful in the past via our online website. This is because Get Pets Wet! provides a fun atmosphere that is enjoyed by all.  We plan to hand select our employees to ensure that they will have the same passion for the business as we do.  Our online business has been in operation for over 6 years.  Each year, our sales and revenue has increased.  Get Pets Wet! is excited about expanding to our new indoor dog park and retail store.

Additional relevant information you would like to share.
Our new venture is not intended to be another doggy day care.  We are creating an open play area where owners can feel comfortable bringing their pets to play, train, and exercise. Along with the play area, we will provide a unique shopping experience.