My pets have more mismatched records on file than Jason Bourne. They are not CIA agents. After 3 moves and at least 6 different vets, each with different bookkeeping, nothing is accurate anymore. So far it’s only my cat Haley that craps during each car ride to an appointment, but neither of us much likes making the trip.
PawLoyalty has a philosophy easy to appreciate: make the lives of pet people easier. Meant for both pet parents and pet care professionals, PawLoyalty software eliminates a number of inefficiencies and headaches. Pet owners win with one location to keep transferable records, the ease of making online appointments, and loyalty reward programs.
Pet professionals can improve their services and free themselves to focus on caring for animals with a number of possibilities that include the following: online appointments, customer management, facility operations records, a retail library, social sharing, and more. PawLoyalty software works for vets, boarding, daycare, grooming, and animal training service providers, while social sharing helps draw new business. Garret Tadlock, Founder and CEO, tells us more:
What’s your company about? What do you do? Who are your customers?
PawLoyalty is about improving the lives of pets + their people. We do that by providing a simple pet resort software solution to pet care professionals across the U.S. Pet resorts use PawLoyalty to improve their customer experience.
What’s the greatest thing about your company/website? Why is it better than the competition?
PawLoyalty stands out from the pack because of the simple and feature-rich user experience and our ability to give pet parents the freedom to book online.
What was your first computer? How old were you when you first got on the world wide web?
I can remember the first computer game that I played… it was DOS skills, and I must have been about 7 years old. My sister (who is 2 years older than I) would put in the code so I could play the Bruce Lee fighting game (probably not the actual name of the game).
What time do you usually start work each day? How many hours a day do you usually work?
I start work at 8:45am (right after I get all 3 kids off to school) and work until 5:00pm, take a family break until about 9:00pm, and then work for a few more hours.
When’s the last time you went on vacation and where did you go?
We love to vacation and each year we do a house swap for a month with a family in Kauai, Hawaii. We have done this for the last 4 years and love it (thank you Craigslist).
What’s the very first thing you do at work every day?
I create a list of the most important tasks I want to accomplish for the day.
When do your best ideas come to you? In bed in the morning? During dinner? On your third beer?
My best ideas come in the middle of night before I go to sleep. It’s the last minutes of my brain cycling through its thoughts and BANG… something usually hits me. Always, always have a notepad and pen on the night stand.
How many people did you start the company with and how many people work for you now?
I started this company with my wife about 3 years ago. We currently have 7 employees.
A lot of people have big ideas. What gave you the confidence to actually go after yours?
My siblings would say that I’m over-confident in everything that I do… So, when I had the idea and went through the customer development to validate my idea, I realized I needed to pivot. Well, that initial failure is what gave me the confidence to move forward with PawLoyalty full-time.
Remember the early days of starting up? Describe the struggles you went through.
Early days, yesterday and today… the struggles are always going to be part of building a business that will last. The hardest part of running a start-up with limited resources is balancing my time between product vision, marketing, and sales.
How do you handle frustration? What has been your biggest professional frustration?
I handle frustration by talking to my mentors, other entrepreneurs, and pushing through it. The biggest frustration with PawLoyalty was in the early stages with customer churn. We threw a wide net over the pet industry and people flocked to our software. What we realized is that we needed to focus more on identifying the ideal customer and to then continue to build around that group. We have done that, and churn has gone from 75% to less than 10% in more recent months.
How do you picture your company in 5 years?
In 5 years, PawLoyalty will be the largest SaaS provider for pet resorts and retailers in the U.S. Our product will enable pet resorts to be 100% paperless, and will provide electronic charting of the care each guest receives in real-time.
Who or what inspires YOU? Role models? Quotes? Running? Video games? Snack food?
I’m inspired by animals, tech gadgets, other start-up successes, by God and my family and friends. You put so much into a project that affects so many communities… when that community returns the love…
Got any great bootstrapping tips for the lean startups out there?
Save until it hurts. Get in front of your customers as much as possible. Quick wins and losses. Get mentors. Stay confident, but keep an eye out for warning signs.
What other advice do you have for other entrepreneurs struggling to get started?
Keep moving forward through each failure. Listen to your customers.
What would you do if you had a year off and $500,000 to spend (on something other than work)?
I would take my wife and 3 kids and we would travel abroad to do missions work. We would build homes, schools, businesses and farms with the money. With all the blessings that we have had in our life, it’s our obligation to give back to those who are less fortunate.
Do you consider yourself a successful entrepreneur? If not, what’ll make you feel successful?
I would consider myself successful. We have built a great product that improves the lives of pets + their people. We work with great people, invest back into our community…