Your staff may be your most important asset. Ensuring you have the right staff on hand at the right times is critical to the success of your pet boarding or dog daycare business. Yet, over-staffing is expensive, and sending staff home can be bad for morale.
Tips for Timing the Staffing of Your Dog Daycare or Boarding Business
You never want to be understaffed, yet over-staffing can erode your margins quickly. First, determine what your staffing 'base' is per day. In other words, what is the minimum number of staff you need on hand when your business is open, if if just for one pet. This number may be one person for a small business, or 5 for a larger business that has multiple types of services. From there, you can determine what your variable daily staff requirements are.
Here are some tips and suggestions to help 'fine tune' your variable staffing needs:
1. Know your state & local regulations. Many states require a minimum number of staff per number of dogs in daycare, for example. Consider capping the maximum number of pets to be a multiple of the regulation's specification. For example, if you have to have one staff per 15 pets, make your daily capacity 30, 45, 50 or some other multiple. This way you can target enrollment for maximum profit per staff-member.
2. Encourage or require reservations, even for daycare. When your customers have reservations, then you have a good prediction of the number of staff you will need over the next few weeks. Make it easier by using recurring reservations functions in your software. For example, Gingr enables you or your customers to Add Recurring Dates to the first reservation-request. If the customer wants to bring their pet every M, T, W, Th, F over the next 12 weeks, for example, they can request these easily all at once. You can further Accept all the reservations at once, and then pet will then be counted as a reservation for each day coming up. Check your Reservations By Date (or date range), per below.
3. Specify estimated check-in times and check-out times on all reservations whenever possible. This is a little extra work when confirming and accepting a reservation, but it will give you valuable data to help determine peak transaction times, when you really need extra help up front checking pets in and out.
4. Review for your future Reservations By Date (or date range). Checking upcoming reservations helps, especially if you require (or strongly encourage) advance reservations. Your reservation-software should have good reporting to help you get a sense of how many pets you will see on any given day or time-period. Experiment sorting report data by (estimated) check-in time and (estimated) check-out times, so you get a sense of when your peak transactional activities will be.
5. Review Occupancy. Occupancy reports can help you determine not just what days you will have a certain amount of pets, but what hours you expect pets to be checking in and out. As with sorting Reservation check-in times and check-out times (see #3), you can get a sense of when your peak transactional activities will be and when you are sure to need extra staff on hand.
Once you have a sense of when your peak business activities are, then you can determine our variable staffing needs for various days and times for the upcoming schedule.
There are many tools to help you with staff scheduling. We recommend a cloud-based software solution, so you and your staff can access the schedule from anywhere.
6. Review historical Reservation By Date (range) reports and sort for check-in and check-out times. This will help you determine trends in peak transaction times.
Streamline, Streamline, Streamline
Our mantra here at Gingr: streamline your operational processes as much as possible through the effective use of software. From reservation management to payment collection, automating and streamlining work-flows will reduce your staffing requirements, particularly during the peak times determined above.
staff scheduling software
Using an online staff scheduling software program will help you coordinate your staff schedules and related communication.
Many of dog daycare and boarding business customers use one of the following staff scheduling programs:
Gingr Scheduler (aka "StaffJoy")
https://www.gingrschedule.com/ (note, Gingrschedule is not integrated with Gingr at this time).
documentation on how to use GingrSchedule (aka StaffJoy) is here: https://support.gingrapp.com/support/solutions/articles/13000033864-how-to-use-staffjoy-scheduling
WhenToWork - this is a popular online scheduling software:
Interested in learning more about Gingr and Gingr's staff management tools? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or https://www.gingrapp.com/contact-us