Introduction and 2015
There comes a time in every small business where you have evaluated the risks, done the math, and come to the conclusion that you have no idea whether you will make it or not, but you have no other choice but to jump in to the deep end.
Hi everyone! My name is Ezekiel, but I go by Ez. And I am Dogembark’s newest employee. I am also Lala’s husband. If ever there was an odd afternoon where you noticed a large frazzled man with an equally large and frazzled beard show up to deliver or retrieve your dog friends, then we have met. If we haven’t, I look forward to when we do.
For the past five years La has been piecing together this business. Before it was even a business, before we had an EIN, she was working on her training certification. She was working for dog walkers and pet stores. She was chipping away bit by bit at all the endless machinations that must be placed ever so carefully together to bootstrap such an undertaking. And it is coming together.
For the past five years I have been a software developer. Primarily an Android developer, I have bounced around from startup to startup, but never could find a place I would call home.
And now we are at That Moment. The jump and plunge. The business is by no means large. But it is larger than one person.
I have resigned my position, I have shrugged off my title as Software Developer and am now working full-time to make Dogembark Austin’s most exciting, hands-on and personal Dog Adventure Service.
And I want to thank each and every one of you that gave us a chance. Many of you were there when our minivan served double purpose as child transport and dog transport. You saw a scrappy little business and said, yeah, I’ll give them a shot. You’ve stayed with us as we’ve learned what it really means to grow a business. And I hope the experience has been as rewarding for you as it has been for us. I hope your dogs are excited to see us show up and exhausted when they get home. There is an old cliche that goes something like, it you do what you love you will never work a day in your life. This couldn’t be more true.
You may have noticed that the pictures and videos posted on Facebook are happening more frequently. You may have noticed that the website has been redesigned again. This is just the start. Beyond all the boring things I will be doing this year (accounting, operations, etc), I have some exciting projects planned:
- If you saw the wrap on the truck (and doesn’t it look amazing), I am happy to say that we are in the process of getting a second transport vehicle. I’m not sure yet if this counts as a “fleet” but I am 100% going to call this our fleet.
- I am actively working on a small, but exciting little bit of software. Utilizing the NFC chip on Android phones, I am writing an app that will serve double purpose. First as a secondary safeguard against lost dogs. Simply embed the chip in a collar or tag and anyone that finds a lost dog can touch their phone to the collar or tag and instantly communicate to their owner that the animal has been found. And more, there is so much more in this. I will be releasing this software for free to the Google Play Store when it is complete.
- The second half is a little more experimental. In this case, when we pick up and drop off your pal, we will scan this tag and automatically send you a text message letting you know. We want to increase communication and reassurance so you know at all times your best friend is in solid hands. If you would like to be in on the testing of this, let me know. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
- A new facility? If 2015 is especially good to us, who knows…