Business Ideas for Teenagers



Business Idea: A Helping Hand for Dog Owners

Sep 8, 2011
All About Doody
Jill Hunter/Woman's Day
Nathalie Bland, 46
Houston
Company: All About Doody

How She Did It
In 2007, Nathalie Bland was a director at a media firm, logging insane hours. She made a good living—but not good enough. "I was traveling all the time and I didn't want to live that crazy life anymore," says Nathalie, a mother of two, ages 18 and 20, who craved more time with her kids. She decided to start a business—but what kind? "I love animals and have always had dogs, so that was my starting point," she says. She also needed it to be a business with a low startup cost, one she could run out of her home and handle by herself.

"I remembered a magazine article I'd read about a pooper-scooper service—a company that cleans up the dog poop in your yard. It was a great idea. At our house we always fought about who'd pick up the poop."

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She couldn't find any such service in Houston, so she made the leap. "I told my family I was quitting my job to start this company," Nathalie says. "They thought I'd lost my mind." But they came around, and even helped think of the name—All About Doody.

For the first 16 months, Nathalie, who covered her startup costs (a truck down payment, equipment, insurance) with savings, picked up every piece of poop herself. "I worked seven days a week—cleaning yards, doing the accounting and marketing, placing ads in papers, and more. Those were long days."

One of her biggest hurdles: deciding to hire staff. "I was just breaking even at that point," says Nathalie. "The idea that I'd be responsible for somebody else's paycheck was terrifying. But when you're running a business, it's important not to get frozen by fear." Today, she has seven employees and 300 clients, with total sales of nearly 0,000.






Video: Potty Training Your Miniature Pinscher Puppy, Helping Hand To Housebreaking a Miniature Pinscher

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