Welcome to Wear Wag Repeat Podcast Episode 23: Candace D’Agnolo of Pet Boss Nation used her experience running a local pet shop with multiple locations, a doggy day care, and other ventures to create an educational community for pet bosses. Did you know that of all the pet supplies purchases made each year, just 9% come from online sales? That means brick and mortar is big business in the pet industry.
Candace D’Agnolo has been in the pet industry for over 16 years and has successfully translated her passion for pets into multiple million-dollar businesses. She’s created a freedom lifestyle instead of working like a dog in her business. But it wasn’t always that way. She’s turned obstacles into opportunities and created step by-step systems for every unique challenge a pet business faces.
Her latest business, Pet Boss Nation, is a coaching and consulting community that helps bring profits to pet businesses through inventory planning, cash flow road maps, marketing, goal setting and more via her signature program the Pet Boss Club.
Candace was also recently honored with the Women in the Pet Industries – 2017 Woman of the Year Award in the Entrepreneur category and a 2018 Pet Age Woman of Influence.
On top of many other accomplishments, her most important role is dog mom to Guinness, Clover and Dory.
Tori: Can you tell us about how you got into the pet industry?
Candace: It was a complete accident! I always wanted to work at an ad agency. When I got a job there out of college, I realized I hated the cube life. So I quit there and began painting murals for children’s rooms. Then I got the opportunity to work at a children’s retailer, I thought it would be a great way to meet potential mural clients. But it helped me realize how much I love retail, merchandising, etc. In 2003, one of my friends was struggling with her pet boutique. I started working with her which was great experience. Ultimately, I decided I wanted my own shop so I could build something of my own. So I started Dogaholics!
Tori: What is the Pet Boss Nation?
Candace: Pet Boss nation is a coaching and consulting community. We help pet professionals move from their passion for pets to becoming profitable bosses. I realized there were a lot of people in the pet industry who didn’t have systems and processes like I did in my businesses. I love to help local businesses thrive. When they can keep their doors open and make more money, then they can have more of an impact on their employees lives and their local communities.
Pet Boss Club is the signature program of the Pet Boss Nation. It’s like a monthly mentoring program. The participants get access all tools and systems I’ve created, one on one coaching with me and access to experts each month.
Tori: Who is a good candidate for Pet Boss Club?
Candace: There are 3 main areas that, if someone has them all, it makes them an ideal candidate 1. They carry inventory like a brick and mortar or online store. 2. They have a team like a doggy day care or dog walking. 3. They have a physical space. Those people make up about 60% of our Club members. But we’ve also seen that a lot of smaller brands are having great success with the program. A lot of those businesses are new, they might be solopreneurs, and the club gives them a sense of community to support their growth.
Tori: Do you have any advice on how brick and mortar stores can thrive in today’s market?
Candace: In the pet industry the internet is not putting brick and mortar out of business. Out of all the pet supplies bought in the country, only 9% are bought online. That means that over 90% of people are going in person to buy their pet supplies. I try to help people shift their mindset about that and be open to some of the technology out there. I think it’s important to have a digital presence which can be as simple as an Instagram page. And keep in mind that most people want to shop at a brick and mortar because of the experience. So think about the customer service, selection and sensory experience in your shop.
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