Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in pet training but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Joshua Jones, Owner of Paw & Order Dog Training - Corpus Christi, located in Texas, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

We train dogs and mentor their owners. Often, we are the second or third dog trainer a client has hired to solve particular behavior problems, and we work to be their last. We free them from making sacrifices and concessions to live around their dogs' behavioral issues. Our clients love their dogs like members of the family and want a tailored, balanced approach to developing that human-canine bond.

Tell us about yourself

I started my adult life in the U.S. Marine Corps infantry, where I served in Iraq and Afghanistan. After that, I spent about 15 years in public safety. Working nights, weekends, holidays, rotating shifts, and being on-call were not conducive to the life I wanted to live outside of work. It is very important for me to have control over my schedule and the ability to prioritize what matters most. I didn't want to have to wait until retirement to spend quality time with my wife.

I've had at least one dog in the home for virtually my entire life. One of the critical experiences for me was when my wife and I decided to foster a dog with reactivity issues, not realizing how difficult she would be to integrate into our home with two senior dogs. We did not have the knowledge or skills to navigate the problem. After three months, we had to surrender and return her to the shelter.

During those three months, we reached out to several dog trainers. Most of them would not take the case or politely indicate they were too busy. Others simply never returned our calls. The only trainer we could get to come help ended up being very expensive but still ineffective.

I realized there was a market niche to fill and that I could help people struggling with a similar situation. I did my research, narrowed down my options, and decided to contact Paw & Order about franchising because I believe they have the best and most comprehensive training program. And here we are, making happier homes one dog at a time.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Resigning from my day job felt like being liberated. Also, I get to "play" with dogs most of the day, so that feels like an accomplishment in and of itself. But I absolutely love the feeling when a client presents you with a problem they're having, and it just clicks. They're frustrated and confused, but you smile because you know exactly how to fix it.

I have several elderly clients and some with mobility impairments, who just want to get their new or old pets under control. Most of these folks aren't asking for a service dog. They just want a calm companion with proper manners. It's very rewarding to watch a client walk their dog on a loose leash when they otherwise may have had to be re-homed.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

No one will stand over your shoulder and make you do the work. You absolutely have to be self-motivated. Also, there is no more attendance-based compensation. If I'm not bringing in clients or I take time off, I'm not making money. Of course, that risk is also incredibly empowering because you have control over your future.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Don't stress too much about projections and your business plan. Think about how you can start generating cash flow immediately. Keep adding value as you grow.
  2. Create a customer avatar. Envision exactly the type of person who you want to buy your product or service. Know their fears, motivators, pain points, likes, and dislikes. Focus on solving their problems and making the barrier to entry as low as possible.
  3. Don't get bogged down with activities that don't generate revenue. Set your own goals and make some progress toward them every day. Learn to say "No" to things that don't get you closer to those goals.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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