A few days ago I came across a sweatshirt that said "Pardon my appearance, I ran a small business through 2020." After laughing out loud and resisting the urge to order it, I started thinking about how difficult the year really was and wondering how we made it out alive. I don't need to list the reasons why-- (we were all there!) but wow, 2020 was a doozy for our planet and our small business.
After purchasing All Dogs Club in December of 2018, my husband and I poured our hearts into efforts to improve the space, update technology, empower staff and get involved in the community. As a Terp alumnae ('08) I loved getting to know the College Park community beyond UMD campus and interacting with our customer base, many of whom have been patronizing the club for many years. We made drastic improvements to the club-- especially the areas where your dogs come to play. We invested in staff training, we gave raises and we promoted those who deserved more responsibility and recognition.
A lot of those efforts came to a pause when we had to close our doors in March of 2020, but thanks to the hard work and compliance of our staff and customers, we were able to reopen as soon as we felt confident and ready to serve you in the safest way possible. We appreciate you being so understanding when it comes to our COVID policies and procedures. We are hoping to get back to our original improvement plan this year!
As we enter 2021, we are filled with hope and encouragement that we will emerge a stronger, more resilient business. A business that would be nothing without the friendly, hard-working staff we have on our team and the thoughtful, supportive customer base we serve. We have so much to be thankful for-- new customers, old friends, refurbished play spaces, our health and even a few new additions to the ADC family due in just a few short weeks.
I want to extend a most emphatic 'thank you' to the customers who treat our staff like family, who support the business by utilizing our services, but who also go above and beyond when we need it most.
I have had a number of customers reach out to ask me how they can help and contribute to the ADC community. Here's how you can help:
- Patronize the business. Bring your dog to daycare, schedule a grooming appointment, use our boarding services when you're away. We know that isn't possible for everyone, so we appreciate every reservation we get!
- Be kind. Please know that our staff members are working harder than ever to provide excellent care to your pup under strained conditions. They are coming in early, staying late, wearing masks, social distancing, cleaning, putting themselves at risk all while supporting families and children. Some have high-risk family members at home, some are pregnant, some are high risk themselves. We ask that you are patient and respectful of their limits as they work to serve you.
- Observe our COVID policies and procedures and our business policies and procedures. We have designed a system that keeps our staff and customers safe, but it only works if everyone follows it. Here's a refresher.
- Give. If you are able and interested, we have internal opportunities for giving directly to staff members in need. Please reach me privately for details on how to support our team. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your pups are our world. Their care, safety, well-being and enjoyment is all that matters at the end of the day. As much as we love our four-legged friends, the two-legged ones have been a pleasure to serve too.
Thank you all for your continued support and encouragement! Don't forget to check out our most recent promotion-- and know that since March of 2020 every single cent you spend at ADC goes directly to our staff or keeping our lights on.
Owner, All Dogs Club