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Enterprising Fourth Graders Launch Dogs Ahoy

dogsahoylogoFour enterprising fourth graders from Fox Meadow used their free time during the pandemic to learn entrepreneurial skills and launch their own business. Janie Pease (COO), Alice Hoffman (CMO), Maya Zaitchik (CFO) and Avery Altschuler (CCO) took a crash course in Business 101, wrote a 30 page business plan and used it as the blueprint to start Dogs Ahoy, a local girl-owned dog walking business.

Here’s the story of the genesis of their business club that ultimately led to the new enterprise:

How did you get interested in learning about entrepreneurship?

We got interested in entrepreneurship because when Covid started and we weren’t going to school full time, we decided to do a weekly “business club” with one of our moms. For our business club, we would have a weekly meeting where we talked about one part of starting a business. Each week we would learn about a new topic. Some things we learned about were marketing, finance, communication skills/public speaking, logo and name/branding, budgeting, and teamwork/leadership. Once we learned all these skills we decided to launch our own business. We thought about what made a business successful, and we decided to make a dog walking business called “Dogs Ahoy.”

What are some of the things you learned about running a business?

One of the things we learned about running a business is that advertising is everything because if people don’t know about your business, you aren’t going to be successful. Also, you have to be different from other businesses that do the same thing as you do. And you have to make it easy for people to buy your product or hire you to do something, because otherwise they are just going to go to a different business that is more user friendly.

Why was it important to you to launch a 100% girl-owned business?

It was important to us to launch a 100% girl-owned business because many of the most popular businesses right now are run by men. For example, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, Nike, and many more very successful businesses are all run by men. This made it important to us to have a successful business that is run by only girls to show the world that girls can do it too.

How did you come up with the name and logo for Dogs Ahoy?

Coming up with the logo was hard. We had to think of many ideas until we found the perfect one that popped out to us. We had to think of a simple and catchy logo. We had to think of what we wanted to be on the logo and the colors. For the name, we thought of many different bad, good, and silly names. We thought of “Purple Puppies,” “Puppy Palace,” and others until we finally thought of “Dogs Ahoy.” We thought of this name because we love cookies and dogs so it was perfect! We also thought we might grow our business one day to sell homemade dog treats and a lot more.

What is your marketing plan for Dogs Ahoy?

Our marketing plan includes Instagram, Scarsdale Buzz, flyers, business cards, and business-to-business partnerships.

-For instagram, our account is @dogsahoy4 and we post once a week.
-We have a weekly “Get to know the team” post where we talk about each of our founders.
-We do “dog of the week,” which is where we pick the best dog we walked that week and post a face shot of them and their name on our account.
-We have our moms post on Scarsdale Buzz about our business.
-We made flyers and business cards that we pass out.
-We are in touch with another business that sells dog treats. We made a deal where she gives her customers one of our business cards and we give our customers her business cards. It’s also one girl-owned business supporting another!

dogsteam

What is the most challenging part of launching a business?

We think the most challenging part of launching a business is getting people to know that you exist. For example, if you can make the best hamburgers in the world but no one knows you can, no one is going to buy them from you. You could be one of the best businesses on earth, but not if nobody knows your business exists.

Have you enjoyed this experience, and what is your favorite thing you learned?

We have had so much fun with this business and we have learned a lot. Our favorite thing that we have learned is how to create a brand. Some of things we thought about were coming up with the name for the business, coming up with the color scheme for the logo, choosing the design for the logo, and most importantly coming up with a mission statement. All of this was hard to do but it was really fun! We learned to be responsible, and to show up on time. We also spent a lot of time practicing public speaking, which is a great skill no matter what you do!

If you want to hire Dogs Ahoy for any dog walking services, please contact us at: dogsahoy4@gmail.com.

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