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The 6-Figure Trainer: Kris Taylor of Taylor Made Working Dogs

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October 8, 2020 5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Looking back, it seems like Kris Taylor’s career path would’ve been obvious from the start. But instead of turning his lifelong hobby of dog training into a lucrative business right out of college, the native took a few detours — professional baseball, a and a stint in the Army among them. 

In 2008, he came to the startling realization that he didn’t know what to do with his life, bitten by the entrepreneurial bug but not sure exactly what direction to take. At breakfast with a lifelong friend and mentor, Taylor sought guidance. 

“I asked him, ‘What should I do next?’” Taylor recalls. “And he just looked at me like I was clueless and said, ‘Why aren’t you a trainer?’ It was really an ‘aha’ moment.”

At that time, Taylor was a member of a social club of dog owners, about 11 of whom were dog trainers who often came to him for advice. He’d also grown up around trainers, including his mother, who raised German Shepherds and took the family to dog shows and other canine events when Taylor was a kid. 

“I’ve always had a crazy entrepreneurial mind,” he says, “and I’m a third-generation trainer and I’ve worked with for more than 20 years, but I never put two and two together until that morning.” 

That very afternoon, Taylor designed his business cards and got to work. Today, Taylor Made Working Dogs employs 14 workers with about 40 dogs on-site at any given time. “I have a five-acre property with a training field and kennels,” he explains. “It’s a pretty big facility, with private cabins for mothers who are pregnant and having puppies. It’s safe and secure.” 

Related: The 6-Figure Clinic Owner: David Mancini of Pure Health Chiropractic

Taylor, his girlfriend Liz Snider and one other employee live on the campus, which also includes a boarding area, along with a workshop and commercial kitchen for their dog business, Wild Instincts

“We make custom dog food with pure ingredients  and a digestive enzyme that no other company uses in their food,” says Taylor. “As an athlete I know how important nutrition is to performance, and I’ve finally put that biology degree to good use.”

Pet Love in the Time of Coronavirus

After suffering at the start of the year, dog training has taken off again in the waning months of 2020. “We definitely took a hit with the pandemic because people weren’t going out at all and didn’t want to drive to their trainers,” Taylor says. “We saw close to a 50 percent decrease in training bookings.”

At the same time, the dog food business began to thrive. Taylor was one of few employers during the pandemic who brought on new workers. “We added a ton of restaurant equipment and a walk-in freezer,” he says, “and we’re still looking for more employees in sales.” 

Taylor attributes the food business growth, and the return of training appointments, to this year’s explosion in pet adoptions.  “People are spending more time at home with their dogs,” he observes, “and they want to make sure they’re well-fed, healthy and well-trained.”

Nationwide statistics underscore his point. In Los Angeles, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to reported double the number of pet adoptions in June over the same time last year, with 10 to 13 adoptions every day. 

And almost 90 percent of respondents in a survey from TD Ameritrade said their animals help them feel less lonely during the new social-distancing era — particularly in the spring and early summer, when start-and-stop lockdowns were the norm. Fully one-third of those surveyed said they were considering fostering or adopting a pet.  

Even before Covid-19, the pet services market was booming, as more families with disposable income invested in pampering their pets. According to the American Pet Products Association, the non-veterinary services market grew 88 percent from 2009 to 2019, to $6.3 billion. 

Related: The 6-Figure Tutor: Jay Veal of INC Education

What’s Next?

For Taylor, trends are compelling, but he focuses on what he knows and loves: how to train dogs effectively, with care and compassion. “I always tell my clients the truth, and sometimes it’s not exactly what they want to hear,” he says. “We have to be unbiased and open about their dog. We can’t turn blue eyes to brown, of course, but we’ll give the dog better options for stressed-out situations and help them build confidence.” 

As for what’s down the road, Taylor is keeping an open mind. Exploring a franchising opportunity isn’t on his radar just yet. “I’ve been doing this since I was a child and it’s really a labor of love,” he says. “Some companies think they can train their trainers in three months, and I know that’s not enough. Three years, maybe, because it’s a constant learning experience. Even for me, I am learning new things and growing every day. A really good trainer is like a doctor: It takes a lot of knowledge, experience and study — plus talent.” 

But all options are on the table. “Who knows what the future holds?” Taylor says. “We focus on care and quality, and the business seems to work itself out.”

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Score Apple’s Powerbeats3 Wireless Earphones Today at a Discount

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These powerful earphones were made for an active lifestyle.

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October 25, 2020 2 min read

Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.

When you’re working hard every day, you need to blow off some steam from time to time. Whether you like doing that by running, cycling, boxing, or just going on a long walk, music is always a welcome accompaniment. And the best way to enjoy your music is with a set of high-powered wireless earphones like the Apple Powerbeats3.

A product of Apple’s acquisition of Beats by Dre, these Bluetooth earphones will take any workout to the next level. The earphones have a long 12-hour battery life and secure-fit ear hooks that ensure they stay comfortably in your ears, no matter how hard you work. Plus, the Fast Fuel charging feature lets you get one hour of playback on just a five-minute charge, so if you power down at the end of your workout, you can get one last burst of music.

The Powerbeats3 have an improved ergonomic design that provides clear, dynamic sound through dual-driver acoustics. They’re also sweat- and water-resistant to give you unparalleled durability, whether you’re running in the rain or just sweating a lot.

CNET writes, “The Beats Powerbeats3 Wireless offers an improved fit, very good sound for Bluetooth sports headphones, reliable operation, and strong battery life.”

Upgrade your wireless listening game without breaking the bank. Normally $89, you can get a pair of Apple Powerbeats3 Wireless Earphones for 13 percent off at just $77.99 now. They’re also available in Indigo or Violet.

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Treat Sore Muscles Anywhere with This Portable Massager

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Reduce muscle pain, improve function, and more.

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October 25, 2020 2 min read

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Remote life comes with all kinds of stressors and bumps. Whether you’re uncomfortable in your office chair all day or you’ve picked up a workout regimen now that you don’t have to commute, it’s entirely likely your muscles aren’t feeling 100 percent all the time. While that’s part of aging, you can give yourself some relief with the Alyne Therapy Massager.

This patent-pending, professional-grade massager utilizes concentrated and rapid movements to treat muscle and deep-tissue pain right at the source. As it relaxes muscle tissue, it helps to drain lactic acid build-up that causes soreness, decrease nerve compression, and increase your range of motion. With three impact modes, three tilt angles, and three quick snap attachments, you can cater to all of your body’s muscle needs, whether you’re sore after a workout, stiff after sitting all day, or have chronic joint pain.

With the Alyne Therapy Massager, you can also improve blood and lymph circulation and enhance the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to muscle cells. This will give you an extra burst of energy and can even help heal scar tissue or muscle tears. With reduced pain throughout your body, you’ll be able to do more with less wear and tear.

Designed to be fully portable, the Alyne Therapy Massager can easily travel with you from home to the office to the gym to meet all of your muscle needs anywhere. So don’t just go around in pain. Normally $299, you can save 20 percent off the Alyne Therapy Massager when you get it for $239 today.

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Save More Than $200 on QuickBooks Online Essentials

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Score an awesome deal on the world’s leading accounting program.

Free Book Preview Money-Smart Solopreneur

This book gives you the essential guide for easy-to-follow tips and strategies to create more financial success.

October 25, 2020 2 min read

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If you earn your money by invoicing clients, you know what a hassle it can be. Not only does creating invoices take time and energy, but onboarding clients to your payment system and following up with delinquent customers to ensure they pay on time becomes a genuine waste of energy. If you’re having trouble with invoicing and managing your accounts, it may be time to bring in some technology to help.

QuickBooks Online Essentials is the web-based version of the world’s top accounting platform, specifically designed for service-based businesses. With QuickBooks Online Essentials, you can create individual or recurring invoices, track bill statuses, record payments, and much more from one intuitive app. You’ll be able to track your income and expenses seamlessly in a single portal, and QuickBooks will help you maximize tax deductions based on your accounting. You can also pay multiple vendors and bills at the same time and create checks to pay bills in person whenever you want.

QuickBooks Online Essentials goes beyond office management, as well, giving you detailed reports to analyze your expenses and manage contractors. You can even track miles, sales tax, time, and send estimates to customers before you do the work. It’s effectively everything you need to run your business.

QuickBooks Online Essentials has earned a rare Excellent review from PC Mag for good reason. See how it can help your business when you get a one-year subscription for 44 percent off with promo code “COUNT21” at checkout. 

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