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Living the Dream Year one

August 10, 2016

Starting from Scratch: The First Year

The first year of business for the team at K9 Solutions Australia has them excited about the next 12 months and beyond.

There are lots of aspects of running a business that can cause worry rather than joy. There’s the hours, the financial risks, the unknowns of whether it will work and the potential stigma of perceived failure.

Jason Kelly, director and one of three trainers that makeup K9 Solutions Australia acknowledges that the first year was an interesting process of discovery, learning and the great unknown, but the rewards made the risk and responsibility worthwhile. "In some ways it’s the unique challenges and lack of a safety net that make it such an exhilarating ride; making the small successes along the way feel very, very rewarding. The first year has completely exceeded our expectations."

"Everyone knows a good idea doesn't guarantee success, a lot of people have one at some stage....the value is in the execution of that idea and that's what you concentrate on, that is where your focus has to be, which I think we have successfully done over the last 12 months." added Ben Geurts, the second director and trainer of K9 Solutions Australia, "We wanted to grow organically, be super responsive to customers’ needs, avoid gimmicks and build a sustainable business that would stay true to our core values. I think we have done that."

"The growth we’ve experienced over the last 12 months, and hopefully beyond, is because of our clients who's patronage and suggestions are a vital part of our growth."

The last year has been a momentous period for K9 Solutions Australia in many ways. "One year on and we are absolutely blown away with where we are at. We started with nothing. And I mean absolutely nothing. We had no clients, no dogs, no website, no online presence, no funding....just heaps of experience, drive and an idea of what we wanted to do."

That’s not to say the team haven't enjoyed the experience, "Life in K9 Solutions Australia is always exciting and fast-paced. There are always training methods to be investigated, partnerships to be explored, workshops to be honed and polished – the list goes on and on" said Ben, "There aren’t many opportunities in life to choose who you work with on something you truly believe in, to see the real benefits people get from a service that you are a vital part of."

Picking up on the point, Jason quickly added, "Starting a business is daunting and even overwhelming at times, which is why it is important to surround yourself with a great team who support each other. The best part of K9 Solutions Australia is that I get to work with these blokes, great mates and great K9 trainers who make me strive to be better myself."

Ben Geurts, Director & Trainer
"We wanted to grow organically, be super responsive to customers’ needs, avoid gimmicks and build a sustainable business that would stay true to our core values. I think we have done that."
Jason Kelly, Director & Trainer
"Starting a business is daunting and even overwhelming at times, which is why it is important to surround yourself with a great team who support each other. The best part of K9 Solutions Australia is that I get to work with these blokes, great mates and great K9 trainers who make me strive to be better myself."

And all three are keen to make the point about the importance of family, "The strength of K9 Solutions Australia is the three of us," Jason said, adding "the strength of the three of us are our families. Anyone who has started a new business knows it involves many challenges and considerations, is time consuming and sometimes an exhaustive process...without the unconditional support of our families we would not be living the dream of doing something we love as our careers". The team momentarily pause when hearing the last comment, basking in the afternoon sun and the realisation that they are some of the lucky ones who are doing what they love and getting paid for it. "There's no words that I can even say that express our gratitude and appreciation. They are what makes K9 Solutions Australia strong."

"The strength of K9 Solutions Australia is the three of us. The strength of the three of us are our families"

The team are also quick to turn their attention to their clients, "Building a company, building a product, building a service…these are hard things to do, but they mean nothing without a client base. The growth we’ve experienced over the last 12 months, and hopefully beyond, is because of our clients who's patronage and suggestions are a vital part of our growth. Their honesty and feedback have helped us shape our business, and for that, we are most grateful."

“We truly enjoyed working with them all and feel honoured they chose us to help them along their way...we feel really lucky to have had such great experiences with such awesome people. If you get to know your customers and treat them well, hopefully they’ll pay you back tenfold and become your company’s ambassadors,” adds Grant.

".......simply put, we love what we do."

In year two, K9 Solutions Australia will be building on the foundations set in their first year, but the team are keenly aware the year ahead will present its own challenges, "When you have a dream and decide to follow it, you are going to hit obstacles - but it’s how you react to those obstacles that counts. What’s important is that you stay focused on the dream", said Ben, tapping the table with purpose to accentuate the point. "K9 Solutions Australia is never going to be ‘just another' working dog training company. We’ve always had huge ambitions for the company and there is a long way for it to go."

Moving from the relaxed position that accompanies having a cold beer on a beautiful warm winter Brisbane afternoon, Jason moves forward to highlight that hard work is the cornerstone of which the business is built, "We know that nothing ever replaces being hard working sons of bitches who put in the hours needed. You need to be willing to work harder than everyone else and know where the work needs to be put in. Luck really is when preparation meets opportunity, so we concentrate a lot on preparation so we are ready when opportunity presents itself."

Ben sums up the feeling within the K9 Solutions Australia team, "Working with dogs is a wonderful life as it enables you to become part of a happy pack - and having your passion as the focus of your work brings enormous rewards. All things considered, there’s nothing we'd rather be doing than this. Non Vactro."

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