Jay Barrett opened his first Fetch! Pet Care franchise in Birmingham, AL back in 2008. “I was a Fetch! client for many years in Atlanta and loved the service so when I moved home to Birmingham I jumped at the opportunity to open my own location.” Jay and his team quickly grew the company acquiring the Washington, DC location in 2012. They provide private dog walking and in-home pet sitting services.
Jay’s team finished 2019 with record revenue numbers and employing over 140 employees. “January and February 2020 were both record months and then the pandemic hit the US in March 2020. The revenue numbers for our locations dropped over 80%. It was very scary as a business owner responsible for so many. We quickly pivoted our business model to allow us to remain open and operate safely.”
Today Jay and his team are seeing increased revenue and many clients returning. “It’s been a long, difficult road, but I am very optimistic we will recover.”, says Barrett.
“My team has always been a top revenue producer and leader in the Fetch! Pet Care franchise system.” Barrett states. “In March 2020 the franchise system came together to brainstorm on how to navigate the pandemic. Having my fellow franchisees helped me immensely. We continue to work hard every day and take things as they come. Our employees are vaccinated and continue to operate using the modified service delivery model which has worked well over the past year and a half.”
MLA Financial Advisor, Brian Morgan, was instrumental in taking quick action to explore options to remain solvent as revenues dropped. “I would have gone out of business without MLA.” stated Barrett. “Three Pups, Inc. was able to get one of the first PPP loans executed by their bank which brought in much-needed capital. This was almost entirely due to Brian and my banker”.
Since 2008 Jay had built a successful business, but the financial management side was not his strength or focus. “I really ran things by the seat of my pants using QuickBooks. We were doing almost a million dollars in revenue and I didn’t have an annual budget. In 2017 I hired MLA to be my outsourced CFO and things immediately changed for the better.” Today MLA provides full payroll and financial reporting to Three Pups, Inc.
Jay has learned the value of having an outsourced CFO who is a trusted advisor. “I need someone who is knowledgeable and strong enough to tell me “no”. Barrett states. “Now every strategic decision is run by my CFO.’”
But the CFO’s role is not only to say no to ideas not supported by the numbers. “Brian puts reality on my vision, and he helps me see the path to get there,” Jay observes. “Then he pulls data and metrics to define reality now, and the road to get to the goal.”
It’s that kind of thinking that paid off during COVID. “Last year was about managing our cash,” Jay remembers. “We pivoted quickly and made spending changes to keep the company going.”
Keeping the company going is more than just a financial decision. Three Pups, Inc. and the Fetch! locations they operate play an essential role in the community of pet owners and pet lovers. “Our employees are truly our first priority as a company because they are our product,” Jay states. “Employee satisfaction and retention is what I grade myself on. Brian and his team are an integral part of my business continuity plan. He can keep the company going with the rest of my team if something were to happen to me.”
And that’s good news for a lot of pets in DC and Birmingham, and the people who care for them!