Small business spotlight: Von Der King Kennels & Training

Location, location, location. No one knows better than a business owner where they need to be in order to thrive.
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dog-training-business

Small business borrower snapshot 

Small business: Von Der King Kennels & Training, LLC 
Location: Jasper, Georgia 
Loan match: SBA 7(a) 
Financing hurdle: Meeting rigid small business reporting requirements

Without the SBA loan from Ready Capital, our business would never have had the chance to grow at the rate it is now growing.

– Nick King, Owner, Von Der King Kennels and Training 

Backstory

Nicholas (Nick) King has been the owner and operator of Von Der King Kennels and Training LLC since 2008.

His business quickly became a premier K9 breeding, training, and development facility for High Level Sport and Police K9s back when the business was located in the Howell, Michigan area. But despite the business’s promise and early successes, its growth trajectory hit some speed bumps.  

Why? 

Von Der King (VDK) is an extremely diverse and dynamic training facility dealing with an array of issues and needs. They handle anything from basic obedience, to severe aggression issues, to advance skill sets and complex exercises for High Level Sport and Police K9.  

While every litter and pairing is different, the business tries to produce a dog that is social, driven, willing, and livable.  Von Der King likes to see puppies grow to be successful as single and dual purpose for police departments, federal agencies, and as competitive sport dogs.  

The business has established contracts with:  

  • The T.S.A 
  • Customs and Border Protection 
  • M.S.A Security 
  • Hub Safe in France  

Additionally, they provide trainer training, basic obedience and will provide kennel services once the new facility is finished. 

Borrower goals

Through relentless focus, integrity, determination and commitment, Nick aims to shatter the stigma that some may associate with the professional dog training and breeding industry. 

He aims to do this by setting the bar in standards for excellence, quality, and client satisfaction. He wants his business to provide a personalized level of customer service and satisfaction that is unprecedented. (It’s not just about the dogs.) 

The SBA lending challenge: Delivering on the promise 

Defining small business goals and business objectives is an important first step. Having the skills and resilience to back up those goals is the second step. But there is a key interim step, as all small business owners know, between the first two steps and the final step of delivering on the promise: Securing the resources you need to make delivery possible. 

Though small business challenges are a daily occurrence for those who own and operate, we’d like to highlight three challenges that made Nick’s borrower journey that much tougher:  

Challenge #1: Due to the nature of trained dog sales to government entities, often his receivables have a longer than average turnaround time.  

Ready Capital notes: Underwriter, it’s time to think creatively.  

Challenge #2: Operating in Michigan often meant he was unable to train in the months of January and February.   

Ready Capital notes: This is a worthy borrower who needs to relocate to realize his full business capability. 

Challenge #3: Not being in close proximity to an airport posed a logistical hurdles for sending and receiving dogs. 

Ready Capital notes: Without access needed small business capital, growth is going to stagnate every signal of VDK’s potential.  

Results with Ready Capital 

Recognizing that Nick was a worthy borrower with all the right qualities to grow a successful business, Ready Capital’s underwriting team went deep into its toolbox, finding creative workarounds for VDK’s on-paper problems. This is where Ready Capital shines. Our best days are spent helping business owners like Nick smash through their on-paper problems so they can achieve their goals. 

Results: 

  • A SBA 7(a) loan that gave Nick the capital he needed to make strategic moves, taking his business into the next phase of growth
  • With the right resources available, Nick was able to relocate VDK to Jasper, Georgia where he and the team could train and sell dogs throughout the year, resulting in:
    • Increased contracts and sales
  • Proximity to Atlanta International Airport improved the logistical hurdle of sending his trained dogs and receiving untrained dogs, resulting in:
    • Better customer service 
    • Fewer interruptions to daily business operations 
    • Reduction in travel-related costs

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