Tails 'n Training Road to Success

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BLACK HAWK, S.D. -

Rebecca Almy always knew she wanted to own her own business, but it wasn't until she owned a special pair of dogs that she gained insight into what that business would become.

After Rebecca and her husband Jeff brought in two puppies, Rex and Roxie, to their small apartment at the time, they soon found out they needed help training the dogs.

After having trouble finding a good trainer, Rebecca decided to become certified herself. That was nearly 13 years ago.

From there, the Almy’s opened their own business, featuring dog training and a self-service pet wash. But with only 300 square feet, it just wasn't enough space for what they wanted to accomplish. It was time to look for bigger and better opportunities, but not without a fair share of setbacks.

The Almy’s found a new space in Black Hawk.

"We knew it was the right spot for us,” Rebecca said, “But right off the bat, we ran into some financing issues. We got denied by the SBA our first round, so we had to get a little creative with our financing. And then once we were able to work that out and figure everything out, we actually had the train -  that is close to our property - derail in the backyard the day before closing. That postponed that closing for several days. Then once we got that started, all of our contractors - now that we had our money coming in - we're booked out."

In the midst of all the setbacks, Rebecca's dad passed away unexpectedly, throwing another wrench in the process. But the hard work and dedication that her dad instilled in her over the years helped to push the couple forward.

"It was my dream … I grew up with a family of entrepreneurs; and so that is pretty much all I knew. So for me, it was almost like I didn't have a choice; this is what I needed to do."

Rebecca says that training a dog is much like following your passion - you must stay persistent. Setbacks will come up, but you must keep your eye on the prize. Rebecca also contributes her success to a great support system.

Tails ‘n Training offers kenneling, grooming, and training as well as the self-service pet wash. The variety of services makes Rebecca happy, as she loves the diversity of her career. 

The Almy’s increase in customers and stability of their business earned them the SBA's 2016 Expansion Business of the Year Award.

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