Pate and Virginia Hall both love animals and had wanted to start a small business together for a while, but the couple was having trouble deciding on a venture.
A few months prior, Pate and Henry Hart, of ACE Garden Center, were having a conversation about beginning a small business, when Hart gave some sage advice that proved to be the spark for the Halls.
“Find something people hate doing and offer that service,” Hart advised.
Pate recalled that conversation while out in the hot sun cleaning up after the Hall family’s rescue dog, Dee Dee. His spare time, over the next few days was spent discovering there are multiple, successful pet waste removal companies all over the country.
“As most pet parents know, cleaning up after your beloved fur baby is often the worst part of a wonderful relationship,” he said.
By the end of that week, Island Poo Patrol was on its way.
“We came up with a name inspired by our 3-year-old, Jasper’s, favorite TV show, ‘Paw Patrol,’ and created a website,” he said.
Pate said clients of Island Poo Patrol share several traits with one another.
“Our most common client is a busy family with two dogs, who just do not have the time to clean the yard because they have full-time jobs,” Pate said. “This family wants to spend their free time enjoying the yard, not cleaning it up.”
This is where Island Poo Patrol comes in. With rates as low as $15 a week, the service Island Poo Patrol offers fits any budget. And they don’t limit their services to families; there is a commercial side to Island Poo Patrol as well.
“Our most common commercial clients are landscape companies that bring us in to keep the yard clean so they can efficiently do their job,” Pate said. “This saves them valuable time so they can fit more clients in the day than they could if they were having to clean the yard before they cut the grass.”
And, as most pet parents will attest, pet poo is not a fertilizer and is horrible for grass, as the patches of dead grass in their yards prove.
In addition to landscape companies, pet-friendly vacation rental companies call Island Poo Patrol after families leave to provide the next pooch a clean environment in which to do their business.
It’s daunting for married couples to make the decision to go into business together. Pate said to start small and not take on too much to soon.
“Starting Island Poo Patrol together has been great for our marriage,” said Pate. “I know most married couples can think of thousands of things they would rather do than ride around and scoop up dog poop, but it really has been a great experience.”
The Halls had never worked together before, and Pate explained that driving around St. Simons Island has given them quality time to get to know each other better.
Virginia agrees that starting a business as a married couple can be challenging, but adds that it’s worth the work to spend your time with the ones you love.
“As cliché as it sounds, remember to enjoy the ride,” she said. “With Island Poo Patrol, we’ve had the opportunity to spend days driving around the island talking and walking in the sunshine.”
Keeping expectations clear for what you want to accomplish is key, Virginia said.
“Compromise is important, but you have to understand that mistakes will be made, and everyone just has a bad day sometimes,” she said. “It can also help you bring those skills into your family life as well.”