Image from October 2007: Heidi Flammang opened her doggie day-care center Camp Bow Wow in 2000, and later turned it into a nationwide franchise. “Surround yourself with great people who are smarter than you,” Flammang advises. Image by Michael Myers for Boulder County Business Report

Heidi (Flammang) Ganahl – 2018 Boulder Valley Hall of Fame honoree Originally published article October 2007

Article published October 2007 in Boulder County Business Report, Women in Business special section.

Heidi (Flammang) Ganahl – Camp Bow Wow

Heidi Flammang’s business plan for a doggie day-care center crashed with the plane that killed her husband. She went back to pharmaceutical sales. But a few years later her brother came to her, reminding her of her business idea. He offered to run operations if she did the business side. She used her own money, and in 2000 Camp Bow Wow was born, then located near downtown Denver.

It was a year before Flammang gave up her day job. In 2002 she opened a second location in Broomfield. Due to demand, she soon started looking into franchising, and Camp Bow Wow became a franchise in August 2003. The corporate office moved to Boulder in 2004.

“I didn’t have a clue what I was doing,” Flammang says. But one of her clients connected her with the International Franchise Association. She had wonderful mentors and a “tolerant” first franchisee in Castle Rock. Now there are 45 locations, and she’s sold more than 200 franchises. Flammang’s advice: 1. Find some folks who have done what you’re doing and who will mentor you. Join industry associations and go to trade shows.

2. Always overestimate the amount of cash you’re going to need. The No. 1 reason small businesses fail is lack of funds. “A lot of people think they can bootstrap anything. It’s terrible when six months into the business you have to close your doors,” Flammang says. 3. Surround yourself with great people who are smarter than you. Invest resources in great people. Hire a consultant if you can’t afford to hire someone full time. Flammang says it’s easy in the beginning to hire young, inexperienced people; because of their energy and enthusiasm, may seem you’re getting two for one. “But one good employee can take the place of three or four.” More experienced workers have more of a work ethic. Flammang compares running a business to playing a video game, where things can pop up left and right that could take down the business. Surrounding herself with good people has been essential. What she brings to Camp Bow Wow is marketing. “I’m very marketing focused. I’m all about the brand and letting people see the passion for the business.” It’s there in the company slogan: It’s all about the dogs.

Read related articles.

Camp Bow Wow plans doggy day-care center in Longmont – August 2016

Camp Bow Wow founder joins Leeds’ board – February 2009

Camp Bow Wow signs 200th franchise – January 2008

Article published October 2007 in Boulder County Business Report, Women in Business special section.

Heidi (Flammang) Ganahl – Camp Bow Wow

Heidi Flammang’s business plan for a doggie day-care center crashed with the plane that killed her husband. She went back to pharmaceutical sales. But a few years later her brother came to her, reminding her of her business idea. He offered to run operations if she did the business side. She used her own money, and in 2000 Camp Bow Wow was born, then located near downtown Denver.

It was a year before Flammang gave up her day job. In 2002 she opened a second location in Broomfield. Due to demand, she soon started looking into franchising, and Camp Bow Wow became a franchise in August 2003. The corporate office moved to Boulder in 2004.

“I didn’t have a clue what I was doing,” Flammang says. But one of her clients connected her with the International Franchise Association. She had wonderful mentors and a “tolerant” first franchisee in Castle Rock. Now there are 45 locations, and she’s sold more than 200 franchises. Flammang’s advice: 1. Find some folks who have done what you’re doing and who will mentor you. Join industry associations and go to trade shows.

2. Always overestimate the amount of cash you’re going to need. The No. 1 reason small businesses fail is lack of funds. “A lot of people think they can bootstrap anything. It’s terrible when six months into the business you have to close your doors,” Flammang says.…