For DoodyCalls, Success is Measured by the Yard
Commuting home from work one evening in late 1999, Jacob D’Aniello was listening to a popular radio talk show when on came an interview with a man singing praises about his wonderful career scooping dog poop.
Jacob almost changed the channel, but then it clicked. He realized that this guy loved his job, earned a good living (claimed, in fact, to be making more than D’Aniello was earning at the time), worked his own hours, said his clients loved him, and didn’t have to commute anymore. Granted, it wasn’t rocket science or brain surgery, but it got him thinking.
His future wife, Susan, thought he was crazy… until he gave her the pitch – then she too jumped on board. The following week the young entrepreneurial couple started placing classified ads in local papers for DoodyCalls. Shortly thereafter, the phone started ringing.
It all started with a housewarming gift. Their first client responded to an ad and wanted to buy the service for six months for a friend who had just purchased a new home and, as one can imagine, needed that special gift. His pet, it seemed, had left far too many “presents” in the yard for him to get off to a good start.
Jacob and Susan were soon leading double lives, scooping in the mornings before going to work and changing clothes in their cars in the parking lot. But calls started coming in during business hours from people wanting to sign up. Success, they discovered, has its own timeline and does not always follow a steady growth curve.
In 2004, Jacob and Susan left their jobs to focus on DoodyCalls full time. The company established headquarters in Charlottesville, Virginia, and began franchising nationwide. Since then, DoodyCalls has grown to over 57 territories in 23 states, and has been the subject of news stories in hundreds of publications, including two recognitions as the number-one pet waste removal franchise in the United States by Entrepreneur Magazine’s annual Franchise 500 list.
Put plainly – DoodyCalls is cleaning up.