Jana & Dave Rossorelli
Action Pack Dog Center
Education has always been a way of life for Jana Rossorelli. She worked as a seventh-grade teacher for about ten years, enjoying every chance to interact with the kids and witness those light bulb moments of understanding. She is also a passionate dog lover and believes you can learn a lot about yourself from interacting with dogs. Training dogs was just a hobby for many years, but Jana always dreamed about opening a professional facility. That dream started to take shape over the years, but finding the right property was a challenge.
In 2008, Jana and her husband Dave saw a property in Round Rock, Texas for sale through a posting on Craigslist and knew they had found their place. “I quit my teaching job, and we just poured our hearts and souls into what we created as Action Pack Dog Center,” Jana said.
Action Pack started small, with just eight enclosures and the two of them as staff. While having a smaller operation had its advantages, the demand for quality dog boarding and dog daycare was great. Dave, who was also a fulltime firefighter at the time, saw the benefits to expanding, so by 2015 they had put in 110 enclosures for overnight care.
The opportunities for expansion continued, and in 2016 they opened a second Action Pack location in nearby Georgetown, in partnership with Jana’s sister and parents. In 2018, an existing pet resort in Liberty Hill was up for sale and seemed like too good of a deal to pass up. It was an older facility that needed some updating and maintenance, which turned out to be a blessing.
“I've learned that I love the kind of the startup [environment], but we were at a place in our Round Rock location where it was a big machine, and they didn't really need us,” said Jana, who enjoys dreaming big and managing new projects.
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Simultaneously in 2018, Dave and Jana attended a session at a pet care industry conference that was taught by Teija Heikkilä of PET|VET M&A, Sales & Advisory. Teija’s presentation talked about the importance of knowing what your business is worth and developing an exit plan – even when you think you’d never sell. She offered a business evaluation service, and the Rossorelli’s took advantage of the opportunity.
The arrangement turned out to benefit Action Pack in multiple ways, according to Dave and Jana. Initially, the monthly dashboard reviews were eye opening and helped elevate their focus from daily operations to longer term outcomes. “You pay a lot more attention to costs going out, your profit margin, labor costs ... and also what projects you want to take on,” they said.
The process helped them develop a plan, which was useful for current business decisions and planning for down the road. “The roadmap is what [buyers are] looking for when they buy it. They want to see progression and good numbers in the past, not just right now,” Dave said. “It establishes a good track record for when you do sell.”
Additionally, the evaluation process involves organizing the documentation and business processes into a turnkey package that will accurately represent the business to a prospective buyer, if and when the time comes.
For the owners of Action Pack Dog Centers, that time came in early 2022. It was after the COVID pandemic hit in 2020, causing a major slowdown in the pet resort industry. During that time, Dave and Jana focused on training and full-service grooming, thanks in part to Teija’s recommendations to increase those revenue streams. Once dog boarding and daycare bounced back, they decided it was time to get serious about selling, which didn’t take long.
“We would have had to wait a year to 18 months to get it ready. But the way Teija had it set up with the evaluations, [we could] just put it on the market. So, there's a huge benefit to her [sales] prep work before we were ready to sell. The exit plan was pretty important,” they said.
Other advantages of working with the PET|VET team included their connections in the industry and their experience working with big consolidation groups. “If you didn’t have Teija, they would seem pretty intimidating,” Jana said.
Selling multiple locations can get complicated, and the Rossorelli’s can’t imagine managing everything without the help of an experienced broker like Teija. The final deal, which closed in August of 2022, included selling the Round Rock and Georgetown locations along with the Action Pack branding, and keeping the third, which is now known as The Dog Ranch at Liberty Hill.
“Going from running three full time businesses to one is a huge relief. We have a lot more personal time,” they said.
The challenge of growing this newest enterprise into a thriving dog boarding and daycare facility, with an emphasis on training, is right up their alley. In fact, Dave and Jana already have Teija on board as a bookkeeper and business analyst. They have no intention of selling anytime soon, but when that time comes, they’ll be ready.