Laura Vinogradov stumbled upon Lutz six years ago during a statewide search for her dog care business, The Barking Lot.
She wanted a place with a country feel, but still close enough to civilization. But more importantly, Vinogradov wanted somewhere she could call home.
Lutz has fit all those requirements perfectly, and Vinogradov is happy with the success of her business, which employs six people literally in her backyard. She’s proud of the fact that she’ll take any breed of dog, thanks to an innovative system that keeps unfamiliar animals separate from each other. And even more, she’s happy that she’s finally focusing on a career doing something she truly loves.
Yet, Vinogradov knew there was much more she could do for animal lovers, since not many can afford the luxury of professionals to care for their pets. And that’s when TaskIt-Pets was born.
“A couple years ago, I was approached to build an app for the pet care industry, and I knew nothing about apps,” Vinogradov said. “It was a very steep learning curve.”
The idea was to build an app that would help a pet owner schedule tasks needed for their dog, cat, or any animal living at the house. It would range from walks to baths to feeding times to giving necessary medication.
And it hit close to home for Vinogradov. One of her dogs suffers from hyperthyroidism, and requires meds twice a day. But even the most dedicated pet lovers are human, and it can be easy to forget a dose from time to time.
“Over time, especially with a very busy life, I and everyone else might have to stop and think, ‘Did I give her medication?’” Vinogradov said. “It got to be one more thing on a very busy plate.”
TaskIt-Pets takes the question out of the equation, she said. While it might not be the first app that offers such help, it is one of the first to do something a step beyond that — network everyone together who might care for a particular pet.
The app links people together, providing real-time scheduling and updates to not only make sure tasks involving pets are done, but that everyone is held accountable. That could be a professional pet caregiver, a family member, or even the neighbor.
“Say you’re a professional pet care giver, and you have dog walkers working for you,” Vinogradov said. “You don’t know who showed up on time and who didn’t, but the app will tell you that. And the app will remind them when it’s time for them to go do it.”
The app launched earlier this month in Apple’s iTunes Store for iPhone and other Apple-based portable devices. It’s expected to be launched for Android and Windows platforms in the coming weeks.
The starting price is $1.99 annually, part of which will go back to Apple, Google and Microsoft for distributing the app in the first place.
Vinogradov feels she has a new product on the market that will prove quite popular. However, she also knows that it competes with about 1 million other apps — and that’s just what Apple offers. There have been a lot of success stories when it comes to apps, however, turning some developers into instant millionaires.
Vinogradov doesn’t know if she’ll ever get that kind of success, but she’ll be happy if something she helped create can improve the lives of animals and their caregivers — something she has been passionate about since she was a young girl.
“My first love is working with the dogs, and working with families with dogs,” Vinogradov said. “I can talk dog all day long. But having that said, this has been a phenomenal experience, and very exciting. I’ve loved this whole process from Day One.”
Developing apps isn’t for everyone, Vinogradov said, and it takes the right approach and a little bit of luck to find success.
The first step for someone wanting to step into those waters, however, is to first make sure there is a need for it.
“You have to do your homework,” she said. “Is there an app out there already? Of course, if there is, that doesn’t mean that you can’t develop one. But you have to look at other ways that you can improve on it.”
Vinogradov looked at a number of popular existing apps, researching the developers behind it, before settling on a Florida-based company to design hers.
“You need to find a developer you can work with, and they have to be reputable,” she said.
The idea of scheduling tasks for other people in a real-time environment has become the foundation for two new apps Vinogradov hopes to release in the future. One is focused on family life itself, while another would help address home health care needs of a loved one.
“There’s no telling where this could go,” she said.
To learn more about TaskIt-Pets and other apps, visit TaskItApps.com.
Published May 28, 2014
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