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Meet Hans Peterman of Allegro Pet Services

Today we’d like to introduce you to Hans Peterman.

Hans, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Allegro Pet Services originated, as many small businesses start, out of the fluid situations surrounding my life as a professional musician. Being a classically trained freelance musician is wonderful, but also poses challenges as far as consistent paychecks, benefits, and feelings of stability. I had decided in grad school that the way to accomplish my goal of living a musical life professionally meant that I needed to design a plan that involved multiple solid income streams.

I have always been a pet person, having grown up with cats and dogs since I was small. I did not have a dog of my own in the city, but reconnected with my affection for them when I started walking dogs for a company part time while I was in grad school. It soon became a huge part of my days, and I always looked forward to seeing and spending time with all of my clients every day.

Allegro Pet Services has grown symbiotically with my music teaching business, The Low End Bass Studio. After continuing to work in a pet care position after I graduated, it soon dawned on me that I could provide better service to my clients and their pets if I struck out on my own. It was a huge risk, but I was confident that if I gave it enough time and found the right people to help me, Allegro would grow into something that I could depend on. In the early days, my teaching with Low End and my playing helped hold things together, and after almost four years in operation, Allegro Pet Services is starting to surge ahead in terms of business growth.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
There are always challenges when you’re trying to create new avenues that haven’t been directly set up for you. Cutting your own trail takes a lot of thought, creativity, patience, and courage. Giving up a consistent paycheck is hard. Where will I get rent? What if I lose clients? What if my business model is not realistic? If these questions don’t go through your head constantly when you start your own business, maybe you’re not being realistic enough.

Recently, we lost two of our client dogs due to illness very suddenly. Not only were these particular dogs very important to me personally, but they were also my top two clients in terms of revenue every month. To top it off, I lost both of them within a week!

Even with these huge tidal waves, things still will work out. If this had happened to me a few year ago, Allegro might not have survived. Instead of potential failure though, we are still doing great. With the growth that we have worked consistently for over the last three years, we will be able to continue to move forward until these two clients have worked through their personal losses and are ready for new dogs.

The worst thing for me is the personal loss of the dogs. These are basically members of my family, are with me all the time, stay with me when their families are on vacation, and have been huge parts of my day. Sometimes you have to put the business concerns aside and remember why you are doing this: for your clients. That emotional care for them and their animals is really what makes my business special, so losses of beloved furry friends is a tough part of the job.

Allegro Pet Services, Inc. – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Allegro Pet Services’ motto is “Playing in Harmony with the Rhythms of your Pet’s Life.” We are a small, family owned business specializing in professional and personalized pet care solutions for our client families. Focusing on the needs of our family’s pets is our highest priority.

We are proud to provide the highest levels of service possible, including off hours scheduling, weekends, personalized vacation care, cat visits, and care for special needs pets, while maintaining a small, dedicated staff and rates that are a great value for our clients.

We emphasize three central tenants that set us apart from other pet care companies.
1) We are about the pets first. For example, Allegro walks one dog at a time. Pack walking is not fair or enjoyable for dogs in general, and is only beneficial to the dog walker, not the dogs. Value added service is a given with our company. Water, treats, feeding, child gates and crates are always complimentary for Allegro clients.

2) Allegro Pet Services emphasizes walker/pet relationships. We employ only the best dog and cat whisperers, all background checked, insured and bonded, to visit your pets. Nothing makes us happier than to see all of our clients’ pets giddy and excited to see their special friend come for a visit every day.

3) We provide all of the benefits of a small, family run business while being able to serve our client families at the level of a large corporate pet services company. You can always get a hold of me, the owner, at any time with scheduling questions or concerns. At the same time, we have large company benefits, such as our software portal, which allows clients to see who is walking their dog and when the walks were completed, schedule walks, see and pay their invoice, and update their pet’s information. Most clients even get a little message emailed and texted to them with details about their pet’s walk after service has been completed!

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
I’m proud of the way that Allegro Pet Services has been able to provide job opportunities for members of the arts community here in Chicago. We try to hire musicians, actors, artists, and other creative members of the gigging economy. As a professional musician myself, I started Allegro with myself and a few other members of the musical community here. Artists like myself need multiple income streams to live in our society, and it can mean sacrifices for our creative community. When you support Allegro Pet Services, you also support the art that our pet care specialists create. One of our missions is to provide superior pet service while supporting our artistic communities in Chicago.

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3 Comments

  1. HG

    July 13, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    Great article Voyage Chicago!

    Wrigley and I are very happy clients of Allegro Pet Services and have been working with Hans (and his team) for over 3 years now.

    Whether Hans or his team (cc: Amber and Wyatt!) are taking care of Wrigley for his daily walk, watching him at their homes while I’m out of town, or are coming to the rescue when something unexpected comes up and I need an evening/dinner or a last minute weekend walk, I know that Wrigley will receive the same level of care that I would have given him myself.

    It’s been great to watch Hans’ business grow over these past few years. Cheers to many more Hans!

    – HG & Wrigley

  2. Susan M Peterman

    July 16, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    Thank you VC for your support of the entrepreneurs within the Chicago community. I could not be prouder of the services that Hans provides to his clients as well as the administrative skills he has learned in the support and growth of not one but two businesses. Quality pet care tailored to pet/client needs and an ongoing opportunity to support Chicago artists – Perfect!!! SMP

  3. Jim Brucker

    July 17, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    Hans and his team at Allegro Pet Services have taken fantastic care of our Maizie for 3.5 years. They were the first call we made when we moved to Chicago having gotten a referral for a walking service from our realtor. We knew when we met Hans (and Wyatt & Jason), that we would need to look no further. Maizie is always so excited to be with her walking friends and frequently waits by the door for their arrival. And as HG has mentioned, they are always willing to watch Maizie for us when we go on vacation or are available on short notice when we can’t get home in time to get Maizie out. We couldn’t be happier with the level of service we receive from Allegro Pet Services and wish them continued prosperity!

    Jim, Deb & Maizie

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