This week on the show, we're back with another Where Are They Now? session.
My guest, Chris Roy of Doobert.com, is doing amazing work connecting animal shelters with transportation for rescues, foster homes, and more. We heard all about it on episode 1173 of AskPat 2.0, but how have things changed since then?
When we last spoke, we explored several options to help Chris generate funds for Doobert. He had his entire team listen in on our chat as a starting point for new ideas. We now get to learn about the exciting pay-it-forward model they landed on. You'll want to tune in for this one because it's been working wonders for the brand!
Chris gives us an inside look at how Doobert leverages ecommerce and drop-shipping in a way that feels genuine to their mission. He's a tech guy, so he shares all the software solutions working behind the scenes to make it all happen.
We also get into what's next for Doobert and how they might be able to use their know-how to expand globally.
I can't wait to share this inspiring conversation with you, so listen in to learn more about how Chris has built an incredible business around his mission!
Subscribe to my weekly newsletter, Unstuck, to get tips, tools, and my best advice for creating a thriving online business.
AP 1249: Where Are They Now? Chris Roy
Pat Flynn: What is up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to episode 1249 of AskPat 2.0. We're quarter of the way almost to the next thousand episodes of the podcast, which is incredible. Anyway, today, because it's the end of the month, we're gonna do a, where are they now, episode. And we're gonna take the DeLorean back into time and then fast forward to now, speaking with Chris Roy. Chris was featured in episode 1173, and in that episode we talked about his company which you can find Doobert.com. It's actually a technological solution that connects rescue organizations with transportation for rescued animals, such important work. And to get volunteers to come on board to help transport rescued animals and to go rescued animals is just a tremendous thing.
So we were jamming the last time on different ways to generated income and to build a profitable business. When you have volunteers and you don't wanna necessarily have these people who are volunteering their time and asking them to pay, we should be paying them kind of thing. Or how do, where, where might we be able to find funds to be able to support our rescuers and the business and to scale things up?
And that's what we jammed on last time. And we came to some conclusions, some things to potentially try out. And what you're about to listen to is the now, the aftermath, the what happened since then. Did Chris and his team take my advice? Did something else happen? Did it completely flop? Well, we're about to find out.
Here's Chris Roy from Doobert.com.
Pat Flynn: Chris, welcome back to AskPat for a Where Are They Now? episode. It's good to see you again and and hear from you.
Chris Roy: Yeah, thanks Pat. I'm glad to be back.
Pat Flynn: I'd love to know if you recall some of what we talked about the last time. What were some of the big takeaways, if you remember, from that conversation?
Chris Roy: Yeah, I remember quite a bit. I mean, we talked about a lot of stuff. We were just kind of riffing, trying to find ways to, you know, sustain a platform like Dubber when I don't really make money, and I think we settle on a couple of things, is really to make it more event based. Really celebrate, try and recognize the people that are doing stuff, and at the same time ask for like a tip, a little bit of something back.
That was one thing that stuck out to me, and the other one was, Kind of the sponsorship model, trying to get more into, you know, the brands that want to reach my volunteers and people like that. And, you know, what, what can we do to kind of make that connection there? So that really, that really kind of got my juices flowing as we started to try and figure out what we were gonna do.
Pat Flynn: I remember that chat because it, it really was just like a jam session. I think we were just going back and forth and eventually those two, I remember, we, we landed on that were pretty exciting. So after that call, what were maybe some of the first things you did or took action on?
Chris Roy: So, first thing I did is I told my team to go listen to the call. Okay. Again, I said, look, you know, because I thought, like you said, we had a really good session where you were approach from somebody that really didn't have any background on it. So it was a good outsider perspective and you brought up things like Wikipedia and wait, they're, how are they sustaining things?
And so you, you injected a lot of things that I hadn't thought of and I really wanted my team to kind of hear some of those things and say, stop looking at this from how do we fund this within animal rescue? How do we think bigger? How do we think, you know, there's 330 million Americans. There's, I don't know how many billion, 7 billion people in the world, right?
But how do we think bigger? Because there's so many people that do wanna support the work that we're doing and helping and, and saving animals. Yeah. And so it, I think the first step was to really try and get them to start thinking outside the box. And then from there it was like, okay, now let's, what's our idea?
Like, what are we gonna do? How are we gonna. You know, turn the ideas now into reality cuz ideas are easy. It's an execution that's hard.
Pat Flynn: Right, right. Exactly. So I love that. I love that you, you took that conversation where you and I were thinking outside the box and you're like, Hey, let's get more people in on this.
Let's, let's have other people brains from, so what did that look like? Was that just like an email out to them or was it like a all hands on deck, like zoom call and you're like, Hey everybody, let's chat and, and let's like brainstorm in this hour or something. Like what, what did that look like exactly?
Chris Roy: Yeah, I mean, most of my team is international, so it's hard both culturally and just timezone wise to get everybody on a call. So it was a lot of, I see, you know, hey, send it out to them. But really then I record a video and I said like, guys, like I really, I'm looking for that input. I'm looking for the feedback, you know, what we're doing isn't working and if we wanna be successful.
So I really tried to challenge them personally. And then it was, you know, kind of a Microsoft Teams channel where we're. Again, well, what about this? And, okay, well we could sell merchandise. And it's like, yeah, but you know, that's kind of boring, right? Like t-shirts and sweatshirts and stuff like that. And, and so it really, people started to kind of build on these things and everything.
What I really liked about it was we never lost sight of the core mission, right? Our purpose for being is to serve the, the rescuers and the, the shelters and people saving animals. Right? And that's what we see ourselves as is wanting to be the, the connector that team that's supporting. And so that was kind of one of those principles that just kept coming back to like, how are we gonna do this in a way that feels genuine to us?
And as a, as a celebration of the work that, the hard work that these people are doing. I mean, in some ways we have it easy. We're developing software, we're behind the scenes, but animal rescue is physical work, right? Hands on doing transport and foster and, and all the care and, you know, taking care of animals.
So in some ways we've got it easy, but we wanna celebrate the work that they do.
Pat Flynn: Awesome. And, and did you get everybody on the team involved or with just like certain people in on?
Chris Roy: No, I, I took an approach. I'm always an approach of, you know, I, everybody comes from a different perspective and not everybody's as active, right?
Some people are a little bit more shy, they don't always wanna contribute, but to me, I want them to see. I'm fully transparent guys. I don't have this all figured out. There's the magic sauce, we're still working on it. And so bringing in those different perspectives and where they come from. Are they more of a software developer, more of a marketing person, and we've got all sorts of different people on our team that perform different roles, and so they all have a different perspective as to what. You know, people want to see in what we're doing, the Doobert the brand is well known in animal rescue and, and people love and, and respect what we're doing.
And so it was, like I said, we kept kind of coming back to that course. How do we, how do we honor that? You know, that's what it takes. It takes to me is you build on the ideas, right? You take one person's idea and you go, you know, that might work, but what if we try this and what if we try that, right? And kind of pivoting and, and switching until it feels right. Like it, it's never done. You're always iterating, but it has to, has to feel right for what you're trying to do.
Pat Flynn: That is a prime example of, of what a good leader does, right? They're in there and they're admitting that they don't know the everything, but hey, let's all work together and that enables the team to also get behind the ideas because they are the ones that, you know, came up with it or seeded it at least. So in terms of like ideas that felt good, what did you land on? What felt good from there?
Chris Roy: So it's gonna sound kind of funny, but you know, we actually landed on e-commerce and it's like, really?
Of all the things you landed on E-commerce, they, but what's really cool about this is it's, it's e-commerce that that fits our model, that fits, you know, our whole purpose is helping you help animals. Yeah. And so we started with how do we support the. And you know, I think even as you and I were talking the last time, volunteers are already participating, right?
They're already giving of their time and the resources. So the last thing you wanna do is be trying to sell to volunteers. And then it was, and what about the organizations? We wanna help the organizations. We don't wanna charge them for things. We're not trying to make money on the backs of rescues and shelters, but you know, they know and we know it costs money to do things.
So our e-commerce model, Is, this is literally, we are now, we have a Doobert Forward Store is what I call it because it's the pay it forward model. So the idea is that you can buy your pet food and pet treats and pet toys from lots of different online retailers, but if you buy it through our portal, buy it from Doobert, Doobert now will pay 5% of your order to a rescuer shelter that you choose. So I want the people, the shoppers, to choose their local organization. I don't want this going into a big pot somewhere that nobody ever sees. So if you know, wherever Pat is, he wants to support his local rescue, he can choose, and then when they just order their products like they normally would, and Doober we're gonna take it out of our cut, right?
We're gonna pay 5% of your order directly to that organization, so it's cash to them. And it really felt genuine to us because we know, you know, on a retail model, I mean there's 10, 15% right? Markup, but it so a little bit goes to us to help to support the platform. But then it felt genuine to us because we're now passing it on and we're, we're putting the money in the hands of the people and the organizations that really need it the most.
And we're keeping it local. So it feels like shop local and you're supporting your local rescuer shelter. It's a meaningful amount. So 5% can make a difference, right. When people are buying pet food month over month, over month.
Pat Flynn: Right. It's recurring. Yeah. That dude, I, I love that, that we, we definitely did not talk about that kind of model on the chat, but it was the chat that led to that and you getting your team involved.
And so it's not even about the pet food that's being sold, it's what happens as a result of that. That's why it's funny that you're like, oh, this might sound weird, but we're, it's just e-commerce, but it's, it's, it's the purpose behind the e-commerce that really matters and, and strikes a chord there. So how are, are you holding inventory of these things?
Like what's the model as far as like the goods themselves?
Chris Roy: Yeah, so it really is a drop ship model, and so we've got a, a pet food distributor that does, you know, the majority, right? Like they're doing all the brands that people normally buy. But what really became cool is as we started doing this, and just through my show that I do talking to guests that are in the animal space, I found that more and more pet companies loved this.
They said, how do we get our products on your store? I'm like, if you can support a drop ship model, like, we'll come place the order on your site, whatever you need to do. And they said, absolutely. That's awesome. And so they wanna get involved because, yeah. So I never considered other brand. I was using the one distributor and was like, this is what we got, right?
These are the products we sell. But what I realized is there's so many more organizations that want to be involved in this. What the service that we end up, that I know all along that we were doing, but didn't realize that it would be valuable to them. We check and verify every single organization on Doobert right, rescue or shelter.
And we recheck them annually because it's very important to me that we keep it to legitimate rescuers and, and people that are helping animals. And this turns out to be a valuable thing to companies that want to support rescues and shelters, because otherwise they have to do the check in themselves. So some of these brands said to us, they're like, Hey, this is great.
You guys are doing the work. You're validating. We know the money is going to the right place. We're getting our brands in front of passionate pet parents, and so we're happy to do this. And you. We'll pay the five cause that's what I said, I can't lose money. So they're covering the 5% and most of them are covering an additional amount to us.
So it gives us a little bit of money to keep the platform going and it's now expanding the brands in different directions that I never really thought of.
Pat Flynn: That's so cool. First of all, congratulations, Chris on, on that. That must feel amazing to be able to contribute in that way and use the platform that you've built to, to, to do that.
Like how, how are you feeling now?
Chris Roy: I mean, it's, it was like two years in the making it seems like, you know, so it's, I'm still kind of pinching myself going, oh my, my goodness. Like we actually have, this is actually, this is working and people are, they get it and. As I said to, it feels true to form what we're trying to do and that's the most exciting part to me.
That's why I get all jazz, cuz now I'm excited when I have people on my show and I can talk to them and say, listen, we're we're building a page, you know, as seen on the animal innovation show so that we can feature all the products over the last two years of, of companies that I've talked to and it's adding value to them, which adds value to us. Yeah. Everybody wins. Yeah. It, it's opened up my mind and it's opened up our brand in different directions to areas that it doesn't, you don't have to directly do the animal rescue. There's ways it's, it's like a pass through. And so we're kind of even toying with that idea of telling volunteers like, literally, you don't have to get off your couch anymore, and you can help animals.
You can sit there and order your pet food and know that you're actually making a difference. And if you're ordering, say, a hundred dollars a month, there's $5 a month that's going to an organization. You're just one person. Imagine if they get a hundred of those or a thousand of those, because they do.
There's millions of people. There's like 80 million people, households have a dog. At least one dog. So you go, there's a lot of potential customers. And so it's an impact thing. And so now it's really helping us to hone our message as we talk to other brands about having that impact, about really making a difference.
The small ways add up and I, I come back to that shop local that we, you know, in the US talk a lot about, right? Local Saturdays and things like that. And that's really at the heart of our model is to keep the money in your community that's saving your animals. And that's what I think makes me feel the the most excited.
Pat Flynn: That's incredible. How are you solving the technology part of the job shipping model? Like what tools are you using to, cuz that can get a little confusing. I think that's stops a lot of people from using a model like this as well. I don't know how to connect everything together.
Chris Roy: So our stores actually run on Shopify.
I was gonna build it ourself, but it, you know, why build when you have Shopify and then we custom build some of the API connections from Shopify back into the Doobert platform so that when you're shopping and you check out and you choose the organization, and then what we're doing is from there is we're now gonna start automating.
Right now we're doing the manual kind of payment forward. So once you shop and your order ships. One of my people actually goes onto PayPal and you know, sends a PayPal to the organization. But that's the next piece that we're gonna kind of automate is a lot of people trust PayPal in the animal rescue world, a lot of people use PayPal.
So it's the simplest way to do it. And so now we're gonna integrate, you know, so that as soon as we get that Shopify notice that the order shipped, we're gonna create API that automatically goes and, and makes payment. And we're gonna make it easier for the customer now to kind of meld their volunteer account and their shopping account.
Cause right now they're kind of separate because we are trying to just get it up and, and going. But now we're really gonna make in an experience so you can see, you know, the transports you've done, the animals you've fostered, the orders that you've purchased, and like that total impact. So that, the word that I remember that you and I talked about the last time was celebration.
And that's what it is, is it's a celebration of the impact that you as a person are having on a cause that you believe in. And we're just trying to support you. We're trying to make it easy. We're trying to help you to get engaged, but I'll be super excited when we'll be able to show them like that holistic view of all the things that you're doing that are really helping animals.
Pat Flynn: Yeah. I remember for example, we built a couple schools in Ghana. It's one thing to like write a check and be like, okay, cool, like we helped. But it's another thing to have Pencils of Promise, which is the organization we went through literally to send me a video and pictures of the actual children who were in the schools that I had helped built.
Like it just, it was a totally different experience and it made it feel wonderful. So are you saying that eventually I'll be able to log in and see, yes, my prior purchases and such, but also a list of all the money that's been donated to different organizations, perhaps even more specifically, the pets that we helped rescue through that just simple act of buying, which I was gonna do anyway elsewhere.
Chris Roy: Yeah, that's definitely my goal is to really connect you with that organization because it's easy through a technology platform to lose that personal connection. Right. And I want you to feel like you've supported, cuz people have asked this, they said, Can we only support one organization?
I said, no. Every order you can pick a different, you know, beneficiary that we'll pay it forward to. And so that really made people excited because they said, you know, we like to support a lot of different organizations. And, and so now kind of to your point, I'm gonna try and show them, Hey, your purchases earned this amount of money for this organization, for that organization, for this organization.
And really bridge that connection because those organizations are now doing amazing things with the money and saving animals. And then if you've participated in transport or fostered other things, like you said, being able to show you the impact that you've had, it's just, that's the cool part for me.
Pat Flynn: So now every customer, whether they were somebody who goes out into the field or not, Is actually a part of this now in helping rescue and, you know, a part of the, the whole equation.
Chris Roy: Yeah. Yeah. That's the exciting part is, I mean, we call our volunteers Dooberteers because they really are, they're heroes and as you said now we've expanded that. So you can be a Dooberteer even if you physically can't go out and participate in some of these things, cuz there are a lot of people that can't, or they, you know, time or resources, whatever.
And so we were missing a big segment of the volunteer population, these people that wanna help. And so now all of these people, all you have to do is shop. And you are, you are an amazing Dooberteer.
Pat Flynn: Do you use that language too, like in the, in the communication?
Chris Roy: Absolutely. Right. Celebrate, celebrate them right as the, as the hero, because it's not about us.
It's about them. It's about the fact they're choosing to shop with us. There, there's lots of different options everybody knows, but they're choosing to shop with us, and that's a choice to support rescue. And that's what's so exciting. And we wanna celebrate them by, you know, thanking them and calling them a Dooberteer and, and, and really raising awareness to the good that they're doing.
Pat Flynn: That's so cool. I usually ask what's next? And you, we, we had just talked about that, so that's kind of the next phase, but like, think maybe 1, 3, 5 years from now to finish up here. Like what's the future of the organization and, and where does it go from here?
Chris Roy: I'm really excited that, you know, we continue to build the software as well and, and this will bring us revenue to, to further out the software and we're really expanding into community based and pro what, what they call proactive animal sheltering. There's a lot of reasons why animals end up in shelters and if we can get more proactive in helping people with, you know, pet food assistance programs or behavior and training programs and things like that, they, they may not know there all these resources exist.
We keep the animals out out of the shelter in the first place, and so, more need for software and technology and tracking and, you know, just tools to make it more efficient. The, the organizations can do it, which is great, but we're trying to now again, make it more efficient. So that's a real big area for us.
And then next, honestly, I, I see a lot of opportunity to start working with other countries to try and say, how can we use some of the learnings from these models? I'm always very sensitive to the fact that I'm not trying to come in and say, Hey, we're, you know, we're Americans. We know what we're doing.
Because animal rescue is very different in different countries. The challenges are different, but a model like this one, this pay it forward model, I think really has some opportunities in other countries. And if we can introduce it and, and partner up with some organizations in these other countries, I think we could really make a, a global impact.
Pat Flynn: Chris, this has been amazing, an incredible update. I'm inspired and for anybody else who's inspired, who wants to go check out the website and see how they can become a Dooberteer, like, tell us where.
Chris Roy: Yeah. Yeah. So Doobert.com is where you go. And from there you can be a volunteer, you can shop, you can do all those other things.
So it's a, it's a starting off point.
Pat Flynn: Awesome. Well thank you for the update, Chris. Looking forward to the next update and we'll, you know, just stay in touch. I love what you're doing. I think it's just tremendous work. Hopefully, we'll, we'll send some more people your way.
Chris Roy: That sounds great. I really appreciate it, Pat.
Pat Flynn: All right. I hope you enjoy that catch up with Chris Roy again from Doobert.com. And what creative solutions could be had when you have the entire team involved. Right? I mean, this is just a perfect example of that, and the genius behind the solution here is to connect with these carts and these other companies who are willing to share a little bit of that income with the organization and for good purpose.
And it's just, it just feels really good, right? Kudos to you, Chris, for leading the team to coming up with these ideas to help out the volunteers that you have and ultimately the animals that you help rescue. It is amazing, and I'm just, I'm just so stoked. This is what this is all about, right? And it's not just me here preaching certain things and saying, do this or do that.
It's, it's a coaching experiment, right? And sometimes it just requires a little spark to get those creative gears going, to get those creative gears going in a way where you might find a different solution, a better solution. So super proud of you, Chris, and thank you for what you do and super proud of you, the listener, for getting through these episodes all the way through, because that means a lot to me.
I know your time is precious and I wanna make it worth your time, obviously, and I promise you the next month of episodes are absolutely gonna be worth your time. I'm so excited to share. You'll just have to subscribe. We got a lot of great conversations that I've already recorded that are gonna be life changing for some people.
So hit that subscribe button and if you haven't already, and I look forward to serving you as I always do in next week's episode. Till then, cheers. Peace out. And as always, Team Flynn for the win. Have a good one.
Thanks for listening to AskPat at AskPat.com. I'm your host Pat Flynn. Our senior producer is Sarah Jane Hess. Our series producer is David Grabowski. And our executive producer is Matt Gartland. Sound editing by Duncan Brown. AskPat is a production of SPI Media. We'll catch you in the next session.