We’re asked often by clients and workshop attendees even as we lecture across the nation to the techniques to succeed in this industry. Here’s what we tell them.
1. Get and keep yourself educated
Whether you happen to be already or desire to turn into a dog trainer, walker, sitter, or daycare or boarding facility owner, your debt it to yourself, your customers, as well as the dogs with your want to know anything you can about dog behavior. We have an unfortunate habit of assuming we understand dogs because we’ve lived with all of them our way of life. The truth is we suffer from numerous often damaging misconceptions and pieces of conventional wisdom about why dogs do the things they’re doing. Ridding yourself of the myths forces you to a much more effective dog pro.
Start by attending a scientifically-sound program depending on positive reinforcement, then maintain your education through seminars, reading, DVDs, and professional conferences.
2. Learn how to market yourself
A deficiency of or poor marketing will be the biggest reason for failure inside our industry. Too many dog pros depend upon a “build it and they will come” approach, or a few brochures or fliers spread about. This rarely has got the job done, especially in a lively market like the Bay Area. I also see dog pros waste precious funds on passive advertising that rarely works-Google ads, yellow pages ads, direct mailers, etc. Marketing doesn’t have to be expensive or stressful, nevertheless, it should be done and done smart.
My focus when you use clients would be to develop inexpensive community-based marketing plans that play to non-public strengths-good writers can write a constant column or newsletter, for instance. I also recommend finding a strategy to jump out. Look around at other providers with your area. What can you do differently, better? There are lots of pet sitters- is anyone emphasizing animals with special health or behavioral needs? Anyone sending video report cards to clients on holiday? There are lots of dog walkers-is, anyone, emphasizing small dogs? There are lots of daycares- what will make yours special? Small playgroups as well as a well-crafted daily itinerary? Special monthly event days?
3. Work ON the organization, not just in it
I can’t stress this enough. To be a successful dog pro, you need to do a lot more than seeing clients and maintain dogs. You have to be your secretary promptly returning phone calls and emails, your admin assistant handling paperwork, your accountant managing your books, your marketing manager executing your marketing plan, and so on. Though you can (and may) get assistance with many of the tasks, the truth remains: You have to run the business. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day demands of client needs, in case you don’t focus on the business itself it won’t grow.
4. Keep to an expert schedule
Working on plus the business enterprise demands efficient usage of time. I teach my clients the way to produce a smart time-table which allows the crooks to effectively run their businesses while enjoying a lot of downtime and adaptability. After all, you’ll find meant to be perks to being self-employed. Whether you’re typing to flounder under a lack of structure, getting little done without the external pressures of your job and boss, or the type to function yourself to the bone when there’s no anyone to show you to knock-off for your day, an expert schedule produces a sustainable balance.
This approach to scheduling involves putting aside specific days and times per business activity, and also protected personal downtime. When you will find there’s a specific task to get done, it’s assigned to its logical spot within the weekly schedule, instead of relegated to your post-it note, intimidating to-do list, or possibly a hopeful “I’d love to arrive at this someday when I have enough time.” A master schedule is run on the concept of “do dates,” listing when something would be accomplished, as opposed to “due dates” that simply cause stress. When all things have its place things get done-and that means success and comfort, too.
Though running your dog business can be difficult, few that do it’ll inform you they’d rather take action else. Working with dogs and dog lovers is a good strategy to earn their living, especially when combined with the freedom that is included in owning a well-run business. So be bold. If you already own your dog business, get it to a new level. If it’s been a long-standing dream, permit yourself to pursue it.