Managing Your Most Valuable Asset
By Laura Laaman
No matter how much passion and ambition you have for your pet care business, you only get 24 hours in a day. As an owner, you’re probably being pulled in hundreds of directions, with a nonstop reel of “to-do’s” going through your head.
This business can be very emotionally fulfilling due to being surrounded by pets. It can also be very financially rewarding, but only if an owner works on the most important aspects of their business, not in it. Here’s how to get the most out of every hour so you can run the most successful business possible.
Planning, Prioritizing, Progress!
Carefully planning your time ensures the most important tasks get done, preventing avoidable problems from cropping up down the line. Just as importantly, it puts the brakes on that mental thought-reel, so you can enjoy your downtime without worrying about overlooked tasks. Proven Strategies include:
- Using a planner (paper or digital—whatever works for you) to write down everything you need to accomplish.
- Prioritize your list with the most important items up top. These might be the hardest tasks, but tackling them will give you the momentum to get through the rest.
- If you can’t address something right away, schedule an appointment with yourself.
- Keep your commitments!
Now that you’ve organized your game plan, it’s time to consider your players.
A Good Team Makes All The Difference
If you’re the head, a functional team of managers, leads and supervisors are the limbs that make things happen. Many owners in this industry might feel compelled to hire a single General Manager to adopt most of the burden, but it’s unsustainable to expect one person to run a pet care business—even a small one.
You’re much better off with a well–organized management team to provide accountability and a combination of talents that complement each other. Having a working team allows you, the owner, to step back for a better look at the big picture and dedicate more of your own time to growing your business. Your management team can take a huge amount of work off your plate, including:
- Acting as your “eyes and ears” on the facility operations: improving or bringing important situations (staffing, customer service, pet care, financial irregularities) to your attention.
- Training: mentoring and demonstrating essential skills to new and existing employees.
- Scheduling: ensuring adequate coverage and negotiating employment hours.
- Quality control: addressing and resolving operational shortcomings in the long and short–term.
- Hiring: identifying hiring needs, placing ads, conducting interviews and preparing paperwork.
- Additional tasks: purchasing supplies, facility maintenance, inventory, and more.
Where Should You Be Spending Your Precious Time?
Your time is most effectively spent on the truly important aspects of improving your business.
Track and Improve Your Lead Conversion.
If you’re not using your phone to generate a great deal of leads, you’re sending significant success to your competition. A well–developed telephone strategy provides a level of human attention that cautious pet parents crave. To execute this strategy, your staff needs to be carefully trained to convert these valuable leads into reservations on the first call. Some keys are excellent phone skills, concise and confident messaging, and appropriate up–selling to ensure the potential client knows the superiorities of your services.
Whatever phone strategy you end up using, you should measure your lead conversions. Many phone systems include the ability to record and listen to customer calls, allowing you to reflect on incoming leads. This is an invaluable resource in tracking your inquiries and shaping your phone team into expert lead converters and revenue rainmakers. Before you start recording calls, check with your business attorney to ensure your recording system meets the legal requirements for your state.
Track the Number of Inquiries (Leads) that Come to Your Business.
Even the most successful pet care business loses a high percentage of clients every year, through no fault of their own. Our experience and research show an average yearly loss of about 30% of pet parents who move away, age out, pass away or otherwise stop bringing their pet to your business. Therefore, acquiring new clients is the single most important aspect of your growth and success. It’s wise to keep a calculating eye on the number of leads coming in each day, week and month, as well as their marketing source. You‘ll likely be surprised at what you’ll find.
Ensure Appropriate Offering and Pricing.
Unfortunately, many businesses don’t charge what their services are worth. Are you confident you’re charging the right amount for your quality of service and geographic region? Appropriate pricing is a science—it’s a narrow target, and a moving one at that. Astute business owners carefully calculate the best pricing for their business and area, and re–evaluate those prices on a regular basis. This goes for every aspect of your business, from lodging to daycare to training. At the same time, changing prices is a very delicate process that should be handled with extreme care.
Time is on Your Side!
Proper time management brings productivity and harmony to your business and also to your bottom line. With clear objectives and healthy business practices, you can grab the hands of the clock and make time work for you.
Laura Laaman is president of Outstanding Pet Care. Outstanding Pet Care guarantees to substantially increase the revenues of its clients with its proven services. If you’re interested in growing your revenues, schedule an individual consultation with Laura Laaman or one of her team members. Call Outstanding Pet Care at 1-888-735-5667 or go to www.OutstandingPetCare.com.