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  • Building Business By Simplification

    Posted October 3, 2011 By in Pet Sitters With | 1 Comment
    In the last 8 years of being a small to mid-sized business consultant, the number one problem I have helped businesses with is time management. Being diagnosed with
    Though we are but well oiled cogs in a machine, we are the designers of our future.

    Build your business on a reliable process, then take your business to new heights.

    adult ADD, I have certainly had my struggles with time management, but I have created some excellent methods to ensure time used is spent wisely.
    Time easily slips away. Over the last few years, under the guidance of the school of Industrial and Organizational Psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, I have created programs that completely automate a business. I have tested this with my own product businesses and have seen where it can happen in my own pet services business — (only I love walking dogs too much to be fully automated.)
    As your pet sitting business grows — everything grows: client list, problems with dogs and clients, business transactions, key management systems, and paperwork. I don’t think anyone got into the pet business because they loved the paperwork. Without a well-designed system that allows you to think clearly and stay ahead of market changes, your business of pet sitting is destined to fail. Thus, life needs to be more automated or delegated so that you can do what you do best. So how can you be flexible AND automated AND still get time to yourself?
    I could write for months about this, so let’s start simple:
    You need a good business system AND YOU NEED TO WRITE IT DOWN!
    Create Flow Charts:
    A. Create many flow charts of how your business works. (APSE has many flow charts available for top level members.) A flow chart helps you visualize what happens during a transaction. Be sure to put who is responsible for each step. Though many steps might appear to be common sense, think of why the person is responsible for the task and in places where your name is— see where you can delegate. For example:
    Sales Process
    Google Ads Placed (Owner does 1x and set monthly budget – review every other month.)
    Customer clicks through to site (Customer)
    Customer Calls (Customer)
    You pick up and sell to the customer (Owner)
    You visit the customer’s home (Owner)
    Customer signs up (Customer & Owner)
    You enter customer information (schedule, credit card, etc.) into the computer (Owner)
    Email customer website information and thank them for joining (Owner)
    Visit their home for the walk the next day.(Owner or Walker)
    B. This is where delegation enters the scene: You say you’re too busy to run your business, but running your business is what gets you business. I usually suggest taking all of the items on every flow chart and plugging it into an excel sheet. Column 1 = Tasks. Column 2 = Responsible person. In the ‘responsible person’ column, I don’t want to see owner on any of them.
    Google Ads Placed (Owner does 1x and set monthly budget – review success every other month.)
    Customer clicks through to site (Customer)
    Customer Calls (Customer)
    Sales Center pick-up and sell to the customer (Virtual Assistant, Manager, or Staff-on Call.)
    Visit the customer’s home (Walker, or Manager)
    Customer signs up (Customer & Walker)
    You enter customer information (schedule, credit card, etc.) into the computer (Customer, Dog Walker, or Manager.)
    Email customer website information and thank them for Meeting. (Whoever did the meeting.)
    Visit their home for the walk the next day.( Walker)
    Unfortunately with THIS example, everything is delegated and there are just as many steps. Also, it relies on hiring a manager or virtual assistant — which not everyone has the money for… yet. Let’s focus on automation and simplify.
    Google Ads Placed (Outside Marketing Company Manages, you pay X per month.)
    Customer clicks ‘Talk Now’ button and browses your site (Customer)
    VA pick up and sell to the customer (Virtual Assistant (VA))
    VA sets follow-up for (1) week asking ‘how it’s going.’ (VA)
    Customer data entered (VA or Customer when on the website.)
    Walker dispatched to customer’s home for meet’n’greet. (Walker)
    Visit their home for the walk the next day.(Walker)
    This system completely removes YOU, the owner, from doing any initial sales. A virtual assistant can cost $350 a month for about 40 hours a month. (123employee.com) For that you get a clear English-American voice and a team of people who can help you succeed in your goals.
    Though a virtual assistant might not be in your immediate future; this 9 step process was cut down to 7 steps. You notice a few of the items were batched together. Batching items into a group saves time. For example, you wouldn’t deliver newspapers in alphabetical order, right? No! You deliver them by what makes the most sense to save time. Do this in your daily life! Instead of invoicing customers one at a time, run all invoices every Monday. Instead of paying bills as they come in, wait to pay them all every Monday afternoon.
    There are many things you can do to save time. If you can’t afford a VA or you still want the personal touch, try picking out a dog walker with exceptional people skills, one who needs some extra money, or a good website that can automate things for you. As we explore in future posts, there are so many things to do that minimize wasted time. Pay extra attention over the next day of things you could have someone else do and who could do them.
    With this, the only way you can delegate is by knowing what needs to happen. By writing it down, you have a specific path you can easily describe to others. Would you put together an elaborate cabinet without directions? So why would you run a business without writing down the best methods to create it?
    The P5 rule: Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance
    I once felt uneasy by someone telling me I needed to KISS. Before I could say ‘huh?’ she said Keep It Simple, Stupid.’
    Happy Learning!
    Paul Franklin
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Catherine » 03. Nov, 2011

As a start up pet care company in Denver I really am in need of “thinking outside the box” sales and marketing advice. This was very helpful thank you!

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