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  • A Test In Expanding Your Pet Business

    Posted August 9, 2011 By in Pet Sitters With | No Comments

    Testing Your Vision

    You want to do something new in your business, but you’re lacking confidence in your vision. Perhaps you are debating adding poop scoop services or you are thinking of hiring contractors instead of employees. Whatever the case may be, there are a few questions to ask yourself that will help validate your new vision.

    1. Would this new step motivate you to join your company and continue to motivate you once you are there?

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    2. Does it provide a beacon for guiding the kinds of adaptation and change required for continual growth?
    3. Will it challenge you?
    4. Can it serve as the basis to formulate a strategy that can be acted on?
    5. Will it serve as a framework to keep strategic decision making in context?
    6. How will it improve your business?

    Will this motivate you to join the business and to continue to motivate you once you are there?

    If you were asked to buy your company, would you? If you were an incoming worker and you knew of this new perk, would it make you think positively or negatively about the business? New projects in a business should encourage new people to join. Even if you are adding a pet waste removal division and you are hiring a dog walker, would the dog walker be impressed you have a pet waste removal division? Though it may not directly motivate them once they are in the business, the idea of your business being larger than them adds security and raises morale for workers. It’s comforting and gives a feeling of security. People like to feel the business is larger than them and can take care of them.

    Does it provide a beacon for guiding the kinds of adaptation and change required for continual growth?

    Is this something that will help you further grow your core product? Will it help you continually grow? This may seem like an obvious question at first. You may think “Well, duh! Why would I do something that wouldn’t help me grow?” For example, many businesses waste advertising dollars for the sake of branding. One waste removal business owner told me he placed himself for 1 year on the back of store receipts for ‘branding.’ He spent thousands of dollars and did not see one customer. In another example, I added Dog Running to the list of services my company offers. Though we had a handful of people sign up, my goals were not met. When I began, it was a beacon for guiding new adaptations. I was hoping to create dog fitness plans and angle it like a personal trainer one might receive at the gym. I could have workout products for dogs; I could keep public charts of how far / long dogs have run for with us. I would tell everyone how many miles All For Dogs Runners ran this week. The list goes on. FAIL. I am reviewing it now, but will most likely cancel the program and focus my efforts on other services. Positively, when I decided to offer dog waste removal I have allowed it to guide us for adaptation and it has given us continual growth. What about you? Does your vision give you continual growth?

    Will it challenge you?

    It’s good to offer a product or service addition that is easy to do. You can provide it quickly with little learning curve. However, studies show that if your goals are personally enjoyable and there is some challenge, you will enjoy greater success than if your vision had no challenge. Challenges keep us learning. If you’re not challenged, your vision is more apt to go stale.

    Can it serve as the basis to formulate strategy that can be acted on?

    Can you grow this idea? How will you implement it? What will happen? What won’t happen? What do you / don’t you want to happen? From this idea you have, is there a strategy you can create to announce it, work it, publish it, sell it, and run it? Can you act on this strategy easily? What are the problems you may run into?

    Will it serve as a framework to keep strategic decision making in context?

    If you open a waste removal business, you need to include it in your future plans. Often strategic decision making will exclude new products. The APSE ‘state of the industry’ survey showed about 40% of business owners have a written business plan. As you add new products or decide to go in a new direction, do you update your business plan? (You should.) Is this decision along the lines of meeting your core mission statement? Does it add to your business or possibly detract from it? How will this addition help your core mission?

    How will it improve your business?

    Let’s face it. We’re not sure how it will affect the business, but you can take a good guess. We aim for the best, but things rarely work as originally planned. In 1932, a company called Connecticut Leather Company began manufacturing shoe leather with the goal of being a global company. Shortly after, they added leather craft kits to the mix. In the 1960s, leather craft kits became plastic kits and they soon began creating plastic molds. They then sold the leather division and took the first 2 letters of each of the words to form their new company name: Coleco. In 1976 they created video game consoles. And in 1983 created and manufactured Cabbage Patch Dolls. I’m sure the original founders did not plan on making dolls and video games, but their vision of becoming a global company drove them to success.

    A company must always be evolving, but in doing so we must be sure to aim high and move forward. Business owners must always focus on what actions or products will most improve the business. Ultimately, it’s up to you to do the research and know what is best for your company… and then go do it.

    APSE offers a ton of great resources to grow your pet sitting business and open your opportunities to ‘what’s happening’ in the pet industry. Here are just a few of the benefits they offer to help your business. (Click here for the list)

    Best wishes in your success,

    Paul Franklin

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