by Nancy Hassel, American Pet Professionals
As a pet professional, chances are you started your business out of your love of helping pets and their owners. Whether you are a groomer, trainer, pet sitter, pet store owner, or in a different niche, your professional dreams included spending time with dogs and cats and making their lives more comfortable, happier, and healthier. Then you learned about all the behind-the-scenes things that needed to be done to make your business run smoothly – things that have nothing to do with pets. Let’s help you identify tasks that you can outsource and how to find people to do them for you, so you can get back to the business of working with pets.
Tasks to Outsource
Hiring someone to handle your bookkeeping and accounting often pays for itself. There are so many rules, regulations, and laws at the county, state, and federal levels that not only will you save time and aggravation, but you will be less likely to make errors or miss important write-offs.
Bookkeeping refers to the process of recording your day-to-day transactions, including sales, inventory purchases, business expenses, payments, and more. A knowledgeable bookkeeper is a lifesaver and can help you create a manage a general ledger, produce financial statements, ensure that sales tax is being correctly collected and paid to your local and state government.
Having all your day-to-day transactions in order will help your accountant with year-end tax preparation. Using an accountant who specializes in your type of business will help you with complicated concepts like depreciation of your assets, and how to legally get the most deductions for your business.
Even if you love the marketing side of being a business owner, it is a time-consuming process. You can easily lose hours of your day posting to social media and then getting sidetracked by other stories and posts. In addition to the time involved, it can be difficult to figure out where to find your target audience, what type of content they like, and how much you should spend trying to reach them.
You can find marketing professionals to manage all of your pet business marketing needs, from traditional advertising, to social media marketing, email marketing, and blogs. You can also find experts to manage different portions of your marketing. If you love writing your own blogs but struggle with staying on top of social media, hire a social media manager. Conversely, if you hate writing longer content like blogs and newsletters, you can outsource those tasks, and handle your own social media each day.
If you are one of those people who views cleaning as hours of your life you will never get back, investing in a cleaning service will help you dedicate those hours to income producing activities. Whether you own a brick-and-mortar business location, or work from your home, hiring a professional cleaning service is incredibly freeing.
For owners of retail stores and other in-person businesses, it can be tempting to have your employees handle the day-to-day cleaning. Depending on the type of business, those employees are the face of your business the same way that you are, and you can get more return on investment from having them interact with clients.
Retail store employees are there to serve clients, answering questions and upselling products and making suggestions to increase sales. A team of commercial cleaners can clean your location quickly and efficiently after you close each day, and most likely do a better job of keeping your store sparkling.
Where to spend your time:
In the pet industry, the business tasks and activities that provide the best return on investment of your time are the ones that are the most fun and rewarding personally. The less time you must spend on bookkeeping, marketing, and cleaning, the more time you can spend doing what you intended when you first opened your business.
Outsourcing also frees up your time for continued education in your field, but you never had time to take that course or go to that conference because you were always doing everything in your business. The more you delagate as the saying goes you will elevate your pet business. (Delagate to elevate!)
Working with pets and their humans
Regardless of what your niche is in the pet industry, most of your clients want to work with you directly. If you own a retail store, there is nothing better than receiving personal customer service from the owner of the store. There is a common saying that people do business with people who they know, like, and trust, and being front and center in your store will build a loyal clientele. Even the most loyal, passionate employee can never match the love you have for the products you sell, and the pets who benefit from your suggestions.
If you own a grooming salon, your clients will love being able to have their dogs groomed by you. If you are large enough to have a team of groomers and staff, your presence can boost morale and set the atmosphere of your grooming shop. This is the same for dog trainers, veterinary clinics, and other service-based pet businesses. If you have ever been at a restaurant and the owner has personally stopped by to check on you, you know how nice it is to be recognized by the business owner. The same holds true in your pet business.
Brainstorming Your Next Steps
A simple way to figure out what tasks you can outsource is creating a list of what you like to do and what you don’t like to do in your business. For example, maybe you were doing the bookkeeping all along, perhaps you’re even good at it, but maybe you don’t really like to do it. Maybe you love doing your own marketing, but that takes up a tremendous amount of time. Learning to let go of that and outsource it to a marketing expert is going to free up so much of your personal time and time spent in your business. So be honest with yourself when creating that list to figure out what to outsource.
Not only does outsourcing the tasks you don’t like free up time, it frees up your mind so you can brainstorm your next steps. Every business needs to grow and adapt to changing times. Whether you are editing your business plan or researching industry trends, knowing that critical functions are happening behind the scenes will enable you to be the CEO of your pet business, whether you are a team of one or have hundreds of employees.
What have you outsourced – that you wish you have done sooner in your business?