How To Get More Hours Out Of Your Day

Despite all of mankind’s advancements we’ve still not found a way to add hours to the day, be two places at once, or stop time to get a few more things done. Most small business owners long for these … [Read more...]

Using Your Master Schedule

We’ve written at various points about the benefits of using a master schedule—an organizational tool that allots regular, pre-set slots of time for specific tasks. A dog trainer’s master schedule … [Read more...]

It’s Time To Take Some Time Off

Depending on where you live, summers and holidays likely see RVs rolling down the highway, station wagons and SUVs loaded down with bicycles and camping gear, school-age children screaming through … [Read more...]

Training The Perfect Dog Pro Staff

Staff training is essential to the success of your business. The better trained your employees are, the smarter they work. Well-trained employees are more engaged and more likely to solve problems … [Read more...]

6 Tips For Keeping Great Employees

We’ve written about the importance of hiring help to get the support you need to push your business forward while maintaining a sustainable work/life balance. We’ve talked about finding and hiring the … [Read more...]

Handling Unhappy Clients

Pleasing an unhappy dog often comes down to simple things. Taking out a leash. Saying the word, “W-A-L-K.” Bologna. Pleasing unhappy clients, however, can prove more complicated, and even dog pros … [Read more...]

Work Smart: Making the Most of Your Desk Time

Not so long ago, we thought of multitasking as something only computers could do. But now it’s a required skill listed on most human job descriptions, usually somewhere after “detail-oriented.” And … [Read more...]

Hiring Help: Employees vs. Independent Contractors

“Should I hire employees or independent contractors?” It’s one of the most common questions we hear. First off – congratulations. Pondering the hiring plunge is often a good sign of your business’s … [Read more...]

Hiring Help: 3 Tips for Dog Pros

It’s not easy becoming a dog pro. It takes tremendous time, energy, and persistence to attain the right education, open up shop, and attract enough clients to sustain and grow your small business. You … [Read more...]

The Boundaries of Customer Service

We're guessing since hanging up your dog pro shingle you’ve had occasion to question the “customer is always right” adage. Yet we’ve worked with enough dog pros to know that too many take good … [Read more...]

A Successful Attitude = Success

Attitude is a key component of success. All the old cliches apply: Whether you approach your business goals with a can-do attitude or Eyore’s certainty of doom matters. Whether you view a class with … [Read more...]

Handling Seasonal Slowdowns

Ugh, those seasonal ups and downs! Take the holidays, for example. For some of you—trainers in particular—they usually mean heading into a seasonal slowdown. And for others—pet sitters and boarding … [Read more...]

Fail Better

Failure is a part of business as much as it is a part of life. You can’t avoid it entirely, but you can use disappointments to your advantage if you’re willing to approach them differently. As Samuel … [Read more...]

Use Your Space

If you have your own space, you know the responsibility of carrying monthly overhead and the extra chores involved in keeping a facility running. But are you making the most of it? … [Read more...]

Hiring: You Deserve Help

Most dog service businesses are one-person affairs. If you run one, you know what it’s like to juggle a multitude of tasks and wear too many hats at once: Trainer/walker/sitter/daycare or boarding … [Read more...]

7 Tips for Getting the Most from Dog Seminars and Conferences

We attend a lot of professional dog conferences and seminars each year. There are so many ways to benefit: Access to the latest thinking and innovations in the field, networking and socializing with … [Read more...]

Better Business Resolutions

Most of us share the same sense of inevitable doom when we think of resolutions, whether at the New Year, or upon returning from an inspiring conference, or anytime we promise ourselves change—that … [Read more...]

A Dog Walker’s Checklist

Professional dog walking has grown rapidly over the last ten years, and the collapse of the economy has sent a new flood of dog lovers into the field. Because walking is a young business, there is … [Read more...]

Staff Training That Works

Job training is essential to the success of your business. The better trained your employees are, the smarter they work. Well-trained employees are more engaged and more likely to solve problems … [Read more...]

Staff Reviews That Work

Staff performance reviews enjoy near-universal unpopularity—dreaded by employer and employee alike. For the employer, reviews feel like meaningless busywork, something you are expected to do but which … [Read more...]

Let It Ring

Ring, Ring! Many dog pros feel like slaves to their telephones, reporting a near compulsion to answer them no matter the hour, inconvenience, or what else may be going on. What if the call goes to … [Read more...]

Reducing Stress

A certain amount of stress or anxiety from time to time is to be expected when owning and running a small business. As a business consultant and coach for dog pros I’ve seen many a dog pro struggle … [Read more...]

The Well Scheduled Pro

Structure abounds in our culture and we’re accustomed to its rule. From school and college and into the workplace, the majority of us rely throughout our lives on some form of exterior framework to … [Read more...]

Ask For Help

If you’re reading this column, chances are you’ve been trained to work with dogs, and well trained. But running a business, any business, calls for a Renaissance skill set and unreasonable amounts of … [Read more...]

Spring Clean Your Business

Whether or not you typically spend the first warm days of Spring washing windows, beating rugs, and wiping the farthest reaches of your kitchen cabinets, I urge you to consider some Spring cleaning … [Read more...]

Sleep Well At Night

How big is the risk? Dog professions are often referred to as high risk. Simply put, dogs are animals and animals bite. It’s enough to keep any dog pro awake at night, but here’s the good news: a … [Read more...]