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Now Is the Best Time for Pet Care Professionals To Get Ahead

It might sound counterintuitive, but we promise, this time of epic change is the ideal phase for growth. In many ways we’re seeing the end of an era. And retooling your business approach has built in flexibility that might not have been there prior. Our collective do-what-we-have-to-do mindset is the best jumping off point for further expansion.

But this endeavor takes focused, calculated efforts. Here at ZINC we stand behind our pet care clients and want everyone to succeed in this brave new business climate. We’ve gathered some top tips for success going forward and are right here with you on this trip into the great unknown.

Industry Change Is A-Comin’

Thanks to an otherwise rotten year, the awareness surrounding mobile pet grooming and other distanced, contactless, or virtual pet care services has boomed. National media attention has brought a sharp focus to companies who shifted practices to accommodate local restrictions. This was key for the little guys, since they didn’t have the ability to pause business and stay afloat. With increased knowledge came a higher demand for mobile grooming services and we’re betting that need will keep trending upward, long past the pandemic. Customers’ lives are busy – if you can bring services to them it’s a major boon.

2020 also saw tragic loss in total grooming businesses. Statistics put the number somewhere in the low thousands. Whether a result of early retirement, down-sizing, or a host of other reasons, we mourn that loss. But on the flipside, it seems that new businesses have opened up to fill the gap. With folks adopting their pandemic puppies left and right, there’s a clear need right now for convenient, safe grooming options.

We’ve also seen an intense focus on petcare employees, including defining rights and clearing up confusion about safety and other concerns. And according to preliminary research many are thinking about striking out on their own. The troubling piece of information is that as this pandemic ebbs and flows, the definition of who and what businesses are essential can shift. So while pet grooming has been able to survive with some adjustments, there’s no saying that this is a hard and fast prediction.

Though this research is focused on groomers, it’s true for so many pet care professionals in other positions too, like trainers, coaches, daycare providers and even veterinarians. Keep it here for continued updates on the state of the pet care industry.

Pet Care Professionals Getting Ahead

Capitalize on Upheaval

The big shake ups that happened in every sector this past year broke ground for massive opportunity and a chance for real growth and change. Now that ‘normal’ isn’t a norm, those ideas you had on the backburner can be developed and worked into your company’s path forward. But as you work on successfully growing your small business and leading it out of a crisis, here are some key things to keep top of mind.

Stay Connected to Customers

Putting clients first while you grow can help to stabilize a revenue stream while you continue providing valuable services. That requires you to stay engaged and take the time to interact with your customers, and it can only help to fuel your business. Here are some solid pointers on this score:

  • Consider customers’ perspective, especially when using social media
  • Buy out time to learn about your ideal customer, what they’re saying and doing online, and what they value
  • Approach situations from your customers’ standpoint – it shows that you get them, and will be a nudge for them to align with your brand
  • Always be honest when you portray your company as a helper – highlight true points of value that will appeal
  • Be transparent and communicative – make authentic dialogue your theme
  • Take a holistic approach – share what your business is doing to benefit clients and employees
  • Carve out time to listen to customers and employees

Using various communication channels to show followers that your interest is genuine can build strong relationships that will weather any pandemic. Let folks know how the past year has affected your business along with any changes or adjustments you’ve made. Engaging in discussions can build loyalty and have a side perk of collecting valuable data.

Use Technology To Your Best Advantage

One fun way to keep in touch is to take things virtual. Plan and host live online events that are relevant to your customers’ needs and that feature guest contributors that help your message to stand out from the ocean of currently available virtual content. Jazz up content with whatever resources you can spare, be that with a giveaway, expert speaker, or another value offering. Take this opportunity to also craft a clear call to action so that participants don’t forget about you when the webinar ends.

Invest In Employees

To build your business, you need customers. But to keep customers happy, you generally need employees. Unless you’re a one-person show, these folks are the backbone of your company – treat them accordingly. Reach out and ask questions, always ready to listen and implement smart suggestions or requests. This way you’re building your internal community and strengthening your business at its core. That will help you to ride out this wild pandemic while staying centered and ready to spring into new growth.

Focus On Flexibility

Right now, while you’re moving through a period of crisis, you could feel on the brink of major loss. But this is the time to reinvent and move forward. The rules, methods, and routines that got you here can’t be relied on anymore, and you need to forge a new path.

One key way to make it through is to cut unnecessary expenses and pause or end projects that don’t add to your bottom line. It’s easy to see latent potential and hold out hope, but this just means that in the meantime you’re losing valuable assets – time, money, effort, and bandwidth. At the same time that you’re evaluating which projects can be dropped, you’ll also want to identify those that are actually working for you. If a project is generating reliable and growing revenue, keep it moving. Retain your best, most professional workers and help them to develop even further. Focus on adding value to your company right now, not some day in the future.

It must be said that this slice-and-dice approach could mean that you’ll determine you just can’t keep your full team employed. If you’re going that route, be selective and careful. If you can reinvent job roles and still generate the profit needed to fairly compensate employees, that might be a better option. Regardless, keep your team informed and involved and consult them before making any rash decisions.

Thriving On Change

If your business has made it through the pandemic this far, you’ve mastered some major coping mechanisms and survival skills. Just be sure that these aren’t reflex reactions and that you’re also learning along the way. This means going beyond your comfort zone, a place we’re all pretty familiar with anymore. Personal growth is important too – it should be a priority to get to a place where you can operate and manage well despite ongoing chaos, challenges, and uncertainty.

Try to direct energy that could be spent on negativity or stress into improvement and growth, knowing that a big part of your success will lie in flexibility and adaptability. Newfound skills and strengths can position you for new and better things to come and make up for any hits your business takes. And as you navigate the shifting sands of change, don’t feel committed to strategies that aren’t working for you. Take charge and steer your business forward.

As you evaluate where you are, how far you’ve come, and where you want to go next, be sure that you have a solid partner on board. Here at ZINC we know that dedicated pet care professionals have the passion it takes to succeed. It’s our job to give you the confidence that a comprehensive safety net brings. So as we work to protect your life’s work, you can focus on taking your company to the next level. Here’s to a new year and thriving hope.

This blog post does not provide insurance advice and is intended for information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional insurance advice from a licensed representative. Never ignore professional insurance advice because of something you have read in this blog post. Contact your licensed representative if you have any questions about your insurance policy.