So you have decided to run your own dog training business but what steps do you need to take to guarantee a successful outcome? Just like a new puppy it requires time, patience, and commitment to be up and running.
5 Steps to Building Your Dog Training Business
Work On The Business Part As Much As The Training Part
Work on it, inside and out. It is easy to focus on creating the class curriculum and training the clients and dogs because that is the fun stuff. If you are just starting your business you are the secretary, bookkeeper, marketing manager and you need to be certain to work on those areas in order to grow your business.
Stick To Your Schedule
Make a schedule and stick to it. You can make your schedule as flexible as you want or as rigid but find a time for everything (including yourself) and stick to it. Include places for answering e-mails and phone calls, working on marketing, writing articles or research, continuing education, working with your own dogs, etc.
Learn About Modern Marketing Techniques
Marketing can be done without breaking the bank. Word of mouth is wonderful and free, however, it can take a long time to build. You need to stretch outside of your comfort zone and do more than place business cards and brochures in a few locations. Look into writing a column for the town newspaper, introduce yourself to others in different animal related fields (Veterinarians, Dog Groomers, Walkers & Pet Sitters) and reach out to your community and tell them what sets you apart from others in your field.
Make Your Business Valuable
Value your knowledge and skills. You need to become a good sales person and learn to sell yourself and your packages. Even if you are new to your profession you need to charge professional rates. People equate money with value. If you are $20 less than everyone else in your town or surrounding areas it makes people question why, which may work against you.
Be A Professional
Be the dog trainer and have confidence. People come to you because they need help and this is your area of expertise. You know what is best for the dog and owner to be successful. If that means telling people they need 6 sessions to accomplish the end result, explain that to them. Don’t be afraid of the word “No”. To be afraid of losing the client’s business and only suggesting 3 sessions so it doesn’t seem as expensive is a disservice to the client and the dog. Practice exuding confidence and it will become easier with every client. There’s a saying out there, “Fake it ‘til you make it” which applies for every new business venture.
There will be challenges along the way of running your own business but many who have done it will tell you they’d have it no other way. What is the biggest obstacle stopping you from starting your own business?