Updated: Mar 18
Welcome to the 6th blog post of many where I go into each and every interview from the 2019 Empowered Petpreneur Interview Series, where I chatted with pet industry experts and business owners all about how to feel at ease while confidently running and growing a successful pet business.
For those of you who missed the series, I still wanted to share with you a snippet from the interview, some of the important takeaways I learned from each interview, and some other things you can learn by watching the rest of the interview!
This blog post will go into Susan’s interview on the ‘dreaded’ finances and how to build a budget and create profit in your pet business!
This post is part of Pet Marketing Unleashed’s Blog Series on The Empowered Petpreneur Interview Series. Click here to access the full interview series.
Interview 6 - Susan Briggs from The Dog Gurus On...
The Dreaded Finances: Budgets & Profits Made Easy
Susan Briggs is the co-founder of The Dog Gurus, the place to go to launch and grow a profitable pet care business. Susan is a Certified Professional Animal Care Operator, author, speaker, and pet business expert. She brings over 18 years of experience in the pet industry with 12 years as co-owner and operator of a successful dog daycare, lodging, grooming and training business in Houston, Texas. Susan used her educational background in accounting and published an eBook, Counting Noses: Accounting & Financial Management Guidelines for the Pet Services Industry. Susan enjoys making it easy for owners to understand the numbers side of their business so they can focus on care quality.
And that’s exactly what we got into in our interview. She had lots of valuable tips for us on money, budgeting, and finance, so I’m excited to share some of my favorite pieces of this interview!
Watch this two minute snippet of the interview:
The Major Takeaways
1. The Importance Of Creating A Budget
One of the first things to establish when you start your pet business is to make sure you’re ACTUALLY paying yourself instead of just giving yourself whatever’s leftover. If you’re just taking the scraps after everything else, you’ll 1. Never get yourself paid and 2. You’ll begin to believe that you’re at the bottom of the totem pole and it can affect your confidence, your motivation, and your self-worth.
This is the foundation for everything else in your business. Make sure you can reap the benefits of the business YOU built from the ground up! Can I get an ‘AMEN!?’
2. Discounts Are Taking Away From Your Business
Offering a lot of discounts in your pet business can impact your profitability. Susan’s recommendations (and I agree as a marketer) include taking into account your messaging and your brand before thinking about discounts.
For example, if you’re a high-end doggie daycare and pet resort, you really shouldn’t be offering discounts. However, if you’re a more budgeted daycare center, there’s a chance discounts can be more targeted to your brand. However, we still recommend keeping those discounts to a minimum.
The reasoning behind this, from a marketing perspective: If people are choosing your business BECAUSE of a discount,
1. They may not actually value your services and professionalism and
2. They will keep expecting more and more discounted services.
3. Don’t Rely On Your Competitors For Pricing
Similar to number 2, you really have to focus on what your messaging and brand are before looking to your competitors for answers.
That’s not to say it can’t be valuable information to just see what else is out there, but when you’re so focused on what other businesses are doing and thinking that that may be the only way to be successful since ‘they’ are, it’s time to step back and re-evaluate.
Number 1: You probably have different expenses than them.
Number 2: You probably have different values.
Number 3: You probably have a different brand.
That means, your pricing should also probably be different than them. Keep that in mind when setting prices.
The rest of this interview goes into:
How to determine your profit by different pet care services
How to get started with a budget (and perform the variable & fixed cost calculations)
Useful tips Susan has for those who DREAD getting into the finances of their pet business