Welcome to the 7th blog post of many where I go into each and every interview from the 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 Veronica’s interview on creating pricing and policies that promote freedom and success in your pet business and personal life.
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 7 - Veronica Boutelle from dog*biz On...
Pricing & Policies That Promote Freedom & Success
Veronica Boutelle, MA Ed., CTC, is the founder of dog*biz (formerly dogtec), the industry’s leading business consultancy, and the author of How To Run a Dog Business: Putting Your Career Where Your Heart Is, Minding Your Dog Business, and The Business of Dog Walking: How To Make a Living Doing What You Love. Since 2003 Veronica and her team have helped thousands of dog trainers, dog walkers, pet sitters, doggie daycare operators, and the like create their dream businesses through one-on-one coaching, dogbiz University’s friendly online business courses, ready-made business toolkits, and the Dog Walking Academy, considered the educational standard for professional dog walkers. Veronica is an internationally sought-after speaker and writes regular business columns for multiple industry journals.
I’ll be honest. This one was one of my very favorite interviews. And for good reason. Veronica had SOOOO many valuable and shocking tips in her interview, my mind was blown. Setting up your pricing and policies right from the beginning is essential for a successful pet business, and even if you already have a pet business, but you’re unsure of how to set your prices or set cancellation policies for your pet care business, this interview is for you!
Watch this two-minute snippet of the interview:
The Major Takeaways
1. Pricing and Policies Are The Basis of Everything!
Marketing is so important (duh, that’s my business! 😉), but if you haven’t gotten your dollar bills set up properly and the policies in place that allow you to grow, then you’re still missing a huge piece of the puzzle that no marketing can fix.
This is what protects you, allows you to grow, and sets up your business for success while you can focus on other things (maybe hiring so you can take a month-long vacation - or longer!).
2. Just Because You’re New Doesn’t Mean You Have To Charge Pennies
My business coach told me when I first got started with my business, ‘you only need to know more than the person who’s paying you.’ That’s what makes you worth being paid. SO, even if you’re just getting started, but you’re a professional pet business, then why shouldn’t you be paid a good salary?
From a marketing perspective, you’re setting yourself up for failure if you’re telling people that you’re only worth bare minimum.
So, just know this: if you’re just getting started, don’t lower your prices to pennies. You are still worth the service you are offering. You have bills to pay, too and you’re helping care for or improve the lives of people’s fur children. And that’s a big deal!
3. People Equate Cost Vs. Value
So, let me ask you a question. Would you be more likely to trust and place a higher value on a dog walker who costs $40 a walk or $10 a walk? I’m not quite sure I would trust the $10/walk person. Why are they charging so low? Do they have safeguards? Do they have training? Are they reliable?
I sure as heck know that the other company charging $40 a walk probably has some standards in place and I’ll probably choose them, even if my budget isn’t super high.
If people are choosing your business because you have the lowest cost in town, they will be less likely to be loyal to our business, more likely to complain, and end up costing you more time than they’re worth. That’s just how it goes and it’s the same for any industry. I experience this in the web design industry as well.
Don’t forget, and this is something I preach ALL the time. If you can’t show up at 100% for your clients, why should they show up for you? You need your business to take care of you. You need to pay your bills with ease, you need to go on a vacation every once in a while, etc. And that means...you need to get paid what you’re worth. Remember that when setting your prices.
The rest of this interview goes into:
The primary mistakes that petpreneurs make that tends to make their work harder (& ultimately leads to them making less $$$)
How to not work SO hang hard, or at least...not work harder than you need to be!
How to set your doggie daycare and dog walking rates! How much should you charge?
How to ACTUALLY implement a cancellation policy to keep you from losing money when shi*** hits the fan!
Her amazing freebie, 10 Things Every Pro Dog Walker Should Know!