Each year I set out to write an epic post about what has been changing in the pet industry and how you can take it into consideration when planning the next year coming up.
Last year I wrote about the State of the Pet Industry in 2019 and commented on some major trends I was seeing like:
- The Consumers Are Changing From Baby Boomers To Millennials
- There Are A Lot Of Pet Sitting And Dog Walking Businesses For Sale
- Rover And Wag Have Entered The Room
- Regulations Are In Full Effect
- Pet Sitting And Dog Walking Businesses Are Growing At The Fastest Rate Ever!
- The Use Of Software Is (and Will Continue To Be) at an All-Time High
All of these have proven to be very real and relevant in the way the industry is growing and changing and those who have decided to embrace these trends have been the ones that have grown.
More Educated Business Investments
I was on the phone last month with a couple who were considering buying a $500K business in a major city and I advised them not to because the workers were all non-compliant. (Also known as…) They were all independent contractors.
After explaining to them the implications that it would mean for their investment, they were in agreement. They didn’t want to gamble their investment on something that could come down the pipeline and hurt them. They didn’t want the high risk associated with independent contractors. Ninety percent of the businesses I get to know with ICs are operating out of compliance.
If you are a business that is growing and scaling – please make sure that you are compliant. A great resource for this is the Pet Industry Coalition. They are a group of tremendous pet business owners encouraging pet sitters to be in compliance with all the major employment laws that are increasingly waving through the country.
Using Rover To Your Advantage
Rover isn’t going anywhere. In fact they continue to raise more and more money and they aren’t deflating anytime soon.
It is time to get our heads out of the sand and realize that a real value proposition is important.
Understanding why people pick them is important. We had an astounding discussion about this inside the Mastermind a few months ago with our Hot Seat guest Dan Gingiss, a customer experience guru who really drove home the idea that the reason why Rover is killing it is because of their user experience.
1. Does my website click or scroll?
2. Can someone sign up with me and feel like they can check pet care off their to-do list?
3. How emotional is my website?
4. How interactive is my website?
5. Is my website about me or my potential client and their problems?
Re-doing your website is a tough thing. It is hard to get outside your own head and understand what to write for the copy. It is hard to understand what you are selling, what your calls to action should be, what the HERO story is all about. That is why (sometimes) it is important to have someone help you with this. Of course, I have a person for this *wink*
Rover it successful isn’t because their pet sitting and dog walking is so amazing. It is because their pathway to entry is so easy that a busy mom can do it half asleep in bed at 1am.
However you might agree or disagree with this – the fact remains, this is real life. This is what you are competing against.
Get Smarter Using Technology
I would like to predict that in 2020 business owners will get smarter about the technology they are using in 3 different ways:
1. They will use the technology they have at their fingertips and PAYING for to its fullest advantage. There is nothing more disheartening when a company has technology but only using 20% of its capabilities.
2. Evaluate if the limitations of the technology they are using, and the workarounds they have created are helping or hurting their business and make changes accordingly.
3. Get their entire staff and clientele to adopt the usage of all the technology to help increase their business systems therefor actually reducing some costs.
This really can mean a lot of things. Here are some ideas:
- Investing in a robust social media scheduler, tracker, inbox, listening, Facebook ad reporting software like Agora Pulse (click the link for two free months)
- Learning to adjust notifications on your phone. This could be taking all notifications off for every app. Including Facebook and Instagram. It could mean putting it on Do Not Disturb certain times a day. Pausing your email inbox. Creating ring tones for the public vs your contacts or VIPS in your life.
- Using apps like Itunes to feed your brain while driving or walking. Or apps like Audible or Brain.fm when you want to learn or get in the zone.
- Charging credit cards only once a week, therefore, cutting down on the time you need to reconcile your books or chase after payments.
The Dark Social
A LOT of selling is going to start happening in what we call dark social. It is all the places where the communication feels private and like the whole world can’t see what you are talking about. This is in the personal DMs, it is Chat Bots, it is Facebook Groups, Stories, and more “private” places on the web. I say that with quotes because simply put, anyone can screenshot anything these days – but this false sense of privacy allows brands to become more personal and approachable.
I have seen this work in the pet industry. I know a lot of sitters who text their clients. It is happening through their pet sitting software, through the phones, What’s App, and sometimes their business pages.
I also see sitters creating Facebook groups for their communities and the ones that are killing it are when it isn’t about their company and about their community. In fact, I fly around the world talking about how to build communities online. Did you know that? Follow me on Bella Vasta to see that stuff in my Instagram stories.
If you want to learn more about it, Jessika Phillips who hosts Social Media Week Lima in Ohio every year is a great person to learn about this topic on Dark Social and what to expect.
Mindset Is Going To Sink or Swim Many Businesses In 2020
I feel like my prediction that there would be a lot more buying and selling of businesses this year came true. I know a lot of people who sold this year. Now that it has started, I feel like others are wondering or starting to think about selling their own but about to get a rude awakening. They are going to realize that their business ISN’T worth as much as they thought and their mindset needs to shift.
That is the hard truth. Love me or hate me for saying it.
You see, whether you think you want to sell your business today or in a few years from now – you need to shift that mindset that the business isn’t a part of you. It is a separate entity from YOU and you need to build it that way.
Years ago, the best thing I ever did was to read this book The E-Myth Mastery. After reading it, I started building a business worth buying. I did was successful and then sold my business for top dollar in two weeks. No joke.
We are actually starting a book club: The E-Myth Mastery in January and you’re welcome to join us if you want to understand just why many small businesses don’t work and how to build a business or value that someone would want to buy one day.
Back to mindset…
If you are a business owner, you need to work on your mindset every single day. Being a business owner means that you need to be a visionary. It means that you need to always be looking up… positive, and see what is ahead.
If you feel buried, stressed, overwhelmed, we NEED to get you out of that. It is no way to live or build a business.
If you can’t wrap your head around the fact that you are the visionary you won’t grow. You are the leader. You are the one who has to solve all the problems (and the key is to not be solving the same problem over and over again) and make the decisions, the speed at which business is rising, or will eat you alive.
Allow me to explain.
If you don’t make decisions – that leads to anxiety.
If you don’t feel like you are growing personally or professionally – that typically leads to depression.
If you don’t show your community that you are a leader…
If you don’t show potential hires that you are a leader…
If you don’t show your clients and your staff that you are a leader…
They will be distracted by the next shiny object and the loyalty will be out the window.
In 2020 I predict that enough pet business owners are going to say enough is enough and they are going to do what they need to rise above it all.
They will seek out:
- Self Development
- Invest in people and processes to help.
- They will create a vision and achieve it.
These are the elements that help all business owners. No matter what industry you are in. I get to see this success happen every day in the Mastermind where we provide our members with all of this.
I want you to really think about why you are doing this. This might be tough for someone you to hear but if you are doing it only for the pets … and haven’t gotten anywhere in the past few years – (still have the same problems in your head, challenges in your business) – it just might be time for you to sell to someone who is ready to take it to the next level.
I know you didn’t start this business to be buried or in bondage. Please think about your WHY –
Maybe it might be better to just go work for someone else? That isn’t giving up but giving in to what will bring joy and happiness to your life. It is saying yes to yourself and taking control of your life. I hate to admit it but there are some people I see in the Facebook Groups who really have no business having a business mostly because their mindset has stalled out years ago.
As a coach, I can typically tell who will be successful within the first 15 minutes of talking to them. They have different lingo about them. They talk and think successful. They look towards the future. They see problems as challenges and failures as lessons. They don’t discourage easily and they are always learning and growing. They are the epitome of the person who knows that the windshield is larger than the rear view mirror.
How someone takes on problems, challenges, and how many times they are solving the same problem over and over again will have a direct correlation whether they are successful or not.
What Are Your Predictions?
So I want to hear back from you! In the comments below tell me about the trends you have been seeing. Or the struggles you have been reading about. What do you think is going to change in the next year (or even decade?). I would love to know your predictions. These are my best guesses based off what I hear from all of you around the world. But that doesn’t mean it is the gospel. Do you agree? Disagree? Have other ideas? Let me know below, ok?