GOALS are so important to anything in life. If you don’t know where you are headed, how the heck do you know how to get there. Recently, I have been struggling with some very tough decisions. (more on this later) However if I didn’t have personal and business goals in mind there would be no rhyme or reason to any decision I make. I do not wander through the woods – I pave a path towards a destination.
Last year for BHPS I actually wrote down my goals on a white board. I thought it was a pipe dream! In an economy where there is a “recession” When I hear business owners complaining all over that their businesses are failing… I took a steady look at my goals and thought ” How the heck do I get there? ” Jan and Feb 09 were one of the worst months ever in the past 8 yrs I have been in business. Why do I think this was? Simply put – the media SCARED everyone into thinking we were doomed. That the world was ending. It was at this point where I was faced with a really difficulty decision….Should I do what every other person was doing and lower my rates? I was getting told NO a lot on the phone. It made me question everything I was doing. What did I do? I went back to what my GOALS were. No, I just don’t mean a fiscal 2009 goal – but what I wanted for my life, what lifestyle I wanted to afford to live, what sort of time I wanted free for the important things in my life, what I wanted for a future with Bella’s… many things went through my mind.
It was at that point that I decided SCREW IT – I want to keep building this business and that is what I am going to do. I forget where I heard it, but the quote “You can’t change the way the wind blows, but you can change the position of your sails” was PROFOUND to me and I took that and ran.
That is when I started the Gift Certificate program. Even though I was the highest priced sitter in an area where there were over 40 pet sitting companies, and interestingly enough people were HURTING bc everyone was living above their means and on a borrowed dollar….I decided to keep my prices right where I wanted. I struggled a lot with quality over quantity and decided to stay true to my roots. What I originally intended for my business. To have a quality service at a premium price. Not a quantity service at a discount price (no offense meant to anyone at all).
This program saved my toockas! (butt)
All the vendors on there gave me free advertising. I had pizza boxes being delivered to homes with my flier on them! (and sooooo much more too)
MORAL OF THE STORY Having my clear set goals in mind, knowing who I was, and standing on solid ground… when the “earthquake” (aka recession) hit I was able to make my move while not jeopardizing who my business was. This is so pivotal for business owners to really understand. KNOW who you are. KNOW who your business is. KNOW where you want to go with it. If you do, your decision making process will be that much better and like me, by the end of ’09, we were 20% UP falling just a few thousand short of what I thought was a “pipe dream goal”
THEN SET GOALS AND MAKE PLANS ACCORDINGLY
YOU OWE IT TO YOURSELF !
Look at all the successful entrepreneurs… they did not faulture (sp?).
Ben and Jerry’s was broke for 7 yrs before they took off.
Michael Jordan was told that he would never be on Varsity HS Bball.
…..and so many more….
By the way…. Bella’s is UP 53% since the doom and gloom of Jan 09. (Written Jan ’11)
I absolutely love your article. It’s very moving, inspiration and makes me think. Often times I have given up on my dream(s) because I’m putting too much out at once and not taking it one step at a time. I see the BIG picture, but forget about what is in between that needs to be addressed. I need to sit back figure out a) WHO am I? b) WHAT is it that I truly want now, tomorrow and in the future c) WHAT are my goals & ambitions d) STOP listening to everyone telling me ‘this isn’t the time for a business’, go work for someone else and e) ASK GOD for guidance.
Your idea of Gift Certificates, awesome, we do offer them, just never really mentioned it; or where you put fliers on pizza boxes, how funny is that. I had thought of it yet never tried it. I also thought about contacting local companies and asking if I could add a flier to their monthly billing statements they sent out, never acted on it. Guess cuz we live paycheck to paycheck and support the P.S. out of our personal finances and when I want something, I want it ALL and I want it NOW. I’ve worked my butt off since 11/2008, joined (a then friend) and started the a business together that was doing ‘ok’, relocated and felt like everything went south. Picked myself up, took your FREE consultation advise, hired help, not employees, but I.C., and started from the GROUND once again, 8/2011. How many times have I wanted to throw the towel in???? Too many to count, yet I haven’t. I FORCE myself to logon to LinkedIn for motivation. I surf for free information with hopes of learning something new with each new find.
I guess what I’m saying is KEEP UP THE WONDERFUL MOTIVATION and INSPIRATION of notes and comments. They do help.