We have a lot in common with a lot of our Grooming and Boarding customers who run a small business. We are a small business. TriStar Vet and Direct Animal Products have 9 office staff and only 23 master craftsmen that work in our plant, building and designing all of our wonderful products. We love small businesses. They are the picture of efficiency. There are only a few, producing the work of many.
December is the busiest month for most of you in the grooming and boarding industry, but it’s crucial to look at your year and determine your profitability and set a plan for the first quarter, the slowest time of the year. The December issue of Groomer to Groomer has a great article entitled “Feast or Famine” http://groomertogroomer.com/articles/article7.html with some fabulous tips for groomers looking to book appointments on a more consistent basis. It’s a great read and I highly recommend it. While Today’s Veterinary Practice has an article “How Practices Can Thrive in an Online Environment” http://www.todaysveterinarypractice.com It’s written from a Veterinarian’s perspective, but the advice covers good website and social media tips that are crucial for small businesses, so do yourself a favor and check it out! At the end of the month you should take the time to question staff on what hurdles they encountered during the busy season and determine if you need to upgrade or purchase new equipment. If you decide to purchase new equipment, snap a picture and sing it’s praises on your Face Book or website. Customers see the value in what you do and will judge you by your equipment. It’s speaks to the level of care you provide as well as what type of premium you place on your business as a whole. Remember that new equipment is a tax write off and an investment in your company whether you purchase in December or January. If you decide to make new purchases, get to a tradeshow and look at equipment side by side. It’s hard to tell just by looking online and reading various marketing material. Read our blog entitled “Truth or Just Good Marketing” it will give you some tips on shopping for your equipment. Finally, it’s the end of the year and you know you couldn’t have done it without all of your employees and customers who are a huge part of what you do. Financially times are tough for small business and not many can afford bonuses this year, but telling your staff all year long what they mean to you and how much you appreciate their good attitude and willingness to do what needs to be done goes a long way. Here’s to 2012, it’s is going to be a banner year, I just feel it!