Investing in Your Business
By Melissa Breau
September 16, 2010

Growing up, I spent summers at my grandmother’s house in North Carolina, where she owned a boarding kennel. Those summers served as my introduction to both the working world and the pet industry. I worked at the kennel, doing administrative work like booking appointments and filing, but also bathing dogs (she also offered grooming services), helping to clean runs, and feeding and watering the boarders several times a day.

I watched as my grandmother worked to grow her business. She added an extension to the building and divided it, so there were separate sections for big and small dogs. With the additional runs, it became more difficult to track bookings on paper and she transitioned to a computer system (I spent most of one summer plugging client data into her computer).

But in each case, once the improvement was in place, it was impossible to imagine the business without it. The add-on drastically increased the number of clients she could service. ?

The new computer filing system allowed her to track what runs would be full when and keep detailed information on each dog, such as which ones needed special medication. We could pull a dog’s file just by typing in his information–no more searching for a misplaced piece of paper or a file folder. ?

These improvements required an initial investment–in both time and money. However, both also allowed her business to grow.?

In a down economy, it’s easy to forget about improving a business. Instead, business owners worry about maintaining the bottom line. As the economy begins to turn around, it’s important not to stall your business by forgetting to shift gears. ?
Pet retailers today face a number of opportunities where they have the option of investing time and money in a new area in order to increase earning potential. ?

In addition to choosing a new POS system (is yours still a good fit?), retailers can choose to bring in new products that might help increase sales, to create or redesign a store website, run a social media campaign, hold an in-store event to generate word of mouth and increase foot traffic or purchase a new display rack.