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How to Make More Money in Your Business with Susan Briggs

Special Guests

Susan Briggs

Susan Briggs and Robin Bennett are co-founders of The Dog Gurus, the nation’s premier resource for dog care professionals. They are the authors of "Off-Leash Dog Play… A Complete Guide to Safety and Fun," and an extensive staff training program for dog daycare and boarding facilities called "Knowing Dogs." Susan is a Certified Professional Animal Care Operator, author, speaker, and pet business expert. She brings over 18 years of experience in the pet industry with 12 years as co-owner and operator of a successful dog daycare, lodging, grooming and training business in Houston, Texas. Through The Dog Gurus, Robin and Susan are now helping pet care professionals get their lives back by showing them how to create sustainable businesses with teams that truly know dogs.

How to Make More Money in Your Business with Susan Briggs

Would you like to boost your profits and expand your services? In this episode, Joe Zuccarello teams up with “The Dog Gurus” business coach & doggie daycare pioneer Susan Briggs to unpack the secrets to nurturing a thriving pet business through add-on services, from play-care to enrichment. You’ll learn:

  • What are some of the new trends in pet services?
  • What kinds of add-on services are the most popular, and profitable, for groomers?
  • How can a pay-to-play model beef up your bottom line?
  • Do dogs benefit from cognitive enrichment sessions?

Tune in to find out.

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    Welcome to the Hey Joe, a podcast answering questions asked by our listeners. Created by pet professionals, for pet professionals. And now your host. Hey Joe’s very own Joe Zuccarello.

    Joe Zuccarello: What’s up everyone? Joe Zuccarello here, and welcome to Hey Joe, a podcast brought to you by Paragon School of Pet Grooming. Check out our site at paragonpetschool.com for lots of really cool information on a variety of programs, products, and to connect to educational resources such as webinars, podcasts, current events, special news, certifications, and lots of other helpful information to help you grow yourself, your team, and of course your business. Let’s get started with this week’s episode.

    Hey everyone, Joe Zuccarello, your host of the Hey Joe podcast. A podcast where you get to listen in on a conversation between myself and an industry expert. Thank you in advance for any questions that you might be submitting to the Hey Joe podcast. Remember you can do that by submitting your questions to, heyjoequestions@paragonpetschool.com.

    This week we’re talking with Susan Briggs, one of my most respected pet professionals in the industry. Susan is the co owner of an education company specializing in helping business owners and managers drive their business in pet services to new levels through safety, best practices and operations, community involvement, and professionalism. Her and the co owner of her business named Robin, are the gurus if you would, of the pet services industry. In fact, that’s the name of their business, The Dog Gurus. So go to paragonpetschool.com to learn more about Susan and to download the transcript of this podcast. And even better, go there to unlock the tools that Susan is making available to you, the Hey Joe listener audience for free. So go there now and unlock those special goodies.

    Don’t forget to also subscribe if you haven’t already to this podcast in your favorite listening medium so that you’re alerted to the new releases every week. Susan and I are going to be talking about her expertise and the experience that they have in the daycare and training world. We’re going to be talking about methods to grow safe and prosperous pet services businesses. And you’ll quickly see why her and her team are regarded as the authority or the gurus on this topic. So, let’s get started with the interview with Susan. I hope you enjoy.

    Hey Susan, thanks for joining us today on the Hey Joe podcast.

    Susan Briggs: My pleasure. Excited to be here.

    Joe Zuccarello: I’ll tell you, I’m sure I my intro of you, I just have the craziest mad respect for you and your team at The Dog Gurus. One, because it’s a really cool name, right? So obviously that’s a lot to live up to right from the beginning. You’ve got to be the experts if you’re called the gurus. Right? But I’m always fascinated by how a companies and service providers get started. Would you mind telling the Hey Joe listener audience a little bit more about yourself and maybe how the dog gurus got started? And what’s your position in the industry?

    Susan Briggs: Sure. I’m a partner with Robin Bennett in the The Dog Gurus, Robin’s a certified professional dog trainer. And what we had in common many years ago, scary to think how many. We were actually a couple of the first pioneers in offering dog daycare services. And when we were doing that in the industry, it just wasn’t done to commingled dogs. So there are a lot of safety concerns, which rightly so. But Robin and I shared this belief it could be done safely and it was really good for the dogs.

    So from that, we wrote our first book together, which is Off Leash Dog Play: A Complete Guide to Safety and Fun, which helped teach body language and safe play. And once we released that book, our audience, which were people who are opening dog day cares are adding playgroups and daycare to their pet services, kept asking us for more information. And we did do that through putting together a more formal staff training program on body language that includes videos.

    But we found that we kept getting asked to provide more help and operating daycare services. So in 2013, we decided to really formally create The Dog Gurus to serve that need in the marketplace of providing tools and more help on keeping daycare safe. And really helping the people that were concerned about safety and wanting to do it right stand apart in their marketplace. And that’s how The Dog Gurus started was with this focus on doing daycare the best you could. And we did that in 2013. So over six years, what we found was we would ask our members what else can we help you with? And a lot of business topics came up. And my background education wise as in accounting and spent a lot of time on operations management. Robyn was a logistics officer in the Marines. So we took that and have expanded The Dog Gurus now to not only provide information on safe in quality pet care. We believe care quality has to go first in our business. Whether it’s daycare, lodging, grooming, training, pet sitting, dog walking, any of those core services. Along with business information to make the business successful because we want these great care providers who are focused on care quality first to survive in the marketplace. So that’s kind of a long winded explanation, but we love working with pet business owners and professionals who just want to do things.

    Joe Zuccarello: Well, and what’s really great about what you’re talking about. And I picked up on a couple of really key words or key themes of what your your own little self-introduction, which was awesome by the way. One was safety, right? So as we’re talking about safety, especially when it comes to group play or grooming salons, or lodging facilities. Whether it’s safety for people or pets, especially when we’re talking about group play. There’s a lot of times we add personalities or we personify the behavior of pets. Especially as we’re trying to ‘sell’ our services to pet parent clients out there. And daycare is certainly viewed as fun and playful, and the dogs are having a good time with their buddies. But when you talk to dog trainers, they’re like, “Well, they’re maybe establishing pack hierarchy.” They boil it down to maybe more of the condition response type of behavior versus just play.

    So there’s this translation that happens with safety and needing to make sure that not only are we selling something that’s very appealing and playful, or appealing and attractive because of the play and the socialization, but it’s also a form of training. So safety’s big. And the second one is continuing education. At Paragon School of Pet Grooming who obviously sponsors this podcast. We throw around a term, and I know my podcast listeners out there know this, but we throw around a term term called education is everything. And that’s what The Dog Gurus stand for as well. That’s why I think we really, we see things so similarly.

    So this particular episode, and for all of the Hey Joe listener audience out there, Susan is going to be a repeat guest on the Hey Joe podcast. So this particular episode, we’re going to be talking about how to make more money in your pet services business. So some of you are employees. You’re grooming professionals, and you’re employees have a salon, or a boarding facility, or a veterinary hospital and such. We know that you might not be able to make all of the decisions to add on services, but we do have a lot of our audience members out there who are the business owners, who are the business managers, who are making the decisions about what to do. So this is going to best serve that group. However, if you’re an employee, doesn’t mean that you’re always going to be an employee. Maybe one day you aspire to open up your own business and you are a member of this really cool podcast that you heard when Joe and Susan were talking about these things. So let’s go ahead and just dive right in Susan.

    Let’s say most of our audience out there are professional pet groomers or grooming salon owners and managers. Sometimes you just can’t make, to make more money, it means you have to grew more dogs per day, right? So we’re limited to that. But if we start exploring and expanding our boundaries to maybe include other add on services in the pet services space, how do you decide which ones might be best? So based on your experience with your clientele, how do we get those thoughts turning?

    Susan Briggs: Yeah, what we always work with our members on as first, you know your brand. And I think number one, for other services to work, it has to align with your brand and who you are. So if you’re an urban really high end small space, I would then be adding services that would appeal to that high end market. So we have something we call daycare 2.0 that I think we’ll get into a little more in depth, that you want to make sure that it aligns with your brand. And then also look at your immediate market and where are there gaps. If you’ve got doggie daycares within a few blocks of you on every corner, then yeah, maybe doing a different type of daycare that would make you stand apart would be good. But if you don’t have any, then offering daycare may really fill in or playgroups of some type of fill a gap.

    And then your clients, they love you, they really trust you. I’m sure they get requests. They’re either asking you would you consider doing this? Or they’re asking you who to refer to. So if you’re referring out for a lot of services to your clients, then that’s a flag of maybe I should consider offering that, if I can make it work.

    And then maybe most important, I do think you have to have an interest in the service, and be excited about it. Number one to do a good job with it. And then number two, to also sell it to your client base. So those are the things that we say to focus on before you decide what to add.

    Joe Zuccarello: Those are all really great tips. And it’s interesting in your entrance or in your beginning part of this podcast, you said that you and your colleagues, you and Robin were pioneers in the daycare part of the business. And I too, I remember. I remember when daycare was not a thing. And maybe people were doing it off the cuff and stuff. They maybe had some dogs running around and playing, just a handful. But when it turned into a business, it turned into a services offering, I can remember that. And I can remember all of the, “Oh my gosh, the dogs have to be altered. They had to be neutered, they have to be spayed, they have to be social.” It was really wild, wild West back then. Right? And oh my gosh, did the pioneers of that path have arrows in their back? I’m sure there were a lot of injuries. I’m sure there were a lot of, let’s call it extracurricular activities during daycare.

    But it’s interesting that you said that if you’ve got daycares on every corner, maybe it’s a time to do something, a different kind of daycare. So maybe we’ll unpack that in a little bit. But first off I want to ask, you’re obviously keyed in, you’ve got your ear to the rail. What do you see are some of the current trend in professional pet services offerings?

    Susan Briggs: Yeah, I think it’s really interesting. What we see is that the trends in pet services really mirror society and what happens in the pet world. I know Joe, you remember when we were grooming locations not spas. And we used to be kennels and now we’re lodging. So following along what’s going on in society. Enrichment is a huge buzzword for kids as well as animals, or pets or even zoos do a lot of enrichment.

    So enrichment is a big thing. Which to us enrichment when you’re bringing it into pet services is really a lot of our services focus on safety and necessities. But enrichment is going to go beyond giving dogs physical exercise and social through group play, which is kind of how daycare started. But it goes beyond to say okay, let’s also provide activities that are either cognitive or work the dog mentally. That just really meets their joy or that emotional wellbeing, get them opportunity to use different senses. So it’s that whole body look at the services and care that we’re providing. Just like what we’re seeing in society.

    And the other thing I think that’s happening is more membership options. And this is great for places that run wait lists, or you can’t get in for several months, then you can offer a membership component to get that access, and to feel special like a VIP client. So those are the things that we see our members starting to add and explore.

    Joe Zuccarello: It’s interesting. I love the word enrichment. And I know in our show prep, was one of the times … and I know the dog gurus. I know you guys, I’ve watched what you’ve done over the years. And again, I can’t say how big of a fan I am. But that word enrichment is new to this industry. And like you said, a lot of the services we offer have a purpose, like grooming because a pet is dirty, or training because a pet is naughty. Daycare because a pet is board. But this enrichment, you partnered that up with the word cognitive. So exercising their brains so that, does that influence their physical behavior as well? And it sounds like it certainly goes hand in glove.

    Susan Briggs: It absolutely does. Our members that have implemented an enrichment based daycare model, and you can do this just as a doggy day out as well. But when you really focus on that mental, I think that’s what’s missing in a lot of pet dogs’ lives. And a lot of these dogs are smart. And some of the behavior we see are because they’re smart and bored, and don’t get much mental enrichment in their day.

    And what we find, if you think about because I think your listeners are pro education. When you go and spend the day at one of these seminars learning, you’re exhausted. But physically, you just sat in a chair all day.

    It’s the same thing for our dogs. What we find is you can have less time out with a dog. Traditional daycare is all day play. But if you really observe the dogs, they’re not active and playing all day. There’s a lot of downtime.

    So you can take that downtime and make it with a few mental engagement, cognitive activities for short time periods. Like two or three 15 minute sessions, and you still have a dog that goes home as tired but happier because they’ve given that opportunity to use their brain.

    Joe Zuccarello: What a great and creative solution to maybe some of our daycare owners and operators out there who are listening, that feel maybe they’re at a capacity. And again, just like our groomers. Our groomer listener audience out there, in order to make more money, you’ve got to grow more dogs. Well daycare owner operators out there, they don’t necessarily need longer play times. They might need more enriched play times, because that’s accelerating the dogs … hey, the pet parents love those dogs coming home tired after a day. And again, what a great use of energy.

    And again, if the Hey Joe listener audience out there is wondering, this is Susan from The Dog Gurus. You can follow along on their website or go visit their website after listening to their podcast. It’s really easy. It’s called thedoggurus.com, and you can find a lot of resources and information there and additional content for what you might be looking for. But stick around at the very end of this podcast because when it comes to enrichment, Susan has a really, really great bonus for all of the Hey Joe listener audience members out there.

    So as we’re talking those things, so we take those. I’ve identified that a lot of the Hey Joe listener audience out there primarily are boarding or, I’m sorry, are grooming salon owners, operators, groomers, professional grooming, professional service providers. What type of services in your experience, what type of services are the most popular add-ons for our grooming professionals out there?

    Susan Briggs: Yeah, we’ve been fortunate to speak at some of the grooming conferences put on by Barkleigh and WPA. So what feedback we get is we do have a lot of people looking at daycare. And you can either do still the full day model. A lot of groom shops maybe do a small dog only daycare. It fits sometimes with their client base and space they have where they can put a room and half full day daycare, which is great. I would also encourage you to consider the enrichment model. I call daycare 2.0 as an option.

    We also have people that start out with just rooming that don’t want to expand and add lodging. And with lodging, again to serve those other needs. Where you can make a lot of money and add on services is activities for lodging dogs while they’re staying. And what you get, you do get better behavior because the dogs are busy. And these can be play times, walks, enrichment activities. Those senior dogs love just go in and sit in their enclosure, read them a book, snuggle. There’s all kinds of things. It’s a way to be really creative and actually have a lot of fun with the dogs.

    Because sometimes when you’re grooming the dog, you don’t get to have a lot of fun with them. So it’s a great way to just really see that fun personality of the pets. And then the other thing that especially with Robin being a certified professional dog trainer, we talk a lot about adding training. And that can be kind of even beyond obedience that we think. I think training today, a lot of people are focusing on helping people with some of those life skills. Like loose leash walking. Just dogs being able to settle and be calm when they’re meeting other dogs or meeting people. So a training focused on life skills or puppies.

    We love getting puppies into our businesses early. I’m sure a lot of your listeners are doing special get familiar with the grooming puppy kind of program. And in a way that is training, because you’re taking it slow, getting them used to it on their terms. So I think all of those things can be real profitable add ons to grooming that your existing clients may very well be interested in or using other places right now for those services.

    Joe Zuccarello: And you bring up a great point in that all of those things are training. And one of the really cool things that I’ve seen happen and been a part of actually helping to grow and thrive is smaller operations. These smaller footprints having a what we would call personal trainers. So somebody that was a certified professional dog trainer, who is on campus who doesn’t really need a lot of space to do the exercises. Just what you’re talking about, teaching good manners, right?

    So most of the time, people aren’t looking for dogs that respond like they’re a remote control, right? What they’re looking for, behaved family members. In fact, I would’ve liked my boys to be that way. But that’s where these professional dog trainers come in and they teach manners. And I’ll tell you what, there’s a lot of trainers making a lot of great money out there teaching good, solid house manners. Right?

    Susan Briggs: And that mentally engages the dogs, so it’s enriching for them.

    Joe Zuccarello: Right, right. It’s right back to that enrichment.

    Susan Briggs: Yeah.

    Joe Zuccarello: Wow. So when we’re talking about, you started to talk about limited space, and I also just mentioned it with trainers. When physical space is limited, we’re going to have grooming salons. I’m sure I’ve already got some Hey Joe listener audience out there going, “Yeah right. Add daycare, where do I do that? Add lodging, what? Trainer, where?” So what are some techniques or tactics that you’ve seen are successful when the actual physical space of the business is limited?

    Susan Briggs: Yeah. That’s one reason why Robin and I really love this 2.0 model because a lot of-

    Joe Zuccarello: Tell us about that a little bit more.

    Susan Briggs: Yeah. What we do is there is still some social play, but it’s usually in smaller groups. So you can do as few as five dogs. And really what we have found is there’s higher quality play, and more dogs are comfortable playing.

    Because the dog has to feel safe to play. And what we find, we used to call them wallflowers in our big groups of say 15, 30, 50 dogs that they’re okay, they don’t cause trouble. But we just said well those dogs don’t play. They’re just our wallflowers. They enjoy being in this group of dogs. But what we have found with some of our members, if you get those dogs in groups of three to five, they may play if you match them to the right play buddies. And man is that rewarding. It gives you goosebumps and tears in your eyes that if you create the right environment, those dogs will play. So you can do that in a much smaller space.

    And then like the enrichment activities, one of our favorite pieces of enrichment equipment is called the KLIMB. And it’s really a two foot square platform table. And you can do so much with that piece of equipment in a very small space. You could set that up in a standard enclosure that’s four by six, and have a really, engaged, enriched session with a dog. And they’ll be happy and tired at the end of it.

    Puzzle toys are really popular. You can do puzzle toys in a standard enclosure. Even in a groomed enclosure you can put in a puzzle toy. You can use the original puzzle toy, but there’s all kinds now.

    So these enrichment activities you can do in a small space, and clients are willing to pay extra for them. Either as a single add on activity or create a doggy day out with maybe two activities in the morning and two in the afternoon. Maybe one’s a puzzle toy, one’s a small group either buddy play session three or four dogs. And you’ve got a great activity that you can pay premium on.

    Because our client bases are used to paying premiums for small group activities. I think about going to a gym where I have small group classes, I know I’m going to pay more than going to big classes. And I want to do that because I like that personal care and attention.

    Joe Zuccarello: Well, and I think that you just nailed it. It’s that personal care and attention. And it sounds like with the right mix, the dogs can actually thrive in those circumstances. And the pet parents love it. And for our pet services professionals out there, there’s more money, there’s more revenue to be made. And when we talk about more revenue, we do have to address the profitability of add on services. So from a business so we’ve got all of this enrichment, we’ve got the translation between what’s happening in a dog’s mind. And we translate that to people speaking. But now how do we translate these to profitability?

    Susan Briggs: Yeah, that’s one of my big hot buttons here. Because of my accounting background is I want our pet businesses to be profitable and make money so that they’re there to serve the clients. So a lot of times we look at what everybody around us is charging, but the best way to ensure your services are profitable is to know your own cost of providing them. And that means your labor. That’s the biggest thing, biggest cost in all of our services. So you actually have to put the math to the paper and say, “Okay, if I’m going to do a enrichment session that’s 15 minutes long, how much am I paying this employee to do that?” And add in the taxes and benefits. So to make the math easy, I usually just add a dollar. So if I’m paying $10 an hour to, take care of my taxes and stuff, I’ll look at it at $11. And if they’re going to do a 15 minute session, can they do four in an hour? So I’m going to take 0.25 of their hourly, and that’s my labor cost. But then I need to add my supplies and then add on how much profit you want to make. And with add on services, you can really add a healthy profit percentage, which makes them good for your business.

    Joe Zuccarello: And as I’m looking at this and I’m just listening to you describe it, you put it in such simple terms for our listeners to understand. When I look at this, I think okay, because you’re talking to a person that likes to really get behind selling extra services. And not selling things dogs don’t benefit by. What I was talking about was recommending with conviction. We call it selling. So for just between all of us friends, right? We’re going to say selling. But really what it is is don’t sell something you cannot, with a passion, believe in and recommend with conviction. But let’s just boil it down. It’s selling, right? So if we’re going to sell extra services, and I look at it and I say, let’s say I have a grooming business that produces let’s say 30 dogs a day in grooming. We can groom up to 30 dogs a day. You might have an enrichment specialist that works for you, or an enrichment coordinator. Or something fun that way. Where this person, now you’re recruiting somebody for your grooming business that doesn’t have to be a dog groomer.

    Susan Briggs: Right.

    Joe Zuccarello: So this person is easier to recruit. They are the fun and face of the business when it comes to that. So for the grooming individuals, oh my gosh, did we just blow your mind that you can actually grow your business without having to go recruit more dog groomers? I think for people that need that high end level skill, that specialization.

    So just a quick reminder to the Hey Joe listener audience out there, we are talking to Susan Briggs. She is the co founder of The Dog Gurus. The Dog Gurus are a team that are a very qualified and very special group of people helping pet service providers embrace the idea of offering additional pet services, but in a safe, and reasonable, and responsible manner. So working with business owners all around the world, helping them navigate the waters of expanding their businesses in those ways. So Susan, again stick around. The Hey Joe listener audience, please stick around until the very end because Susan’s got a really, really great extra bonus that she’s going to talk about.

    If you have any questions that you want us to cover, even in future podcasts or even questions as we’re talking, that you would like answered after this podcast, it’s really easy to submit your questions. Just do so by going to paragonpetschool.com and visiting the podcast page. Or simply email us at, heyjoequestions@paragonpetschool.com.

    So as we look at, okay, I kind kind of hinted about adding staff. So how many additional staff or team members do you need when you’re adding on extra services?

    Susan Briggs: Yeah. Our favorite answer to a question is, it depends because it does vary for everybody. But I love the suggestion you had is look at starting with just an enrichment specialist and think about if I’m paying that person $10 an hour, they’re working an eight hour shift. That’s going to cost me $80, maybe $88 to cover my taxes and stuff. What can I do to at least make 100, hopefully even, I think you could make 150 to $200 a day. How many activities would they need to do?

    And I think if you’re an established business and you could maybe you have issues where pet parents would like you to keep their dog all day when they come in for a groom, and you do have the space. Think about offering some add on packages to keep that person busy to the dogs that are coming anyway. And then if you have a bigger place and can really do a full daycare 2.0, you’re going to want somebody to manage that and set up your standard operating procedures, and ensure the safety. So you may need in time, a manager and two or three employees.

    But look your daily schedule, how much activity. And you can grow the staff slowly. You could even start part time. Maybe you have your enrichment specialist just work half part time in the afternoon. So the dogs have been groomed in the morning, they get an afternoon activity or add on. So it’s flexible.

    Joe Zuccarello: I was just real quickly while you were talking, doing some math. And I thought okay, how can I make this so easy for our Hey Joe listener audience? And I’m thinking let’s say that person after taxes, insurance, if you do that. Or the hourly rate, whatever. Let’s say it’s as much as, I like to use round numbers. Because $88, I’m not great at that. So I’m just going to use round numbers.

    Let’s say a person cost you 100 bucks a day. Costs you $100 a day. Well, let’s say if you had 30 clients coming in, you think you could get 10 of them paying $20 extra a day, or $20 extra that particular day for enrichment activities like play times or or training, or manners, or something of that sort? I really think you could. So all of a sudden, boom, there’s 200 bucks in revenue. And you’re only paying out 100. I’ll take doubling up any day.

    Susan Briggs: Yeah, that’s 500 a week. If you’re five days a week, 2,000 a month. That’s 24 grand.

    Joe Zuccarello: I always like to use this analogy, if I’m half wrong. Or if I’m half right. However you want to look at it. Glass half empty, glass half full. It’s still a profitable consideration.

    Susan Briggs: Right.

    Joe Zuccarello: So as we’re looking at that, we might’ve inspired some folks during this podcast and say, “You know what? Yeah, I might have just a grooming salon right now, or I might have a veterinary office right now. And I offer grooming, but maybe I’m inspired to start thinking maybe I want to start laying down some plans for expanding my business.” I hear it all the time. You probably hear it even more often than I hear where somebody started as, they own a grooming shop. And now they have this full service pet resort, lodge. Maybe even multiple locations. So it’s okay no matter where you are that you’re starting. If you have aspirations, in your experience, what are some of the things these folks that might be inspired to grow their business? What are some of the things right now that maybe they should be considering, start laying down the groundwork and planning?

    Susan Briggs: Yeah, I think it’s great. Start small, see the reaction of your client base. But again, we need great care providers out there. So if you’re really busy, I would look at your marketplace. Is there the option to get a bigger place and do more for your existing clients. So it’s finding that location is the hardest part. Knowing your zoning, and then looking at what services are going to compliment what we opened with, that brand alignment and you really have an interest in. And start seeing in searching now as you’re growing that desire and interest.

    And then you also have great taking pictures and video. The enrichment stuff is awesome for social media. So it’s getting that marketing plan down, because you want to step into that bigger footprint with more clients and more business right away so that you can pay for it. And you guys have such an advantage over people that are starting from scratch without a client base. So if you plan that, and you can even do it in phases. Like okay, I have a little bit of space here, we’ll fill that out. But at the same time, maybe be planning for that move or add on. I know a lot of places are in strip centers, and sometimes the locations next door come open. So instant expansion opportunity there.

    So looking ahead. One, three, five years in the future. And how you could grow your business and bring in more money. Profitable revenue is what we like.

    Joe Zuccarello: Right, right. Because you do have to manage. You’re looking for that perfect mix, right? That revenue that’s coming in, but manageable labor and other expenses. So that profitability is, you end up on the right side of profitability.

    So are these things such as … okay, so to recap, I heard you talk about the net particular answer my question was you talked about the facility. So maybe it’s the design, the layout, the flow, the selection. Taking advantage of maybe some opportunities like you said, where if you’re in a strip center, maybe the location next to you becomes vacant and seizing that opportunity. So you’ve got facility, I heard you mention zoning. So what is your community going to tolerate? So planning and zoning, and knowing what that looks like. The marketing plan, big, right? So client information and marketing. Knowing your clients, knowing the appetite for what it is that maybe you could expand into. Part of that is also competition, right? Knowing your competition. I use the word competition, but most of the time I really do like to phrase it as who are you sharing the market with?

    Susan Briggs: Right.

    Joe Zuccarello: Because I don’t see it as a game. It’s not a field game or … a competition sometimes means that we’re opposing forces. And let me tell you, there are some times I refer customers to some other pet service provider that excels in an area that I don’t. And that’s serving the pet parent and sharing the market. And all of these different, like you said, start small and then grow. So all of the different phases. So how does the services, The Dog Gurus, do you step in? Do you have solutions that the Hey Joe listener audience can take advantage of? Because we just probably really, I don’t want to say overwhelmed, but think about, it seems like a lot.

    Susan Briggs: Yeah, it is. And we actually have created programs to help pet business owners launch grow in profits. So we do have a program launch formula for people that are starting new or doing a pretty significant add on where we go through those steps and help you with the planning your mix of services getting the location, designing it. Putting in your forms and policies, and procedures, getting staff trained. All that’s covered in our launch formula.

    And then we have growth intensive, which is help you … a lot of us, we get into pet care and we just start doing it. And then as you grow, you’ve got to teach others to do it, which again is putting in those systems. You’re not only operations, but in marketing. How you manage the staff, how you manage your finances, part of your business. And growth intensive will help businesses with all of that what I call foundation work so you’re really ready to grow and expand.

    And then our signature program is really profit to where we want businesses to profit. We want business owners to make that six figure salary. So we get in one-on-one deep dive into your business, and help you become more profitable and reach your vision. And what we like to say is then exit when you’re ready on your own terms.

    Joe Zuccarello: So you’ve got tracks that are fully designed to take somebody from where they are to where maybe they aspire to be. I’ve often said that success is, it’s really individual, it’s personal. It’s where you’re starting from and where you believe you want to be. And that’s different for every person and in every scenario.

    So what I really like about that is I’ve often referred to it as baking a cake. If you asked me to get into a kitchen. And, “Joe, go bake a cake.” I would probably fail miserably. It might look like a cake, it might smell like a cake, but it may not taste like a cake. But give me a recipe that I can follow step by step. And now that’s far less intimidating. And usually, the results are going to be all a lot more favorable than without that recipe or that guide. So what you’re saying are your tracks are like recipes for these folks to move forward in their goals.

    Susan Briggs: Absolutely. And what we do is like you say, it’s the recipe, but you can customize it to what you want. That’s what I love about pet service industry is you can create the business that reflects you, your vision, interests, your brand, what you want to be. And there’s room in the marketplace for many different versions of that to exist.

    Joe Zuccarello: Oh my goodness. Just going back, there was a day before ice cream for dogs. There was a day before daycare. There was a day before, like you said, it used to be kennels. Right? But now even the rooms, I heard you referred to a cage or a kennel being an enclosure. I love all the new terminology. And some of the terminology, I was part of a real big shift in terminology back when all of that was happening. You hear me refer to customers as pet parents, and just those types of things.

    So now it’s kind of time, Susan. You’ve just served the Hey Joe listener audience beyond my expectations. So that was really, really great. And I know you and I are going to have a future podcast together. In fact, one that’s going to be focusing on canine body language. And that’s going to be really, really special for everybody. So I recommend that all of the Hey Joe listener audience tune into that.

    But before that, as a wrap up to this particular podcast, I’ve been kind of dangling it out there for our audience members. But what is it that The Dog Gurus is making available to the Hey Joe listener audience?

    Susan Briggs: Well we’re really excited about the enrichment activities because one of those things that we really believe is a win for the dogs, a win for your team, your staff. They love doing this because they really get to play and engage with dogs. And it’s a win for your business because it is a profitable add on.

    So we’ve partnered with our friends at Blue-9 that make the KLIMB, and we have an enrichment best practices game guides that are available. So it will help you get started using the KLIMB safely. And it’s a combination of PDFs and videos. So we’re excited to make that available, and hope we get more people out there offering enrichment activities for the dogs.

    Joe Zuccarello: That is outstanding. I will tell you that I am personally a benefactor of the KLIMB. And the KLIMB technique if you would. It is probably one of the most valuable manners and usable manners that a pet parent can really enjoy with their dog. So I think The Dog Gurus stepping up and making that guide a series of PDFs and videos available to our audience, I’m just astounded. I think that’s wonderful. We really do appreciate that, again.

    So in order to get that, to unlock that really great bonus and all of those freebies from The Dog Gurus, it’s very simple. So to all of my Hey Joe listener audience out there, it’s really simple. You know where to go. Go to paragonpetschool.com to the podcast page. Drill into this particular episode. And you will receive all instructions to unlock those freebies and start taking advantage of those right away.

    Susan, I want to thank you again for helping us out. I know that our audience will thrive with the information that you provided today. And I’m sure it will add revenue and profitability to their business. I want to thank the Hey Joe listener audience out there for all of your great questions. Remember to send your questions to our email address is heyjoequestions@paragonpetschool.com. And you might just hear your topic discussed with an industry expert in the near future. Please share this podcast with your team members that you work with and friends and family in the industry who you think will not only listen to it, but also benefit from it. So Susan, thank you again. And I am just super excited about what you’ve done today with the listeners, but also what we’re about to do. And that’s recording a second episode on canine body language.

    Susan Briggs: It was my pleasure. It’s fun. The time flew by Joe. You made it easy.

    Joe Zuccarello: That’s what we try to do. And I’ll tell you, the Hey Joe listener audience out there is, they’re just begging for more and more things that can help them prosper. So we appreciate you being a partner in that.

    Susan Briggs: My pleasure.

    About Joe

    Joe Zuccarello is president of the Paragon School of Pet Grooming, leaders in grooming education on campus and online. He possesses more than three decades of experience in the pet grooming, product development and pet business consulting disciplines.
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