Prosperous Pet Business Podcast
Podcast #125: Post-Pandemic Pet Business Challenges
Today’s coaching session is with Jenn, a dog trainer, pet sitter and dog walker in Brooklyn, New York.
Like a lot of pet care providers, Jenn has been through so much in her business because of the pandemic. If you can also relate to going through the ringer because of the pandemic too, this episode is for you.
During the pandemic, Jenn had many clients move to different areas in New York and her service area is now very spread out. The radius of her service area has expanded to become much larger and that’s caused her a lot of stress and raised her expenses and made it harder to hire staff.
She needs to set boundaries with clients, and she’s felt nervous about saying no to client requests because she doesn’t want to lose clients.
So, because of these and other challenges you’ll hear Jenn talk about in this episode, she feels stuck between a rock and a hard place and has no idea what direction to go in. She needs perspective from outside of herself to become aware of what changes she needs to make in her business in this post-pandemic world.
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How is Jenn doing now? Here’s an update from Jenn in her own words:
The new cancellation policy changes went into effect the last few days. Unfortunately, the client who is consistently canceling all but one walk per week is still doing so. Our other clients are still canceling one-off walks, at the same rate, but are doing so with more advanced notice.
Because of the nature of New York, and the expected frequency of travel by the clients who can afford a dog walker here, I only limited full week cancellations to four weeks out of the year instead of two as you suggested. Travel is just so embedded in the culture here and I think it would be a deal breaker for our highest paying clients.
It was helpful to get permission to make drastic policy changes in response to drastic client behavior changes. It felt like I was not allowed to make these changes because we operate within the standards of the industry. Having a professional business coach who is familiar with the industry tell me to make these changes gave me the validation I needed not just for this change, but any other changes I need to make in the future to compensate for the changing industry.
Staffing is still an issue, and we now lose a very large percentage of our new hires to mental health issues. We do have an EAP in place to help combat these losses, but unfortunately dog walking in New York is a high stress job, and fewer people have the mental health to handle it in the post-pandemic world.
Thank you for all your time and energy,
Flipz Pet Care
Brooklyn, New York
Service Area: Lower Manhattan, Downtown Brooklyn and Park Slope
Links mentioned in the podcast:
- Listen to Kristin Morrison's business podcast, Business Pathfinder podcast.
- Find out more about the live monthly live webinars and workshops for pet business owners.
- Schedule a private pet business coaching session with Kristin Morrison.
- Click to apply to be coached by Kristin on the Prosperous Pet Business podcast.
- Schedule an in-person VIP Pet Business Coaching Day in Hawaii or California.
- Connect with Kristin Morrison on Instagram.
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