you do an interview, let the candidates do the talking. You don’t
need to sell them on your operation, rather listen and watch how
they answer questions and interact with you. Make sure to ask
for specific examples of how they have performed the job in the
past. Ask what they think they need from you to be successful.
Then set time aside in the first few months to be sure that you
are engaged with them and they have the opportunity to receive
feedback and ask questions. In the end, if they aren’t working out,
don’t be afraid to terminate them.
Briggs: Your staff team should be viewed as one of your most
valuable assets, so invest in keeping them by offering education
and career opportunities. Make sure your staff has a strong, positive leader supporting them.
Put a priority on hiring employees that are a good fit to your
business culture and existing team. This means also having clarity
on the vision and core values of your business. You want to build
a team of people that share your vision and values. It’s easier to
teach technical skills than change beliefs and personality traits.
PPN: Whatadvice wouldyougivetonew business owners whoarelighton
experience with the financial and bookkeeping sides of doing business?
Cristiano: Groomers should definitely take advantage of
the educational opportunities at trade shows. Show coordinators work hard to deliver quality seminars by industry
veterans. Show floor demos can be very informative and
a wonderful setting to network and learn from our peers.
Zuccarello: Do your business correctly and get a professional
involved from the beginning. Expertise costs money. Better
yet, expertise can actually help save you money by keeping you out of trouble or identifying areas of your business
where you can realize more profit or savings. Operating a
cash business “off the books” doesn’t help you in the long
run either. There may be a day when you want to sell your
business, and, without proper bookkeeping, your business
will never be valued correctly.
Briggs: Outsource the bookkeeping entry and hire an accountant that specializes in working with small business
owners. Take basic financial courses and set a monthly
meeting with your accountant to review your financial reports. Don’t wait until tax time to enter all your data and run
reports; it’s too late to make adjustments. Spend your time
understanding the numbers, growing revenue and profits.
PPN: Arethereanyparticularresourcesyou wouldrecommendforthose
just starting out or who want to strengthen their business and manage-
Cristiano: SCORE is a nationwide resource center of retired
professionals that offer business advice free of charge. They
also offer free regular classes that address common areas
related to opening and operating a business.
The Small Business Administration is also a wonderful resource for those looking to learn more about business operations for low or no cost at all. Local Chambers
of Commerce can also be a valuable source for business
Zuccarello: As mentioned earlier, there are people who have
treaded this path before you—some happy, many frustrated. Af-
ter more than 31 years in this business, I can tell you I have per-
sonally experienced all of these emotions, and I have met thou-
sands of others and have learned from their experiences. I have
managed several grooming salons, more than 60 dog groomers
at a time, and have lived to tell about it! In fact, I have lived to
teach about it through providing professional consulting services
for clients all across the world. I can promise no matter what chal-
lenge you face, from employees to customers and everything in
between, I have either seen it myself or know someone who has.
Feel free to reach out to me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kleiman: I have to recommend the educational sessions at Super-
Zoo—there is nowhere else you can get that much content for
the low price. If they are looking for human-resources-specific
information, I’d recommend my toolkit: HR Hacks.
Briggs: Industry trade associations offer courses at events and
online. Check out companies of the speakers at events, as they
frequently offer other services. •