talent, and I would ask just how long will you have them until the next best offer comes
along. I prefer growing your own talent. Yep, this is a slow process, and it does come
with some risk, but compared to the alternatives, I’ll bet on this one every time!
Kleiman: First and most important is to have a very clear job description. You don’t have
to list every task, but be clear in the expectations of what needs to be done, what you
expect in terms of client management and the physical experience of the job. When 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
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.
What advice would you give to new business owners who are light on
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.
Are there any particular resources you would recommend for those just
starting out or who want to strengthen their business and management
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 development.
Zuccarello: As mentioned earlier, there are people who have treaded this path before you—some happy, many frustrated. After more
than 31 years in this business, I can tell you I have personally experienced all of these emotions, and I have met thousands 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 challenge 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. Let’s talk.
Kleiman: I have to recommend the educational sessions at SuperZoo—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. ◊
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