Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in pet care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Beth Hobson, owner of Entertain Thy Feline, located in Medicine Hat, AB, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am in the business of making entertainment devices for felines. My customers are people just like me - humans who love their furry friends and want to provide them with a fun and happy life.
Tell us about yourself
I started creating cat toys a few months after I adopted my first kitty. I honestly wasn't really thinking of doing a business, I just wanted an excuse to create and play with my cat! My first year went so well, and completing each order gave me such a sense of satisfaction that I decided to grow the business and see where it could take me.
My favourite thing is the reviews I receive from delighted cat parents — and the amazing (and sometimes hysterical) photos and videos they send of my toys being nommed, kicked, bitten, attacked, and downright savaged. It's the best!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I think my greatest accomplishment was really starting to believe in myself and what I could do. I found a love of creation and production I didn't know I had, and my success has given me enough confidence to start a second business that I am wildly excited about. Something that would never have been possible if I hadn't started this journey and begun to trust myself.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The uncertainty can be very daunting. You don't always know where your next sale will come from, and the lulls can bring a type of stress that is unique to being a business owner. Putting your head down and getting through those hard times is so challenging but unbelievably worth it.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- It's ok to start small. When I first started out, just buying basic supplies was stressful. I didn't have a lot extra to put into it, so I just did what I could, as I could. As business picked up, I was able to purchase supplies in larger quantities as well as equipment that made my work run smoother and faster. It took time, but it was worth it!
- Don't undervalue your time. Your work and time are valuable. When first starting out, it can be hard to give your time the value that it truly deserves. Yes, it can take a while to make the money you deserve, but if it seems impossible, it might be time to reevaluate and make some changes.
- Don't put all your eggs in one basket. If you only have one revenue stream, if it dries up, your business is over. Try to expand into a few different markets to ensure your income remains stable as sales fluctuate.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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