Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in pet care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Leesa Westwood & Emily Lowes, Owners of Pliant Pack Positive Dog Training, located in Winnipeg, MB, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are a force-free dog training and care company. Our customers are any dog owner who wants to improve their relationship with their dog, their dog's behaviour, or the quality of their dog's life.
Tell us about yourself
Emily and I met, both working as dog trainers at a local facility. Our morals aligned in many ways, but the core value of always putting the dogs first was something that we found the two of us took more seriously than most people in the local industry, even when it has been at the expense of our profit margins.
We are motivated every day to see the love our clients have for their pets and know that we are able to improve their lives and, in some cases, even save dogs' lives.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Staying true to our values and never losing sight of why we are doing what we are doing. Business ownership can be very hard, and we were dog trainers first, and the business happened second. It has been an incredible learning curve and while we could do our jobs easier business-wise if we compromised our values, staying true to our mission is something we're very proud of.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Finding balance in life. Growing a small business takes not only hard work but a lot of self-motivation. The work wasn't always there for us, and we had to create it and keep ourselves busy moving the company ahead. Now that the company is as big as it is, turning that 'always working' mindset off can be challenging.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- When you're starting, schedule your hours ahead of time and find ways to fill them. If you do the work as it comes in, your business won't grow at the rate you want. Post, write blogs, offer services/products in exchange for exposure, and get the word out there!
- Never stop furthering your education. It will improve your skills, cut your costs, and allow you to better understand business as a whole. From courses on your craft to business or accounting courses, it will almost always be to your benefit.
- Schedule time for what's important to you. Owning a business can be all-consuming, so making time for things that bring you joy will keep you from burning out and be better for your business in the long run.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
It is possible to maintain a business relationship and a friendship with your business partner, but mutual respect, setting boundaries, and open communication are key!
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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