Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in pet care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tiffany Lewis, CEO of Pet and Home Care, located in Frederick, MD, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
For nearly a quarter-century, Pet and Home Care have solved pet parents’ number one problem: Who’s going to watch my pets and home while I’m away?! Our customers are animal owners and lovers who want the best for their fur babies. They are busy professionals, families who like to travel, and even seniors who need an extra helping hand caring for their pets.
Tell us about yourself
In the late 90’s I started working in pet care while in high school. I fell in love with it, and once I graduated high school, I went full steam while attending community college. I took as many online classes as I could to maximize my time spent walking dogs and house sitting. Around 2001 I made the business official and created the LLC.
My customers and my team keep me motivated. Knowing that thousands of customers rely on us to care for their pets keeps me on track to ensure that we have the best team available to cover their needs. My team of nearly 50 employees keeps my drive alive to ensure they have plenty of work to keep them happy and busy.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment thus far would have to be keeping this business alive and growing for almost 25 years. That’s no small feat, especially with how difficult it was for small businesses (including ours) to navigate the pandemic over the last couple of years. I’m still in shock that my little side hustle in high school has led me down a path to work for myself and live a nice life.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest part of being a business owner is always being “on.” I have a full team that keeps the business running smoothly, but I need to be available to jump in and help whenever pressing issues arise. Knowing the buck stops with me and always striving to set a good example can be exhausting, but in the end, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love being in charge, even though it sometimes feels like the weight of the world is on my shoulders.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Create a business plan.
- Secure funding.
- Always know your numbers- revenue, profit, overhead, etc.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
We had a very “ruff” 2020. Business revenue was more than cut in half, and we had to let go of 75% of our team. But our core team stayed strong, our client base offered us lots of support, and we received two PPP loans that helped us stay afloat during the darkest days of the pandemic. But in the spring and summer of 2021, the tides shifted, and we experienced the busiest summer in our history. The lesson is to stay strong through the dark times. Take advantage of available government programs, and never give up!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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