NAME: Alex Smith
BUSINESS NAME: Blakeney Pet Care Services – for all your dog walking and pet sitting needs!
WEBSITE: Under construction! But I’m on Facebook as Blakeney Pet Care Services, and Instagram as @blakeneypets
CONTACT: email@example.com - 07813365503
1 - HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN YOUR CURRENT BUSINESS? - One month! I have only just set up my business January 2020!
2 - WHAT WAS GREAT ABOUT LAST YEAR FOR YOUR BUSINESS? - That I had the courage to leave a job that wasn’t making me happy, and to create one for myself that does.
3 - WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR THE COMING YEAR? – My goals are pretty simple. To meet lots of different people and animals, to collaborate with other businesses in the Forest of Dean, build a strong and regular client base close to home, to be trusted to do an excellent job and to be happy and healthy!
4 - WHAT IS THE BEST THING YOU HAVE DONE IN YOUR BUSINESS THAT YOU CONTINUE TO DO? - To learn new skills! I have already started working on an online diploma in Dog Walking and Pet Sitting, and have completed a Canine First Aid Course. I believe it’s really important to read and educate yourself, and keep doing so throughout your life! That’s what really makes me happy; continually learning.
5 - WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ATTRIBUTE FOR A BUSINESS TO HAVE? – I’ve worked in corporate environments where sales figures and targets are the be all and end all. And whilst these are of course important, businesses often lose sight of what really matters, and that’s the people. Either the people that are buying the product or the people that are selling that product and providing a service. I believe that everyone should be treated as an individual with caring, understanding, honesty, transparency and trust. That, and a really good support network!
6 - WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT TO DATE? - Leaving said corporate environment! I’m quite free spirited in nature, and I’m really not a natural business woman, so taking the leap to be in charge of my own pay packet, networking, creating business plans, booking in training, creating marketing materials and getting my name out there has not come easily to me. But, I’m really proud that I’ve managed to achieve everything I have just in this month, on top of walking my regular doggies!
7 - WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO LEARN THAT WOULD HELP YOUR BUSINESS?
This little business is still very much in its infancy, and I’m not naïve to think that I already know everything – I most certainly do not! I want to learn any and every bit of business advice I can get my hands on! As I mentioned above, I love learning, and am very happy to take on constructive criticism if it will help me and my business grow in a positive direction!
8 - WHAT MISTAKES HAVE YOU MADE, OTHERS COULD LEARN FROM? - I’ve tried to cover a large geographic area, and not charge very much for the services I provide to get initial business on the books. I didn’t properly research how much to charge and where I wanted my client base to be. It’s important to know exactly where you want to be working, and set out a clear price list before you start and stick to it. Also don’t be afraid to turn down people outside of where you want to work. The overheads just get a bit too much and you end up running at a loss.
9 - WHAT KIND OF BUSINESS CONTACT WOULD HELP YOUR BUSINESS? - Any other dog walking/pet boarding services, pet supplies businesses, solicitors or lawyers to ensure my contracts are water tight and legal, and car salespeople who might source me a great dog transportation wagon!
10 - CAN YOU RECOMMEND ANY MOTIVATIONAL BOOKS THAT HAVE HELPED YOU? - I’m a huge fan of Ted Talks, so not strictly books. But I’ve had to work a lot on my self confidence and self-belief (still do!) and Brene Brown is an incredible speaker who gets to the roots of your problems and helps you build yourself up. My former boss told me about Brene, and I’m really glad she did! Check out ‘The Power of Vulnerability’ on YouTube.
11 - WHAT WOULD BE YOUR NO1 WISH IF YOU HAD A GENIE? – To have enough land to create a ‘home farm’! I’ve love to have loads of animals including goats, donkeys, chickens, ducks, geese, pigs, more cats, more dogs! It would be great to become as self-sufficient as possible and run weekends for families to come to learn where their food comes from, learn how to garden and grow their own vegetables, and to be as self sufficient as possible. Oh! And to have a beehive or three!
12 - WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BEST CAP BUSINESS CLUBS EXPERIENCE TO DATE? –
Easily meeting the incredible people that are a part of CAP! It’s such a friendly and informal way to talk about yours and others’ businesses, run through the good and the bad bits of working for yourself and of course, those all important collaborations!