I love running a small business. Even with the challenges that women in business can face, there is something incredibly satisfying about watching an idea go from conception to reality when nurtured with hard work, focused determination, and passion. Given that my business, Dog is Good, is all about the dog-human connection, it is not surprising that my business building approach would be inspired by Dog.
When launching Dog is Good, I knew I did not want to “Walk Alone” in this journey. Believing that ‘It’s not where you walk, but who walks with you”, I am fortunate to have my husband for a business partner. We always “Think Big” but understand the importance of having a solid plan in place. We have clearly defined goals and a strategy to provide direction and ensure that we keep our “Eye on the Ball” with concentrated focus. Focus in business is critical. Taking a cue from my dog, I could see how hard it is to carry a ball, a frisbee, a stick, and a toy in one’s mouth all at the same time. Multi-tasking does not work.
It is good to “Recognize Opportunity” but important to stay disciplined. Great opportunities present themselves all the time, but you have to “Dig Deep” and not stray too far from planned strategies, as it is impossible to go after so many things at once. “Being Persistent” gets you what you want. Through regular, consistent contact with leads and prospects we have been able to add bigger accounts and expand our retail business. Some accounts took over 3 years to acquire.
As business continues to grow, we understand the importance of building meaningful relationships both inside and outside the company. Building a “strong pack” of like-minded people, who share our vision for building an international lifestyle brand, is essential. Building strong relationships with other businesses is also important. Collaborating with and supporting other companies enables us to expand our customer reach while helping others grow as well.
With an expanding employee base, solid leadership is critical. Establishing clear expectations and creating an environment where people can work as a team is a deliberate approach to growing the business. Allowing team members to share and participate in process improvement as well as product development enables us to really “Make Things Happen”.
Turning to others for expertise also plays a significant role in our success. Reaching out to SCORE mentors and utilizing their extensive resources has been a defining factor in our ability to hone our message and grow the business.
As a woman in business, juggling numerous balls- family, household, friends, personal time, the business, etc…, I understand the importance of “Making Time for Play”. Without allowing oneself “Time to Unwind”, burnout and health problems can occur. No matter how successful the business becomes, family, friendships, community, and personal growth are most important. Pulling everything together with balance allows one to truly “Leave their Mark” in a positive and lasting way.