3 Scary Scenes That Haunt Your Petpreneur Dreams (And How to Handle Them)
They’re creepy, and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky, they’re…
Scary situations that can happen in your pet business! 👻
There’s just no getting around it… if you’re a small business owner, you’ll have scary stuff, big and small, happen in your business.
Especially since you’re in the pet industry– where you’re dealing with live animals. Specifically, live animals that are considered furry family members!
But when frightening things that make you cringe happen, it’s important to keep three things in mind:
☑️ Stay calm.
☑️ Review the facts in front of you.
☑️ And act quickly.
And you don’t have to wait for spooky scenarios to happen! You can get ahead of situations by building your protocols now so that you and your team feel more prepared when the spook fest arrives.
Here are three common scary business situations that you can start preparing for right now:
1- Eerie Employee Theft
Have you ever had a ghoul dipping into your witch’s cauldron behind your back? 🧙♀️
(Like our CEO, Candace, did when she was a pet business owner? Listen to her frightening tale of an employee who stole almost $40,000 from her here.)
We sure hope not, but this situation could happen to anybody– so let’s talk about what you should do.
Always stay on top of your books.
You need a system to stay up to date with your bookkeeping. Compare your credit card statements to your POS data. Double-check, cross reference, and always prioritize your financial records. Have a bookkeeper who helps you keep track? Schedule regular meetings to review your books and have multiple sets of eyes to try and catch any discrepancies.
If you see something that seems strange or suspicious, investigate it further, ask your team about it, and be aware.
Get the police involved when the situation warrants it.
This is your pet business– your livelihood. Someone stealing from you is a BIG deal and should be treated as such.
Not only that, but it’s always a good idea to have an official record of theft in case you need to reference it. It also shows that theft will not be taken lightly and will prevent future occurrences.
Make sure your business insurance covers employee theft.
Does your pet business insurance cover in-store theft AND employee theft? It’s important to explore every scenario and make sure you are covered. Find an insurance agent you trust, ask lots of questions, and get the most thorough coverage possible to serve you in these scary situations.
(Here is our recommended insurer. He’s the best!)
2- Spine-Chilling Negative Business Reviews
You hear your phone ping, and when you check your notification, you SHRIEK in horror….
Your pet business has a new review. 😱
Now, we’re sure it’s a five-star review ‘cause you’re amazing like that. But sometimes negative reviews make their way in like creepy crawlies. 🕷️ So what do you do?!
First, collect your thoughts and stay calm.
If you respond to the review while you’re angry or upset, no good will come of it. Take a pause, read the review thoroughly, and start to collect more information. Consult with the team members involved and paint a full picture of the story.
Next, plan your response.
Responding to every business review– positive or negative– shows that you care about a range of feedback and take varying opinions into account to better your pet business. You ideally want to respond within 24 hours, but after your mind has had time to process.
🕷️ Empathize. Repeat the issue back to the customer in your own words so that they know you fully understand why they are upset. Ask for an opportunity to make it right.
🕷️Keep it professional but human. They don’t want a robotic response. They want to know there’s a real-life person on the other end hearing them out.
🕷️ If the conversation continues, take it offline. If they still want to talk about the issue, give them a call and hash things out over the phone.
🌟 BONUS TIP🌟: If the review involves the direct safety of their pet being questioned, it might warrant a phone call before responding. Use these same tips over the phone. Once you’ve had the conversation with the pet owner, respond to the review thanking them for their time on the phone, and give a general overview of how you addressed the problem.
3- Ominous Animal Injury
You became a pet business owner because you want to help pet parents care for their pets— so a pet getting hurt while in your care is a nightmare you don’t want to happen. But the tough reality is that sometimes accidents happen. It’s how you deal with a pet injury that matters most!
What can you do to try and prevent animal injury?
Be upfront with your customers about the possibility of injuries.
Especially if you run a doggy daycare, educate pet parents about the risks and more common injuries. Communicate what your procedure would be if their dog got injured and what systems you have in place to prevent it.
Train your team to be confident.
Training in pet first-aid and your company’s protocols for pet injury is key to your team’s success. Invest the time and energy to ensure they are confident in these situations.
Utilize forms to keep track of potential injuries.
For example, a body check tracker could be used upon intake and outtake. Check every part of the dog, and compare at outtake so you can communicate any differences or abnormalities to their owner. This will ensure no injury is ever missed!
What should you do when an injury occurs?
Kick that first-aid knowledge into gear.
Make sure your first aid supplies are always stocked, and your team members feel confident jumping into calm and collected action if the situation needs it.
Determine if outside care is needed.
Have guidelines in place that will help your team make a confident decision to seek out further veterinary care when necessary.
Communicate, communicate, communicate.
There is no such thing as overcommunication with the pet’s owner when relaying injury-related information. Keep the owner in the loop the entire time, so there are no surprises!
Inside the Pet Boss Club®, we have a seemingly endless supply of resources and training that will serve you and your team when these (or other) frightening incidents arise (like first-aid training, form templates, bad review response scripts, and SO much more).
Click here to get on our waitlist, and when you do become a Club member, you’ll get immediate access to start binging and preparing! While you wait for the doors to reopen, join us in our FREE Facebook community for pet professionals.
Don’t get spooked by a tough situation in your pet business. You’ve got this! We can help you to feel more prepared to say “BOO” back to the scary side of small business ownership.
Learn more with us!
- Need 1:1 support to make massive action now? Book a discovery call with us to see if working 1:1 with Candace is the right fit for you.
- Get on the waitlist! You’re passionate about pets. It’s time to have a business that supports the life you want, too! Learn the specific techniques to find new customers, to increase sales and to build a better team for ANY kind of pet business by joining the Pet Boss Club! Get on the waitlist here.