Most small businesses are formed from a passion, and in the pet industry, passion-based business accounts for nearly all small businesses. I’ve never met someone who started a blog without a passion for the content they create, who created a product without a passion for the product’s purpose, or who created a business to offer services without a passion for the pets they help or the people who help the pets.
If you are thinking of someone who you know who just doesn’t have the passion I’m referring to, set them aside. This article isn’t about them or for them.
This is for pet-passionate people who want to make better business decisions. It’s for the people who know passion is important for a business, the ones who might be considering whether they should start a business without being passionate, and to share effective business decision-making methods for those who do have passion about a business.
If that’s you, welcome. Let’s start at the beginning.
Why is Passion Important for a Business?
A business is really people. Even large companies are a collective of people. Whether you are a business of one or one million, it’s the people who make the business thrive. Without passion about business and, more specifically, your business, people can’t thrive.
When passion is the fuel for the company, the story of the company will connect with the audience it’s trying to reach.
Passion is not the only thing important for a business, but without any passion in the founding of a business, it can become mundane. The business won’t continue to have the fuel needed if there is no passion. Why?
- Passion keeps you excited.
- Passion helps remind you why you do when things get tough – and they will get tough.
- Passion reminds you that in order to fulfill your vision, you need to balance hard business decisions with the ones that fuel your fire.
Should You Start a Business You Aren’t Passionate About?
That depends. Do you have ANY passion for it?
If not, you will find it hard to push yourself to keep going. You won’t feel connected to your business. You won’t have a purpose, which is something most people seek in life.
If you have some passion – passion is a yearning for something. If you yearn for the results of the business but don’t have a passion for the path forward, your fuel may come from the results and not the action. That is still a passion-based business. This will work if you are passionate enough about your vision of success and where you are heading that you are willing to do the work to get there.
There are plenty of successful businesses that didn’t start by turning passion into a business model. Instead, they started with an end goal in mind and established a plan to get there.
No one loves every part of running a business. Having passion does not mean never questioning yourself or the steps forward. Having passion means you have the fuel to keep the fire burning. It means your fire will sometimes burn bright and sometimes burn dim, but it doesn’t burn out.
Yes, you could start a business that you aren’t passionate about. But ask yourself: If you have zero passion for something, why do you want to create a business around it? Sit with that before taking a step forward.
What is the Most Effective Business Decision-Making Method?
Whether you are making plans to start a new passion-based business or working in a business that you started years ago, your decision-making process is an important consideration. How do you go about making important decisions regarding how to run your business?
Reflect on Your Why
Before making any business-related decision, take some time to go back to your why. You don’t want to lose sight of the reason you started your business. That’s the fuel to keep your passion burning!
Create an Overall Business Strategy
Make sure you have a clear strategy for your overall business. Not just a marketing strategy or a social media strategy, but an overall strategy that aligns everything. Every other strategy and plan that you create should support this overall business strategy.
Your overall business strategy will help to make sure that your business efforts align with your brand’s mission, core values, and vision.
Focus on Creating SMART Business Goals
As part of your business strategy, you will want to define the goals that you hope to achieve within your business. These goals are broader in nature focusing on the business as a whole as opposed to a specific element of the business. For example, you may have business goals that are centered around increasing your annual profit, then support these goals with a well-crafted marketing strategy and sales strategy.
To set yourself up for success, make sure that you are focused on creating SMART business goals. This means that your goals are:
- Specific and well-defined
- Achievable and realistic
- Relevant to your larger business plan
- Timed with a clear start and end date
By creating goals that are carefully planned out with this method, you are going to boost your chances of achieving them!
Make Time to Evaluate Your Progress
Setting a goal is only the first step. In order to reach your goals, you need to be willing to put in the work. But, no one wants to work without seeing a return for their efforts. This is why your goal needs to be measurable.
Make time in your schedule to sit down and analyze the data that you have collected from your efforts. This could include sales, traffic on your website, email subscriptions, or the total value of each sale. Use this information to help you assess whether your current approach is working or if there are small changes you can make to improve your overall success.
It could be that you made a great choice for your business but it just needs a small tweak to really take off.
Don’t Be Afraid to Change Your Mind
Have you ever made a decision either in your business or in your personal life and then regretted it or second-guessed yourself afterward? If so, that’s okay!
One of the biggest mistakes that most small pet business owners will make at one time or another is to make a decision and then feel like they are stuck with it. But, there will be times when you return to a decision and see your options through a different lens.
In everything that you do along the way, ask yourself, “Does this help me achieve my goals?” If not, it may be time to shift your direction.
Write everything in pencil. Nothing is meant to be “written in stone”. But, there is one thing that won’t change – the passion driving your decisions. Our business will ebb and flow with how we execute on our goals, but your passion should always be fueling your fire.
Make An Effort to Keep Your Passion Burning Bright
Never forget that success in your passion-based business is driven by the passion that first started your journey. There may be times that you feel like you are losing sight of this passion or wondering if you are losing the passion you once felt.
Always make time in your busy schedule to step back and refocus on why you do what you do. Some tips to help you keep that fire burning include:
- Positive affirmations
- Gathering positive feedback into a folder or file so that you can look at it when you need to
- Keep your “why” written somewhere where you can see it
- Create positive mindset practices
Most importantly, remember that you are the most important part of your business. Don’t forget to take care of yourself!
Now that we have discussed how to make business decisions with both passion and business strategy in mind, it’s your turn. We’d love to hear how YOU make decisions in your passion-based business!
About the Author: Chloe DiVita is an original BlogPaws Executive Team member. She’s been in the pet industry since 2009 and loves leading the PetBiz Collaborative, a membership group for small pet businesses, with Jessica Shipman. She also LOVES speaking and if you put her in front of a camera she’ll talk until you tell her to stop. It comes in handy as Executive Producer for TEDxCambridge and Co-Founder of The Mike Drop Method public speaking training.