Post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess
With the new year comes a new focus on your pet blogging business and the steps you’re taking to not only make it viable, but one that is fun and filled with excitement year-round. What can you do now that you have turned the page on not only a new calendar month, but a new year? Re-tool, revive, reinvigorate and revamp. I am not a fan of setting resolutions, but I am an advocate of setting trackable goals and holding myself accountable for either meeting those goals or coming to an understanding of why those goals just might not have been the best ones for my pet blogging business vision.
Here are some tips you can use to breathe new life into your pet blogging business now that the new year has arrived, the parties have slowed down and it’s time to jump back into work with both feet (or all four paws!):
- Is it time to re-tool the prices you charge for your products or services? As a business owner in the pet industry it’s likely your offerings could range from dog walking to pet sitting, pet grooming, pet product reviewer or pet blogger with a desire to teach other pet bloggers how to do what you do. As you look at what you offer, take a moment to gauge how successful your efforts were last year. Did you achieve the goals (whether monetary or otherwise) that you’d hoped? Did you extend your social media reach as far as you’d planned? Have you brought in as many new clients as you’d imagined you would? If the answer to these questions isn’t a resounding “yes” then it might be time to retool. Alternatively, if the answer is a whoop of sheer joy, then you may be in a position to raise your rates.
- Before the new year gets too far underway, talk to an accountant or a bookkeeper and ask what specific steps you need to take to be considered a viable business entity. Do you need a separate bank account? An employer identification number (EIN)? Should you be filing as a sole proprietor or a limited liability corporation (LLC)? Take yourself and your business seriously and also take steps to have any issues with the IRS. How well are you keeping track of business expenses? If you’re still throwing your receipts into a shoebox, it’s time to incorporate better business practices and there is no better time than the present.
- Do some “spring cleaning” of your office space. Just because it’s January (and here in NY I am writing this as ten inches of snow has fallen and more continues to fall) doesn’t mean you can revive your workspace. Clean your desk drawers and file away your 2013 paperwork. Organize your filing system in a way that makes sense moving forward, if it doesn’t already. Clean the desk itself; even though we are all pet lovers, dust bunnies don’t really count as pets! Do you need a new keyboard? A better chair? Could adding a desk calendar or colorful artwork make you feel more creative? How about adding a small fish tank to your workspace; watching fish can help relieve stress for those times when you don’t have access to your dog or cat or ferret for petting! If you work from home, but are either not finding yourself being productive enough or are simply craving human interaction, this might be the time to check out the idea of a shared office space or to at least get out of the house and work at a wifi enabled coffee shop. A change of scenery, even one day a week, could inspire you.
- Write down goals that are trackable. I am an advocate of writing goals on paper — not in my electronic device or on a word doc on my computer. In my mind, putting pen or pencil to paper gives my goals more power (and more staying power). Don’t overwhelm yourself by jotting down 50 goals you plan to meet in 2014. Take it slow and write down at least two major goals (get a new website, attend BlogPaws 2014 in Vegas, etc.); once you’ve written the goal, break it down into actionable steps you can take to achieve it. Also, when you’re writing your goals, write down the reasons you want to achieve them. For example: Getting a new website will make my business more vibrant and will offer a more professional face to my pet blogging business; Attending BlogPaws 2014 will put me in front of pet bloggers and pet brands, allow me to expand my sphere of influence and have a face to face meeting with those pet lovers and pet bloggers I have known on line but never met personally. Now that you’ve set two major goals, you will want to also set smaller goals that you can work toward throughout the year, whether it’s be more active on social media, to adding a new service, to blogging more frequently. These small goals are trackable and actionable and will help keep you focused throughout the year.
- Remember, the decisions you make for your pet blogging business should remain focused on how you’re helping your clients or customers. What can you do, or are you doing, on your website or with your services that benefits the end user – your client or your blog reader.
What will you do this year to make 2014 the best year ever? What goals have you set for yourself and what steps will you take to make certain you achieve them? We’d love to hear!
(Image: Group of Pets, Shutterstock)