It’s been a long 18 months and we know many are getting burned out by your pet business. First the pandemic, then shutdowns and lack of clients, then the world opened up more powerfully than we imagined only to suffer from staffing shortfalls and an inability to hire new people. How are you doing? How’s your motivation?
It’s totally understandable and anticipated if you feel stressed and burnt out. The key is what can you adjust in your business operations that will allow you and your team to thrive and survive a few more months.
Let’s talk about your mindset and how you can rethink things to dramatically change how you see the world.
First, it’s critical that you prioritize taking care of yourself and have a plan to disconnect from your business for a minimum of one day per week.
Second, you also need to ensure your core team members also find ways to retain their motivation and energy.
You definitely don’t want to miss watching our video that includes ideas on how you can adjust your operations to avoid burnout. Learn from ideas used by other pet businesses to reduce stress levels that include:
- Short-term holds on new clients (run a wait list)
- Reduced hours of operations
- Staff schedule changes
- Closing for a couple of hours mid-day
- Daily dog schedule change that requires fewer staff
- And more…
This is the one session you need to get you back on track in today’s crazy world. You need to be there for your clients and team for the long haul so prioritize your own well-being.
Getting Burned out by Your Pet Business?
My name is Robin Bennett and I am one of the co-founders of The Dog Gurus.
Susan Briggs is over there with the beautiful purple because she
just had her office repainted.
Now I'm jealous.
It looks so bright and fun.
But anyway, she's the other co-founder of The Dog Gurus and we help pet care
businesses, launch, grow and profit.
So what are we going to talk about today?
We want to talk about how many of you potentially have, or are
feeling a bit stressed these days.
That's what we're going to talk about.
So if that sounds like you just let us know that.
We do know that it has been really a long time of angst.
It started last year, literally back in March of last year when COVID hit
and the world, the bottom kind of dropped out for all of us with no
reservations and everything changing.
And then moving forward to where the world started opening up and,
that, all of that in itself was extremely stressful, as we all know.
But this year I feel like I just saw someone post yesterday.
I thought last year was bad.
I think this year is worse.
I think there's a lot of us that feel that way where now
business, and you hate to complain.
We're just going to tell you, you have permission to be honest right
now during this Facebook live.
I know a lot of people are like I hate to complain because
last year I had no business.
But this year, I'm like overwhelmed.
I don't have staff.
I can't get staff to come in and I have too many dogs.
And so it's one of those, like where we like to say it's a good problem to
have, but it doesn't make it easier.
In the moment it's not a good problem to have really.
I know it's causing us.
It's a good problem to have short term where you can fix it.
The problem is we haven't for most pet care facilities, they
haven't been able to fix it.
So that idea of we have a lot of business, all we need to do is hire a few staff.
That hasn't played out as well as we thought it would.
And so a lot of people are still really struggling with overwhelm
and under-staffing problems.
So that's what we want to talk about is just how to regroup, keep your motivation
up because especially if you are the pet care business owner, you're leading
your team and we all know that you have to do a good job of that because
they're gonna take their clues from you.
So we want to talk a little bit about that and a little about how
to get people rejuvenated and even when they're feeling overwhelmed.
So Kendall's here.
Hey, Kendall, Katie from California, and Katie's here.
I was just talking to Katie, not too long ago on a mastermind.
And Amanda's here too.
So Amanda said she saving this to watch later, awesome.
What do you want to kick off with Susan?
Anything in particular?
I think I'm going to be, to kick off with you've got to take care of yourself and
your mental wellbeing before your team.
It's that thing about the, put your oxygen mask on first, because what I realized,
and it took a while in my business, that you're the weather forecast for the team.
And or if you're not in your business every day, it would
be your GM or other leadership.
So you should work with them, but they're going to take their queues for you.
So if you wear yourself down to where you're overly stressed and don't have
that positive energy, you're going to see your whole team impacted by that.
So I think it's really important that you focus on this, because 15
months or going on more than that, is too long to have this much stress.
I've just had a lot of stress for two months.
And I can't imagine multiplying that and having it for 15 months.
So I think giving yourself grace and permission that this is not normal and
that you really need to ramp up how you take care of yourself so that you have
energy in your battery for your team.
Yeah, and I love the analogy of the oxygen mask and you have to
put your own oxygen mask on first, before you put on your child's.
And they say that every time, if you're on a plane or whatever,
but I totally think that's true.
I think a lot of entrepreneurs are used to working with little sleep
and they're just the makeup of most entrepreneurs, which most of you
business owners are entrepreneurs.
You have that go.
You can just go like the Energizer bunny.
And you think that it's not a problem.
I can tell you 15 months of that is going to be a problem.
It's going to show up somewhere.
And unfortunately you may not notice it until you start getting issues with
your staffing or maybe, and outside of just the fact that you can't hire
staff, but your current staff may start to notice that you're more grumpy.
Or you're just easier to you're just more easily irritated.
Or it might be your family or your friends.
Like my husband and I are really good about telling each other
wow, okay like what is going on?
Because you're a bit snappy today.
You want people in your life that can have that relationship with you
to be like, okay, you need to do something because obviously the stress
has started starting to come out.
Or it may be that you get sick.
That's what we get most often we see people that are going and going, and then
all of a sudden they'll get really sick.
And have you ever noticed if you're one of these people that
you finally get a vacation?
And as soon as your vacation starts, you get sick.
And then you're like, I spent the whole week of vacation sick.
That is your body telling you, you have run yourself down.
And I do think your body knows.
Okay, we can't afford to get sick right now, like too much going on.
When you finally do get sick, it's, you're going to get really sick.
Or when your body finally relaxes enough to where you're like, okay, things are
easing up, it's going to hit you then.
Cause your immune system has been compromised.
So I just can't stress enough that if you're not taking time for yourself, you
really need to figure out how to do that.
So that brings me to my next question, which is going to be all
of those folks that are going to say, there's no way I can take off.
Like we know many of you now working back in your business as an employee, as
one of the staff members, we know tons of pet care facility owners who are working
shifts alongside of their staff now.
Some of them that was always the normal way, but for most of our businesses
that we work with, our goal is to try to get the pet care business owner
working on the business instead of in it.
But we know a lot of people that are having to go back to cover shifts
because they're so understaffed.
So knowing that's an issue, I know that some of you are just going to
roll your eyes and go, I would love to have self care, but I don't have time.
So what would you say to that, Susan?
I don't know what happened.
We got a message saying Facebook stopped our broadcast.
What is that about?
This is an important topic.
It's one of those topics that Facebook did not want you to know about.
So we'll wait a second and see if some folks can find us back again.
We have a couple of people finding us.
So we just said literally, I got a big message across my stream that
said Facebook stopped your broadcast.
We've never had that happen before.
We're just gonna pick up where we left off.
So I was just saying to Susan, like if people are going to look, think to
themselves, I think definitely I should take time off, but how do I get time
off when I have all these dogs to take care of and I don't have enough staff.
So what would you say to that?
And hopefully Facebook won't kick us off.
I'm going to say, you have to find a way or what's going
to happen is what Robin said.
You're going to get sick and your body's going to force you to take time off and
you're not going to have control over it.
So you're going to have to figure out a way, and I know it's hard right now
because there is a lot of volume, but I think even if you can take one whole day,
even if it's mid week, you need to do it.
The other thing we're finding that a lot of members of ours and followers are doing
is they're lowering the numbers of dogs because they recognize that not only are
they needing time off, but their team is needing relief, that there's just not the
team there to support maximum volumes.
And so I think finding a way that works for your business, like we
have Carrie who does all daycare, so she's just Monday through Friday.
During the summer, they decided to close on Friday's.
So they're only doing working four days a week.
And then that way everybody has three days off.
If you do lodging, I know that's hard, but you may need to shorten hours on weekends.
Or like we say, reduce the volumes and maybe even look at doing different shifts.
This is where I would get together with your team and just have an
honest conversation that we know that everybody's running ragged.
So let's get creative in what would work best for you maybe working four,
10 hour days versus five, eight hour days would be preferred by your team.
And I think you've got to do something for self preservation.
And I will say talking about team, like we know we are feeling the
pressure because we're understaffed and you're trying to hire and get
some relief in that situation.
Just think about the staff that has stuck with you, especially those staff
members who stuck with you all last year.
If you have those people still.
They went through the stress of maybe getting furloughed, maybe getting
laid off, maybe having their hours reduced, or maybe they just kept working
through that whole stressful period.
And the whole stress of dealing with masks and clients wearing masks and having to
work their shifts in mask, which was a little harder and unusual for most of us.
And they stuck through all of that.
And now they're going through a lot of stress too, of feeling the pressure
from not having enough employees.
So it's not just important to take care of yourself, but take care of them.
So some of this, I love the idea that Susan just mentioned about getting your
team together and really talking about it and saying, okay, what can we do to
help all of us, because they need to make sure that you need to make sure
they know you've got their back too.
And you're not just going to work them to death, basically.
Because if you do, you're not taking care of your most valuable asset, which
is that team member and especially the team member that has stuck
with you through this whole thing.
You definitely want to make sure you're not just burning them out.
So I definitely think that you want to look at some of
the suggestions Susan said.
Can you close one day a week?
Can you close just certain hours?
Even if it means putting all the dogs in enclosures and just put your feet
up, eat something, take a break talk.
Somewhat, obviously you want to make sure that dogs are supervised.
So I wouldn't do that if all the dogs are out playing.
But when and that's what I did at my facility, just during normal times, we
have two hours every day where every single dog was in an enclosure, and that
was when we did some cleaning and we did lunches and that kind of thing, but it
does give you a huge mental break as well.
So doing something like that, can you reduce the hours maybe if you, maybe
there's certain hours that really not a lot gets done anyway, can you open
later or close earlier or whatever?
Even closing mid day for a couple of hours, even just so even if
you're not taking, walking clients, just getting a break from that.
But something, the other thing we've seen a lot of people do is put restrictions
on the number of dogs they'll take.
And now this is, this gets to be a little iffy because you have to know your pricing
to figure out if this will work for you.
But temporarily, even if you are going to lose a little money, It
may be beneficial rather than losing everything and getting yourself sick
and getting your team demoralized.
It may be worth saying.
Okay, can we just not take as many dogs for a certain period of time?
And so you reduce the number of dogs, if you hopefully increased prices
at some point during COVID, if you haven't, that was a really good time
to do that as well, increased pricing.
So you don't have to have as many dogs, but we know a lot of people that have
put up, they now have a wait list.
They are not taking new clients.
And they're just building that wait list for later when they have the staffing.
And meanwhile, they're taking care of their current clients.
Especially those ones, again, that have been loyal to you and
they're taking care of their staff by just reducing the numbers.
So taking care of yourself, taking care of your staff, and then
lastly taking care of the dogs.
You cannot continue to operate at a high volume, when you're understaffed.
What will happen is dogs will get hurt.
And so if you're not going to do it for yourself and you're not going
to do it for the staff, you better do it for the dogs because all of
those things though are important.
We really want you to do it for all of those reasons.
But the flat out reality is when your staff is not well-trained.
So even as you start hiring staff, you want to make sure they're trained before
you throw them into a ton of dogs.
When your staff is not well-trained when they're tired, when they have
too many dogs and there are best practices for industry standards for
staffing, when you start to exceed those, the reason those best practices
exist is because when you exceed them, you get dogs injured or killed.
And so that's going to start happening as well.
And most of the people that we know that have restricted the number of
dogs, that's the reason they've done it.
They've said we just can't take in this many dogs because if we do dogs are going
to get hurt because we don't have enough staff for the number of dogs we have.
Now, Susan just got kicked off the broadcast.
Facebook does not want us to talk about this issue today.
So Lauren says it's a service business.
I have to work the hours that my clients need me or I wouldn't have clients.
This is a great point.
Also, Lauren, we were going to talk about, and that is really having
honest communication with your clients to let them know what's going on.
And yes, it's definitely a service business, but you also
have the responsibility of taking good care of those pets.
So being able to have that conversation with your clients and say, look these
are the hours I need to work, or these are the hours I need to adjust to.
And I just said, Susan, now, Susan just got kicked off.
So I don't know what's going on in the world today.
Anyway, I was asking, I was answering Lauren's question about, she said
it's a service business and I have to work the hours my clients need me.
So yeah, I think to some extent that's true, but we have also seen huge
support from most of our facilities that have gone to their clients and said,
look this is what we're experiencing, this is why we need to adjust things.
This is what we're doing to make sure that your dogs are safe.
And 90% of the time, the feedback we're getting is the clients totally understand.
So I would leave that conversation.
The business that closed on Fridays.
Work with the clients who usually came on Friday, but they
had that honest conversation.
And the thing is your clients want you to be there long-term and they want
you to have quality staff members.
And this is not sustainable.
If you don't take care of yourself and your help, your team take care
of themselves, they;re going to leave, and then you won't be able
to take care of any of the clients.
So I think that it's challenging to do this, but again, working with your
clients, giving them notice and making it a win-win the 90% are going to
support you because they want you there long-term and probably they can relate.
This is a societal stress induced period.
That's people are just frustrated.
And I think, we've seen it, not just in the pet industry.
You can go to restaurants right now and you'll see signs on the door that
say be nice to our current staff, at least get up today kind of thing.
And we've waited, we've gone out to a couple restaurants that we
always used to go to all the time pre COVID and we love those restaurants.
And there's a little bit of frustration because it's we
never used to wait this long.
But then we have to remind ourselves at least these people, like we look
around and we're like, this place is packed and they definitely don't have the
same staff they used to have pre COVID.
We just understand that.
And we just say we're just like, we'll just get another drink from
the bar and hang out and wait to eat.
Like we just make the best of it.
But I think having those conversations, because in one of those restaurants, we
were sitting there and I guess it was the supervisor or the manager came around to
all the tables and was just like checking in and thanking us for being patient.
And a little bit of that goes a long way.
And I don't think anyone is going to be surprised by the fact that
you say you're understaffed and you're trying to hire, and you're
trying to get things back to normal.
Now that being said, those clients who have been with you, that's the other
reason for not taking new clients at the moment, taking that wait list,
because you do want to take care of those clients that have been with
you for, for years and especially the ones that supported you through COVID
when you might've had to shut down.
We know so many situations where clients kept paying, even though
they weren't bringing their dogs.
You definitely want to help those clients.
But I think there's a way to do it that still preserves your sanity
and keeps you healthy and keeps your staff safe and the dog safe as well.
So I think, yeah, another idea is maybe you don't close one day a week, but maybe
rather than having three people in for the start of the day shift, you only
have one or two so that the other person gets a little extra time in the morning.
And some of the dogs when they arrive stay in enclosures and not everybody
goes to a playgroup right away.
Maybe the playgroup starts a little later and maybe the
playgroups end a little early.
So you're still able to take care of the client on hours that they need, but
the day just looks a little different so that you're giving staff members a break.
And you're changing your scheduling hours up a little bit in the operations, so
that client wins, dogs are taken care of, that your team's also taken care of.
Honestly, Susan and I thought all of this would be fixed by Labor Day.
We no longer think that, but back when COVID started and nobody
knew that it was going to last, as long as it was going to obviously.
As it progressed and the vaccine started to roll out Susan and
I started saying, this is going to we are going to be swamped.
It's the flood gates are going to open.
And that's exactly what happened.
We did not anticipate the staffing issues.
And then when we saw the staffing issues, we thought that'll
all get fixed by Labor Day.
I don't think it's going to be fixed by Labor Day.
And that's the thing is I think this is going to go on for longer.
And I personally think that it's going to change the way that the pet
care it will really all it service industries hire and pay, their
staff, and work with their teams.
And I think it's going to affect a lot of that.
Long-term I think it's a fundamental shift in what we're doing with our teams.
An HR recruiter that I follow had an article this week in a newsletter
she sent out and she pointed out that the number one priority for people
looking for jobs is flexibility.
They want flexibility on whether they work from home or an office,
but that doesn't apply to service business because most of the roles
and services you have to be there.
But then they want flexibility in their shifts or how many days they work.
And, Robin we've talked about on other Facebook lives about staffing.
I think our industry is going to have to change the mindset
that you work every weekend.
You work every holiday.
And that has to be a full-time eight hour shift.
A lot of our members are working with shorter shifts and more part-time
schedules because people just mentally, they know they can't handle
a 40 hour work shift, but maybe they would be willing to do 24 or 32.
That could help you if you have a couple people that were willing to do that.
So you've got start being flexible if you aren't already and promoting
that in your career pages and job ads.
And I would definitely get the current team you have together
and brainstorm ideas with them.
Cause they're, they know people that theoretically they could invite to
come and work with your business.
But they may also know reasons that those people might not want to come.
And so I would talk to them because they're probably, they probably have
some ideas for how, not just how you can change things temporarily right now to
save everyone's sanity, but also what you might want to change in terms of bringing
in other employees and into the future.
Because I do think we're going to have reset at a new, normal over time.
And all of the things you're doing right now, changing your schedule to get more,
a little bit more downtime, or to be able to take a few hours off, I would recommend
a day off at least for the business owner.
And I would just put that on your calendar.
But you also need to train your teams to know how to handle the
most common occurrences that come up and take care of them themselves.
So you want to start grooming your team for that so they, so that
you're not always having to be there because they rely so much on you.
So even, but even just going, getting out of there the best way to do that,
get out of there for a few hours.
And most of the time your team will step up and do a great job.
Diane said that we closed noon to two every day, just so we can get caught up.
And that's exactly what my schedule was at.
my Facility was I was closed from 12 to two every day as well.
So even if you're just doing something like that, if that's not normal, or maybe
you add another two hour block, if you're already closing for two hours, okay.
You just want to figure out what will it take to get your staff some downtime,
and then looking at yourself, what can you do to literally get out of
the office and take care of yourself.
So I went for a walk today.
It's like total side note.
Usually I walk in the afternoon with my dog, but it's going to be hot today.
So I walked this morning and I got like halfway half a block away.
And I was like, I want my phone.
And then I spent like the next three minutes completely freaking
out because I didn't have my phone.
And I was like, you know what?
This is awesome.
I don't want my phone.
Nobody can get ahold of me.
And normally I listen to podcasts or stuff while I'm walking, but I was
like, it's probably a lot healthier for me cause it was about an hour
long, about an hour and 15 minute walk.
But which isn't that long, but this that's the mentality.
How many of you are like fine with not having your phone
for an hour and 15 minutes?
I literally had a three-minute freak out about it to where I was debating.
Should I walk back and go get it?
Or that I'm going to not have enough time because I have to be on this other thing.
And then I'm going to, I was like this whole internal argument.
But I got to tell you, I really liked that walk cause yeah, exactly.
Maybe once a week, you need to walk without your phone.
Just do it all the time walk without your phone.
But that's, I'm saying like disconnect, get away from your office, do something
where people just can't get ahold of you.
Yeah, I think getting out and being outside in nature where you're not
doing it as part of your business, maybe you are going for walks with
your own dogs or just going for a walk yourself is really important.
I knew yesterday when the move was coming back in the house
is a really stressful day.
One of my vagabond locations was my friend, Jess, who had a pool and I
just floated in the water for an hour.
And let me tell you that just that's awesome.
It just calmed me.
And just, it was what I needed at that time.
And so you have to know yourself and what you need.
If I didn't have my daily meditation time, I don't think I would have
made it through this time period.
So it's really, even your self-care can be little things like that,
that you carve out for yourself.
And you honor to just give yourself that time for release and reset.
And I will say the other thing that generally happens is number one,
just telling yourself there is a boatload of work to be done right now.
And I know, especially if you're understaffed, there's even more
work than usual because you have all your normal business owner stuff,
and now you have whatever work that you might have to fill in for,
because you don't have enough staff.
So there's a lot of work, but first of all, the safety of the dogs is number
one, every single thing else, it's going to be there when you get back to it.
And so really trying to figure out the main priority.
So pick the one or two things outside of keeping the dogs safe because obviously
that's the priority when you're in pet care is keeping the animals safe.
But other than that, I think of the one to two things a day that you really need
to do and everything else, just let it go.
Like just don't worry about it.
At some point those other things are going to hit the, I have to do it today.
But don't try to kill yourself getting as much done.
Like I will say for me, because I am super goal-driven and I like
to check things off of lists.
Cause that's just how I am.
I like to make a list of a lot of things, because then I get
to check off a lot of things.
But that, really that's not all that healthy because sometimes I
find myself going, I'll just work one more hour because then I can
check these other four things off.
So many years ago I shifted to having fewer things on my list.
Cause I'm just telling you, I couldn't, if there were things to
check off, I would just keep working.
And I literally, it was like, it's stupid, but that's just how my brain works.
I literally just had to stop putting things on my list.
I'd be like, that's gotta be on tomorrow's list because look at all the
things I already have on today's list.
And we are notorious mostly bad at judging how much time anything's going to take.
So if that's something that you do, like just figure out the two, one or two things
you have to do everything else can wait right now, everything else can wait.
Just make sure the dogs are being taken good care of.
And I really would say most of my best ideas in terms of figuring
out a way out of something.
So when you're stuck, and this is not just during this period of time.
This is like just what I've learned about my own thought processes.
And I think this is pretty common.
When you're trying to figure out what can I do or what's a new way to do something,
or I'm trying to brainstorm ideas.
The best ideas come when you're not doing anything.
So when you're feeling all the time, either after the shower, you're getting
notorious in the shower or, and I would be driving back from the gym in the mornings.
So I'd call Susan and be like, I just got out of the shower and she's oh,
she's going to have some idea now.
Cause that's all right, because it'sa lot of times when I go for walks.
That I'll just be thinking like I'm not really thinking about
anything and all of a sudden, like the greatest idea pops in my head.
So that's the other reason to give yourself that downtime.
One, it's going to make you healthier, but two, you're going to probably
find a way out of some of this through the, that time when you're not staying
constantly busy and constantly in motion.
So Kim said downtime to me is watching your old videos, last weekend I
rewatched your enrichment video.
That's a great thing.
I didn't know you could watch a video while you're doing a root canal.
That's even better.
I'm going to do that next time.
I have to go to the dentist and be like, can I watch some things on my iPad?
And Katie said, my list is so big.
Things are dropping off the bottom of it.
You're a lot like me like in that sense.
I literally had to stop.
I'd literally have for a while.
I literally would start writing times next to everything on my list.
So this like the very first time I did this, I was like, I'm gonna
get all this stuff done today.
And then I like spent like 15 minutes and I wrote the amount
of time it was gonna take me.
It was like 14 hours.
And I was like that's just ridiculous.
But I just had to see it.
And really, it was more than 14 hours.
Cause I was underestimating most of those times anyway, is what I've learned.
But until I did that, to me every morning, I would be like,
I'm going to get all this done.
And I was just basically setting myself up for failure every day.
Or working myself to the bone, which wasn't healthy either.
So if you're doing that, definitely try to figure out a new system.
And I think the other thing that I've had to do for myself during my short period
of rest is I just like M and M's after launches was the thing that gave me joy.
And so I know I shouldn't be eating M and M's every day, but it was I need to
give myself a little grace because this is helping me get through this period.
Then, you know what, there's worse things than eating M and M's every day.
So I think that's great.
We've got to not be hard on yourself for whatever kind of thing
is helping you get through now.
You have to have other things in your life that keep you healthy
and not get rid of everything.
But I do think just giving yourself permission for a while to maybe
not be on a normal eating plan or exercise plan, as long as you
haven't totally given everything up.
You'll get back to it.
You'll find that new normal.
Yeah, and I would, I guess our real big, the biggest thing is
really just give yourself a break.
I was saying a few months ago, I was like, this is a marathon, not a sprint.
Now I'm like, this is a triathlon.
It's no longer a marathon.
It's like something bigger than a marathon.
But if you're still in that sprint mentality, you're like
just running on the hamster wheel, just stop, you have to stop.
And it means that some of your business is probably gonna fall off.
And because maybe you're going to put restrictions on, but keep in touch with
those clients, but for the safety of the dogs and your team and yourself,
you have to start putting boundaries in place to make sure that you're
keeping your business as a whole alive.
That's really, this is really about longterm.
Can you survive this longterm?
And I think we're in for several more months of this.
I'm hopeful that as school starts getting back, most places are starting
to go back to school, that there'll be a little bit of a breather where people are
like, okay, maybe I can find staff now.
And we're not as busy in lodging, probably daycare still going to pick up
or maybe get busier because of school.
But then before we know it, the holidays are gonna be here.
So you're going to get back into heavy lodging for the holiday.
So I don't think things are going to change that much between
now and the end of the year.
So you definitely want to plan for it.
And you definitely want the staff around for the holidays when your business is
going to start picking back up again.
So we definitely just help you to get, just basically give you permission
to say don't take all those dogs.
Make sure you're taking care of yourself.
And we mentioned earlier that we had clients or know people that businesses
that have stopped taking new clients and putting them on a wait list.
And I do think that's an easy way to manage the number of dogs.
Just make sure you've got a waitlist process and that you
communicate with them and keep them updated as to what's going on.
But that way you're rewarding and taking really great care of the dogs and clients
that have been with you for a long time.
And you still have a way to reach out when you have more capacity.
So I think that's a good start.
If you haven't been able to do anything and it can just be
temporary but it's worth it.
You don't want to lose this core team.
And unfortunately, if you don't check in with them, you may lose them.
And I think the hardest part of all of this really is, and I just want to
acknowledge it, is mentality that we in the pet industry, we love obviously the
pets and the hardest thing to get over is the feeling that well, if I don't
take that dog, what are they going to do?
And I realized that, a horrible thing to consider, and that we all want to
help as many dogs as possible, but like Susan said, longterm, your longevity
in this is going to allow you to serve the most dogs the best way possible.
Not cramming as many dogs right now, as you can into an understaffed
facility where you're overworked yourself and overworking your team.
And cause that's just a recipe for disaster for a whole bunch
of reasons that we talked about.
So I know there is a little bit of that, but they have to have it or they're
going to be, where are they going to go?
Or, but you really have to put your team and yourself and the health of
those entities, as well as the safety of all the dogs that you're taking
care of that has to come first.
I just thought of something else that you could do is simplifying.
We talk about simplifying and maybe you reduce your menu of options or
even, some of the services that aren't as popular, just stop doing them.
Focus on where you get the most bang for your buck, the most popular, and
simplify so people don't feel like they're stretched so many different directions.
I love that idea.
That's an awesome idea.
Especially if you have a lot of different activities going on throughout the day
or a lot of different options for the client, maybe you just reduce them.
Again it could be temporarily, it could be temporary.
It could end up being permanent.
You could find that, oh, they didn't need those other two things anyway.
But it is anything you can do and again, your team is probably going to have
some really good ideas of what would make their life easier because if you're
stressed out, I'm sure they are too.
And they're feeling your stress as well.
And the dogs are feeling everybody's stressed, which is what makes
it more challenging and why you may have more incidents.
So hopefully this has helped to give you a little bit of a few ideas of how
you can get back on track and hopefully continue to be motivated for your team.
And not have injuries because that's the biggest thing we don't want to see.