Business Principlesby Guy Kantak on April 5, 2016
Over the years I've been privileged to help many dogs and owners live better lives together. Currently, most of my clients come from referrals, or are return customers. I appreciate those who have had me to their home, and those who have recommended me to family, friends and co-workers. Today, I thought I'd share some of my business principles. These serve as the foundation for my service offerings.
First, the concept of "value" has always been a top priority to me. To that end, I have always provided "pay as you go" options for clients. Why? Because many pet owners calling a trainer for help don't need months of work with their dog. Often, some professional guidance and insight can get a dog and family quickly on track. No reason an owner should have to commit to a $1K package, if all they need is 2 hours of a trainer's time. And regardless of the amount of help needed, my visits are longer than most trainer's sessions. That reduces my costs, keeps pricing competitive, and allows more to be accomplished at each session.
Second, I understand the importance of working with a dog AND its owner as a team. I am a dog trainer, but I also spend a lot of time teaching owners how to help their own dog(s). Because of this important focus on owner instruction, I find most owners are doing very well after 2-3 visits. In my first years of business that concerned me, as most trainers see clients a great deal more. But based on feedback, reviews, and word of mouth referrals, I've come to find my "team" teaching is appreciated by owners, and essential for best results with any dog.
Third, I recently retired from being a firefighter with more than 33 years of service . Having over 3 decades of professional service experience has helped tremendously in my training business. I return calls promptly, respond to emails in a timely fashion, and speak clearly and concisely while instructing. I leave handouts for clients, write up clear homework, provide educational resources through my website, and am happy to answer any questions that may come up between visits. Professionalism is something I take very seriously, and is at the core of exemplary customer service.
Finally, I am the only employee of my business. In other words, when you call about my services, or to schedule an appointment, you will speak to me. I will be who comes to your home, who provides all follow-ups, and the one who answers any questions after visits. One telephone number, one email, one trainer - very simple for owners!
With a clear focus on these business principles, my service offerings have remained consistent and focused since inception of my business. I don't try new marketing ventures every 6 months. I don't devise specials to draw new clients, which are unfair to past and present clients. I have always focused on providing quality services at fair prices, addressing owner priorities at every visit, and simply helping each owner to live a better life with their dog. With that, I am grateful for those past clients who recommend me to others every year.