BOOM that’s 2022 over and done with! By Bill Betts, Director/Owner of Pet Passion to Profit.

I am sure many of you will be breathing a sigh of relief because let’s face it, 2022 has not been overly kind to us. It started ok but then went significantly downhill due to international events that are out of our control.

I feel the word of the year has been “crisis” but no matter what has been thrown at us as business owners we have had to crack on and make it work.

Although we have been battered by the word “crisis”, the key to dealing with this is remembering that the issues are too big for us to affect and that we need to ensure that we are protecting our businesses because, maybe 2023, will show us things WILL get better.

However, whilst waiting for the tide to turn, we need to ensure we are doing everything we can to keep our businesses strong in 2023. The devil is in the detail. We cannot go into 2023 not knowing what our business is earning or spending. This will just fuel the fear that the media are expertly installing into people.

Knowing your numbers in your personal life and business will help you to make better decisions. You will understand better how your prices reflect your costs. If your personal spend goes up due to bills increasing, you will be in a position to know if you can take more out of your business or if you need to increase your prices or add more appointments to your schedule. Don’t shy away from money, make it your friend.

Now you may have read the last paragraph and said to yourself, or shouted out, that you can’t add more appointments to your schedule. The messenger app has fallen silent, and the phone isn’t ringing much either. Believe me, you are not the only one that is experiencing this.

If you have started your business in the last five or so years then you may not have had to do much advertising to fill your diary. Especially coming out of lockdown, our services were in great demand and they still might be. However, when you look at the questions and comments in the Facebook groups, over the past three months or so there has been a general feel of less bookings.

We have lessons to learn from this. We have had it easy over the past couple of years and now 2022 has jumped up and bopped us on the noses. We have to face it, we are going to have to work harder as business owners to ensure our diaries fill up in 2023. I want you to look at what advertising you have done over 2022 and think about how you will change this.

Yes yes yes, I can hear you… Hundreds of people shouting out that they don’t advertise as word of mouth works best, or they have no need to advertise as they have closed their books and already have 2023 booked up. We will discuss this shortly.

There are groomers out there that do need to advertise and I would encourage you to advertise your services. Platforms like Facebook, Google, Instagram and websites actually help word of mouth too, because it gives people a place to send their friends.

Now, let’s quickly address the closed book issue. Inflation is at 11%ish and so, if you have all your appointments for 2023 booked in already, you need to hike your prices up to help you with inflation. If you don’t, then you stand to make less money in 2023 than you did in 2022. Please think about this when booking that diary up.

So, what will you change for 2023? Let’s make sure we are putting interesting and engaging content out there for your clients to consume. Short video is taking over the social media world, and you need to be on top of that. With smartphones there are no excuses not to be taking video as part of your social media.

TikTok is not just for youngsters and only the other day I saw TikTok advertising their search function on TV. Looks to me like they want to compete with Google when people are searching for products and services!

Last thought from me. How will you diversify your business to bring in new clients? Consider cat grooming, teeth cleaning, and puppy university. These services are great for bringing new clients into your business along with new revenue streams.

Let’s keep our heads up in 2023 and work together to ensure we stay strong. If you haven’t already, make sure you join the Facebook group Dog Grooming Business Help & Support or head over to my podcast.