Achieving success in 2016

The pet industry continues to grow and achieve new heights each year and 2015 was not any different! This past year was truly a defining year that saw companies like Petco being acquired for billions when its competitor did so the year prior. Similarly, many new and innovative pet companies ranging from pet tech to various pet products made this year their break through moment. With all this momentum, one can only assume that 2016 could and should be that much better for the pet industry and companies looking to come to the market.

So, as we look to 2016, a few important topics come to mind to ensure that your business is achieving the necessary growth it seeks to become successful.

FOCUS ON WHAT MATTERS

If you are thinking about starting your own business whether it be the next best automated pet feeder, wearable or healthy and organic treat — know who your audience is! Far too many business owners fall into the trap of not taking the time to understand their target audience and who they are selling to. Contrary to popular belief, not all pet owners are created equal. By that I mean, that some pet owners cannot afford a $200 pet feeder nonetheless an activity tracker for $99. At the same time, selling a “premium” pet treat does not mean that all pet owners are willing to pay premium prices when they can get the same for less.

By understanding your audience, you are taking the biggest step to selling your product effectively and into the right demographics. Defining your target audience early means that you care about your customers enough to provide them with not only a quality product but better customer service. So, before you think about launching, do some market research and get feedback early and often!

DO WHAT IT TAKES

News flash! Throwing hundreds if not thousands of dollars at a marketing campaign will not yield the results you are looking for! In fact, the exact opposite will happen and you will be left with a slurry of initial customers and no repeat business to show for it.

Building a business is difficult especially if it’s only you or you and a partner in the first few months. Managing your cash flow is critical in your first few months so instead of burning valuable cash on expensive social media ads, pick up the phone start selling! Every business owner starting up gets too caught up in the logistics and planning that they forget that sales is what will drive the businesses’ initial growth. If you don’t know how to sell, learn! If you know how to sell but aren’t getting results, do something different! Not every entrepreneur is coded to sell but if you want any chance of success in selling your products or service, now is the time to put your fears aside and make it happen!

YOU CONTROL YOUR DESTINY!

Stop waiting for people to tell you what to do or what direction to take to make your business a success! Since starting my first company, the one thing I always kept in the back of my mind was, “Fail Fast.” Making mistakes is inevitable in any early stage business, but how you respond to those mistakes can make or break your company. Learn to adapt and take everything with a grain of salt. Every NO puts you closer to a YES and every YES should leave you UNSATISFIED. There is no special formula for success but there is also no replacement for passion and the will to succeed.

So in 2016, challenge the status quo and focus on what you CAN control. Building a business is no easy feat but you knew that going into it. You won’t see immediate success because Unicorns are still fabled creatures. If you are willing to take the entrepreneurial challenge than I suggest you buckle up, take the hits and get back up and EARN it.

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