Advice for Budding Entrepreneurs WhoAre Also Becoming Dog Parents

By Cindy Aldridge

Image via Unsplash

If you’re starting a business and welcoming a new dog, it might feel like you need to be a superhero to get everything accomplished. Forget the cape and follow these five tips.

Start With a Plan

Starting a successful business requires a solid plan. A formal plan outlines your objectives and how you’ll reach them. It involves thinking through your budget, marketing strategies and identifying your target audience. By developing solid strategies right from the start, you’ll not only create a roadmap for your business, your plan can come in handy if you need to secure funding or apply for a grant.

Bringing home a dog requires planning, too. You want to make sure you can devote ample time and attention to Fido while he’s settling in. Per the Animal Rescue League of Boston, you should introduce your dog to the household gradually, and plan on no visitors the first several days. 

Have a Safety Net

Dogs thrive in a home environment. When times come up that you need to step out, make sure you have a trustworthy boarding option to turn to with an atmosphere that will help your dog thrive. Perhaps more importantly, have an option in mind before you need one! Whether you’re going on vacation or just in need of a short respite, you’ll rest easy knowing your dog is in good hands. 

Many pet owners also find pet insurance a worthwhile safety net. Vet visits can add up quickly, especially as your pet ages. Chewy recommends examining policies carefully, checking things like age restrictions, pre-existing conditions and breed exclusions. 

There are also important ways to safeguard your business. If you conduct business over the web, make sure you’re following data security protocols like password protection and encryption. 

You also might want to consider an LLC when establishing your business structure. An LLC protects assets like your home if your business gets in trouble, plus it offers tax perks. Since all states have different rules on how to form an LLC, check your state’s regulations. To save time, consider using a formation service or hiring an attorney.

Create a Pet Space

Just because you work from home doesn’t mean your dog should be at your side constantly. When you need a distraction-free-zone make sure your pooch has a dog-safe zone. Dogs spend about 50% of their day sleeping, so your first step should be to offer a soft bed for resting.

Don’t worry about clearing out an entire room. Dogs prefer small spaces. If you have a nook or corner to block off with a baby gate, this is fine. Make sure there are no trash cans or food items within the dog’s reach, but always allow access to clean water. Dogs tend to act up when bored, so include puzzle toys and other positive options to keep your dog occupied.

Outline a Routine

You and your pet can both benefit from maintaining a routine. Even when you run your business from home, a steady routine results in reduced stress levels and productivity. Dogs also thrive in an orderly environment and find comfort in routine. Figure out when a good feeding schedule is for your pup and plan to take him outside a few times a day. And of course, exercise is healthy for the two of you, so try to go for a good, long walk on your break or at the end of the day.

Explore New Technology

Pretty much everyone has a smartphone nowadays. This techy tool can help you schedule your workday and plan out your dog’s day. There are a variety of apps that can help you with everything from training your dog to remembering your dog’s appointments and helping you connect with other dog lovers.

Building a business and becoming a pet parent are both significant undertakings, but also worthy ones. With the right plan, a space for your pooch and a steady routine, there is no reason you can’t welcome a new addition to your family and start a business at the same time. 

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