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Does Your Pet Business Have Too Many Employees?

It could. Instead, focus on quality over quantity for success.




IN MY 13 YEARS of owning a pet store and a doggie day care, and most recently having inherited my family’s 50-plus-year-old boarding facility, I’ve appreciated the many opportunities to be challenged — because as you well know, owning a small business isn’t for the faint of heart. I’ve learned much already, and I expect to learn much more. There are several myths I believed in my early days that I now realize kept me from allowing my business to grow and flourish. Here’s one:

Myth: A Big Team Is Better

There’s an assumption that you need a big staff to achieve big results, but that’s not always the case. A few key employees can make a world’s worth of difference in how your business runs, as can the control you give them.

I’ve learned that too large a team can actually cause good employees to take on too much, while the others let these go-getters do the bulk of the work. Don’t let your good people burn out because they’re picking up slack. A simple daily checklist has helped keep everyone on my team accountable, and I’ve found that staff are pretty diplomatic when it comes to handing out daily duties.

I’ve also become better at delegating tasks and projects. My store was my first child before my human son came along, so I’ve always been very protective of it. I now know that I’m not the only one who can implement and even improve my ideas. Once I understood this, I realized I already had individuals on staff who could take on some of the daily operations and special events.


I actually created new positions for these employees, and by doing so, the store is healthier and their morale is through the roof! Of course, I’m still the person who writes the schedule, handles all the orders and pays the bills, but my two newly appointed Team Leaders have taken on new-employee training, handling daily operations, and keeping me informed when I’m not at the store. They don’t usually work the same shift, so they communicate with one another and me via text messages or Messenger. The staff knows they can come to me with literally anything, but they now know that the Team Leaders are their immediate go-tos.

When you find those employees that feel the same way about your business, your philosophy and your customers, find a way to incorporate them into daily operational management. They will take even more pride in what they do, and it will take a bit of stress off of you.

I’ve had plenty of people over the years say I need to hire more employees, but it wasn’t until I found the right help that I saw the true benefit of having not more, but better.



P.L.A.Y. Media Spotlight

At P.L.A.Y. — Pet Lifestyle & You — toy design is definitely a team effort! Watch PETS+ interviewer Chloe DiVita and P.L.A.Y.’s Director of Sales Lisa Hisamune as they talk about the toy design process, the fine-tuning that makes each toy so special and why every P.L.A.Y. collection is made with independent retailers top of mind.

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