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From Software to Help You Run Your Service Business to the Perfect Car Wrap

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What makes a good car wrap?

An undeniable focus on the brand, says Dan Antonelli, president of Graphic D Signs and author of Logo Design for Small Business. He notes that few other advertising forms give the viewer such a short time to see the message. “If you can’t take everything away from the wrap going 40 mph, it’s useless.” Antonelli says a good wrap needs: strong brand implementation, (sometimes) tagline, a web address and (maybe) a phone number. “For small businesses trying to make an impact in their community, the message is always about the brand,” he says. “Bullet lists have no place on a vehicle. This isn’t the Yellow Pages.” For a similar reason, Antonelli discourages the use of photos and making modifications to the vehicle. “When we see something with impact — something that we can actually read and remember — it can’t help but stand out among the visual clutter.” Anything else is a distraction.

My partner and I are taking three of our staff to Vegas to check out SuperZoo. We are paying for their travel, rooms and all meals. Should we pay them for half or full days? They will miss three days of work for the trip.

It’s Vegas, one of the country’s top vacation spots … but it’s still their time, and — as pleasant as it might be — it’s still work. Not only are you breaking the law (see the Fair Labor Standards Act; it generally requires you to pay for time spent on training, travel and nearly any business-related activity), but by not paying them a full day’s wage for a full day’s work, you’re likely to torpedo morale. Instead of looking to cut costs, think of going the other way. Pay for their tickets, lodgings and food, give them a per diem for taxis and coffee, and take them out for one extra-nice meal. That will give you a happy team when you get back to the store.

I got into grooming because I love dogs and making them look their best, not because I like scheduling, managing finances and marketing. I feel like that’s all I do now. Help!

The right business software could help. We’ve recently heard about Amidship (amidship.com). For 8 bucks a month — or $25 if you have multiple staff — you get a website with customizable templates specifically for pet service providers, the ability to book appointments, reminders that can be sent to clients and to staff, as well as payment records, receipts and online payment. Pretty slick if you’re just starting out … or just starting to get organized.

Is the customer always right?

From a business viewpoint, we think it’s a good idea to take the view that every customer service problem starts with you (“take extreme ownership,” as former Navy seal trainer and business book author Jocko Willink puts it). But in reality, “the customer is always right” adage is poppycock. A more helpful saying is that the market is always right. When it decides you must change your pricing or business model or whatever, then obey. Or perish.

Since launching in 2017, PETS+ has won 16 major international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact PETS+'s editors at editor@petsplusmag.com.

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