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What Is One Thing About Owning Your Small Business You Wish Your Customers Knew?

Members of the PETS+ Facebook Community answered this question in honor of the upcoming Small Business Saturday.





What is one thing about owning your small business that you wish your customers knew? — Pamela Mitchell, PETS+ Editor-in-Chief

  • I am not rich. (Money wise, anyway.) — Matthew O’Leary, Felix & Oscar, Springfield, VA
  • That I love their pets as much as they do. I’m just grateful that after 16 years of ups and downs that my customers still trust my stores to supply them with everything they need for their pets. Even though I’m not in my stores every day, I get numerous texts, FaceTime calls, and sometimes even “are you close to (insert store location) or can you get here quickly because you need to meet this dog” calls. My crew makes sure I get to see the dogs I haven’t met even if I’m not there. Yesterday we had a new Bulldog come in named “Big Needy.” That made my day. — Nancy Guinn, Dog Krazy, Fredericksburg, VA
  • We don’t know what chew or treat “your dog” will like. — George Beebe, Pawki’s for Pets, Eastsound, WA
  • Or which of the 17 different cans of cat food you purchased and fed a week ago Tuesday he or she really liked the best. — Laura Backus, Purrrfect Bark, Columbus, NC
  • That profits are not what the public thinks they are: Many things need to be factored in such as rent/mortgage, utilities, cost of supplies (cleaning and otherwise), shopping bags and so much more. I LOVE my small business, but certainly haven’t become “rich” by it! — Denise Strong, Pawz on Main, Cottonwood, AZ
  • Not every product is sold at the same price at cost, which is why my prices aren’t the same as those on Chewy or in big-box stores. I know you can get it less expensive elsewhere. I’m not bitter when Chewy screws up your order and you need food for your dog, but you will get it at the price it takes to keep my business operating. — Becci Scott, Fetching Dog, Scottsdale, AZ
  • When a customer comes in and our sales staff spends 20 to 30 minutes trying to help them decipher which food is the best fit for their pet and then they leave to order their next bag from Chewy or Amazon. They might pay a little bit more with us, but they are paying for our expertise, training and advice. Try telling a sales clerk at Walmart about the dog’s allergy problems and what his poop looks like! — Debbie Lange, Benson’s Canine Cookies, Lakeland, FL
  • We try our best to respond to all inquiries, questions and comments.Unfortunately some may fall through the cracks because they’re coming from Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, emails, blog posts, phone calls and in store! That might be manageable, but then you add on questions, emails, phone calls, DMs and cold calls from brands, vendors, distributors, sales people, advertisers and fundraisers. Plus you have a team, friends, family and business associates. It’s a lot coming at you all at once, so we do our best to respond in a timely manner but definitely appreciate your patience if we don’t respond immediately. — Carly Patryluk, House of Paws Pet Boutique, Regina, SK

EDITOR’S NOTE: Want to ask a question of the PETS+ community? Or share your expertise? Join the PETS+ community on Facebook.



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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