As a small business owner, you tend to be the jack-of-all-trades, especially in the start-up phase. You are working with the customers, caring for their beloved pets, all while managing the business’s back-end operations. Though probably not the favorite part of your pet care business, accounting and bookkeeping are necessary tasks to ensure your business survives.
If you are in the early stages of building a business, you may be managing your books entirely through simple spreadsheets, such as Excel, and keeping a folder of expense receipts for your taxes. This is a good start, but this approach won’t scale as you (hopefully) grow. It also doesn’t provide you with the security and auditing controls that are necessary for protecting your financial records.
To take the next step for building an effective financial infrastructure for a successful pet care business involves three key elements:
Whether your business provides pet spa services, supplies doggy daycare, or overnight boarding, you’ve established “best practices” for delivering those services to your clients. This ensures those clients receive consistently good services, safely. Just as you have set work patterns for the customer-facing work, you also need appropriate and repeatable back-end business processes that leverage established financial best practices. In particular, these internal controls are the process and procedures that document and enforce:
Moving your recordkeeping from spreadsheets to appropriate accounting software can make a huge difference in your business. It can help to:
There are a variety of accounting software options to choose from, but you’ll want to consider what else you need to accomplish. Suppose you are also looking to move your scheduling, booking or product-selling capabilities to a more robust system. In that case, you’ll find that many have the capability to do some basic invoicing and integrate with one of the more established small business accounting softwares. You’ll want to consider what type of businesses the software focuses on and compatibility with the accounting software of your choice. Options include:
Quickbooks is the most popular option for accounting software for small businesses. It integrates with most banking and credit card systems, as well as apps such as PayPal, Square, and Shopify, which many businesses use for accepting payments. It’s intuitive and established. It will be something your accountant or bookkeeper will be comfortable guiding you through.
Though we are listing this third, one of the primary things you need to do to create a successful financial infrastructure is to partner with ethical and experienced financial advisors. In particular, your Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and your financial lender. As you look to establish your internal controls, create/update your financial technology systems and make decisions about how to move your pet care business forward effectively, these people’s expertise and experience can provide information that is invaluable to your success.
Building a set of advisors, technologies, and processes for your pet care business can be daunting, especially if you are new to the industry and/or this is your first time as the owner. What if you could work with a team who has “been there and done that” helping other pet care businesses drive success? There are consulting firms that specialize in the pet care industry, working with prospective and current business owners to establish industry best practices for people, processes, and systems that contribute to the bottom line. Outstanding Pet Care is just such a resource. Laura Laaman and her team understand exactly what it means to be in your shoes and have helped many other pet care business owners implement comprehensive approaches that result in revenue. Their focus on clients delivering quality care to their customers, while achieving strong financial results for their business is one of the reasons First Financial Bank has chosen to partner with Outstanding Pet Care. We want you to be a success.