I have a love-hate relationship with spring cleaning. It can be hard work…but oh so satisfying. After cleaning, my home — and mind — are less muddled and messy. Everyday tasks are easier and quicker: my day just goes more smoothly when I can find both my socks!
The same can be said for spring cleaning your dog training business. Yes, it’s a chore. But the results are worth it. Read on to find out how to spruce up your business so it can run efficiently and effectively with less effort on your part.
Start by assessing your calendar. Can you make it more efficient? If your time is being wasted jumping from one thing to another, or doing tasks that are unnecessary, you’re going to feel frazzled and burnt out very quickly. Try the following steps to run a more efficient dog training business:
Nix unnecessary meetings
Do you really need that meeting every week? Would every other week do? Or even monthly? You may be able to swap weekly meetings for email updates. Meetings are a huge drain on everyone’s time and many can be avoided with a change in your process.
Review your daily time management
If you find your day is a frenzied shuffle from one task to another, never quite having enough time to do anything thoroughly, the way you schedule your days might benefit from an overhaul.
Try batching similar tasks — such as making sales calls or report writing — in one or two scheduled sessions. Maybe you do all your sales calls on a Monday morning and Thursday afternoon. Or you write client reports on Friday afternoons when you have fewer in-person sessions.
You want to avoid jumping from one thing to another, constantly slotting admin tasks between clients and lessons. Working in this random way is inefficient — our brains work best when we don’t constantly swap tasks. “Batch processing” tasks allows us to focus solely on what we’re doing so we can do it better and faster.
Once you have a time management plan, schedule it into your calendar so you can fit everything else around those blocks.
Revitalize your email list
Email lists tend to get overlooked in the day-to-day tasks of running a business. Spring is great time to check if yours is up to date.
Are all your recent clients on your list? If not, add them now so they don’t miss out on your email marketing messages.
Is everyone on your list still an active subscriber — are they still engaging with your messages? Not sure? Do a re-engagement sequence to see who wants to stay in touch. Once you have an idea of who’s still active, you can give your list a thorough cleaning and remove all the inactive subscribers from it.
Spring is also a good time to send emails about new classes or sales promos. If you have empty slots in your calendar and need more income, try reaching out with a check-in email asking how things are going: do they have any new problems or issues they’d like help with? You can use email automations for this; it doesn’t have to be done individually.
Polish up your website
Websites also get overlooked in the noise of the weekly routine. Check yours now to ensure web visitors get the very best information. Areas to polish might be:
Are all your class and service pages up to date? Have you added or removed any services or products in the last year? Extended or reduced your service area? Changed your process? Little changes are easy to miss but they still need to be reflected in your website.
What about your personal details — years of experience, etc.? Maybe you’ve acquired a new certification? Or done something noteworthy that hasn’t made it to your website yet?
Do your photos need a spring cleaning as well? If they’re old or low quality, it’s a good idea to swap them out for better, more recent ones.
Have you mentioned your own dogs? Do the details need changing? Maybe you’ve lost or gained a furry family member in the last year? Or they’ve achieved something remarkable that reflects on your success as a trainer — or even just you as a person?
Refreshing details shows clients that you (and your business) are up to date and actively growing. Want some help with a website refresher? Contact us for a free consult!
(Re)master your marketing
On the topic of websites, why not review your marketing in general? Check your Google Analytics to see where you get most of your website visitors from — use that info to ditch what’s not worth the effort and double down on what works for you.
Can you integrate some new strategies if you get rid of the ones that are a waste of effort? Now is a good time to work those changes into your marketing plan.
Renew your referral connections
With winter over, people are coming out of hibernation. Spring is a great time to get in touch with your referral partners. Reach out to them before puppy season gets underway — and the better weather sees the seasonal upswing in dog behavior problems.
You want to make sure you’re top of mind when their clients are asking for your type of services!
Plan for the future
Once you’ve cleaned, polished, and mended your business processes, you’re in a strong position to think about how you want to move forward over the next year.
Maybe it’s time to consider outsourcing some tasks — such as hiring a freelancer to help with the creation of marketing material, or a VA to reduce the amount of admin work you do.
The goal is to reduce or remove tasks that take a lot of your time, and can be done by someone else, so you can concentrate on doing what you do (and love!) best.
Regular spring cleaning — removing outdated information, streamlining processes, and refocusing your goals — can help you build a sustainable business serving more dogs and their people. Does that make spring cleaning worth the effort? Absolutely!