Building A Pet Business…like climbing a mountain!

Building a Pet Business – Sometimes it’s like climbing a mountain.

In my consulting business, GPS For Pet Businesses, I have likened building a pet business to a road trip. You set a destination (your goal), plan a route, gather your resources…then you’re off. Delays and roadblocks occur – some expected, some not. You find the way – through or around – and continue on your journey – focused on the final goal.

As you can tell from earlier posts, I am “into” analysis. Why? Because developing a business requires decision making and decisions are only as good as the information they are based on. However, analysis and good decisions are not enough.

“Strategy is grand. Execution is crucial.” – I heard this phrase countless times from Tom Leonard when he was the President of Aspen Pet. So what does it take to execute…? It takes the will to succeed. You must be motivated. So all the analysis and strategizing will come to naught without the emotional strength to carry it through. However, never forget that the time for emotion comes AFTER the decisions have been made, not during the process.

In the Pet industry we are always noting the ongoing humanization of our companion animals so we are sensitive to drawing parallels between human and animal behavior. Recently I visited the “high country” in Colorado including the summit of Mt. Evans at 14,240 ft. Literally 3,000 ft above the tree line, the world at 3 miles high is something to behold.

I was fortunate enough to witness a “family” making their way to the very peak of the mountain. I watched in awe at their progress. During their quest I was struck by the similarities between their journey and the one we take in trying to build a business. Building a business is like a journey but sometimes it can seem like you are climbing a mountain.

Take a look.

First, a group comes together and decides to follow a leader on a journey to a higher place.


The path can be rocky from the beginning but the way is clear.


The road can get incredibly tough but they find a way and persevere


It makes sense to pause and prepare themselves for the final push!


Suddenly they’ve made it…to the summit…together!


Ah…the view from the top! That’s why “you” made the trek!


Mt. Evans, Colorado – Approximately 14,240 ft. – 3000 ft. above the tree line. Echo Lake in the picture is at 8,000 ft. – over 6,000 below. In the initial “feature” picture, you were looking up to the summit from the lake.

Watching this family of mountain goats was truly inspiring and a living reminder. Business and life can get tough sometimes. Sit down. Figure it out. Then do it.

“Failure is not an option.”- Gene Kranz, mission director of Apollo 13.

In my next post, we’ll get back to the numbers as the August CPI update will be available from the USBLS. In a normal year the prices for services – Vet and Non-vet should be down in August. Both Food and supplies should be up. However, this is not a normal year.

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