Four reasons dog training businesses fail and what you can do to avoid them.

by | Feb 9, 2021

2020 presented some of the greatest challenges the world has seen when it comes to business operations during covid. Dog training business owners have either done very well or decided to close up shop and move on to other careers. In light of this we would like to explore some reasons why dog training businesses fail and then look at ways to avoid them.

Reason #1: Lack of capital

I know how simple this seems. As the taxi cab driver I met down in DC would say… “No money, no honey! First you get the money. Then you get the honey.”

Many dog trainers found themselves in a position where their life necessities were larger than their income and this realization when the shutdown occurred led to many seeking employment elsewhere abandoning their dream of working for themselves.

Some found that being sick and not being able to make money put them in a position where they wished they had an employer providing them with benefits.

To avoid this pitfall, make sure you are putting a percentage of revenue away each week into savings. You’ve probably heard that you should have 3-6 months of expenses saved in case of emergencies and this is definitely true in your business.

Having savings allows you to make better choices in your business without being afraid of where your next paycheck is coming from.

Reason #2: Lack of adequate leadership

Dog training businesses that are one person shops still need sound leadership for themselves to push them to continue to grow. This may be a mentor, coach or a group of trusted colleagues that support you and want to see your business succeed.

Dog training businesses who have employees need their owners to be even better leaders. When the leadership is lost, confused or scared then so are the employees and this affects productivity and results. Just like with dogs, when humans do not feel safe, they can’t perform to the best of their ability.

Having a leadership model that is active in your business will get you through the tough times and keep moving the business toward progress.

Reason #3: A rigid business model

Many dog trainers quickly found that their existing business models did not have shut down ready options for clients and had to make quick decisions to pivot or not. This presented a problem with the number of dog owners growing rapidly during the shutdowns.

A failure to plan for disasters is common and only after the disaster do we adjust but not always do we do it in time. Having diversity of services that will allow you to reach clients even if you are no longer able to physically do that training in person is a way to plan to keep things going even if life looks different.

Reason #4: A failure to market

Post after post on social media dog trainers asked what they should do. How they should reach out to clients. How they should now find new clients.

This made the marketing dilemma in the dog training industry glaringly obvious.

The time of considering dog training as a hobby and not a real business is over for those whose sole income is coming from training.

A marketing plan that has never been planned is a plan to run head first into failure.

Needless to say trainers who didn’t have a solid marketing plan and execution found themselves wondering how to make it.

What can dog trainers do right now to make sure to avoid these failures?

With 2020 in the rearview, we can now benefit from hindsight. How do we move forward and make sure these things do not happen to those of us still standing?

Get your team together

All of the reasons mentioned above can be avoided when you have a solid team behind you.

The capital issues are solved in the good times with disciplined spending, saving and investing.

A team of people who are executing exactly that are the ones you must have access to.

Those matters are a lot less scary when you are speaking with people who have gone through it and can share their highs and lows with you.

That same team shares how they guided themselves and their employees and what mistakes they made.

This improves your leadership skills and sets you up for success.

The ideas that flow from the team help you to see where your business might not be ready for what is to come.

The ideas and moves that the team have already made become invaluable as they speed up your response to crisis situations.

And last but not least. The team holds you accountable with your marketing and cheers for you when you make the one connection that could lead to thousands of dollars in referrals.

We have seen business thrive while sticking together in our Trainers Growth Group, in fact, most of our trainers are reporting to have had their best year ever in 2020 despite the global pandemic.

We have learned from each other’s mistakes and lowered the cost of those mistakes for ourselves. We have become a team that pushes toward a life that helps others and makes a difference. All while making a comfortable living for ourselves.

Join us and become the next difference maker as a member of Trainers Growth Group.


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