A New Pet and a New Business: Can You Handle 2 Big Changes at Once?

You’ve always wanted to become an entrepreneur and now you have an opportunity to do just that. But you also want companionship and you think now is the perfect time to add a dog or cat (or other animal) to your pack. Can you do both at once? Yes, but it takes work.

Get to Know Your Pet

Starting a new business and adopting an animal at the same time takes a great amount of effort. Not only do you have to do the research to get your business up and running, but your time and attention should also be focused on bonding with your new pet. If you have yet to choose your new companion, Suzy Godsey’s workshop Choosing Your Animal Companion will give you the tools that you need to make a decision on the best pet for your family and your personal situation.

Task Delegation

When you’re a small business owner, especially when you’re first starting out, you likely want to have control of every aspect of your business. Unfortunately, this might not be best for your bottom line or for your new furry family member. Plan to spend the extra money on professionals who can make your job easier. One example is a website designer. This is a person who can help you grow your business by creating a functional and attractive online presence.

But the big question is: how much do website designers make? That depends on the amount of experience that your web designer has. Most new to intermediate designers charge anywhere from $15 to $30 per hour. Having your website built is an affordable service and, when combined with other types of assistance, such as a virtual assistant or mobile app developer, equals a great investment that lets you focus on your business and your new pet. The vast majority of freelancers that you’d outsource tasks to probably fall into this same price range — budget accordingly.

It will also help to find at least one animal-related helper. A dog walker, for example, can come to your home or commercial office and take Fido out for some much-needed exercise. In this case, the American Kennel Club suggests first knowing exactly what your dog needs. Some dogs are happy for a stroll around the block for a quick bathroom break, while others may need an hour at the dog park and an opportunity to sniff at every other pet that crosses their path.

In-Office Accommodations

As the owner of your new company, you’ll enjoy a bit of freedom when it comes to keeping a peton-site. This, too, requires a bit of preplanning so that you can ensure your animal has a comfortable and convenient place to spend its time while you work. Make a trip to Petco or your local pet supply store. While you have likely already gathered all you need for home, your pet will also require supplies at your office. A dog crate, food and water bowls, cleanup bags, and lots of toys are a great start. As you get to know your animal and their personality, you’ll be able to add to their arsenal of in-office accessories so that they stay busy while you are.

Finally, if you’ve chosen a dog — 63.4 million households in the US have — take the time to socialize them so that they will better acclimate to your work environment. This is especially important if they will have free reign of the office and you have customers and employees coming in and out.

When it’s all said and done, the goal is to have a happy, well-adjusted pet and a thriving business. Doing both at the same time is daunting, no doubt, but both will enrich your life beyond measure. Remember, start by getting to know your pet — and choosing one that works for your lifestyle — and then look for ways to ease your burden. Whether this is hiring a graphic designer or outsourcing to a dog sitter, keep in mind that every small step you take now will be a huge benefit to your personal and professional endeavors.