Can this business be saved?


Dear Dick –

I am in big trouble.

I spent my life savings to buy a mobile pet grooming, dog walking, and poop pick up franchise.

What was I thinking?!?

The franchisor offers none of the support they promised, my lawyer doesn’t think it’s worth suing them because they’re about to go under, and I have not taken a nickel out of my business in two years.

I can’t sleep, I live in fear, and I know that if something doesn’t happen soon, I’m going under.

I need to market my business, but I have no money.

How can I get this business moving or should I just shut it down?

Any (free) advice is welcome.

Dog Lady
(Please don’t use my name.)


Dear Dog Lady –

Hang in there.

You really CAN be successful, and it CAN be a lot more fun than you’re having now.

Forget MARKETING, and concentrate on GIVING.

You’ve got to shake off the “Poor Me” attitude and start building on the good things in your life.  Nobody wants to be associated with a Gloomy Gus.  Put on a positive, upbeat face, and find the good in everyone you know.

Here’s what you have:
– You have time (because of a lack of customers)
– You have talent to groom dogs
– You have the equipment

So let’s have some fun with this.

GIVE AWAY your talents and get publicity for them.

Go to every local television and radio station and tell them you’re providing free dog grooming for anyone who has lost their job.

Set aside one day per month where you can set up your van in a high profile location.

Call every station in town, and ask them to tell people who are unemployed to bring their pets.

Ask the stations if you can come on air and talk about it.  Stations love being the voice of public service.  Make it easy for them to be the hero.

You will get publicity, and probably some paying customers.  But more importantly, you’ll be doing something nice for people who will really appreciate it.  You’ll feel great, and THAT will result in more business and a positive attitude.

Be careful not to mention your troubles, because that will undermine all the good will by bringing the focus back to you.

Put out a can for donations to help offset the cost of materials, and you can even ask for volunteers to help out if the turnout is more than you can handle.

It’s important to make this a regular monthly community service project because it takes time to grow and flourish. Let it build momentum, and keep blowing your own horn.

This alone won’t solve your problems, but it will put you back on offense and you will be amazed at the good things that come into your life.

Dick Larkin

ps.  Crank up your activity level, and you won’t have time to feel sorry for yourself.

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