This blog is going to be all about business. About what we have achieved in the last year and what we plan to achieve in this one. I’m sure everyone is the same, but every year seems to throw new challenges, new opportunities and new ventures at us. Most the time they are never expected, and luckily for us most have been a success, or at least we have been able to find something positive in each one. The past year has been crazy hence the lack of blog posts!
At the beginning of last year, we planned to expand, big style! Opening a new premise, expanding the services we can offer and improving on our knowledge of not only dogs and the industry but also business. It was going to be the year we started making big bucks… So that plan didn’t quite happen. But like I said, we tried to take the positive from it. We learnt a lot from the process, challenged our capabilities and over all it grounded us and made us realise we need to stick to what we know and what we are good at! Big plans are still in the picture, and with my overactive, big dreamers mind, bigger things will always be the aim. I don’t think I will ever feel like I have achieved enough…
But what did we achieve this year? Well, we opened the shop. Our wonderful, little raw shop, Raw Essentials. We are all extremely proud and can’t believe how busy we have got so quickly. Again, being very lucky like we were when we opened the hydro centre as we have such an amazing client base who support us in all our ventures. Opening the shop has also renewed our faith in dog owners. It has shown that more and more people are turning to raw, they are looking into more natural alternatives and people are generally interested in what we do and why we are selling such weird things! This makes us very excited for the future of the dog food industry and they way it is going. Raw is best!
Opening the shop also meant that I finally got to leave my part time sales assistant job in a pet store! I say finally, however for most of my 7 years there I loved it. I learnt so much and will forever be grateful for the opportunities they offered to me and the customers and friends I met along the way. I just got fed up of having to sell products I didn’t believe in or sometimes even agree with. But with that it made me even more sure about the products I wanted to stock. We wanted to sell things we are passionate about, believe in and would use on our own dogs, so there is no need to hard sell and no pushy sales pitch… just me, and our brilliant staff, going on about the wonders of raw and natural feeding!
Talking of staff, that is another thing we have done this year! This was probably one of the hardest decisions we made, taking the plunge to trust people with our business name and putting others first when it came to wages! However, it was without a doubt the best choice we made. We have an incredible team around us made up of me, Gemma, our mom Wendy, my ex manager Julia, our best work experience who never left, Georgina and an ex client Melissa. We all get along so well it makes going into work even more of a pleasure. We laugh every day, we are constantly getting to know each other better and both Gemma and I trust all our team with our name, reputation and know all of them put as much passion and love into our little business as we do. Without them all we wouldn’t be able to do everything we are doing, and we definitely wouldn’t be able to do it as well as we are! Knowing that all the Animal Matters team read this of course, I want to take this chance to say a massive thank you, you are all wonderful people and please never leave us!
Lichfield Hydrotherapy Centre continues to grow and develop in its own way. We haven’t put any where near as much focus on it as we would have liked it, but that’s what this year is all about. Our knowledge and experience has still increased throughout the year and will continue to do so. We want to put more energy into our self-development as well as doing a fair amount of work on the centre itself to make sure its back up to the visual standard we want it at! Our level of care hasn’t changed and that shows through our vast amount of success cases and forever growing client base. We will forever be in debt to all the kind people who talk about us and recommend us to everyone they speak to! We appreciate every mention of us, every tag on social media and every review we get. Word of mouth will always be the best, and our favourite form of advertising!
Finally, what will this year bring. Well honestly who knows! We have plans as always, but we take every opportunity as it comes. We don’t want to look too far into the future. We want to continue building relationships, networking and educating. We don’t want to be held back by anything or anyone. We have got to where we are today through determination, stupid dreams, friendly conversations and a whole load of luck! And may that continue into 2019 and beyond!