Building the Business: The Team

I've been meaning to write a post about my budding ideas of how to shape my services (ie Pack Walks), but the more I contemplated it, the more I realized that I didn't have enough information to share. So until I solidify some of my ideas, we will be moving on.

What I would like to talk about today is the realization that I need an extra set of hands to have the time to achieve what I want to while still maintaining a personal life and some free time.

It's been proven to me over and over again that there are only so many hours in a day and only so much energy I can devote to certain things. The dogs have always been my priority and I've been working to do more with the pack each walk as well as extending each walk. The work time I spend away from the dogs can get quite busy with the day to day organization and communication. So finding time to develop the Silver Jet Brand, and solidify my budding ideas, has been a little difficult. So, although it is a very scary thing, Silver Jet Dog is currently looking for a part-time employee to allow me to step back a little bit from the day to day to focus a little more on the bigger business picture.

I have spent a lot of time going back and forth as to whether this is the right move for my business. After lots of consideration and writing down all the pros and cons, I've come to the conclusion that hiring an employee might just be the BEST thing I can do for my business. BUT, I've also realized that I need to foster the right environment to give any employee the right mindset and the right tools to succeed as a Silver Jet Pack Leader.

Firstly, you may notice that I've been using the word 'employee'. Most comparable companies in Calgary use Independent Contractors (IC). The differences between the two can be quite confusing (let me tell you!) but here are the main points:

- ICs provide their own tools and are responsible for their own taxes. So they invoice me, and I pay them and that's it. No extra paperwork for me.

- Employees require that I pay extra taxes, withhold taxes, pay worker's compensation and fill out T4s. A bunch of extra paperwork for me.

- an IC is hired for a job, but in actuality, I can't really tell them how to do that job. And here is where the biggest decision point for me lies. I want all of my Pack Leaders to be AS CONSISTENT AS POSSIBLE. So how can I monitor consistency if I can't really tell an IC how to do their job?

- An employee is hired by the company to be a part of the company and team. I can direct them to do the job the way that I want it to be done as well as have them be a more integral part of the Silver Jet team.

The Silver Jet service that my clients have come to expect is very involved and specialized. We exercise the dogs in a structured environment both on and off-leash. We even incorporate pack training activities (this is a little foresight into what will be coming with the new brand launch!) into every walk so that my clients know that their dogs are being worked MENTALLY as well as physically. My clients know that I will be consistent when handling their dogs and I need to 100% ensure that any other Pack Leader that joins the Silver Jet Team will do the same.

So after you've read this last paragraph, you can see how an employee is really the only way to go.

The exciting thing for me is that I will have so much time to work with a new Pack Leader to teach them the Silver Jet ropes. I look forward to learning more through the act of teaching, and very excited to have the skills of another handler added to our repertoire.

The decision is made. Though it means a bunch more paperwork for me, I decided to pass on the ICs and go straight to Employees.

So now begins the slow process of finding the perfect candidate. Finding the right handler to care for my 4-legged clients is not something that can be rushed and I look forward to the search.

Until next time,

Holly, Duke and Jax