How to incentivize training for your independent contractors

FF premium-2

By Cara Armour, Founder of Active Paws Inc and marketing manager of ProPetHero

The employee vs independent contractor debate is a hot topic on many pet sitter forums. The decision to use one or the other should only be made based on legal and financial facts, and how much control you want to have over your staff.

I presented a webinar on this topic to Pet Sitters International back in 2010, and the biggest thing that has changed since then is that the IRS has really started to crack down on the classification of independent contractors versus employees. This crackdown coincided with the boom in the pet industry and the gig economy, because having ICs is the cheapest staffing method for any business owner. If  your staff is classified incorrectly, this can send up a red flag and the next thing you know, you’re being audited. 

By using ICs, you can avoid employment tax and, in many states, unemployment insurance payments as well as mandatory worker’s compensation insurance. The flip side is that person contracted to do jobs for you must have their own business, should have their own insurance, and cannot be told how to do a job; they are simply given jobs and compensated for their completion. They cannot be trained, told to wear a company uniform, or scheduled for work. (See what I mean about having control?)

Employees are far more expensive, but the safer way to go. Employees can be trained and guided, told how to do their job and what to wear, and can often be paid a bit less up front since you are covering their insurance, taxes, etc. Both employees and ICs can be fired, but if an IC later tries to claim unemployment because they were confused about the nature of their employment relationship, you could be in serious trouble.

If you’re not sure that your ICs are classified correctly, check the IRS’s 20 Factor Test. Also keep in mind that individual states may have their own employment laws regarding worker classifications.

If you’ve considered the legalities of your situation and have decided to use ICs versus employees, how can you incentivize them to use FetchFind?

Since you can’t require ICs to take training like you can with an employee, that doesn’t mean that you can’t use many of the same incentivizing tactics from our previously blog on how to get the most out of your FetchFind subscription. The key difference is that they are incentives, and not directives or requirements.  Here are some of the easiest ways to incentivize the learning process:

Gift cards: Out of those ICs who choose to take the provided education, whoever scores the highest gets a $100 gas card or a $50 Starbucks card. 

Lunch and learn: If you have meetings, events, or dinners with your ICs, these are great opportunities to throw in some training (and you do not have to pay for their time). Just invite them over for a meal, but have FetchFind locked and loaded on your smart TV, ready for them to learn while they eat and socialize.

Educational benefits: Offer training as an additional benefit of performing jobs for your company. It’s a boost to their educational toolbox and their portable skill set, and they can say they are FetchFind approved through your company.

Just ask: The most cost effective way to get your ICs trained on FetchFind is to just ask! Ask them to have a look at the courses provided, let them know the benefits for their own businesses and with your clients, and remind them about the experience and credentials they can gain.

Charge for access: Finally, the most awesome way to get your ICs to indulge in FetchFind content is to buy a subscription for your company, and charge your ICs a smaller fee for access. This makes the learning process completely voluntarily on their part. ICs can be entered into the system just like any other staff, but you can choose who you add to the platform based on if they’ve paid for access.

Let’s break it down.

Your company pays for a FetchFind Premium subscription that gives you all of our content with weekly updates, plus Feline Fundamentals and the ability to upload your own content so that all your staff (including ICs) has access. Then, you can charge each of the ICs $10 a month. If you have ten ICs doing this, your monthly subscription is nearly covered! Even if you have only five ICs paying, that still gives your entire company access to an incredible training solution for a fraction of the cost.

It’s akin to group buying power. As an independent  pet care business owner, I pay into a small business association with other small business owners to get big buying power for health insurance (that’s a blog topic for another day). So why not have your ICs pay a small amount to buy into the amazing investment of pet care education? It’s a win-win for everyone involved.

So that’s the scoop on incentivizing your ICs to take advantage of FetchFind staff training. And now that we’re all busily preparing for tax day, it’s a good time to check your staff classifications with your accountant or lawyer to make sure you are making the right choices regarding ICs versus employees. While employees certainly cost more, that classification can save you the time, money, and hassle of an audit or steep misclassification fees.

 

Save time + money by adding your own content

binders
No more binders – hurrah!

By Erin Schneider, CPDT-KA and Director of Customer Relations – FetchFind

In an earlier post about heatmaps, I talked about our reporting system and how it can help you as a business owner. In this post, I am going to talk about how you can make your life and your business better by adding your own content to your FetchFind subscription. 

The FetchFind Monthly Pro Plus subscription offers many features, one of which is the ability to add your own content. Many business owners already have a few company-specific training videos, HR manuals, and procedures that need to be shared with their staff, but don’t have a good place to store it or track staff viewing or engagement.

Well, FetchFind to the rescue!

We have the perfect solution – and that solution is us. Unlike other training options, where you are left wondering how to incorporate your current training curriculum and HR documents, we make it easy for you by making it part of our platform.

With the FetchFind Monthly Pro Plus subscription, you can upload as much of your own proprietary content as you want. We host it for you, so you don’t have to worry about taking up valuable server space. You can also create sections specific to your content, or you can put it in one of our designated sections. You have total control.

You can also use our system to create quizzes, which helps to ensure your staff is reading, viewing, and comprehending the information you have provided for them. Everything you upload to the platform can be tracked just like any other piece of FetchFind content.

This feature is invaluable for many reasons, but probably the most important is that we save you time, which ultimately saves you money. And who isn’t looking to save money? No more time spent on emailing your new hires about all of the HR documents they need to sign – it’s already uploaded and ready for them view as soon as they sign in. No more time spent tracking down your new hires to make sure they watched your New Hire Orientation video. All you have to do is take two minutes to look at the reports page. The time you save can then be spent on client acquisition and satisfaction – which increases your bottom line.  

We at FetchFind know how busy you are and how hard running a business can be. We want to do everything in our power to help make your life easier and by listening to you, we have found a solution. Let us take this one piece of your job off your plate and let us do the training for you.

Questions? Feel free to reach out to me directly at erin@fetchfind.com.

Office goals: Coffee. Walls. Dogs.

image_uploaded_from_ios_1024
Remember when I told you about my new goal planner?

I’ve been diligently working away on my 30/60/90 goals, and one of my 30 day goals was to do an audit of all of our expenses – subscriptions, utilities, insurance, and general office stuff. It was helpful, and important, and, well – super duper disruptive. Because once I sat down and reviewed the numbers, I realized we were spending waaaaay too much money on our office space.

And just like that, one of my 90 day goals turned into a 30 day goal almost overnight, and – long story short – we’re moving!

We’re not just moving into another office, though – we’re moving into a co-working space. And not just any old co-working space – a dog-friendly co-working space! (They also have free coffee from one of our excellent local roasters, but that wasn’t one of the deciding factors. Not really. It didn’t hurt, though.)

The hardest part about the decision to move into a co-working facility was the dog thing. We briefly considered no dogs (which would have greatly expanded our options), but that just isn’t who we are. So we created a matrix, made some phone calls, toured some spaces, and narrowed it down to five possible choices (all of this in less than a week).

Because I know you all love a good chart almost as much as I do, I’m sharing the decision matrix with you. It really does help to visualize these big decisions.

Sure, we had to give up the handcrafted artisanal beer cooler, but we get to have our dogs with us.  In the end, that decision was easy.

What are your workspace must-haves? Send me your top 1 or 2 with permission to use your name; I’d love to share them with everyone on social media.

Yours in box-hell,

15 minutes to a better website

dog-2983021_960_720

By Kristina Pouliot, Sales Associate, FetchFind

Ah, the new year.

Out with the old, in with the new!

A time for reflecting on memories past, setting present goals, and imagining a brighter future.

As you start hitting your stride for 2018, take a moment to think… How much consideration has been given to your company’s website lately?

If your answer to that question is along the lines of:

“Gee, I haven’t thought about our website since it was set up X years ago.

You are not alone.

It’s easy to push “website update” to the bottom of your to-do list (between “clean garage” and “eat more turnips”) but if your pet care .com or .biz has missing (or incorrect!) information, potential customers will have to work way harder to find the information they need. By keeping your website up to date, you’ll boost your site’s ranking on Search Engines, and keep all future website visitors happy and informed.

For the new year, you owe it to yourself to pump some tunes and give your business website 15 minutes of TLC. To keep your mood high and your spirits up as you make these quick website updates, I’ve made you a fun Apple Music playlist of pet-related jams to keep you productive and in good spirits while you power through your website update. 🙂

Tackle these four questions to get started with 2018 site update:

Is your contact info updated? There’s no point in having a business if potential customers are unable to get in contact with you, right? So, make sure all your business contact information is updated and easy to find on your website. This can include an updated phone number, email address, and physical address too. If you have different phone numbers for your daycare and dog walking services, share both of those numbers! Ensuring this information is up-to-date is an easy way to build credibility and trust with all those who get in touch with your business.

Do the hours on your website reflect your actual hours of operation? Your business may already have its hours listed on the website, but this is a good time to double check that those hours are accurate. Don’t forget to include your time zone and holiday hours too. If you host events or have deals that change month to month, consider uploading a quarterly or yearly calendar to your site.

Have you linked your social media accounts to your website? If your business is active on twitter, facebook, or any other social media site, it’s a great idea to add the links those accounts on your website! A good business presence on social media adds credibility and trust to your business, and if you’re already

Is your site mobile friendly? Face it. It’s 2018 and a large percentage of online research happens via smartphone. If your website is not optimized for this mobile browsing format, visitors to your page might struggle to find the information they need and take it as a sign that your business is behind the times.

That’s it! 15 minutes now can equal a lot more business later – it’s a great return on investment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keep your eye on the goal(s)

goals-2691265_960_720

We are hyper-focused on goals right now, and so for the next several weeks, we’ll be sharing some new FetchFind features and offerings. As a side goal, it would be so awesome if OUR momentum inspires YOU to get hopping on something you are excited to complete and roll out. Get it going, my friends. This is YOUR year. 

So let me start…

Here’s some good news for everyone with available job opportunities: We’re retiring our creaky old job board and moving to a Facebook page named Pet Industry Jobs. If you’d like to have something posted, fill out the info here. Thanks to the excellent David Muriello at CATCH Academy for working with us on the development and beta testing.

The 2018 conference/tradeshow season is about to start in earnest, and I’m hoping to catch up with as many of you as possible at one (or all) of them. Below are my Q1 conference selections.  P.S. I’ll be speaking at some of them too. Woot!

2/23 – 2/25/18 – Texas Pet Sitters Conference | Schertz, TX
This is my first time and I’m thrilled that they invited me to participate! I’ll be speaking bright and early Saturday morning 2/24. But you’ll want to get there on 2/23 because 1) the fabulous Arden Moore (who is the creator of our Feline Fundamentals content) will be doing a “Cat Wrangling” workshop, and 2) the welcome reception is a Texas tailgate BBQ. Register for the conference here.

3/14/17 – The National Capital Area Professional Pet Sitters Network | DC Metro
Another exciting first for me! I met quite a few members of NCAPPSN at another conference last year, and they are an impressive bunch. This is one of their members-only events, so if you have a pet sitting biz in the DC Metro area, you should join their network. Really.

3/21-3/23/18 – Global Pet Expo | Orlando, FL
I won’t be speaking this year, but I will be covering every inch of the exhibit space talking to our customers, meeting new people, catching up with old friends, and checking out the learning track they offer. If you’re going to be there, let’s get a coffee (or shop for dog breed socks with me. I just can’t quit those damn things.)

What are your goals for this month/quarter/year? And how can we help you with those? Let us know at hello@fetchfind.com!

Jamie Sig Trans - First Only

Top ten must-haves for every pet business website

website-1624028_960_720

By Erin Schneider, CPDT-KA and Director of Customer Relations – FetchFind

When I started my dog training business, one of the first things I did was set up my website. A professional-looking website is vital in today’s world if you are a business owner. I looked at a lot of websites when deciding what I wanted to do with my own.

A new website can be overwhelming and expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. There are a lot of great, reasonably priced website builders that are very user-friendly (even for non-tech savvy people like me). I personally like wix.com, but I have also heard good things about weebly.com and yola.com. If you have the money, it’s wise to have a pro come to pretty it up at the end. I created my site and added my content by myself, and then had a web designer do a final sweep to make it look cohesive and professional. By doing 90% of the legwork, I didn’t have to spend as much money in the long run. But it was a worthwhile investment to have a designer quality-check the functionality and make it look the way I wanted.

Once you’ve decided on a platform, the next big question is: what do you include on your website? The right information set is very important, but again – trying to decide what really needs to be there can be overwhelming. These are what I consider to be “must-haves” for every pet business website:

Pricing. I understand the thought process behind not including pricing on your website: it might turn off potential customers, or allow your competition to know what you’re doing. And you know what? You’re right. You might turn someone off with your pricing, but that’s OK. Because even if you got that person on the phone and sold them on your company, if your price points don’t fit their budget, there’s nothing you can say that will change that (unless you’re willing to undercut yourself to make the sale, which isn’t a sustainable growth strategy for any company). Posting your prices gives you transparency, creates confidence in your company, and saves everyone a lot of time. And don’t worry about your competition; if they want to know your prices, there are many ways they can find out. Just concentrate on being you.

Customer testimonials. Every website should have a testimonial section. First, it adds credibility to your business. Second, it allows your customers to brag about your services (and their pets), and who doesn’t like that? Customers love to be featured, and  we all like to hear positive things said about us. 🙂 And even better, customers are more likely to share their featured testimony with others on social media. You can dedicate an entire page to testimonials, or have a rotating gallery on your homepage – include at least a half dozen or so, and be sure to ask new customers for testimonials to keep it fresh.

Service area. Be very specific if you only cover certain areas. If you’re a little more loosey goosey and flexible about coverage, then just mention the overall area or region. 

Staff bios. I always want to know who will be coming into my home and looking after my precious family member. It’s very important to include a little information about your staff, including photos. And even better – list their credentials! It’s nice to know that someone is a “lifetime pet lover”, but I also want to know what makes them really qualified to watch my pet. Are they a FetchFind Monthly Pro student? Are they certified in pet first aid & CPR? Do they work at the local shelter as a volunteer? Let your customers know! The more credentialed your staff, the more comfortable your clients will feel, and the more you can differentiate yourself from the competition.

Social media. Have social media buttons clearly displayed on every page of your website; put them either at the top of the page or at the bottom – or both –  but keep the placement consistent and easily located. Potential clients want to see what you’re posting on social media. You can also put widgets on your website with up-to-date feeds from Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

About you. Everyone loves a good backstory. Why did you decide to start this business? What is your philosophy or mission? Don’t be afraid to tell your story, and make it as compelling as possible. You can include this on your staff bio page, or you can have an entire page dedicated to it. Photos of you with your pets (past and present) are great to include on this page.

Why you? This information can be in a separate paragraph, page, or tab, or you can scatter the info throughout your site. Tell the client what differentiates you from your competition. Why are your prices worth it? There are pet sitting/dog boarding facilities on just about every corner, so what makes you so special? This is a great place to talk about your education program (*ahem* FetchFind Monthly Pro!), pet first aid & CPR, etc.

Incident reporting. People want to make sure their pets are safe and they want to know how you handle incidents. If an incident occurs, how is it documented? Be transparent. Let them know incidents are seen to quickly, professionally, and compassionately. This is another way you can make yourself stand out from your competition.

Contact us. Your contact information should be on every page of your website, as well as on a dedicated, “contact us” page. You always want to make it easy for someone to hire you.

The Look. First impressions matter, and websites are often the first touch point for your business. A clean, professional, up-to-date website will draw more potential clients in, and will promote confidence in existing clients. 

Did I miss anything? What are your “make or break” inclusions for websites? Feel free to share your comments and the tools that have been effective for you.

Heatmaps and reporting

 

Screen Shot 2018-01-09 at 6.28.20 PM

By Erin Schneider, CPDT-KA and Director of Customer Relations – FetchFind

There are a lot of content providers dedicated to educating the pet industry. I am sure as a business owner it can feel very overwhelming and the variety leads you to a lot more questions than answers. Over the next few weeks, I am going to elaborate on FetchFind Monthly Pro features that set us apart from our competition. I hope I can add some clarity as to why FetchFind is a step above the other resources on the market.

Did you know that we have a special admin feature that allows you to arrange content, add content, add and remove staff members and view your staff member’s progress? We put the power in your hands and give you total control over what content you allow your employees to view.

In this post, I am going to give more information about our reporting system. Every account is set up with the ability to track employee progress. You can see if they watched the videos, took the quiz, how they scored on the quiz, and whether or not they completed the section. This allows you the ability to ensure your staff is utilizing the training you have provided for them. It is also a great tool to use when considering promotions and advancements within the company.

Let’s talk about the heatmaps first. This is probably my favorite feature.

The heatmap below shows that the video has been watched to completion. As you can see, it is a light yellow and completely filled in. That means this person watched the video all the way through, in its entirety, without pauses, skips, or breaks.

Screen Shot 2018-01-09 at 6.28.01 PM

This heatmap, on the other hand, looks very different from the first. This person watched some of the video (the light yellow), fast forwarded through some parts (the white bits) and re-watched other parts (the dark yellow). At the end, this person only watched 64% of the video.

Screen Shot 2018-01-09 at 6.28.20 PM

Along with every one of our videos, we include a graded quiz. This person got two out of three questions correct.

Screen Shot 2018-01-09 at 6.28.37 PM
When you click on the quiz score, a results window will pop up, with the employee’s answers highlighted.

Screen Shot 2018-01-09 at 6.29.32 PM

Our reports also show if a person completed a section. If the section heatmap is completely white, that means there was no activity by that employee.

As you can see, our reporting gives you a lot of information. Unlike many training options, FetchFind Monthly Pro gives you real time access to your staff’s progress.

Are you impressed? (Personally, I’m always impressed by robust, easy to read reporting functions.) Now, I want to go a step further and explain how this information is invaluable to you and your business.

First, we remove the pressure of training your staff by providing you with all the tools needed to ensure employees are watching the training and retaining the information.

Second, we give you the ability to check in on your staff to ensure that they are keeping up with their assignments. If you are already experiencing performance issues with certain employees, this gives you a way to ascertain where they are having problems, as well as concrete information to help them improve their performance.

Third, this is a great way to incentivize your staff. If you build training into their job description and explain how continuing education will benefit them (both in their current position and in the future), this can be a great motivator. It can lead to job promotions and open up other ways to increase their income. I find that incorporating incentives (or “high value treats”, as we like to say in the dog training world), such as gift cards is a great way to motivate your staff.

Fourth, it can be excellent opportunity to build camaraderie. That might sound strange, but training can be a highly effective way to bring your staff together as a group, and – by incorporating a little friendly competition and incentives – you might see your staff start working together as more cohesive team.

If you have any questions or would like more information on how to use the admin dashboard and reporting functions, feel free to reach out to me directly at erin@fetchfind.com.

 

 

How to help your pet business stand out in a crowded market

erin's pet sitting

By Erin Schneider, CPDT-KA and Director of Customer Relations – FetchFind

If you own a pet care business, you probably spend a lot of time and energy trying to differentiate yourself from the competition. Because there is a lot of competition out there. A LOT.

But the good news is that you already have access to a great differentiator … FetchFind Monthly Pro! It may seem that a staff training program is something that you just do as part of your drive to have a great business, but the fact is that your clients want (and need) to know that their pets are in the best possible hands. And there is no better way to demonstrate your commitment to their pet’s well-being than the fact that you care enough to train your staff.

Here are some easy ways to inform clients (both current and potential) about your ongoing commitment to excellence:

FetchFind Approved BadgeDisplay your FetchFind Approved badge with pride (because you’ve earned it)! All FetchFind Monthly Pro members receive FetchFind Approved badges in both physical and electronic formats. If you have a bricks and mortar location, you can put the badge on your front door or a window near the entry. I also recommend framing your FetchFind Approved certificate and placing it on your front desk where clients can see it when they check in. This also gives your staff the opportunity to start a conversation with clients when they inquire about it. (If you need more badges, please let me know!)

Educate your staff on how to talk about FetchFind. Your staff will already be familiar with FetchFind because they take the courses. But do they know how to talk about it to your clients? It’s a huge bonus for your company when employees can speak knowledgeably and enthusiastically about what FetchFind is, what they’ve learned, and how it helps them to be better employees. Clients want to hear that everyone within the company takes the safety and comfort of their pets seriously; so if they talk to the front desk staff, dog walker, or daycare attendants, they know their pets are receiving the best care possible because the people who take care of them are receiving the best training possible.

Include information in your blogs, newsletters, website, and social media. Post pictures of your staff in training, share fun snippets of recently acquired knowledge (dog breed info is always a favorite), and mention employees who are “killing it” in training. A great place to mention your FetchFind Monthly Pro training is on your website’s  “About Us” page, where you share your philosophy and mission statement. The more places you can talk about your dedication to education and safety, the better.

If you’re excited about it, your staff will be too. Company culture says a lot about how staff will react to a new training program. If you’re excited about their education and make it a priority, so will your employees. Be proud that you offer this great educational and career development tool to your staff, because it clearly communicates that you are investing in THEM as well. The best business owners are those who treat their employees like valuable resources – because they are! There is no better recommendation for your company than happy, knowledgeable employees.

Update your staff bios to include FetchFind Monthly Pro training. A great way to showcase your staff training is to update their bios on your website. Include a little something about how an employee is working hard to complete their FetchFind Monthly Pro training, mention what their favorite topic is, or talk about how they love New Content Fridays. This makes your staff feel included and invested in the process, while also showing current and potential clients that your entire company values ongoing education.

Let us know how you use FetchFind Monthly Pro to differentiate yourself from the competition, or post it on the FetchFind Approved Facebook page! And remember, we’re always here to help you succeed.

Start the New Year with a great Year-End

fetchy 2018
Last week’s big focus was all about prepping FetchFind’s year-end summary. And while I was doing that, I thought about all of you – my fellow entrepreneurs and business owners.

The year end summary/report is an incredible exercise for any entrepreneur. You can do your own and share it with all of your stakeholders: employees, contractors, investors, VIP clients, vendors, and partners.

Here are my sections and a brief overview of what each section includes. Feel free to add your own and/or let me know if you think I’ve missed something!

2017 Overview: Just as it says. Write a few sentences about high-level takeaways, wins and areas of focus in 2017. (If you’d like to see mine, email me and I’ll happily share it with you.)

2017 Highlights: Get a bit more granular by listing your accomplishments, goals met, new business deals, conferences attended, key partnerships, etc.

Team/Roles: Did you add anyone? Let anyone go? Talk about that here.

Vital KPIs (key performance metrics): These will vary from business to business, and if you don’t quite know what yours are, the start of 2018 is a perfect time to establish them. In 2018, FetchFind will be developing some helpful tools around this and other business topics.

Active Sales Pipeline and Customer Acquisition Strategies: What are you doing to grow the business? (i.e. getting new customers!)

Product or Service: Have you added any lines of service or new products to your inventory? Did you have a price adjustment?

Areas for Improvement: This is pretty self-explanatory! However, this section is only meaningful when you are honest. Do you spend too much time on things that yield little return? Are there operational processes that don’t work as they stand now?

2018 Q1 Goals: This is also self-explanatory… but I encourage you to be flexible with goal setting. Our whole team is highly focused on goals for 2018 and I can already see where FetchFind is changing due to thoughtful goal planning. But I am also aware that goals can be both overwhelming and limiting, so it’s a fine balance between setting, keeping, and changing them as needed. (Here’s a good article on that.) Remember that Q1 is only 90 days, so think about what you are setting out to accomplish and make sure you are being reasonable.

Overall Goals for 2018: See above, but multiply x4.

Help Needed and Housekeeping: Use this area to communicate anything about your business that you might need some help or support with, and/or as a place to mention any important updates or administrative items.

So there you have at it. Take the time to reflect on 2017 and set the tone for 2018. Even if you do this exercise and show it to no one, it’s exciting and extraordinarily useful to look at what you wrote for each of these sections one year later.

Best wishes for a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!

Jamie Sig Trans - First Only

Business challenge: delegation (part 2)

delegating

By Jamie Migdal, CEO of FetchFind

In part 1 of Business Challenge: Delegation, I talked about how an inability to delegate can hurt your growth and bottom line, as well as how finding the right person for the job is the first step in letting go.

Now comes the hard part – actually prying your fingers loose from the reins and letting someone else do some of the work. If you’re a micromanaging control freak (a common personality trait amongst small biz owners, as I well know from my own experience with myself), this is the part that can actually, physically hurt to do.

My advice: baby steps.

The easiest way to get into the habit of delegation is to start small – ask someone to draft an email response, schedule a meeting, or post a few things on social media. Think of a handful of low-risk tasks to assign to one or two people in the company, and start parcelling them out. (By “low risk” I mean if something goes awry, it’s not going to cost money to fix or result in you spending hours you don’t have apologizing for the error.)

If that goes well, do it again, and then gradually add on a few other responsibilities until the entire task is being accurately managed by the other person, from start to finish. In dog training parlance, this is known as behavior chaining. (Any dog trainer will tell you that most things in life can be improved by using those trainer skills.)

I want to point out that none of this is to be presented as an indictment of your employee’s abilities or intelligence, but rather as a way for you, the business owner, to get comfortable with  relinquishing control and have space to internalize the fact that the world isn’t going to end when you delegate some of your work.

If this seems too overwhelming to implement on your own, my other advice is to find a good business coach. A coach can be invaluable at all stages of business development, and you should always have a dispassionate, objective adviser who knows you and your story. Business coaches aren’t cheap, but you have to look at it from a big picture, cost/benefit perspective – they aren’t cheap, but they are a lot less expensive than losing growth opportunities or client confidence.