Business Insight

How to Become a Professional Dog Trainer and Mentor

Do you own a dog walking business and you're thinking about becoming a dog trainer, but don't know where to start? Have you always dreamed of working with dogs and becoming an expert? In this episode of Handling Business, we sit down with Kim Sauer of Sit n’ Stay Professional Pet Services who is a true expert and leader in the pet care industry.

Kim Sauer's fascination with dog training took off in 1997 when she started assisting a local trainer using a clicker in exchange for helping her with her own aggressive dog. Her interest grew as she learned how much she loved working with animals and enjoyed seeing the transformation in both the dogs and the owners. Kim opened her pet sitting and dog walking business, Sit n' Stay Pet Services in hopes that the fields would complement each other. Kim hired her first employee in 2005 and has steadily increased in size over the years to now have 30 pet sitters and dog walks, an office manager and 5 trainers on her team.

Kim first earned her certificate from Animal Behavior College in January 2002 becoming an ABC Certified Dog Trainer and then later became a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) in March of 2006. She is also an AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) and AKC STAR Puppy Evaluator. In 2006 Kim became an ABC Mentor Trainer and also a CATCH Dog Training Program Mentor Trainer and is now helping others to realize their dream of becoming a dog trainer! Kim became a PetTech Pet First Aid Instructor back in 2006 and in 2012 became a Mentor Trainer with PetTech, helping others to become PetTech Instructors as well.

Kim's specialty is working with families owning pets who plan to bring a baby into the household. She was the trainer for the SPCA serving Erie County's Baby Ready Pets Program for 7 years, the the trainer for the SPCA serving Erie County's Teaching Love and Compassion Program (TLC) to inner city at-risk youth program for 5 years, and the trainer for the SPCA Serving Erie County's Paws for Love Therapy Dog Program Evaluator. Kim is also a current Licensed Educator for the Dogs & Storks Program and the Dog and Toddlers Program.

Kim credits most of her education to her own dogs- Blaze, Nigel, Greta, Coop and the many cats and sugar gliders she has shared her home with. Kim believes that every animal (and human), come into your life to teach you something.

In this episode you’ll learn how to...

  • Become a certified trainer and develop a solid program or partner with other programs who already have great resources, handouts and outlines

  • Enroll in a dog training program with CATCH Dog Trainers Academy, Karen Pryor Academy or Animal Behavior College, and work towards becoming a Certified Professional Dog Trainer which is a separate certification from a dog training program

  • Become a mentor trainer through CATCH or PetTech as a way to give back to your community and bring in a good flow of potential dog trainers for your growing dog training business

  • Find great employees and motivate them to be dedicated to your team long term

Books that Kim loves…

A favorite takeaway…

  • “You can’t train people to be friendly, you need to hire friendly people. You can teach people how to take great care of animals, but you can’t always train people to have a certain personality type."  

To learn more about Kim Sauer, find her at sitnstaypetservices.com.

How to Respond to Online Business Reviews with Kristen Lee

Are you small business owner who is panicking over an online review about your business from a competitor or a disgruntled past employee? Or are you wondering how to attract more positive online reviews? The answer might lie in making sure that you're building a tribe and cultivating the right relationships. Kristen Lee breaks it down for us on this week's episode of Handling Business!

Kristen Lee is two parts serious business strategist, one part fairy godmother with a double dose of Jersey, and she’s also the Founder & President of Kristen Lee Consulting, LLC {formerly Thrive}.

Kristen is a dog business consultant, marketing expert, high-end sales ninja, mindset and personal development thought leader. She’s also a continuous education and improvement junkie; always placing herself in the student seat.

And her vision?

Creating massive empires for dog business professionals, empowering industry leaders while accumulating wealth and FREEDOM in their businesses.

If she's not traveling the world on the search for business knowledge bombs to bring back to the dog biz industry, you can find her at her home in hipster Durham, NC with her hubby Frank, two dogs and one cat who thinks he's a dog.

In this episode, Kristen and Britt cover a wide range of topics and narrow in on getting clear on what your niche is in order to find your tribe. Kristen is a firm believer that you have to identify your tribe as the first building block in forming your marketing and sales plan so that you don’t waste time and money knocking on the wrong doors.

Kristen also talks about how important it is to cultivate your tribe and build a community so that when it comes to big “asks” it’s easier to communicate with your clients about writing reviews or spreading word of mouth about your business. Becoming the leader of your tribe also builds credibility as an expert, which leads to other great opportunities and more revenue streams.

Kristen shares what to do about good, bady and ugly reviews and how to deal with them in the most positive way. This episode is jam packed with good advice so don’t miss it!

How to Build a Multi-Million Dollar Pet Care Business with Becky O'Neil

How to Build a Multi-Million Dollar Pet Care Business with Becky O'Neil

Becky O'Neil is the Founder and President of Becky's Pet Care, one of the country's largest and most successful pet care businesses. Based in Northern Virginia, Becky and her team take care of over 4,500 clients and employ 150 dog walkers and sitters. Becky started her business as a one woman show writing her schedule down in a planner and over the years made huge leaps forward to create systems and processes that have allowed her to continually scale. In this episode, we talk about how Becky's forward thinking mentality, strategic planning and diligent system reviews that propel her business forward. If you are just starting your business or you're looking for ways to take your pet sitting or dog walking business to the next level, this episode will inspire you to think big and take action!

Meeting, Sign Contract, Email...Workout?

Why Entrepreneurs should be active:

To many, entrepreneurs appear to live the dream life. They make their own rules, set their own hours, and appear totally in control of their lives. We all admire their passion, diligence, creativity, and drive. However, what many don’t see is the enormous sacrifices entrepreneurs make. Especially serious is the potential damage they do their physical and mental health. Owning a business means long hours, unrelenting movement, and serious mind-bending stress. It is not surprising that many entrepreneurs usually work themselves into early graves. Depression, anxiety, heart disease, insomnia, and addiction are just some of the ailments that frequently plague entrepreneurs.  We all know that we should take better care of ourselves, but for many, the opportunity cost of a couple hours of exercise is too great. Ambitious business owners believe that every waking hour should be spent tirelessly building the business.

It’s important to remember that adequate exercise and rest will definitely not doom your success. Instead, a healthy and active lifestyle is a necessary and rewarding investment. An entrepreneur’s health is perhaps his greatest asset. If he is unwell, he cannot perform his best and his business will suffer. In just a few hours, you can boost your mood, relieve stress, and ensure better sleep. You will feel and perform so much better. You need to temporarily remove yourself from the constant grind of being an entrepreneur and spend some time on yourself. To be successful, you need to be energetic, alert, and focused. Ultimately the goal is to achieve a better “work/life balance” and live a happier, healthier life.

3 Must-Haves for Your Business' Site

Responsive Design 

You MUST have a fully reactive, coherent, and clear design for your website. Your site must offer easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling. An awkward and cumbersome web experience is now considered indicative of a low-quality standard of service or product. Of course, your site should be mobile-friendly as well. In fact, Google will now penalize you if your site is not optimized for mobile devices! An investment in solid web design will surely boost your online business. Don't know where to get started? All Square Space sites are automatically responsive. Or you can find a local web designer to guide you how to get started.

Sticky Header 

This feature keeps the header at the top of the page as someone scrolls. The logo and menu is always present and available. This is great because it makes navigating your website seamless and effortless. It also ensures constant branding because your name or logo will always be visible. It is also very simple to do. With just a couple clicks, you can ensure your header stays sticky.

Plugins to capture emails 

Your users’ email addresses are worth their weight in gold. Being able to directly contact people interested in your service offers huge marketing potential. There are great free resources such as Privy or Powr that offer a simple and customizable pop ups for your website to capture email addresses. With this info, you can effectively direct marketing resources.

3 Tips to Overcome Public Speaking Nerves

Snakes, sharks, piranhas, spiders, being buried alive – these are just some of the things people consistently say they fear less than speaking in public. On almost every list or countdown of our greatest fears, public speaking is almost always at the top. The potential for massive embarrassment makes us shutter with fear. Unfortunately for some, public speaking is a vital skill in business. Frequently you will be required to speak in front of meetings, boardrooms, and gatherings. You will not only have to communicate adequately, but eloquently as well. A good public speech could be the key to motivating your employees, frightening your competition, or convincing new customers. To be a successful entrepreneur, you simply need to overcome your fear of public speaking. Hopefully, these tips will help.

1. Find Your Biggest Critic and Get Lots of Feedback

If you are afraid of public speaking, this tip may seem absolutely terrifying. Having someone critique your speaking failures may be as appealing as rubbing salt on an open wound. However, constructive criticism is perhaps your greatest tool for improvement. Critics can point out what isn’t working and can offer you a different perspective. They can call you out on things you would have never noticed. The initial criticism may sting a little, but it will make you stronger. Knowing that you have already faced your biggest critics and survived unscathed will undoubtedly fill you with confidence when it is time to make your next speech.

Don't write down your speech

This tip appears extremely counterintuitive. While preparation is absolutely vital to a good speech, writing it out word for word may not be the best idea. The best speakers are able to effectively utilize the language that people actually speak. Too often, prewritten speeches come off as overly formal and boring. The audience can tell when you are just reciting something prewritten and they quickly lose interest. You rarely use phrases like "In addition," or "In contrast," while having a normal conversation. The language of prewritten speeches can just be awkward when read out loud. In addition, one small slip up in your recital will destroy your flow and, especially if you are already timid, shatter your confidence.  

Don't let your nerves get the best of you

 Everyone gets nervous and no one wants to see you stumble and fail. A small slip up is usually all it takes for a nervous public speaker to totally lose confidence. Relax. Know that you will make mistakes, and that is okay. You do not have to be perfect. If you are really passionate about what you are saying, the words will flow naturally. It may take some getting used to, but public speaking is a vital skill you can learn.

3 Traits of a Great CEO

Organized

If you have ever been in the cockpit of an airplane, you know that the many tools a pilot needs are clearly and meticulously arranged. The speedometer, altimeter, and GPS are right in front of him, exactly where they need to be. A pilot knows precisely what he has to do and when he has to do it. If things ever go awry, he can rely on this system of organization.  A CEO, as the “pilot” of his company, needs the employ the same system of organization. If your instruments (financial statements, marketing reports, etc,) are missing or miscalculated, you can’t make the right decisions. In addition, your time, your most precious resource, should be spent on the important stuff, especially when it is getting hectic.  When things inevitably go wrong, you can trust that your system of organization will help you solve the problem.

CEOs too, like great generals, need to inspire their “troops.”

Walks the Walk, Talks the Talk

One of the reasons George Washington was so revered by his soldiers was because he would fearless lead them into battle. Unlike other generals, he was on the front lines, leading the charge. CEOs too, like great generals, need to inspire their “troops.” They need to model the work ethic, attitude, and passion they hope to see in their employees. If the boss demands his workers should be responsible and diligent, he needs to model that behavior. Nothing inspires people like seeing their leader working just as hard, if not harder, than them. Not only will this yield inspiration, but respect as well. When your employees see how invested you are in the enterprise’s success, they will undoubtedly gain respect for you. When you actually “walk the walk” you become a much more effective leader.

Responds Well to Criticism

As many CEOs know too well, you can never be perfect. You constantly have to make decisions and any decision you make will inevitably be criticized. A big mistake is never listening to complaints and detractions. Too often, we take criticism to personally. John Wooden, the legendary college basketball coach, taught that “You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one“ The best CEOs listen to their detractors and reanalyze their decisions. You should not bend to the will of anyone, but instead realize you are not infallible. Take criticism, especially constructive criticism, as an opportunity to better yourself and the decisions you make. This way, you will constantly grow and improve.

4 Tips for Keeping the Frustration at Bay

Running a small business can be more than a little frustrating. It tends to bring about emotions you didn’t even know you had. Being frustrated can cloud your mind and affect your thought process, causing poor decisions and lack of proper judgment.

1. Stay focused

Frustration is a poison that seeps into all aspects of your life. If you aren’t careful, it can cause you to neglect other tasks as you fixate on your frustration. Don’t let this get the better of you and take your focus away from what really matters.

2. Don't let your frustration affect your judgment.

As a business owner, your final decisions can make or break your business. Making clear, rational decisions requires a clear and rational thought process. Frustration is the enemy of rationality, causing you to overthink and develop delusional thoughts.

Therefore it’s absolutely crucial to force yourself to take a step back breathe deeply. This applies to every aspect of business, from a terrible employee/client, a bad review, a poor month or any of the thousands of other problems a business must deal with on a regular basis. Keeping your cool is what separates good leaders from poor leaders.

3. Focus on Progress

Instead of wasting time focusing on the cause of your frustration, invest your time in tracking the progress you make. This will not only ensure that your actually getting the tasks you need to completed, but will cause you to forget why you're so frustrated in the first place. These things need to get done, so just ignore your frustration and put in the grind.

Record and track your progress however you see fit, this will give you peace of mind as you cross off tasks left and right. If your frustration starts to stunt progress in areas outside of your work life, be sure to take notice. As we mentioned earlier, the blinding effects of frustration can be the downfall of much more than just work life.

4. Find An Outlet to Express your frustration

Often times frustration exists because of an inability to express concerns or problems in the correct outlet. If it stems from trouble at work, make sure that you create a constructive environment where healthy criticism and concerns can be properly addressed.

There’s a big difference between properly bringing your concerns to light, and doing so in a way that can cause problems in your business. This is why it’s crucial to create a business environment that allows you, your team members and clients to feel comfortable talking about what causes frustration. Remember that you might not be the only one frustrated in your business.

Small Business Talk: Avoiding the Summer Slump

For a child, summer is unquestionably the best time of year. Long, sunny days mean trips to beach, afternoons at the pool, and best of all, no homework. But for the small business owner, summer can be the worst season of all. Many companies experience a “summer slump” in June, July, and August. They struggle to find new customers and revenues don’t grow. You must avoid this dreaded “slump” at all costs. Doing so may require an investment of creativity, but it is necessary for success.

A great example is Starbucks. In the early days, people doubted if the chain could maintain sales in the warm summer months. Who would want a hot expresso in the middle of July? Starbucks, unwilling to submit to a seasonal drop in sales, innovated and debuted the all new “Frappuccino.” This iced drink has earned Starbucks billions and ensured they stay relevant all year round.

Where most see problems, you should see opportunity.

Like Starbucks, you should not settle into a “summer slump.” When revenues go down, it is up to you to boost them back up. It’s not time to take a break; it’s time to launch more marketing! This season offers exceptional opportunities to drive growth. Summer outings, events, and holidays have enormous marketing potential. You could host a BBQ for loyal customers, hand out flyers at a festival, or create summer themed giveaways. It is all about adapting your marketing techniques to the season. Where most see problems, you should see opportunity. Don’t accept a drop in sales, get creative and your summer may just become your favorite season again.

Step Back to Move Forward

No one said starting a business would be simple. As Shakespeare once said, "Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown."  In today’s environment, owners have to do it all. They need to be accountants, customer services representatives, digital marketing experts, and more. Too often, owners are overwhelmed by the details. Organizing invoices, tracking employees, and chasing payments all distract from the real goals of the business. Instead, you should be ensuring the quality of your service, engaging with customers, and driving new growth. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day to do it all.

There is an expanding school of thought that entrepreneurs shouldn’t be judged by how many hours they work, but rather by how effective those hours are. “I work 60 hours a week” shouldn’t be a badge a pride, but rather a sign you may be going wrong. Diligent, consistent work is the key to growing a business, but if it is focused in the wrong area, your efforts may be in vain. The solution is delegation. For many new business owners, it is very difficult to relinquish control. You need to be sure that the job still gets done right. You need to guarantee the payments are on time, your employees are where they need to be, and the budget remains balanced. But there really are tools out there that can help. Handlr has the resources to assist you more effectively in delegating and managing tasks. Our system makes handling finances and logistics a breeze. Applications like Handlr are so appreciated by business owners because not only does it do their tasks efficiently and correctly, they free up a lot of time for you to do what is really important – running your business.

To see Handlr in action, book a demo here.

Survival of the Tech-Savviest

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.
— Charles Darwin

There was a time when if you wanted a ride across town, your only choice was to call a cab. Now, with a few taps, you can call an Uber or Lyft and get where you need to go. To many, the instructions to “call a cab” now seem strange and outdated. While paying for your ride with your phone was once thought of as unusual and unsafe, it is now rare to find someone with more than $40 dollars cash in their pocket. Although cabs were often dirty, slow, and expensive, you can argue that their biggest weakness was failure to change.

The point of this illustration is that you have to adapt to survive. The most successful businesses are the ones that embrace change and continue to give real benefit to their customers. This means adapting to and accepting new methodologies that technology now offers. Not only will platforms like Handlr make your business more efficient, they will help you compete in a market that is relying more and more on technology. “Oh, I just pay you on my phone?” is no longer a weird request. Oh, no more paperwork & invoicing? -- It is quickly becoming a valuable and appreciated convenience. The ability to directly message customers is revolutionizing customer service.  Scheduling appointments in a few clicks is becoming the new standard. Businesses who fail to adapt to the increasing demand for mobile and digital services won’t be able to compete. The competition is changing and customers are taking notice. For today’s businesses the choice is clear: you either adapt to new technology or go the way of the dodo.

To see Handlr in action, schedule a demo to see the magic here.

Looking to Flex Your Word-of-Mouth Muscles?

A personal training business can be a difficult thing to market. While a strong online presence can definitely boost business, most of your clients are going to come from referrals and word-of-mouth advertising. When a client is happy with their progress, and enjoying their time in the gym, they’re going to tell others.

You’re not only training someone to be physically successful, but also helping them to be successful in general.

It’s a very logical outcome --when you work with a customer, not only do they see physical results, but they gain confidence actually feel different. They start to believe in themselves, and they talk about you to their significant other, to their family, to their friends & neighbors. Don’t forget that you're not only training someone to be physically successful, but also helping them to be successful in general. Now you have successful people advocating for you in the community.

Of course, you can expedite this process by taking steps to encourage referrals. Lynne Wells, a personal trainer in New York City, takes a very candid and simple approach, letting clients know when she has an opening in her schedule. “I'll also put postcards out around the neighborhood where I work,” she says. Or you can offer a financial incentive, such as giving clients a discount on their next month’s fee if they send a referral and that person becomes a client.

This doesn’t mean you can’t speed up the process and encourage referrals. Posting flyers in the neighborhood, sending out postcards can help keep you in your client's thoughts incase a friend mentions that “they need to get back in shape”. Financial incentives, such as group deals and bring-a-friend specials can also work wonders.

Create a gift certificate for a free evaluation and one or two exercise sessions to your clients for them to give to someone else. Do this around a holiday, or tie it to some seasonal event to make it stand out. A “get in shape for summer” is a great scare-tactic to touch on the fear of not being beach-body ready.

Getting your foot in with the medical community can be difficult to do, but well worth it. Participate in health conferences, speak at community organizations, and volunteer with groups where you're likely to make contact with health-care providers. If you meet a doctor at a social event, follow up later to let him know about your services, he may just recommend you to clients in need of exercise or a life change. If you have a studio, consider hosting an open house so health-care providers can see what you have to offer.


Boosting your word-of-mouth advertising is the best way to increase your client base. Steadily build your community reputation with these tips and tricks to grow your rate of referrals and boost your growth.  

3 Lessons for Service Based Startups

Often times when we hear of the word, “startup,” we tend to automatically think of Silicon Valley/Beach tech start ups. Or a garage-based company on the verge of becoming the next big Uber overnight. Let’s ditch the social connotations --This term is generally meant for any organization or business on a mission to find a good, repeatable, scalable business model. From Handlr’s personal experience, it’s quite a wonderful ride to be on. The struggles of working from sunrise to sunset, running off to a meeting that started 10 minutes ago, or just juggling life, they’re predominant in our lives. These struggles confront the face of any entrepreneur launching their start up business regardless of industry. We’d like to share 3 lessons we’ve learned along our journey with service based startups:

Bootstrap and hold on tight

Funding your business from your own savings account lights the biggest fire under your @$$. There’s no cushion from a wealthy bank or investor, just you, yourself, and your business-baby. Staying self-funded leaves you no other choice but to focus on revenue and makes you think, “What’s going to make me money from Day 1.” And the perks? You stay your own boss and you learn the value of the dollar much faster. This is why you chose this entrepreneur lifestyle, don’t forget it 

Stay self-funded as long as possible.
— Garrett Camp, founder of Expa, Uber, and StumbleUpon

 

Be fearless

Nothing will end your career as an entrepreneur faster than fear. Having doubts of the worklife you want will inhibit your visions to come to fruition. Fear is also a game of perception. You can see challenges as opportunities of growth, or obstacles that you’ll be stuck behind forever. Challenges, obstacles, failures, whatever your fear is and however you word it --will always be there and it’s a matter of how you react to them. Failure is expected in our industry and will happen at some point in your career. Just remember, be resilient, take it in stride, learn from it, and get back on the bull.

You jump off a cliff and you assemble an airplane on the way down.
— Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn co-founder

 

Solve a problem

If you can help people accomplish something in a much more efficient way, or solve a problem, you are probably off to a great beginning in the startup world. Ask yourself, “Is my idea/service different than the competitors in the market?” That’s your value. So provide a solution, find your value, and the profit will follow.

Make something people want.
— Alexis Ohanian, Founder / Reddit, Hipmunk, and Breadpig

Frequently Asked Questions: What's Handlr's Pricing?

We frequently get asked the question of, “What’s your pricing?” And we realized that this is something that needs a little bit of explanation. So, we decided to expand this conversation into a blog post where many other entrepreneurs in search of a business management software probably have the same question as well. Also, we want to open up the dialogue with our audience about their thoughts and opinions on this --please feel free to leave comments on this blog post at the end of your reading, we’d love to hear your feedback!

Handlr For Businesses

Our Handlr Partners have complete access to the entire platform for free. Seriously! Businesses can apply, receive an invitation code from us, fill out their company profile/information, and voila! Businesses can manage their team members’ schedules, manage customers, see reports, invoices, and more. To paint a detailed portrait of the whole process, the free version means that you can create appointments in your schedule, and whoever is assigned to the job will get a notification on the Handlr Team App (given that they’ve downloaded this on their smartphone) that they’ve been scheduled for an appointment. The team member can get directions to the job, check-in to the service, check-out when completed (business and customer gets notified of this), and the business gets paid instantly. It’s a beautiful thing.

Handlr for Customers

Let’s say your customers contact you directly to book an appointment with your business. Well, that gets pretty hard to manage when your business is expanding, and before the day is over you have hundreds of booking requests in your inbox, texts, voicemails and other channels of communications you have. By becoming a Handlr Partner, your customers can book you through our Handlr App. And we charge a 15% service cost that customers pay for the convenience. There’s more in it for them. Your customers can instantly chat within the app with you, and the assigned employee about their booking. The team member can send photos and updates about the service to your customer in real-time. And the customer can trust your business that the job is getting done with Handlr’s GPS tracking. They can also book other services on the app as well. For instance, if you’re a dog walking business, your customers can book a Private Dog Walk with you, and also find a local dog groomer on the app as well. We onboard complementary business so both businesses swap customers and your company grows.

We’ve had businesses that choose to have their customers pay for the 15% cost, or, some of our other Handlr Partners cut their prices back a tad and absorb the cost. There’s no right or wrong way of approaching this, just whatever works best for your business model.

The Takeaways

Handlr is free to use for businesses and that includes the entire dashboard log-in with 100% access to all the business management tools, and team member Handlr app. When customers book you through the app, the customer gets charged a 15% fee of your service price and they get to easily book you and many other services on Handlr.

If you are interested in seeing Handlr’s magic in action, schedule a demo with a rep, or apply to be a Handlr Partner here.

For any questions, feel free to email us at hello@myhandlr.com or leave a comment below.

Ch. 15 of the Comprehensive Checklist for Growing Your Business: Take time off

You’ve gotten this far into your business - congrats! Let’s take a moment to reflect where it all began. Remember when you thought, “If I start a business, I could avoid the 9 to 5 typical job!” But then, you quickly realized that it was a 24-hour job and you had to stretch your expertise in areas you never thought you needed? During those *precious* moments of scarfing down food in the car, or putting on the same clothes as yesterday because you don’t have time to do laundry, did you ever feel a glimpse of hope that this madness would calm itself down? You can stop the hamster wheel and achieve the freedom you deserve.

Let go of control and put the systems, processes, and people in place that you can trust to run your business without you. Always consider upgrades you can do in your business’ operations that will save time and money. Is it automating your processes? Shifting responsibilities to people with strength in that particular area or perhaps utilizing technology that saves countless labor hours and dollars? These are critical questions and a state of mind that a skilled business owner would always consider. What if something happened to you? Would your business still survive?

Write down your goals for 2016. What do you want your business and more importantly, your life, to look like? Life is short. Do everything you can to make the most out of it now. It may not happen in one night, but take the necessary steps to put your business on autopilot so that you can take a vacation and get paid while you’re not working. You may be burned out, but keep dreaming big and keep taking the steps to move towards your ultimate goal.

By now, if you've read every chapter of the comprehensive checklist, your business should be in a place where you can sit back and watch it run itself. If you’ve signed up to use Handlr, you can have a bird’s eye view of your business in action from anywhere in the world. Book that plane ticket, and experience life that you’ve worked so hard for. And give yourself a pat on the back! It takes guts, will, and fierce determination to be an entrepreneur. Here's to a bigger, better business!