Business Management News

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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


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.

The Missing Piece of your Marketing Strategy: In-Person Marketing

A simple face to face connection is perhaps the best way to gain a new customer.

Every year, companies spend enormous amounts of time and money developing innovative marketing techniques. From electronic billboards, to sponsored web articles, to even creative skywriting -- businesses are constantly trying out new methods to drive growth. This desire to experiment with marketing is valuable, but often these efforts are poor uses of resources. Just because it is new doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good. Too often, businesses forget to focus on the simplest and perhaps most effective strategy: in-person marketing. Personal relationships with customers are critical to driving revenue and business growth. A simple face to face connection is perhaps the best way to gain a new customer.

Personal connections are especially important in the early stages of your business when you are still perfecting your model. Customer feedback is a key way to find out what elements of your business aren’t working. You can check in with your customers frequently and gain valuable information about pricing, quality, or anything else you want to know. A strong personal connection will ensure the feedback they give is honest and reliable. These connections are also great for market research. Learning more about your customers – who they are, where they are, and what they want – is critically important. You want to constantly tweak and improve your business to keep it relevant in the market place. Even for larger, more developed companies, maintaining and creating new personal connections is vital. It’s a big mistake to just see customers as dollar signs. Businesses who fail to understand what their customers actually want will not last long.  

Making meaningful connections with people can also be a great way to expand your business. Of all the types of advertising, one of the most valued is “word of mouth.” Your business profits when satisfied customers share their experiences and recommendations to friends and family. One Tweet or Facebook post could lead to many new customers. Again, this is why in person connections are so important. One solid interaction with someone will allow you to put a “face to the business.” Customers are of course more likely to share their opinions if that personal connection has been established.  One connection could lead to a whole web of potential new business leads. A small investment of time can lead to huge amounts of rewards. Your growing business could be one connection away from exponential growth.

In-person marketing is perhaps the best way to market your business, and best of all, it just requires a little bit of time. It’s as easy a quick call to a good customer. 

Personal Training Business Resource: ECA World Fitness

Who is ECA?

ECA World Fitness is an international organization and association representing the fitness and wellness community. ECA started their roots back in 1991 and is the undisputed leader for innovative and quality programming. ECA’s reputation for integrity is well known and has earned respect and trust for delivering win-win relationships with all of its partners.

What does ECA World Fitness offer?

ECA offers a wide array of resources to industry professionals from personal trainers, hybrid trainers, to yoga instructors. They offer workshops, seminars, online events, continuing education and webinars, resource materials, networking opportunities and a wide array of individual member benefits, including their claim to fame, and annual conventions, which are legendary throughout the industry.

Why ECA?

The personal fitness community is a competitive space and when it comes to searching for the right tools to support your mobile business and clients, ECA World Fitness has a strong reputation for over delivery. Be apart of their vast network, gain insight on industry trends, expand your knowledge and connect with like-minded people. 

For more information on ECA, visit their site here.

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 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!

Bigger Business Book Club: 02

There's nothing quite like opening up an inspirational book to get your creative business minds cranking. Here's our second roundup of business management books we recommend taking a peak at that will benefit you and your business:

  • The Lean Start Up by Eric Ries - "Rather than wasting time creating elaborate business plans, The Lean Startup offers entrepreneurs - in companies of all sizes - a way to test their vision continuously, to adapt and adjust before it’s too late. Ries provides a scientific approach to creating and managing successful startups in a age when companies need to innovate more than ever."
  • From Idea to Exit by Jeffrey Weber - "From Idea to Exit takes a more comprehensive approach, tackling the entire entrepreneurial journey from the initial seed idea through a well-planned exit strategy. Through a persuasive narrative, the author draws from his own success a practical call to action for those who dream of taking that first big step."
  • The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki - "Whether you're an aspiring entrepreneur, small-business owner, intrapreneur, or not-for-profit leader, there's no shortage of advice on topics such as innovating, recruiting, fund raising, and branding. In fact, there are so many books, articles, websites, blogs, webinars, and conferences that many startups get paralyzed, or they focus on the wrong priorities and go broke before they succeed. "

Ch. 13 of the Comprehensive Checklist for Growing Your Business: Don’t Fear the Feedback

Often times, we business owners cringe in fetal position with the thought of hearing criticism and feedback from our own customers. Sometimes, hearing those comments can be a little bit too raw and too personal to see the bigger picture it serves. When we talked with a local pet walking business owner, she shared, “I get anxiety attacks when I see an email from Yelp that I’ve had a new review!” I think we can all share that feeling. Let’s try and retrain our minds on how we handle and manage feedback for our business positively.

Criticism = Opportunity

No one likes to be criticized and we all like to believe that we’re Beyonce-level flawless. Unfortunately, no one is without flaw and we tend to discredit them and even ignore criticism altogether. However, most feedbacks that our customers provide presents a great opportunity for improvement. We should want it. If no one ever told us how to do things a better way, our businesses would be in a constant state of mediocrity. Don’t be afraid to ask your customers if they’re happy with your service!

Utilizing Yelp

As biased as Yelp can be, it is a necessary evil. Asking your customers to post their reviews to help you boost your presence on Yelp can benefit your business greatly.  After all, Yelp has 86 million monthly mobile visitors on their platform and most likely, your customers are going to it to seek information about your business.

Ask For It!

Asking for reviews means you also have to monitor it and follow up with them. Even though we’re quick to search for the ‘delete’ button when a 1-star appears for that stickler of a customer, it speaks greater volumes to deal with it. Go head first into the problem and reach out to that customer and make it right. With the latter approach, we often see 1-star reviews get bumped up to a terrific 5-star.

Even sparking the conversation in real-life (I know, what a thought) could open up trust with your customers. A question as simple as, “Are you happy with our service today?” Or following up next time with, “Were you pleased with XYZ last time?” Gives your customers an opportunity to share their thoughts and insights about your business.

How Do You Handle It?

Do you have an internal method of handling customer suggestions and opinions? Some opt in for the good ol’ paper form, some send a survey in an email afterwards, or some might find it conveniently on their smartphone. As the general consumer population is increasingly referring to their phones for everything, a lot of mobile apps are now offering follow-up strategies this way. Particularly with mobile and on-demand services, it’s quite a challenge to find an app that helps you run your business, yet alone manage customer feedback and reviews, until Handlr came along. With Handlr, every service your business completes prompts your customer to tap a star-rating and write a review if they want to. This way, you as the business owner get a precise evaluation for each employee and service. It also alleviates the middle man (Yelp) and directs those not so happy customers directly to you.

So what do you do with all of this information? It’s great to sit and assess what pain points you hear often, patternistic issues that keep recurring, and strategize how to apply changes to your business to minimize those concerns. Again, feedback and reviews don’t have to be hair-pulling and personal. It’s to benefit you as a business owner and your business itself.


How I Started a Dog Walking Business Turned Tech Company

Nobody understands what it’s like to have your hands so full of dogs, that you don’t even have time to change your pants after a dog lifted his leg on you at the dog park. Or what it’s like to spend time with so many happy dogs all day, but to come home exhausted and covered in dog hair and slobber. It’s a labor of love and it can be the hardest and the best job ever.

You might have fallen into dog walking like I did. I have always loved dogs and I’ve always loved people too. When I was at UCSD, I missed my dogs back home so much that I decided to help out my neighbors with their dogs. Before I knew it, I was walking dogs on almost every street in La Jolla. By the time I graduated, I was walking 30 dogs per day and that’s when I decided to turn DogZenergy into a professional business.

My goal:

To create the best and biggest dog walking agency in San Diego so that I could spread my love to hundreds of dogs.

My biggest hurdle:

Fear and burnout.

In the first few years of running my business, I was happy, but tired. After walking all day from 7am-8pm without any breaks, it was exhausting to come home and do the busy work. The last thing I wanted to do was work on the schedule, create invoices, and get back to customer requests. I felt like I was stuck on a hamster wheel of the daily grind.

One day, one of my favorite clients was extremely upset when I handed her a late invoice. She said to me, “Brittany, you are not a businesswoman, you are a dog walker.” These words really stung. I put my whole life into being the best dog walker that I could be, but it was true. I was not running a streamlined business. I was behind on invoicing, I had no systems in place, and I had no help. I felt like I was drowning. A friend of mine told me to read The E-Myth by Michael E. Gerber and this book really changed my life. In the book, Gerber explains that you have to work “on” your business and not just “in” it. You can’t just be a dog walker, you have to be a mindful business owner too. You need systems and processes so that you can hire a team and bring on more customers without compromising your quality of service.  

It sounded easy enough, I needed to build a team. But how do I trust them? How do I know that every dog got walked and no mistakes were made? How do I not get cut out? That’s when I started searching for the perfect software, but couldn’t find it. When Uber and other on-demand apps came out, I really wanted to get my hands on the same technology for my business. So I decided to pack the last ten years of trying to make my life easier into one easy, simple to use mobile business platform called Handlr.

With the Handlr business dashboard and connected team app and customer app, you can seamlessly handle the following:

  • Automate scheduling and dispatching of your dog walkers

  • Keep track of your client list. See revenue and satisfaction ratings per client.

  • Keep track of your dog walkers’ performance ratings

  • Receive check in and check out alerts and GPS track your walkers

  • Three-way chat between you, your dog walker and your client so that phone numbers are not shared.

  • You and your clients can see photos and updates about their dog’s day and share them on social media.

  • Easy client registration and safe, encrypted, credit card payment

  • No more invoicing. Get paid right away.

  • Always know how your business is performing with revenue reports.

  • See new customers magically drop themselves into your schedule.

Now my business is running completely on auto-pilot and we have 15 dog walkers and hundreds of clients using the Handlr app. Our clients are booking our services on the app 20% more than they did before and we are growing faster than we can hire. We’re on track to do a million dollars in sales this year. And now you can gain control over your business by using Handlr too.

If you’re interested in applying to join Handlr click here.

We look forward to handling business with you!

Handlr Automate Your Business

Britt Alwerud lives in Los Angeles, CA with her menagerie of animals - two goldens, Daisy and Taj, two cats, Tiger and Monkey, and two horses named Gracie and Moo. Britt owns DogZenergy in San Diego, CA. Now she is the full-time Founder and CEO of Handlr. Learn more at or email her at

Ch. 12 of the Comprehensive Checklist for Growing Your Business: Creating the Sizzle

Creating content for your business’ social media channels is a fun way to get creative while engaging your customers. My colleagues: content is all around us. It is everything you do for your business. Every conversation you have with your clients, every email sent, in every customer complaint we take -  there’s a story and a lesson to be learned within all of those small details we tend to overlook.

There are a few key pointers to touch base on while we’re sourcing content.

Offer a variety of rich content for your audience.

  • Rich content is really the focus here. We want the information we share with others to be saturated with unique things that they may not have known before. Offering a variety of information, whether it’s a compilation of quotes, infographics, surveys or interviews, makes it a pot of gold for your customers to hit that, “share” button.

Make it look professional.

  • It’s pretty awkward visiting a business’ page only to find dark, grainy photos with harsh filters. Photography isn’t everyone’s forte and that’s quite okay. Just keep in mind to consider the composition, clarity, and color of the image. If those words already have you spinning, consider using an app to enhance your photos! Some of our favorite photo editing apps that make it easy to create beautiful images are VSCO, Photo Editor by Aviary, and the good old photo editing options on your iPhone.

  • If you’re looking for something more involved like making a video for your business, hiring a local videographer might just be the solution. A videographer can help wonders in terms of figuring out frames, angles, and a smooth storyboard to better tell your story.

  • Check out some of Handlr’s videos from our YouTube Channel:


Ballin’ on a Budget?

  • Get creative with your iPhone and capture moments yourself! If you need inspiration, see some of the greatest photography shot with the iPhone that Apple compiled here.

Be persistent!

It's easy to throw in the towel when your content isn't picking up traction - but that's expected. Marketing Ninja, Mike Linville of BlackDogMarketing assures us that it takes about 12-18 months before the traffic begins to pick up. He suggests a couple things to help speed up the process:

  • Strategize on how to share your content. (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, Stumbleupon)
  • The 5 Day Strategy - promoting your content for 5 days for maximum exposure on different channels.
  • Sell the sizzle, then the steak. Give your customers what they want, then reel in the traffic with the information they need.

Just remember to inform and/or inspire your audience and make it relevant to your them.  After all, if you’re spending all this time creating posts and writing articles that no one pays attention to, it’s absolutely a waste of time. Be genuine, and try not to overthink about the process. Social media is creative, fun and a great growing process for your business. Ready, Set, Create!