Show AND Tell
Transparency and communication are more important than ever.
BY MIKE BOBER
As with so
the keys are
& trans par ency
And it works. We’ve all heard stories of corporate greed and profit-driven behavior, both big and small, across a wide range of industries,
so the public is pre-conditioned to assume the worst. Because we
work with living creatures, accusations of corner-cutting and outright
mistreatment are especially resonant and hard to dismiss.
There’s a paradox when it comes to Americans and business. We encourage entrepreneurship and celebrate success, but that success makes us skeptical—even distrustful—of businesses, their employees and their motivations. For those of us in the pet care
community, this distrust is a huge problem that needs to be confronted head on.
No matter the issue we’re facing, one of the most common charges brought
against pet businesses is that they “put profits before pets.” This accusation has
been used to criticize everyone from breeders of live animals, food and product
manufacturers, retailers, and even service providers. When levied, it’s meant to
paint a picture of pet care professionals as heartless and money-hungry; people
for whom companion animals are, at best, an afterthought.
As pet care professionals, this is a frustrating situation. Many of us
go into the pet business because we love working with pets and pet
owners and we’re thrilled to be able to make a living doing what we
love. We bring passion, a desire to help and a commitment of lifelong
learning to the process of connecting people with pets and helping
them care for them. But then we’re dismissed or demonized when we
offer our experience and expertise because we are paid for it.
So how can you overcome that predisposition to believe that you’re
“just in it for the money?”
As with so many other aspects of business today, the keys are
transparency and communication. Social media amplifies and
accelerates word-of-mouth reviews, and today’s pet owners are more
inclined than ever to engage as partners, rather than mere consumers.
PHOTO BY SERGII MOSTOVYI