Written by: Cindy Aldridge
Image via Unsplash
Many people would say that settling in a new pet and starting a new business are full-time jobs in and of themselves, but not you. You decided to go big by tackling two bucket list items at one time. While there is certainly no shame in doing so — in fact, kudos for your stellar decisions — know that nurturing your business to success and making your new companion feel at home may require a few lifestyle changes and some significant juggling.
Mine, Yours, Ours
Most people don’t anticipate them to be, but pets can be a distraction. In fact, so much so that since the world went virtual, people have been sharing stories about just how needy Fido or Fifi can be during the average workday. While you certainly shouldn’t neglect your furry friend’s needs during working hours, you should do what you can to eliminate opportunities for distraction as much as possible. One such way you can do this is by creating separate spaces for your new business and your pet.
For your pet, consider creating a pet den. Keep it close to your anticipated office so your new four-legged family member will always feel connected — to you even when you’re busy. Equip it with a bed, a few beloved toys and a water bowl.
As for your own space, RoomSketcher suggests setting it up to maximize creativity and productivity and minimize distractions. Pick a location that is well-suited to your work purposes. Ideally, this space will serve exclusively as your home office, but if you don’t have the space for that, pinpoint a corner where you can fit a desk, electronics and materials. Ensure the space gets plenty of light, as light affects mental clarity — especially during the post-lunch dip.
If you and your new companion must share a space, be sure to have a designated area that belongs to your pet. A simple bed next to your desk might be sufficient, and add a favorite toy so your furry coworker can entertain themselves while you’re busy.
Safe and Secure
Pets tend to be curious in new spaces, and you don’t want your new companion to get into trouble. It’s important that, no matter where your furry friend hangs out during the workday, that space is safe. Keep poisonous substances (houseplants, cleaning supplies, etc.) out of reach, secure trash receptacles, and close toilet lids. If you have a dog that you allow outside, make sure you have an appropriate fence, and cats can safely enjoy the outdoors on a catio.
While you’re thinking in terms of safety, make sure your business is following proper information security practices to keep hackers at bay. Use complex passwords, update your software regularly, and use firewalls and encryption to protect your data.
Develop a New Routine
Routine is crucial for both your business's and your pet’s success. In addition to boosting your productivity, a routine can help you manage your stress and anxiety in the early days of your business. For pets, predictability can help them feel more secure and increase the odds that they will live happily in your care. Make sure to feed your pet at the same times every day, and as Embark recommends, don’t forget to schedule time for walks, training and quality time together.
Use Business Apps
As a business owner, it’s hard to manage all your to-dos in a timely manner. As a business owner and new pet parent, it can prove even more challenging. To make the most of your time, invest in a few good business apps to easily tackle important tasks like managing payroll. This way, you can process payroll while out of office so that you don't miss a beat. An app like QuickBooks Payroll makes it convenient to create paychecks wherever you are. It also tracks past paychecks and lets you pay taxes electronically. New pets often need help with things like potty training and house rules, and with the right apps you can tune into your pet’s needs without losing track of your schedule and commitments.
If you take the right steps, this new chapter in your life can be a positive and fulfilling one for both you and your new companion. You’ll also increase your odds of success as both a business owner and pet parent.
Looking to build trust with your pet and improve their behavior? For Trust Technique and Reiki services, book a consultation or session with Regarding Animals.
<About the Author>
Cindy Aldridge is the creator of ourdogfriends.org, a website advocating for the love and ownership of dogs. She believes that dogs truly are our best friends and wants to see less dogs in shelters and more in loving homes.