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Sales Success Inspiration is the name of the game today.  We left off with the last post "

No Sales! The Leads Suck! After ten years in the industry I have heard this more than once. In fact, I hear this so often that a series of educational blog posts are needed to educate sellers on how to close more deals - period.

No sales! Now, first I preface this entire post with one thought...

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First-Of-Its-Kind, Home-Based Business Opportunity Is the Perfect Fit for Animal Lovers!
3 Sep 09 Posted by: Kathleen C Lanza
in Featured Articles
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If you love animals and want to make a respectable living providing a much-needed and in-demand service in your community…all from your own home, then the At Home Pet Network might be just the right option for you! There’s never been an opportunity for you to start a business of your very own quite like this one…until now! Read on….,

The Perfect Business Opportunity for Any Animal Lover

Things are tight in the current economy, that’s for sure. But despite the current economic downturn, there’s one thing many people don’t seem to want to compromise on, and that’s anything relating to their pets. And boy, are there a lot of them! In fact, Americans have more pets in their homes than ever before. According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), 62% of U.S. households in the coming year will own a pet. That’s 71.4 million homes with a Fido, a Fluffy or some other bird, fish, reptile or other caged friend. What’s even more amazing is how well we treat them… like a member of the family and then some! Let’s face it, we pamper our pets.

American Pet Products Association (APPA)

“The psychology of pet owners has changed over the better part of the last decade,” says John O’Driscoll, a kennel owner/operator of many years and the founder/owner of the At Home Pet Network (AHPN). “Pets used to be a working member of the household with a job to do and a role to play. Now, having a pet means having another family member, a social creature that needs human interaction.” In keeping with this trend, pet industry expenditures have gone up every year for as long as had been recorded, topping out at an estimated $45.4 billion in 2009. And of that number, $3.4 billion alone is in the area of pet services, which includes grooming and boarding.

Recognizing this pronounced change in attitude of pet owners toward their furry friends, O’Driscoll began offering alternate accommodations to the unattached kennel facilities on his property in his own home environment. Despite the increased cost, the demand was almost overwhelming. “We had animals with us in the house last year for just 150 of the 365 days, and we made $25K,” O’Driscoll says. It’s been that kind of success that has fueled his creation of an incredibly ingenious and affordable business opportunity that he hopes will create a nationwide network of certified, well-regarded in-home pet providers.

The At Home Pet Network (AHPN)

Unlike other options available to entrepreneurs who want to get started in the pet boarding industry, AHPN is not a franchise with huge start-up costs. In fact, O’Driscoll has worked incredibly hard to ensure its affordability. “This business opportunity is designed to provide everything good about franchising, but without the cost,” he says. “We want to create a nationwide network of respected and recognized professionals who love what they do and who reap the profits themselves for their hard work.”

AHPN affiliate business owners pay just $899 for the start-up kit, and then just $189 per month, which allows them access to a complete turnkey business package that is constantly being enhanced and improved. In fact, just a brief review of the company’s brochure is enough for anyone to see just how thoroughly O’Driscoll has set the groundwork for any AHPN affiliate’s success. Given his extensive background in the pet boarding business, there’s no angle left unexplored, no groundwork that has not been laid.

“Our affiliates are independent business owners with full control of their own operations, that’s true,” he says. “But, we’ve been in this business a long time, and we have the know-how to provide the technical, marketing and business growth support our affiliates need to be successful.” True to his word, the company has developed a number of outstanding and truly unique business operations tools and methodologies to ensure its affiliates are recognized as being some of the most efficient and best in the business.

The first component of the AHPN business plan worth noting, and there are many, is the 4-point pet stress management program. Years of experience have taught O’Driscoll that there are four key elements that any in-home pet boarding business needs to contend with and address fully to be successful, and his business plan tackles each one to the minutest detail. Pet stress, decision stress on the part of the pet owner, cost stress and separation stress for both the pet and its owner are all very real circumstances that need to be addressed and managed by successful pet boarders. O’Driscoll has created a business plan that identifies and addresses each area with concrete tools and strategies to minimize the negative impact of these factors wherever possible.

Second and as part of the overall business plan mentioned above, AHPN affiliates have access to a database/software package called “The Dashboard.” This unique and incredibly comprehensive tool manages all aspects of the business from generating leads and receipts and making reservations and deposits to operating a complete marketing care center that generates thank you notes, reminders and follow-ups. In addition, the software allows for clients to check in on their pets when they are away on a number of levels, including a message board, pictures and live video streaming. “We’ve done everything we can to ensure any pet owners’ experience of being away from their pet is not stressful,” O’Driscoll promises.

Of course, there are challenges to owning a business of this nature. Depending on the animal in question, there may need to be some house rules. And owners know that crating is not out of the question should it become necessary. “We offer a free trial night in an effort to ensure a particular pet fits in just fine with our family and routine,” O’Driscoll says. “Some animals do need a little training and there is a dance you have to do to accommodate certain circumstances and temperaments, but for the most part, they do very well. These animals become a temporary part of our family, and they have my own dog’s lifestyle and schedule.”

And it’s not just dogs and cats that can find a home with an AHPN affiliate. O’Driscoll really encourages each business to explore growth opportunities by getting involved in taking care of exotics and other smaller pets. “We have training manuals for our affiliates on all of these options, and the demand for these services is astronomical,” he explains. “It’s super easy. All you need is some basic knowledge and the proper environment, and you’re charging $20 per night for a bird or a rabbit.”

And speaking of environment, what might that be? “We have a room off of our kitchen that is just for the animals that are staying with us,” O’Driscoll says. “All the pets we care for do not necessarily have full access to our house. We have to crate some who don’t sleep well with others, but for the most part, everyone gets along just fine.”

Of course, pet boarding is not a business for just anyone. First and foremost, any AHPN affiliate has to love animals. Additionally, O’Driscoll feels that this opportunity works best for someone who wants the flexibility of owning their own business, but who also enjoys staying at home. It’s a great part-time option. “If you’re not into pets, don’t do this, and, if you have a problem picking up the occasional poop, this probably isn’t the best business for you to own,” he jokes.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for someone to do what they love and make a very decent living, but it’s never going to make you rich,” O’Driscoll states. “Pets are truly an extension of people in my mind. If you’re good to someone’s pet, it’s the equivalent of stroking that person’s soul.” And, what about the growth potential in the in-home pet boarding industry? O’Driscoll is convinced that it’s unlimited, that it’s the wave of the future. “People love to know that the thing that’s most dear to them is being loved,” he says. “When they can find someone who loves their pet like they do and like it’s their own, forget it…it’s over…they’re hooked. Word of mouth takes over faster than you can imagine, and you’re on your way!”

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