Do you want to support your staff by being able to pay them salaries they deserve? Do you want to be able to give your staff benefits? As I travel and assess organizations, I hear this desire more and more.
Learn ways to make more money so you can pay your staff a deserving wage. This job is an extremely emotional and physical job. Let’s support our staff by thinking more creatively and using business practices to generate more funds.
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So many places that I go to I hear the same story, “we can’t afford to pay our staff well,” “we can’t afford to give them benefits,” “we can’t afford this, we can’t afford that.” Well, then I’d have to ask you, whose fault is that? When that happens, it’s our fault. That means we don’t have a business plan in place, we don’t have a strategic plan in place…
We all know how hard our staff works. We know how difficult their job is, we know how emotional and physical their job is, and we just can’t treat them as second-class citizens. They decided to take their work ethics, their education and utilized these to enhance the quality of life for pets and they should not be treated like second-class citizens.
I know it’s hard. I know it’s hard to raise the money you need, but we don’t work at it… So many places that I go to don’t work at it.
Perfect example on pricing of pets. So many organizations think that we can increase our adoptions by decreasing adoption fees and some places I go to, there ARE no adoption fees, thinking that’s what is going to help to increase adoptions.
Well, guess what, it doesn’t help anybody. All that does is devalue the pets, devalue the services that you provide, and makes you come up short with funds, so how can you better-pay your staff? You have to get out of that mentality. You cannot continue to tell the general public that if you want to get a good pet, pay $1000 and find it out of a newspaper. If you want to get a cheap, bargain-basement, throw-away pet, then come to us. Stop that way of thinking. It does not do anything for your adoptions, all it does is devalue your pets.
If you increase your adoption fees, let’s say you increase them by $100, and you multiply that by 3,000, that’s $300,000! $300,000 will help you better-pay your staff and give benefits.
This is how businesses all over the world work. Your product is very valuable. If you feel that those pets are worth something, then it is your duty to put a fee on them. You don’t want people coming in and looking at your pets and saying, “I’m here because I want something cheap.”
You want people coming in and looking at your pets and saying, “You know what – I got to have it! I’m in love with it!” That’s the foundation for a good adoption. That’s the foundation for a lasting adoption. And that is the foundation that will bring in revenue so you can take better care of your staff.
Think about the future. If you need more revenue than why don’t you set up a day-camp? We have a day-camp where we teach children how to share the world with pets. We have it at summer-time, spring-time and winter recess. We raise about $400,000 in camp fees teaching children how to share the earth with pets. It is our responsibility to change the mentality of this country and around the world. We are not going to change that unless we start with the children. If you want to change tomorrow, start with the children of today.
The other aspect is to be creative! Think of different things that you can do. I know in some communities, like ours, everybody is doing dog-walks, it seems like everybody is doing a walk for different things, so it’s highly competitive. So we came up with the idea, since we have surf and surfers, of a Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon. Last year we had over 80 dogs competing on surf boards, we had three million media impressions, we raised $200,000. Be creative! If you don’t have surf, you may have snow! Maybe you can teach them to snowboard. If you don’t have that, you have other things, maybe skateboards? Do something – be creative. Don’t just sit there and wait for things to happen, make things happen.
That’s the best advice that I can give you. Get out of that box that we have all been living in, and let’s be creative. Let’s work for the pets that we have and let’s work to bring in the revenue so we can help our staff in our organization.