Learn more about the 5 Stages of Business ( click here )
The journey of Vanessa – Pet Guardian
💰 Stage 1) Dream up – There is no business yet – only a dream, idea, or desire for one
💖 Yup, had the idea back in 2007 when I knew my time in the adult entertainment business was coming to an end. I was also running a boutique (yet busy!) “promotional models and entertainment” agency for South East QLD thru to Byron Bay NSW at the time.
Initially I thought I would be a groomer and pursued that .. then I randomly came across www.goldcoastpets.com.au .. at the time it had “Business For Sale” at he top of the website (this was back in the simple days of HTML websites).
For $500 (a bargain in my opinion as the website was already ranked well with at least 3 years worth of domain registration paid for up-front) … I had a business !
I also had the client list however it was worth $0. I knew the website would be my ‘golden ticket’ for customers … and it was and still is to this day.
(Back then it was called “Gold Coast Pet Sitting” or short-form was “gcpets”.)
💰 Stage 2) Start up – sales have started to come in, you found a pocket of customers or clients, and the excitement of having your business has begun (but sometimes that comes with overwhelm too)
💖 I remember this .. there came a point .. a very scary point where operating the agency and operating my pet care biz clashed. I had to make a choice. Eventually I created the choice for myself (aka “universe stepped in to hurry me up!”) … and got fired from the agency (which subsequently resulted in that agency going belly-up as it relied on me heavily) … and went “all in” for the pet care biz.
I still remember how scary it was to have to rely upon my pet care biz full time. It was also the best thing that could have happened as all of a sudden I had TIME to be able to devote to networking and building it.
💰 Stage 3) Ramp up – that point along the path to scaling up your business, where the sales and profits are giving you the opportunity to breathe a lot easier. This is the place that most entrepreneurs have the capabilities to build their businesses to, with the grit and hustle they personally possess; however, it’s also the ceiling for most businesses.
💖 I reached this point around 3-4 years into my pet care biz journey. (note: I’m in year 10 as of this year – 2017.) It took a lot of long hours, sweat (lots of dog walking, driving!! and meet n greets – hence the reason my metabolic rate has been so high even on my laziest days) and tears to build it to this point … yet it was here.
Yes, I had a “team” of sub-contractors. I was also well networked locally with all the other pet carers since I seemed to be the only one bothering to network with “my colleagues” (I never saw anyone as competition).
💰 Stage 4) Scale up – you’ve unshackled yourself from a lot of the ‘daily activities’ of the business and you have a team in place doing all that stuff. But it is likely that profits have taken a dip as a result of increased people power.
💖 Yup. I remember this sweet spot – it was around year 5-6 ? Not sure on the timing however I remember being gone and uncontactable for a whole week … and my business operated fine without me. I also remember how I finally had an “easy” Christmas period … because my team had it all under control.
Maria was a vital component of the team and a huge reason why I reached this point (as I wasn’t afraid to delegate).
It was around this point thanks to all the systems and processes I had created and/or put in place like LeashTime (online based booking/invoice system for pet care businesses) people also started to talk to me about possibly licensing or franchising the business.
I *seriously* considered these options.
…. and yes due to the fact I had to pay Maria (my VPA – Virtual Personal Assistant) … had to pay all my sub-contractors … had to pay for Leashtime (the cost increases as use increases) … had to pay for just *MORE* … I did have a few weeks where I struggled and freaked out as to how I was going to pay everyone, everything and my own life expenses (yes, debts).
Now you’d think … “I had it made” … I did in a lot of ways yet I was miserable. I was always stressed (not in the healthy productive stress that keeps you moving way).
It was during one of the monthly staff meetings where everyone was discussing all the pets (as I was being very picky with which clients and when I would do them since I could) … I realised I was no longer happy with my business.
It needed to change. I was ready to change.
… and it subsequently was also around the time when I launched the first version of Lady Vee : Priestess of The Body (called Lady Vee : StripperLike Confidence ).
I started scaling back to be able to devote more time to Lady Vee. After a year or so of pursuing the first version of Lady Vee.. I decided to return to my pet care business. This time around for my pet care biz I would do it differently as it would be more personally branded … and hence Vanessa – Pet Guardian was born.
Vanessa – Pet Guardian is always going to be with me as it’s a vital part of who I am (my passion for pets) and what I’m about however I made the active decision to never go past Stage 2 (it nearly did this year).
Will I eventually abandon Lady Vee : Priestess of The Body and return to the ‘comfort’ of my pet care business ? Nope. There’s a distinct difference between the “stripper” version of Lady Vee and the current version – this one has the potential to play on a global stage as well as for the longer term.
I profoundly understand how the connection to my divine-self to provide for myself and my “loved ones” – both human and not-so-human – is vital.
Lady Vee : Priestess of The Body is at Stage 2 .. and thanks to my journey with Vanessa – Pet Guardian