They say a house is not a home without a pet. Whether you can’t stop watching cat videos on YouTube, or you stop to pet every puppy you come in contact with, chances are, animals play some sort of role in your life.

When Deborah Morgan opened her pet boarding and training facility 13 years ago, she had a “deep, deep love for all animals.” Now, that passion is what has made her organization so successful.

Situated in a cozy Maryland suburb located between Baltimore and Annapolis, Country Critters offers professional grooming, dog obedience training and boards animals of all shapes and sizes.

As evidenced by the number of referrals they receive, it’s clear that the passion the staff has for what they do is why they continue to be successful.

How can you make this same principle ring true for your small business? A few lessons:

Word-of-mouth marketing is still very real

Think about the last business purchase you made. Chances are you learned about it from a fellow business owner you trust. Word-of-mouth marketing is all about trust and can be an easy marketing tactic for your small business.

“We have grown immensely over the years by word-of-mouth advertising. Our clients help promote our business as much as we do,” said Morgan.

Morgan takes this concept a step further by helping out other businesses in her industry. “Since I opened my facility I have taken steps to help other animal rescues by providing low cost boarding for their times of need,” explained Morgan. When you think outside the box and make that one small extra effort, the quality of your referrals will skyrocket.

Make your staff believe

No matter if you have two employees or 200, your staff can be your most valuable asset. When you’re truly passionate about your organization, it’s impossible for it not to rub off on your employees. And that’s a really good thing.

“It is a great honor to be entrusted with someone else's pet to care for them while they are away. I pass this passion onto the staff that I employ so everyone at Country Critters loves what they do,” explained Morgan.

When people love what they do, it’s said that they don’t work a day in their life. Create a culture where your employees care so much about your cause that it’s clear for your customers to see. Getting people excited about something you care about isn’t always easy, but that is the whole reason you’re in business, right? Tactics like keeping open lines of communication, recognizing staff members for their hard work and genuinely maintaining a positive environment are all ways to keep your employees on board.

Make it known

No matter how great your sales were last year, your business is likely to encounter ups and downs in some shape or form. But the key is to not let those downs keep you down or lose sight of what makes you driven.

I love this idea from Business Know How that suggests writing out the 10 reasons why you feel passionate about your business. Then, hang it up somewhere in your building as a constant reminder and motivator to get up every morning and provide the best service possible.

When you’re invested in your business, customers will become invested in you. So ask yourself, what’s your daily motivation and how can you use it to gain attention?

To learn more about Country Critters, click here. Find them on Facebook here.

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