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Are you a rapper or a bolero

Bridget Holmstrom - Monday, September 21, 2015
This is the tale of two people.  Rapper, owner of Rapper Hounds and Bolero, owner of Smooth Pooches.  Both businesses provide mobile dog walking services and are of a similar size and age.  Both Bolero and Rapper are currently sole traders but have ambitions to grow.

This is the story of Rapper Hounds

 Rapper believes that every sale is a good sale and accepts almost any job with virtually every type of dog.  Rapper believes that the key to generating business is offering the cheapest prices and driving competitors out of business.  There is no doubt that Rapper is very busy driving to jobs, and criss-crossing the region picking up dogs and delivering them back home.  Rapper does think that perhaps the fuel tank needs to be filled up rather more than expected.
There are some surprising conversations with potential customers when they do not automatically jump at the prices Rapper offered.  They seem to want more information about insurance, available support should Rapper be ill or on holiday, the type and number of dogs that are walked at any one time.   Rapper believes that the more dogs the merrier and happily takes out 6 to 8 dogs simultaneously.
Rapper knows that marketing is necessary and a key approach is posting flyers through letter boxes.  Rapper has not bothered to identify where customers are coming from but does know that a local dog walker has recently retired.
As for bookkeeping well Rapper leaves that to the accountant at the end of the year.  At the last year end Rapper just about managed to produce supplier invoices, there weren’t many, but really struggled to compile the customer payments.  He probably would have been less concerned had he not found out that one of his less satisfied customers was an HMRC tax inspector.
This is the story of Smooth Pooches
Bolero, owner of Smooth Pooches, has a somewhat different approach.  The area in which Bolero works is small and the distance between customers is never more than a couple of miles.  Bolero has a strict rule that four dogs is the absolute maximum to be walked together and then only when Bolero is sure of the nature of each dog.  Bolero insists that every dog (and owner) is given an interview before agreeing to take on the dog as a client.  During the interview owners are shown terms and conditions, insurance details and full information about prices, payment terms and the back-up support available should Bolero be unable to provide dog walking services at any time.  Bolero does not want to be the cheapest but to be known as the most reliable.
Bolero takes a disciplined approach to most things and does the bookkeeping every week.  Bolero is fully aware of the sales that had been made and the expenses that have been incurred.  Bolero also knows where business comes from.  Bolero tried leafleting the local area in the past but found that little business came from that source. Certainly not enough the cover costs.  Most business comes from word of mouth and meeting other dog walkers at the local beach.
Be a Bolero not a Rapper – come along to the CDC Enterprise Agency, MILE House, Bridge End, Chester le Street DH3 3RA on 30th September 2015 at 10 am.