With a Passion for Pets and a Need for Extra Income this Texas Native Founded a Successful Pet Sitting Outfit in Her Neighborhood
Pet Inspirations: Jessica Milam of Fur Services Fur Pets
Please tell us about your company and what role(s) you play
Fur Services Fur Pets is a Professional Pet Care company in far North Texas. I am the Founder and President and also act as a Lead Pet Companion
How and when did you start your business? Was it inspired by a pet?
I started Fur Services Fur Pets in May of 2013. It wasn’t really inspired by a pet, but more my need for extra income, my experience and passion for pets and my desire to provide outstanding quality to my neighborhood. It also helped discourage me from adopting more pets!
Do you have a pet(s) that joins you at work, what are their names and roles?
We do not allow pets to join us for visits, but our home is filled with lots of pets that do diligent office assistance when needed! We have a dog, Abbie; four newly-adopted cats, Terra, Lily, Iris and Calliope; two Bearded Dragons, Hades and Athena; and a Ball Python, Sully.
What makes your business or brand unique?
I think what makes us unique is our strong customer-focused mindset. Everything we do we do with our customers and their pets in mind. From being readily available to answer messages, schedule visits – including last minute, and providing excellent care every time to keeping our customers front of mind. We send birthday cards to pets, Thank You cards each month if they used us the month prior and holiday cards for all fun holidays – Valentine’s, Saint Patrick’s Day, Easter, July 4th, Halloween and Christmas.
How does what you offer help pet lovers like you?
I think these days pet parents have really morphed – for the most part – from the “My pets are just animals” mentality to “My Pets are Family” mentality. This means that we focus on them, love them and have concern over them as we would our kids, siblings and parents. We really treat pets as if they are our customer’s children and bring that level of dedication you would expect from someone caring for your kids!
What have been some of your biggest challenges in running your business? How did you overcome them?
Our biggest challenge is forever taking time away from the business to just be ourselves. This is a 24/7/365 industry and because of that it is so easy to work 24/7/365 without taking a break and then realizing how long its been since you had a day to yourself.
The other biggest challenge we face is balancing affordability, competitive pay for our team while also making enough to cover bills and perhaps squeeze out a profit. We really don’t feel like you should have to bring in a certain income to find quality pet care, so its always a tough rope to balance.
What qualities have made you successful or do you feel are important for inspiring leaders?
We treat our team like family. The team we have that lasts the longest and does the best within our leadership are those that are looking for more than just a paycheck. We are going to get in your business, we are going to invite you to make yourself comfortable in our home and our life. We want to get to know our team and what values they have. This makes us better leaders because it means we are compassionate when needed, but also can lead them be firm when necessary. Our team is our greatest asset and we would not have the business we have without their love and dedication for not only our business, but especially the pets in their care.
Any advice/recommendations concerning your field of expertise that could benefit pets and/or a pet parent’s life?
I have so many nuggets of advice on thousands of different topics. But I think its important to educate yourself. Not just from a single source, but a rounded view at all things related to your pets. AND, remember, we have so many things going on in our lives – jobs, friends, kids, bills, spouses, volunteer and community groups – our pets only have us. When you think of your pets from that perspective, it really changes your mentality on time spent and care given.
Where can someone get more information about your business?
We are very active on social media – I always tell people – if you want to know US, who we are, what we value – follow our Facebook Page: @FurSvcsFurPets. We are trying to get more active on Instagram, but really its not my cup of tea.
If you want to know more about our services, who our team is and where we service – check our website: www.furservicesfurpets.com
If you have pet industry, leadership or other entrepreneurial questions – you can find me specifically at www.jessicamilam.com
My biggest piece of advice for business owners/leaders is TRULY treat your customers how you want to be treated. In all decisions we make, we ask ourselves – if we received this message, how we would we feel? Would we keep doing business with this company?