Do you run your own pet business or keep dreaming of starting something dog friendly and new? I’ve been freelancing full-time since March this year and it’s been an interesting journey so far to say the least! While running The Cornish Dog, I’ve also rekindled my love for reading and learning new things to help my business. Today I thought I’d share with you my favourite business books for petpreneurs. They cover a range of topics, from photography, PR, self-employment and finances. I’ve tried to be as comprehensive as possible to help kickstart your reading list.
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I never used to be an enthusiastic reader. At school, I had to wear special blue glasses to stop the words disappearing off the page. There were plenty of tears when it came to English exams, as I could never comprehend the stories I was reading. I discovered ebooks just after graduating from university and it changed everything for me. I find reading on an e-reader much easier than traditional books and I’ve definitely made up for lost time in terms of reading!
Business Books for Petpreneurs
I love reading business books. Going self-employed is a rocky road and can feel quite isolating and lonely at times. There are so many business books about self-employment, covering every topic you could ever imagine. I loved reading these books while in traditional employment too, they share useful information whatever your circumstances!
Public Relations can be a bit of a minefield. I worked full-time in Marketing but still couldn’t quite grasp the intricacies of PR. Rachel Spencer is a Journalist and PR whizz whose work has been published in a wide range of UK publications. There are 20 Chapters in this book, all of which have been specifically written for pet business owners. It’s rare to find books specifically relating to the pet industry and our businesses can vary greatly from the traditional business model. Sometimes I find it hard to relate lessons from business books directly to The Cornish Dog, however with Rachel’s book it just clicked! She details how to build relationships with journalists, identifying stories and how media features can boost your search engine ranking. This book is a must-read for petpreneurs, however far along your are in your journey.
Olivia Bossert is a fashion photographer based in Cornwall. She’s incredibly inspired by the outdoors and living by the sea. Her work is incredible and I’ve been a fan of her Instagram for years. In fact, her photos made me miss Cornwall so much I decided to move back down from London! She’s recently released her ebook all about creating photos for Instagram. She goes into detail about identifying your ideal follower, understanding your business/brand and even how to take great photos on your phone. Like Olivia, I firmly believe that you don’t need the most expensive, new release gear in order to create great images. It’s all about knowing what you’re creating, who it’s for and how it’s going to be used. If you use Instagram in your business, definitely give this book a read!
If you’re just starting out with your pet business, definitely give this book a read. It’s all about how to create a brand for your business. J.Nichole Smith goes into detail about common marketing tactics to help you uncover your who, what, when, where and why about your brand. Throughout the book she uses case studies from leading pet brands in America, including my all time favourite Ruffwear. She interviews the founders of each brand and directly quotes them throughout the book. It’s a great insight into how these household names have all grown from a simple, often crazy idea in the first place. Again, this book talks directly about the pet industry, taking real life examples and helping you explore how your business will fit within the pet world.
If you’re looking to start a creative or online business, I couldn’t recommend this book enough. Released back in Spring 2018, it was a bestseller from the start! The Multi Hyphen Method outlines the importance of diversifying your income through different products, services and channels. The idea being that if one income stream dries up, you’ll still have plenty of revenue streams to play with. I’m very passionate about the multi hyphen method that Emma Gannon explores and it really works for me and The Cornish Dog. I know so many creatives who follow similar strategies too. If you’re interested in starting your own pet photography, branding or content creation business, give this book a read!
I absolutely love Daniel Priestley’s books. Something about the way he breaks topics down really resonates with me. This book is all about the importance of establishing yourself as a key player in your industry. It breaks down a five step strategy to help you build your network, expertise and influence. This book is by no means limited to just social media influencers, in fact it describes how every business should strive to become a key person of influence. Priestley has written a series of books about entrepreneurship, creating product ladders and how to attract clients. They’re great books but I value perspectives from a range of different authors and reading Priestley’s back to back was a little overwhelming at times!
This was the first book I read about finance and would recommend it to everyone. Robert T. Kiyosaki has a great approach, which makes the topic of money less frightening and easier to understand. Growing up, he had two male role-models, each from different financial backgrounds. The book explores these different approaches from each of Kiyosaki’s ‘Dads.’ He uses humour, stories and plenty of past experience throughout, which helps make finance a more approachable, easy to digest and relatable topic for you.
Money is something I really struggle with in business. More specifically knowing and understanding my worth. I’m currently reading Profit First by Mike Michalowicz in the hopes it’ll help me see money and finances in a new light. Being self-employed, I don’t receive a consistent monthly paycheck. My finances fluctuate each month, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I just need to work on changing my relationship with money, swapping more traditional beliefs to realise its a flexible tool. I’ve only just started reading this book, however I’ve heard great things about it from other freelancers. If you’re worried about money and how to manage it within your business, definitely give this one a read!
If you’re struggling with organisation, planning and implementing new projects, this book is for you. I read this book in a matter of days and implemented its tips instantly. In fact, it was the driving force behind the launch of our Cornish Dog Bandanas. I’d been struggling with Imposter Syndrome around this project and felt I wasn’t able to create the online shop. Reading this book really inspired me to push through my feelings of self-doubt and see the project through to the end. Breaking a project down into 12 weekly goals makes it more tangible and achievable. Before you know it that project you’ve been dreaming about and procrastinating on will be completed in no time!
These are just some of the many business books I’ve read over the past few months. Petpreneurship can be a very challenging but rewarding experience and I’d highly recommend you give it a go. Even if you haven’t got a solid business plan in place, these books will help you discover your unique stories and ambitions, which will help you build your brand!
Do you read business books for petpreneurs? If so, which ones would you recommend? I’m always looking for new material and would love to hear your recommendations in the comments!
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