Where does your business knowledge and inspiration come from? For many dog trainers, learning from peers or other pet professionals is hugely valuable. At dogbiz, we’re all about supporting and cheering on dog trainers as they connect, motivate, and share ideas and perspectives. Being a great dog training professional requires a multitude of skills, and sometimes the juiciest nuggets of wisdom come from places you might not expect. If you’re in need of new ideas and inspiration, you might want to try going ‘beyond the bubble’.
Here are five non-dog industries worth paying attention to, and the insights they offer.
- Education and training
The aim of the game for educators is to create engaging, structured, and effective learning experiences for students. School teachers in particular often have great insights when it comes to patience and adaptability. Educators spend a lot of time designing and refining curriculum, with clearly defined learning goals. They also have to be flexible, and work with a range of different students and abilities. Their insights can be enlightening when it comes to creating great classes and adding more structure to your teaching. So if you have a teacher friend in your life, time to buy them a (well-deserved) coffee and ask them to share some wisdom.
- Mental health professionals
Psychologists, counselors and mental health workers have a lot in common with dog trainers. While dog trainers aren’t therapists (and shouldn’t try to be), they are often faced with difficult conversations, such as whether a dog should be rehomed or why the human-dog relationship has broken down. Listening skills, empathy, and building trust are key to success. Learning from mental health professionals can give you insight into human behavior, as well as how to take care of your own wellbeing. Supervision, de-briefing after difficult cases and support networks are often part of these industries. There’s lots to learn when it comes to the professionalization of the dog training world. Take a look at resources online designed for this industry, and if podcasts are your thing, there are loads of great options focused on human psychology.
- Customer service and hospitality
If you’ve been out to dinner and had one of those ‘wow’ moments, you already know what an amazing customer experience feels like. What made this dinner so special? It’s likely it went beyond deliciousness. Was it easy to book? Were the staff warm and welcoming? Did they describe the food in a way that was impossible to resist? Did everything arrive at just the right time? Reflect on positive customer service encounters – from restaurants to hotels, to that time you spilled your coffee but the cafe was so nice about it (and even made you another one). Can you emulate some of these in your own business? If you want to discover ways to keep your customer service game strong while under pressure – hospitality is a good place to look!
- Fitness and sports training
Personal trainers, gym owners, and coaches are all about behavior change – inspiring their clients to make little bits of consistent progress over time. There aren’t a lot of shortcuts when it comes to improving fitness. Just like dog training, it involves showing up and doing the work (even when it’s boring and raining outside). If you’re looking to improve your training plans and motivate your clients, this can be a good industry to learn from. Exercise plans are often focused on breaking things down into small and simple steps – an ideal approach for dog training. Personal trainers usually offer packages or even subscriptions, and some of these models may translate well to dog training. So if you have managed to drag yourself to the gym and want an excuse to take a break, ask an instructor how they keep clients coming back for more.
- Content creators and marketing pros
Marketing and branding strategies are central to growing your business and attracting potential clients. It can be tough to know where to start, and if your social media feed is already bursting with endless dog content, it can also be overwhelming. Think about the brands, individuals, and organizations that always grab your attention. What makes their marketing so powerful? Is it the messaging, the visuals, or how they tell stories? You may be drawn to the work of other dog pros, but consider other creators as well. Ask your friends about their favorite brands and influencers, and try to pinpoint what makes them so compelling. If someone you know makes amazing and consistent content, ask them about their approach.
Fresh ideas can come from surprising places, and incorporating a variety of perspectives can help shape your business. As you continue to learn, grow, and adapt, you’re able to have an even bigger impact on the lives of dogs and their people. We’d love to know where your most surprising insights have come from. Is there any industry you think deserves a place on this list?