Balancing Your New Business with a New Pet

By Ryan Goodchild

Well, it’s finally happened: the stars have aligned and you’re about to start your own business. But you’re also committed to getting a pet — a desire underscored by the many remarkable benefits of owning a pet as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

You worry, however, about being able to supply the time and energy that each requires. Luckily, these tips from HOPE: Helping Our Pets Everyday can put your mind at ease and see to it that both commitments get the attention they deserve.

The Pets that Suit Your Life

Even if you start and run your business from home, a pet is a lifelong commitment. Consider what happens if your business outgrows your home office and you move to a larger space with employees. It may be nice to have the option of taking your pet with you. While most well-trained pets are good office companions, a pet rabbit can be one of few distractions. In addition to being characteristically quiet, their tendencies to take afternoon siestas allow for hours of work productivity. It’s also fairly easy to create a bunny living space within the office.

Cats, fish, and some birds are also good pet options that can transfer well to an office environment. Dogs can also be good choices, although they tend to be more active and demanding, which may be limiting to you in either a home or office workspace.

Be sure to factor in the need for self-care for both you and your pet. Taking care of yourself by getting in regular exercise, maintaining a healthy diet, and taking in a bit of nature will help you stay focused and productive. As for your office companion, there are many resorts that allow pets. Plus, you could treat your furry family member to a spa day of their own while you enjoy one, too.

The Structure that Fits Your Business

You should also carefully consider the proper business structure for your new venture. Simply remaining a sole proprietor has its advantages: it’s easy and inexpensive to set up, can offer certain tax advantages, and allows you to retain 100% control. However, the price you pay for this simplicity is in the liabilities you might also absorb. It can also be more difficult for you to get investment back or other financing, which you may need for startup costs and expansion.

The drawbacks of the sole proprietorship structure are why many entrepreneurs opt for a corporate structure. “C” and “S” corporations are two corporate structures that offer some distinct tax advantages and disadvantages. They can also curtail the flexibility you need to remain nimble. That’s why many in your shoes opt for the limited liability company, or LLC, structure. It retains much of the flexibility of a sole proprietorship, with the limited liability and tax advantages of a corporation. While it’s fairly easy to set up, each state has different laws that govern a business structure, so you’ll need to carefully check your specific requirements and get step-by-step guidelines for your state.

Get started right away with quality business programs to keep track of your money. You can choose invoicing software online, but look for a program that fits your budget and your needs. Custom invoices and online payment reminders are great features to look for before you commit.

Bringing the Two Together

Now, you have to make the two work. For your business, rather than take the time to hunt down state guidelines and do the filing yourself or take on the burden of additional attorney fees so soon in your business’s life, consider signing up with a formation service. They know how to comply with all of your state’s laws and save you thousands on attorney fees.

The Next Scoop explains that other cost savings can be found in marketing your business. For example, when you need to create business cards, you can use free online templates to design professional-looking and unique cards to hand out to customers, clients, and at networking events. You can also use the digitized version of your business card to post on your website and social media channels.

For your pet, take advantage of the current proliferation of apps — there is one for almost anything. From scheduling to training to co-op pet care with other owners, you can find an app that eases you and your new family member into your life as both an entrepreneur and pet owner.

It may seem like too much at first, starting your own business and introducing a pet into your life. However, with a little research and preparation, it’s possible to realize both dreams at once. In fact, you may even be surprised by how easily your new pet adapts to your routine. And it never hurts to have a friendly furry face around for when you need a much-deserved break.Diane with HOPE believes there is a deep connection between humans and animals. Visit her website for information.