Let's face it - the last year has been anything but ordinary. We've found ourselves in a situation - a pandemic - that most of us would have never imagined. It's turned our lives upside down, it's affected businesses up and down the country, and it's perhaps fair to say that it's made many of us refocus our priorities.
I've had a few conversations recently with individuals who have been looking at what's important to them. They are looking for a new challenge - to do something different with their lives. Some of these people have enjoyed the extra time at home and want to be able to maintain that flexible work-life balance as we ease back into normality; others, though, have found that career paths that were once planned out meticulously have now changed drastically, giving them the push - the motivation even - to switch things up a bit now.
These people that I have been speaking to have all had something in common. They are all cat lovers, and they have been interested in starting their own cat sitting business. A common question that many of them have had has been: "is now the right time to start my own cat care business?"
It's something that I've been thinking a lot about recently. Back in 2015, when I started the cat sitting business that has grown into The Cat Butler, you know today, I too wondered whether this was the right time. I'd dreamed of running my own business - one that focussed on cat sitting with a difference. I knew there was a gap in the market, and I really felt like I needed a change. Back then, of course, there was no global pandemic, but those questions around "is this the right time". Honestly, I could have easily talked myself out of it a hundred times - we are good at that, right?! I am so glad, though, that I didn't!
For me, the first step - and perhaps the most daunting - was having the courage to say, "this IS the right time." As with many things in life, if I waited for the 'perfect' moment, I'd probably still be stuck in a career that - quite frankly - I was no longer enjoying like I once did. I'd probably still, five years on, be dreaming about owning my own cat sitting business while sitting in a business meeting or trekking back and forth to work on the train.
I knew back then that I needed something different. Did I have worries about it being the right time? Yes, of course, I did. Those worries, though, bared no comparison to my dreams of running my own cat sitting business. So, I went for it - and I've never looked back!
OK, so I know we are still a little way off living in a post-COVID world, but the restrictions are starting to lift, and there is light at the end of the tunnel. Although foreign holidays are still up in the air, the staycation market is booming. And this has been great news for cat sitters like me!
In the last few weeks alone, I've seen enquiries sky-rocket. People are desperate to get away - I won't lie, I am one of these people! As always, though, they want to make sure that their cats are well looked after. Now more than ever, I'm seeing more and more interest in cat sitting services like ours. People have been spending a lot more time at home recently, and their feline friends have become more accustomed to having them around than ever before. Families that may have once used catteries or considered asking a neighbour to pop in are now looking for a different type of cat sitting service.
On top of this, let's not forget how many families have welcomed new pets into their families over the last year - there has been an incredible increase! The Pet Food Manufacturers' Association (PFMA) released its annual pet population data recently, confirming that 3.2 million households in the UK have acquired a pet since the start of the pandemic. There are now 12 million cats in the UK - that's a massive increase from 7.5 million cats the year before!
I have to say, I'm feeling hugely optimistic about the future right now. The pet industry is thriving - and, if you ask me, the cat sitting market is going to see unrivalled growth in the next couple of years!
If you think you’d be interested in talking to us, please call 01727 821372 or 07896 233754. You can also email us - firstname.lastname@example.org
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