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Kennel Connection Educational Blogs

Welcome to the first Kennel Connection blog. We strive to be more than just a software provider. You can count on us to provide educational information that ranges from kennel management to general tips and tricks for operating a successful business. As you likely know, running a business is a lot of work. While our robust software can help you with many aspects of your business, there are many other components of your business such as marketing and advertising that determine your level of success.

While you might be an expert in kennel management or pet care, you might not be an expert on website management. Terms like SEO might seem confusing to you. We will teach you about things like Search Engine Optimization to make sure when people are searching for pet care service that you offer, your business name will be served up first on Google.

Some of our educational blogs will focus on day-to-day management such as suggestions for business telephone manners. These educational blogs can be used to train youthful employees who might be great with pets but have no experience answering a business phone. 

Social media can be a great marketing tool for your business, or it can cut like a knife when someone gives you a bad review on Yelp or Facebook. We’ll teach you how to respond to bad reviews as well as sharing with you the importance of both reading and responding to social media reviews about your business. Whether they are good or bad, they should be acknowledged.

You will find a new educational blog posted on our website every month. We also share our blogs on social media, and we will always send the latest blog to you by email. Be sure to share our blog with colleagues who might benefit with the important information offered on our blog. We are dedicated to serving the pet care industry and all aspects of growing your pet care business. If you have a topic that you would like us to cover, drop us an email – info@kennelconnection.com

PPP Loan Forgiveness Information

News you Can Use

As promised, our educational blogs cover important topics of running your business. We know that many of our clients took advantage of the PPP loans offered to help businesses stay afloat during the pandemic. Along with those loans came much confusion about whether it was forgivable and if so, how do you ask for forgiveness. We have some important information from the Small Business Administration (SBA) that includes a simple one-page forgiveness application

If your loan was less than $2m, you are likely eligible for complete forgiveness using this one-page form that eliminates complicated calculations previously required. In fact, it is so simple that small-business borrowers merely need to confirm that the PPP-loan proceeds were used for eligible costs, such as payroll, rent/mortgage and utilities. There is minimal documentation required to prove these expenses. In most cases, the application takes about 10 minutes to complete. We advise you to maintain underlying PPP records for six years as the SBA can audit your business with connection to this loan during that time period.

PPP loan proceeds could have been spent on payroll costs entirely and are always eligible for forgiveness when spent only on payroll, but small businesses were also able to use up to 40% of PPP loan funds on other qualifying expense, such as rent, business mortgage payments and utilities. 

Simplified Documentation 

If a small business used their entire PPP proceeds for payroll to yourself or your employees, you can simply submit bank statements or cancelled checks showing those payments from the business to the employee to document the qualifying payments. Payments to you as an owner are allowed. Keep in mind, the business owner’s payroll is capped at $20,833. 

Who Cannot Use the Simplified Application

The simplified application cannot be used by small businesses that reduced their full-time employee headcount from pre-pandemic levels or reduced the pay rate of employees greater than 25%. In these instances, PPP borrowers will need to use the standard PPP loan-forgiveness application, and qualifying payroll costs will be reduced based on pay rate decreases or full-time employee headcount decreases. For small businesses that can’t use the simplified 3508EZ application because their loan amount was greater than $2m will have to use a long form and should consult with your CPA.

Minding Your Telephone Manners

Staff Training

In business, a ringing telephone means a potential for business opportunity. How we answer an incoming customer call sets the stage for how the rest of the call might proceed. One of the biggest mistakes we make in business is failing to answer our phone in a timely manner.  A bigger mistake is not answering at all.

While we all need to sleep, today’s technology offers many options for handling phone calls outside of business hours. At the very least, an answering machine should capture your calls and calls should be returned in a timely manner. If you run a boarding facility, it is important that people have some way of contacting you outside of business hours for emergencies. You know what happens when you don’t answer your phone? If someone is looking for your services, they will call someone else while they are in the buying frame of mind. If the next business service forwards their after-hours calls to an on-call employee who answers, you will be knocked out of the game completely.

How you answer your business phone is equally important to answering. A call answered in a seemingly rushed or hurried voice can easily put off a potential client. Throw in a, “please hold” while answering the phone and you are likely to lose a customer forever. At least have the courtesy to ask a caller if you can place them on hold. If they indicate they are not willing to hold, offer to take their name and number and return the call promptly.

If you absolutely must place an inbound call on hold, make it as brief of a hold as possible.  Find another person to handle the call or, if you realize the call is holding longer than a minute or two, jump back on the line and ask the caller if you might be able to return the call in a few minutes.  Attempt to get details about what the caller needs so you are better prepared to serve the caller when you return the call.

While fancy phone systems that ask you to push #1 for this or #2 for that might seem professional, don’t make it too cumbersome for incoming calls to get to the right person quickly. We are all familiar with a humorous television commercial depicting a person shouting into the phone, “representative”, “operator” and “help” over what seems like a period of hours. Set your automated phone system to get callers in touch with a live person as quickly as possible. If they are calling, they obviously want to speak to someone or they would be on your website getting information.

Remember to always have a smile on your face during the call. While they can’t see you, a frown on your face and the sense of feeling rushed will be transmitted to your caller by the inflection of your voice. No one wants to feel like they are being a bother to someone they are trying to spend their money with.

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