Leveraging the Industry Trade Association
Kelley Steger had an idea for a great new business – offering services to pick up dog waste from residential yards. She thought that busy parents who own dogs would be happy to pay a reasonable fee to have someone else clean up their yards so their children could happily play outside on the grass.
Kelley’s business, Scooper Heros, now offers services to both residential and commercial properties and also offers a kitty litter service for retirement homes and apartment complexes.
But she had never started a new business before and knew she needed help. SCORE Peoria assigned three mentors, each with different skills and backgrounds, to help her with the basics required for starting any new business, including a business plan, licensing, insurance, marketing plan and so forth.
However, the SCORE Peoria mentors were stumped in one area – none had experience with a business that collects dog waste, so they could not effectively advise Kelley about how to set prices or how to structure her services. Then they remembered that there is an industry trade association for just aboutevery type of business that can be imagined. So they advised Kelley to seek out the trade association for other “pooper scoopers.”
And she found it – the Association of Professional Animal Waste Specialists. The organization was very helpful to Kelley by providing benchmarking and “lessons learned” from other pet waste services, and now she is a member.