President's Message 2009
Dear Customers and Friends:
Wow, 2008 was a huge challenge! We hung in there and survived and hope you did, too! It was a chaotic, challenging, yet prosperous one for M2.
The purpose of this message is to let folks know how we are doing, improvements we are making, and how we will continue to provide outstanding services (see our quotations page) for 2009 and beyond. I will mention areas where we were successful and areas that need to be addressed.
As with all organization, all feedback is welcome. Email me!
The areas that we have been successful are many.
First, We improved greatly in targeting owners that want the best care possible for their animals, be they feathered, furred, finned, scaled or otherwise. We have really carved out a niche market and will continue to provide the best coverage possible. Our business base has increased a great deal among exotics but we have also grown our business on the traditional pet trend.
We will always work with our partners to ensure your needs are met: If we cannot watch your pets, we will refer you to ones whom we trust.
Second, as a company, we have watched thousands of birds/exotics and have hundreds of customers. We continue to provide a high level of value and service. We are working on solidifying additional partners and our referral business is outstanding--well over 95% of our current business if fuel by customers recommendations. Go with the leader!
Third, especially in these tough economic times, customers have looked to the FlexBook Rates. It will allow any customer to save up to 33% over booking one visit at a time. A large percentage of our customers are receiving the benefits, you should too!
Fourth, from a business perspective, the growth in 2008 was uneven but still acceptable: Over the past three years, our average gross revenues have increased by 110% per year. Our average net income performance has also been super: over 120% increase per year! All of these are down from previous years but still rock solid--especially considering the economic issues.
Lastly, according to data provided by Pet Sitters International, most new pet sitting companies (those three years and under) barely break even. We have, for all intents and purposes, been outstanding. Our idea and vision have continued to "take wing" and work. We will be here long term to satisfy your pet sitting needs. Period.
Now for the challenges--and there were many. Times like these tax even the most seasoned executive--regardless of industry. As an organization, we have reviewed, worked through and are making the correct decisions to help serve our customers better.
First, we had to put many projects on the back burner. The facilities for expansion and advertising have been scaled back. It is a prudent move but one we will explore in the future. We will continue to use word of mouth and strategic advertising and marketing events to promote M2. Team building and cross referencing will be a part of the mix.
Second, our contractor performance has been lack-luster. Our contractor base needs to expand. We are looking for folks want to work and further the expansion of M2 Bird Sitters. If you have what it takes (passion for pets, willingless to work for additional bonuses and have a good reference base), please email us.
Third, the economy took a huge chunk of wind out of or our sails/sales. We really tried to offer bigger discounts (Flexbook) and keep our costs to a minimum. More and more customers are looking to this option, which is great!
This past year, we lost of our beloved Siberian Husky, Kiesha. She was a wonderful dog and she gave us almost 15 years of incredible sunshine and fun. We will always miss her.
To that end and to celebrate life, we have adopted a new doggy unit from Loudoun County Animal Shelter, Mitzy, who is just a hoot and so much fun to be around. Please support your local adoption agency (both Parrot and Furred).
From a human/family perspective, we have been blessed to be healthy and look forward to many more pet adventures.
In closing, my family would like to wish each of you a great holiday season and a successful and safe 2009. I am sure it will be much better. Travel and spend more! Buying goods and services will help our economy prosper. Lets make 2009 the best ever.
Safe travels and all the best for the future!
David "The Bird Guy of Ashburn" Stephenson