I have been told by my sometimes “not so silent partner”, that I will never make any money running this cattery as I make decisions from the heart and not from a business head.

A good friend, who has been in business for over 20 years, also told me “never spend money in areas where you will get no return”. Good advice I’m sure, however does return always have to be monetary?

An example being; Not long after we purchased the cattery, I spent a considerable amount of money putting new shelving into six outdoor north facing units, just so the cats could have a wider, sunnier more comfortable spot for their cat baskets and bedding. Having done this, we cannot charge more for the units just because the shelving was replaced.

Nevertheless, as I watch the cats lazing happily on these shelves each day, soaking up the sun and contently watching the day’s proceedings, I feel enormous satisfaction in knowing that I have made their stay with us even more enjoyable. To see the cats so happy is worth every penny spent.

There is my “return”.

Our clients notice the relaxed and happy atmosphere as well.  This is reflected in the comments they make when viewing the cattery for the first time. It is reflected in the bookings and our ever growing list of new clientele. This is also my “return”.

A new client recently booked his cats into our cattery after noting that I had worked voluntarily for various animal organisations overseas, because and I quote; “He could tell I was a compassionate person”.

To operate any business or organisation involving animals, I believe there must be a certain amount of compassion. On the other hand, the business side must show a return. The trick is to find the right balance. For me it is a learning curve but I think I am getting there.