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Carol Frank
Open for Business
Carol Frank, founder of four pet companies, shares tips for small business success in areas such as increasing profitability, planning for and implementing growth, managing resources and reducing stress. Carol has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show, MSNBC and NBC News and is the author of the book Do As I Say, Not As I Did! She is now an investment banker specializing in the pet industry, helping companies buy, sell, or re-capitalize their businesses. She can be reached at

November 2, 2011
My Final Blog: A Tribute to My Beloved Industry
It’s with sadness and trepidation that I write my final blog for I’ve absolutely enjoyed the insight, relationships and wisdom I’ve gained over the last two years... More»

October 13, 2011
A Morning with Economic Futurist Dr. Brian Beaulieu
Almost two years ago to the day, I wrote one of my first blogs on listening to an economist at the Denver CEO Forum. Dr. Beaulieu, executive director of the Institute for Trends Research, had many predictions about how we should invest/spend... More»

September 29, 2011
Are Daily Deals a Good Deal?
I recently attended a talk at the Boulder Chamber a few weeks ago on the economics of Groupon, Living Social and other group purchasing services. Since I am an avid fan and consumer of these promotions, I was curious how the economics of this recent    ... More»

September 22, 2011
The Social Media Craze – "Necessity or Hype?”
I was recently taken aback when I read the statistic that 80 percent of retailers still do not use any form of social media to promote their businesses. That made little sense to me because after all, it’s easy and free. Well, fairly easy and almost free.   ... More»

August 18, 2011
Practical Advice for Business Owners with No Time to Waste
A few years ago, I was privileged to meet the producer of MSNBC’s show titled "Your Business” when he came to Dallas to interview me for one of its segments. Frank Silverstein is a ... More»

July 19, 2011
The State of the Bird Segment: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Part 3
In my third and final analysis of the pet bird segment, I turned to two of my favorite bird industry icons—Mark Hagen and Dr. Greg Burkett—to answer the question: How can we responsibly revive the declining interest in birds as pets? ... More»

July 17, 2011
Opportunity Knocks
Bob Vetere has been with the American Pet Products Association (APPA) for nearly 10 years and was named president of the association a few years back. I caught up with him to get his views on where the pet industry is heading. ... More»

June 29, 2011
The State of the Bird Segment: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Part 2
My June 14th blog dealt with the challenges and issues that the once-thriving pet bird segment is now facing. While the facts are clear that pet birds do not enjoy the popularity they did in the ‘90s, there are still bird ... More»

June 14, 2011
The State of the Bird Segment
When I opened my pet store in 1987, many of the pet birds I sold in my store were wild caught. Fortunately, the Wild Bird Conversation Act was passed in 1992, outlawing the import of wild-caught birds. The hand-fed baby craze then took ... More»

May 31, 2011
Pearls of Sales Wisdom
If the idea of sitting through an eight-hour sales training seminar sounds painful, you haven’t attended one of Jack Daly’s "Smart Selling” seminars. Jack is truly one of the most memorable individuals I have ever come in contact with. ... More»

April 29, 2011
Five Traits of Successful Business Starters
As a serial entrepreneur who has founded four companies in the pet industry, I have often asked myself "What drives me to start these businesses when so many people are content to sit behind a desk and work for someone else?” Many of you may ask yourselves ... More»

April 20, 2011
You need to know about TED and TEDx
I recently attended TedXMileHigh. For 6 ½ hours, I heard 18 of Colorado’s most-inspired citizens discuss the ways they--and we--can make a difference in the world. What is TED/TEDx? TED is a nonprofit devoted to "ideas worth spreading.” ... More»

March 29, 2011
The Happiness Advantage
"Poor people have big TVs. Rich people have big libraries.” --Dan Kennedy. While this quote may come across as a bit harsh, I like the main message. Reading is critical to growing both personally and professionally and without a doubt, the most ... More»

March 10, 2011
Pet Industry Advisory Retail Panel
As mentioned in my last blog, I was fortunate to be invited to attend the 2nd annual Pet Industry Transformation Conference held in Las Vegas in mid February. It featured a host of inspiring speakers and one very informative ... More»

February 24, 2011
Pet Industry Advisory Conference: Tidbits Gleaned and Cats Rock
In 2010, veteran event planner Roz Applebaum launched a series of pet industry conferences that have proven to be both educational and entertaining. I recently attended the 2nd annual "Pet Industry Transformation” conference in Las Vegas where I ... More»

January 26, 2011
The Power and Force of Optimism
As I get older and wiser, I am convinced that our thoughts and attitudes play a huge part in determining both our financial success and personal happiness. Given that January is a time of resolutions and new beginnings; I wanted to share a wonderful article about ... More»

January 17, 2011
Pets Still Hot in 2011
I continue to feel amazed and blessed to be part of this incredible conglomeration of people and businesses known as "The Pet Industry.” It started in 1987 when I was still working as a CPA, and I made the somewhat controversial decision to ... More»

December 28, 2010
Setting Smart Goals for 2011
Doesn’t it seem like everywhere you turn, people are talking about creating strategic plans and goal setting for 2011 (for example, see my last blog.). Yep, it’s that time of year. ... More»

December 17, 2010
Growth Strategies for 2011 and Beyond:
Part II: Essential Elements of a Plan

It’s year-end planning time. Hopefully my last blog convinced you of the importance of having a strategic planning process--you just can’t get to where you realize your full potential without one. ... More»

November 29, 2010
Growth Strategies for 2011 and Beyond: Part I
Every few months I am lucky enough to get to moderate webinars for members of APPA. A few weeks ago our topic was "Fast Forward Planning: The Impact of Strategic Planning on Your Company’s Growth” with Dr. Jana Matthews. ... More»

November 15, 2010
You Get What You Pay For: The Effectiveness of Business Brokers and The Sale Process
When my partners and I sold our pet store--The Animal Kingdom in Dallas-- in the early ‘90s, we turned to a local business broker for help. One year into the process, we had just one offer for about 25 percent of our annual sales. ... More»

October 28, 2010
Five Questions with Spencer Williams, CEO, West Paw Design
When, why and how did you start West Paw? I really wanted to be in the pet trade, so I bought Pet Pals in 1996, which was a sewn plush toy manufacturer in Montana.. My wife and I were passionate dog people--we wanted to be able to apply that passion toward a business. ... More»

October 20, 2010
Virtual Offices and Motivating Employees
Over the last year I’ve been consulting with a company whose founders are spread throughout the country--one on the west coast, one in Colorado, one in Texas. ... More»

September 27, 2010
Five Questions with Lucy Postins, CEO of Honest Kitchen
Recently I co-hosted with Heidi Ganahl of Camp Bow-Wow a webcast for the American Pet Products Association titled "Innovate or Die.” We were really pleased with the turnout, which meant there were a lot of folks out there that want to be innovators.... More»

September, 9, 2010
"Innovate or Die”
I was lucky enough to sit down with the incredibly creative and successful founder of Honest Kitchen, Lucy Postins. She offered unique insight into why the company has become one of the top natural dog food brands in the U.S..... More»

August 27, 2010
If it Ain’t Broke…
Joe Croce is a friend from the early ‘80s. We worked together at a large CPA firm in Dallas.... More»

July 16, 2010
Profit Sharing for Employees
Your best employees are your store’s most valuable asset, and the equity participation program is a way to help ensure that they will want to stick with you to help your business grow.... More»

July 1, 2010
What Is My Business Worth?
As business owners and entrepreneurs, we tend to think of a valuation as a necessity only when we sell a business or in the unfortunate event of a death or divorce; ... More»

June 8, 2010
Harnessing the Recovery
Working as an investment banker specializing in the pet industry, I talk to a lot of entrepreneurs who are wondering, "What’s next for me and my business?” ... More»

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