Running a business comes with many decisions in how the day-to-day matters are handled. Running a business from home presents many other kinds of challenges. One challenge that I have is how to handle my pets when meeting with clients.
Different studio teachers will have different opinions on this matter, and that's fine. We all have choices in how to run our personal businesses. For me, I decided to allow my pets to come into the studio when meeting with clients. I am always up front with new clients in case there are allergy or other concerns. If there is a problem, in some cases I can find an alternative meeting place, but usually it's just an indication that I will not be the best fit for that particular client. There are other excellent teachers among my colleagues that would fit them better. However, I have found that most of my clients respond very positively to the presence of my senior dog and, when she decides to grace us with her presence, my spunky cat. Some clients have even brought them little treats at Christmas time! I have found that their presence has helped to create a more relaxed environment and many conversation starters.
Pets are as unique as people, and mine are no exception. My dog, Dooey, was a rescue, picked up off the street when he was probably around six months old, and has shown signs of prior abuse that has resulted in separation anxiety. He gets very nervous if he can hear things happening in other parts of the house but he cannot see what's going on. It is important to me to protect his spirit and not put him through undue stress. Dooey really loves all the visitors. Sis was also previously a stray cat and tends to like privacy. Most of the time when I am meeting with clients, she will settle down in another part of the house. Many of my clients have never even seen her. In the future when I have a new dog or cat, these circumstances could all change based on their personalities and my studio needs, but for now, my clients can expect to have a small but appreciative audience at each session.
Dear singers, if you are fortunate enough to meet my furry studio helpers, I hope it brings you a little moment of joy. May we all sing to an appreciative audience today!