As a social worker, Erik Gledhill didn’t originally plan on being a business owner. His journey to owning a pet store in Chico, California began at home — with his own dog.
After noticing his dog’s dry skin issues, joint pain, and fatigue, Erik first turned to vets for help, but couldn’t get the answers to his problem. One day, while shopping at a local pet store, the shop owner suggested Erik try a new diet for his dog which dramatically improved the pet’s health. When the store later closed, Erik decided to step up and fill their shoes. He opened Trailblazer Pet Supply, with a special emphasis on excellent animal nutrition and helping other pet owners care for their furry friends.
Erik originally had a different tax partner, but later discovered his taxes weren’t handled correctly and had used the wrong accounting method. “I was really stressed out when I learned he had been doing my taxes incorrectly,” Erik says.
Instead, he turned to John and Piper at Padgett Business Services of Chico. Padgett had handled the accounting for the original pet store, so Erik knew they would have the experience to help his new business succeed. “I thought, you guys know where this place was going well, and you can help steer me towards a good, successful business. And their advice was always really solid, so our perspective on finances is the same. Piper handled payroll, and John was the accounting and tax guy, so no matter where my question fell, I could ask them and they could help me.”
As a business owner with a day job at Child Protective Services, Erik has a lot on his plate day-to-day. “There was a time when I worked just ridiculous amounts of hours because I didn’t have the staff or the budget to hire people,” he says. Now, he leans heavily on his staff and managers.
“Finding the right staff is super important,” he says. “Don’t skimp on your people. You can’t put a price tag on it. The people that are working for you – that’s the number one key thing. You really need to make sure your brand is strong. Your customers are out there, they just need to find out you’re there.”
Erik has learned the importance of balancing brand values and financial decisions, and Padgett has been able to help him find that equilibrium. “I know I can trust them,” Erik says. “They were able to look at my finances and I could talk to them about my particular goals, and they could help me adjust my financial goals to match. John is able to really understand that my brand is excellent customer service, so maybe I’ll spend a bit more on my employees and making sure that they spend some time becoming knowledgeable in nutrition. John and Piper are able to help me account for those expenses and encourage me when I get nervous.”
No matter what his question is, Erik’s Padgett partners are always just a phone call away. “I have a day job, too, so it was really important to me that I could have somebody that could answer when I had a minute to pick up the phone,” Erik said. “I get these two people in my local office — I can go over there, I’ve been to their house, all that stuff — but they also have the backing of this big organization so the information they get, the training they get, there’s this economy of scale that I get to benefit from.”
If you have a business and need a partner you can trust, Padgett is here! For tax and accounting support as well as personalized advice, find an office near you today.