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How to Start Streamlining Your Small Pet Sitting Company

Today’s question comes from Gloria, who’s having challenges with streamlining and deficiency in her very small business. Gloria is a sole proprietor.

What I would love to say to Gloria is that I love that you’re asking questions about this. It doesn’t matter how small your business is. Many of you out there don’t want to grow a team and don’t want to have a large business like mine, and that’s fine, but it doesn’t mean that your business can’t be streamlined for efficiency. And how do you start doing this?

Take the processes out of your head and create a standard operating procedure document.

Most petprepreneurs walk around with their businesses in their head, meaning they are the systems in their business. But when you start taking them out of your head and documenting them into a well-organized checklist, you’re now creating systems and processes in your business, replicable and repeatable processes in your business, creating a streamlined company that becomes more efficient.

How to Start Streamlining my Small Pet Sitting Company

Create a manual or an online business hub.

That is my advice for you today. Start taking the processes you carry around in your head, documenting them, and organizing them somehow. You could create a manual or an online business hub, which is what we do with my Multiply Mastermind students. We organize everything in Google Drive, all by SOPs, where everything is easy to find and delegate if you choose to do so in the future.

So the system runs the business. The person runs the system. You don’t want to be the system in your business. You want to run the systems that you have documented in your business. And that’s going to create a streamlined pet sitting company.


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How to Make Consistent Sales With Your Dog Walking Business

The most common question is from many, many of you who are wondering how they can make consistent sales with their pet sitting or dog walking business.

Always Be Marketing.

My answer is always to be marketing so you always have clients. ABM. What does this mean? This means that you need to market your business to attract ideal clients to your company consistently. Most pet sitters I speak to aren’t marketing at all, and if they are marketing, they’ll do some things here or there.

They may lose a bunch of customers and then run out and do some drive-by marketing where they’re going to run out and do some stuff. And then the marketing stops.

With Your Dog Walking Business

Create a marketing plan, then add it to your marketing calendar.

As the business owner, petpreneur, visionary, and CEO of your company, it’s your responsibility to create a marketing plan and then add it to your marketing calendar. You are implementing a marketing strategy every Monday through Friday for your business.

We call this the Marketing Power wheel in my Multiply Mastermind program and my Launch and Grow program. I have all my students print it off and tape it up where they can see it. These are the marketing activities that they are told to do on a regular and consistent basis.

If they do that, they will regularly and consistently attract clients to their business.

Always be marketing, so you always have clients. It is a weekly task in your business. It’s not something you do here or there. Now, if you are stuck trading hours for dollars working in your business, you still need to build your team, and you don’t have any clients, or you don’t have any time to attract new clients, that’s an issue in itself.

That means you’re now the bottleneck in the business, and major business activities that need to be happening aren’t happening, and then your business is suffering, and it doesn’t grow.

Step into the petpreneurial role.

Understand that your job is to market on a consistent basis. Always be marketing, so you always have clients. It’s as simple as that.

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Create a Risk Management System in Your Pet Sitting Business

Over the past few months, we’ve had two scary occurrences happen to Pet Nanny Coach community members. The first incident was with one of our coaches, our head coach, Jessica. She had to fill in to do a visit. Her sitter became ill, so she went to walk an Akita. It was a brand new client, and the Akita ended up attacking her.

Thankfully, she knew exactly what to do and was able to get out of the house, but not without injury. She had to get taken away in an ambulance. She had to have surgery. She has nerve damage. She’s had to go through litigation, and it has been a really eye-opening and scary experience for her, but also eye-opening for the rest of us.

I’ve had my business for 22 years, and nothing of the sort has ever happened. Knock on wood, but it really had us thinking about what we have in place to protect ourselves, our team, and our businesses from this.

The second occurrence is that one of my students has a big business in Georgia. One of her sitters slipped in the client’s garage and shattered her kneecap into three parts. Super, super major injury, which has caused all types of problems with the sitter and her worker’s comp insurance, is a total nightmare.

So we decided to come together in the Multiply Mastermind, sit down, and have a round table discussion. We created a list of what we can do and what we can put in place so that we can protect ourselves, our businesses, and our team from anything like this happening to anybody else.

Know your laws

Preparing as a business owner, you need to know the laws in your state regarding dog bites. You need to know your county laws regarding dog bites, you need to know all the city ordinances in the towns that you service, you need to know the different bite levels, you need to know all the other laws in your state regarding pets, and you need to know what workers’ comp will require from you and the employee in the case of an incident like this.

Create a Risk Management System in Your Pet Sitting Business

So I have an online business hub where I have my business completely organized. This is what I teach my students in my mastermind, and one of the things is having a sitter incident report folder. So if anything happens like this, we will document, document, document.

I want the sitter to video anything that happens. I want them to take pictures. I will put all of that into the file along with any doctor’s reports, anything the client had to say when we interviewed them, and such. If you are organized right from the get-go and have all of this information documented, you will be ahead of the game.

You need to be your staff member’s biggest advocate if a situation like this ever arises.

Create a Risk Management System in Your Pet Sitting Business

Dig down with your client and make sure the pet is not aggressive.

When you go out, have meet-and-greets, and have registration meetings, it’s so important that you try to dig down with your client and make sure that this pet or dog is not aggressive.

So ask, “Has your pet ever bitten anybody? Has your pet ever bitten or gotten into a scuffle with another dog or animal? Has your dog or cat ever shown aggression towards anybody or any animal?”

Ask about resource guarding, but in a way, a client will understand. That’s a term we use in the industry, but explaining, “Is there anything that triggers your dog: food, treats, if the toy gets taken away?” Anything that you can drill down to find out if this dog has aggressive behavior.

Another good question, “Is your dog a talker or a growler?” because there is a difference, and here’s the deal. So at Pet Nanny, Pet Sitters of The Main Line, we don’t take any pets with aggression issues. In my opinion, countless animals need our care and will not cause any issues with my sitter, sitters, or my business.

So I want to drill down, ask these questions, and if we even have a whiff that this dog has any aggression, we’re not taking them on as a client. To me, the liability is not worth it. My sitter’s safety is more important to me than the revenue that would be generated from that client.

Put together a risk management training for your sitters.

In your training for your employees, I highly suggest that you put together a risk management training where you will go through all of this, and explain to them about liability, and explain to them what we’re looking for in terms of liability. It’s not just an aggressive animal. It could be a messy garage, which was the case with my other student’s sitter, who fell and smashed her kneecap.

There wasn’t a clear path to get to the house through the garage, and the sitter got hurt. That is an issue, and that is what your sitter needs to be looking out for, not having lights on the outside and not having walkways cleared for you to get into the house. All these things you need to have in your risk management system when onboarding your new employee so that they are trained and well-versed in risk management. So when they meet with your clients, they know what to ask. They know what to look for.

Hey there, Newbie Pet Sitter! Are you feeling stuck or overwhelmed with starting your pet sitting business? Fret no longer, my friend. I’ve got ya covered!

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2 Tips When Hiring a Manager for Your Pet Care Business

Have your managers take a Strength Finders Test.

After you have had your interviews and narrowed down your pool to a few candidates, I suggest having your managers take a Strengths Finders Test. At this time of this recording, it’s about $50 a pop, but it is well worth it.

What you are looking for with this test is somebody that isn’t exactly like you but somebody that compliments you because you guys will be working together, so you don’t want to have someone with all the same strengths as you do. You want them to fill the holes of things that you’re not good at.

2 Tips When Hiring a Manager for Your Pet Care Business

I remember I hated being the bad cop with my clients and my team of Pet Sitters. I found somebody that isn’t afraid of confrontation and of just following through with our company policies on both sides of the coin, and that just took a huge level of stress off of my shoulders. She can handle it better than I can and how my personality works. So hopefully, that makes sense.

Don’t turn people away until somebody accepts the offer.

I was coaching one of my private students this week. She had narrowed her candidates down to two and needed help deciding who she wanted. We went through the strengths finder and said, “Okay, this person A, over person B.”

So my student went and told person B that she was offering it to somebody else, then offered the job to person A, who ended up turning it down, so she lost out on the other great person who was also a really good fit. This was a very difficult decision for her.

So please remember, don’t turn people away until somebody accepts the offer.

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How to Keep Revenue Flowing Even When You Can’t do the Work

I’m starting a new series where I answer questions directly from our Pet Nanny Coach community members. Today’s question comes from Norma, who would like to discuss how to maintain a pet care service when one has family members who need caregiving.

So in Norma’s specific situation, she has elderly parents that she needs to care for, and therefore she can’t be in two places at once, and thus her income stream from her pet sitting business dries up when she cannot do the work for her clients.

And the answer is very simple. You need to build a team to turn on an income stream in your pet sitting business without you having to do the work. It’s as simple as that. I wish I had a better answer for you.

Many of you are not interested in the team-building model, which is fine, but I always get this question. How do I make money without having to do the work? And if you don’t want to delegate the work to a team member, that revenue stream will turn off.

But the good news is you don’t have to have a large team to make a substantial income in the industry or enjoy more freedom in your life. Two to three people tops can help you be able to maintain sanity, make more money, and to be able to focus on the things that are important to you.

How to Keep Revenue Flowing Even When You Can't do the Work

And in Norma’s case, that would be to be able to care for her parents and still make some money. Her second question was about other ways to make money in the pet care industry but from home.

This would be a product-based business you can look into, Norma. Some companies do what they call drop shipping. So you would sell their products, and then when people place the order, the product is shipped from the manufacturer directly to the customer. Therefore you don’t have to hold any inventory at your home or office.

If you want to create another revenue stream without having to trade hours for dollars or provide more services, look into creating a product-based business with companies offering drop shipping services. That would be my suggestion.

Hey there, Newbie Pet Sitter! Are you feeling stuck or overwhelmed with starting your pet sitting business? Fret no longer, my friend. I’ve got ya covered!

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Client Payment System

Today’s question comes from Esther, who has a client who won’t pay their invoice.

This had to happen to me one time about 15 years ago when I got stiffed for a bill that was over $400. I went to my dad, who I called my business manager then, and I was like, “Daddy, like I’m so angry. What do I do about this?” He explained to me that when people have a need that needs to be met, they’re more than happy to pay for that need to be met. As soon as the need is met, their motivation to pay you drastically decreases.

Start collecting payment upfront.

So he suggested collecting payment upfront, and I thought then that I can’t do that. My clients won’t put up with that. They’re going to all fire me. And all the stories I told myself about what would happen, but I finally did it.

I may had pushback from two customers. This was 15 years ago, and it is one of the best things I’ve ever done for my business.

Start collecting payment upfront.

So now, we collect payment four days before the start of service. We keep our clients’ credit cards on file. We charge the card four days ahead of time, and then it’s done. We don’t have to worry about it—no more chasing client payments. And if you have your new client onboarding system well thought out and well organized and explain it to your customers, this is how we do business around here; you will not get pushback.

And some people will say, “Oh, I don’t want to pay upfront.”

“Okay, well then, I’m not the service for you.” It’s as simple as that. There are more than enough clients out there for you, and you don’t have to worry about losing clients because they want to avoid following your procedure.

Client Payment System

Email an invoice. Then send your Venmo QR code or the link to your PayPal.

You might be saying, “Well, Colleen, I don’t have a system where I can keep credit cards on file. I’m a smaller business.” In that case, email them an invoice and send them your Venmo QR code or the link to your PayPal. It doesn’t have to be difficult. There are many ways to collect payment nowadays, but ensure you do it beforehand.

Send a letter via certified mail with all of your invoices attached.

And for those clients that haven’t paid, I suggest sending them a letter via certified mail with all of your invoices attached, letting them know if you have not received payment in X amount of days or by X date, you will be turning them in over to collections and then go ahead and turn them over to collections.

There’s no reason these people should not have to pay their bill to you, but you won’t have to deal with that if you collect payment beforehand. You will thank me, I promise.


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Tools That I Love

Today I want to share with you the tools I use daily in my business that I love and recommend.

Active Campaign

One of the high-level strategies I teach to my Multiply Mastermind students is automating the manual tasks in your business. I recommend Active Campaign because it works and is easy to learn. It’s a fraction of the cost of something like InfusionSoft or ConvertKit. All right, love, love, love ActiveCampaign for automation in your business.


So creating images for your business that you can use on social media. I’m always there creating slides or PDFs for my students and members of my community.

I love Canva; they have a million templates to help you start creating your images.


So if you know me, I’m always talking about blogging. If you have a pet-sitting website, I’m always writing emails, content, and blog posts, and I could not live without Grammarly.


So running payroll for my team of 40 plus pet sitters, my managers, my coaches, everybody, my online business manager, and all of the people on my team. I run it all through Gusto. They make it so, so easy. I can’t recommend them enough.


Another high-level online marketing strategy I teach my students is creating landing pages to which you could run paid traffic in your business. Leadpages make it easy, and it’s very inexpensive.

Business Tools That I Love


Something else I teach my multipliers is creating standard operating procedures in your business. And one of the tools that I use to do this is Loom. It allows you to record your screen doing the process and procedure in your business. When you’re done recording, it automatically creates a link that you can share with your team members and include in your SOPs, making crystal clear the result you want from every standard operating procedure in your business.


So years ago, I used another hosting company; my websites were constantly hacked. So I had to switch hosting companies. I found SiteGround. They add all the security I need for my business websites at a fraction of what I was paying this other company where my sites were getting hacked. Love, love, love SiteGround.


So instead of me having to go in every day and schedule manually what posts I want to put out on my social media channels. I can do all of that in the background using SmarterQueue on a preset schedule, and it posts it for me.


We do sitter interviews on Zoom. We have team meetings on Zoom. You can record your meetings, which you can then share with your team members if they can’t make it live to the meeting. Love Zoom. I could not live without them.

Time to Pet

Now for pet-sitting software, you have a bunch of options. I personally love Time to Pet. I love the guys over there. They’ve created amazing software.


If Time To Pet is out of your budget, you could start with a software program called PocketSuite if you are new to the industry. It’s extremely inexpensive. It keeps a calendar on the app; you can collect payments using it.

And then, as your business grows and your budget increases, you could move over to a software program like Time to Pet. Again, those guys over there are amazing. They’re constantly improving the software. If you’re ready, I will include a link to a discount to use that software. So when you’re ready, you know, head on over there.

Time To Pet

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Website Security for Pet Sitting Websites

Many years ago, I had an issue where my pet sitting website was being consistently hacked. That would mean the website would be down, resulting in lost sales and customer acquisition because I run my traffic through my website.

Today I have three things you can do to ensure your website stays safe, up and running, and makes money for you.

First thing is you want to keep your pet sitting website up to date.

This is by far the biggest risk when it comes to securities. New vulnerabilities are discovered in WordPress and its plugins and themes regularly; if your site is out of date, it is at risk.

Hackers actively search for outdated websites they can attack, so make it a point to keep your site up to date. This includes your plugins, your themes, and the WordPress software itself. It’s a regular thing that my virtual assistant does that keeps my website safe.

Use strong passwords.

I know you might be like, “Hello, duh,” but the truth is most people still aren’t using strong passwords. Hackers are always looking for weak passwords. They use something called a brute force attack.

Simply put, a hacker sets up computer programs to repeatedly attempt to log into your site, using thousands of the most commonly used passwords and what are known as dictionary words. This type of vulnerability can be easily avoided simply by choosing good passwords.

Ideally, your password should be 12 characters, contain upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols, never be used for multiple sites, never be stored in plain text on your computer, and never be sent by email.

Also, consider using a password manager like LastPass, which I love. LastPass will generate and securely store good and strong passwords, and you’ll never have to worry about remembering your passwords, and you’re going to greatly reduce your risk of being hacked.

All right, so strong passwords and look into something like LastPass.

Website security for Pet Sitting Websites

Be smart about your hosting.

All these companies say unlimited domains, space, and bandwidth for $8 a month. I’m sure you’ve seen these claims, but here’s the problem. The type of standard hosting is inexpensive only because they overload their servers with thousands of websites.

Just as close proximity in crowded classrooms allows human viruses to spread quickly, the close proximity of websites on a shared server means one infected site is a risk to all the others.

After my site was consistently hacked, and this was by a reputable company, I decided to move to a company that had added security. So, every day, they scan my site for any malware, attempted hacks, and so on.

After years and years and years of being with one of the most well-known companies, my site is constantly getting taken down. So, I love SiteGround hosting. Been with them for years and have not had a single problem. I’m going to link to this below the video.

Again, three things. Keep your site up to date, use strong passwords, and choose a smart host. I love SiteGround.

All right, guys. I’m always interested and happy to make videos for you, answer your questions, and support you in any way I can. If you have any questions about how to grow your pet-sitting business, please let me know.

So, either in the comments below, you can email me or post in our free Facebook group at I am always here to serve you.


Hey there, Newbie Pet Sitter! Are you feeling stuck or overwhelmed with starting your pet sitting business? Fret no longer, my friend. I’ve got ya covered!

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