How Much Money Can I Make As A Pet Sitter

How Much Money Can I Make As A Pet Sitter?

Today’s mini-training talks about how much you can make pet sitting. Here’s what you’ll learn.

  1. What the earning potential is at different levels of the pet sitting industry.
  2. Why a clear vision of what you want and why you want it is so important.
  3. The difference between having a job and having a business.
  4. The power of the leverage business model.

But first, in case you don’t know me, my name is Colleen Sedgwick, and I’m the founder of Pet Nanny Coach. I teach pet sitters how to launch, grow and multiply their businesses.

As you can imagine, I get asked quite often, “Colleen, is it possible to have a career taking care of animals and make a solid income doing it?” And my answer is always an emphatic, “Yes, I am living proof that it is possible.”

Back in 2001, when I started my business, I didn’t have a clear vision for my company. As you all have heard me say countless times, “I didn’t know what I wanted and why I wanted it,” which is an integral part of having a successful business. It seems basic, but it’s so necessary.

All I knew was I wanted to quit my job as a teacher and work for myself. I used to say things like, “Yeah, I want to make my hours. I want to work for myself. Make my hours. Be able to get on the shore when I want.” And I learned quickly that being the owner of the business and the technician doing the client work inside the business wasn’t easy and required an exorbitant amount of time.

I didn’t realize when I started my business that I was never meant to do the client work. I thought the opposite.

In reality, if you are doing the client work or, in our world, the pet sitting or the dog walking or the house sitting, you don’t have a business. You have a job. Please don’t get mad at me. Don’t shoot the messenger, my friends. There is no judgment here because I used to think the same thing as you.

I started this business based on my love of animals. So I should be the person out taking care of them. It makes perfect sense, right?

Wrong! As a business owner, your role is to be the strategic visionary that delegates the client work to the technicians inside the business. Who knew? I certainly didn’t. I had no idea.

In today’s training, I want to break down the earning potential for all different levels of pet sitting, so you have an unmistakable picture and can make the best decision for you on what path suits you the best.

For Solopreneurs

First, I know that some don’t want large businesses like the one that I have. You want to do pet sitting as a solo show, which is fine, by the way. You do you, my friends. Don’t email me or go to social media. But all I do is talk about growing these big businesses. If that’s not for you, that’s not for you. But we’re still going to talk, and we’re going to do some numbers for all levels, so stick with me.

Let’s do the math. Let’s assume that currently, it’s you doing all the pet-sitting. You have a packed schedule of twelve 30-minute visits per day at $22 per visit, seven days a week. This equals $264 per day, $1,840 per week, $7,392 per month, $88,704 per year. That was pretty good. On paper, this seems great. I remember the days I strived for this.

But let me be clear. This is not an equation for a happy and healthy life. This is a recipe for burnout, mistakes, unhappy clients, and an unhappy life. I know because I lived it. As a result, if this is you, you’re working way too hard. You may be asking yourself, “What am I not getting here?” You’re feeling stressed in other areas of your life. Can you relate to this? I certainly can because that was my life for quite some time.

So let’s dial this back a bit to make it more manageable. Now, let’s say that you had eight 30-minutes midday visits at $22 per visit, five days a week. So now we’re just doing midday walks. We’re not doing mornings. We’re not doing evenings. We’re not doing overnights. We’re not spending our weekends pet sitting. So it’s eight 30-minute midday visits, Monday through Friday. This equals $176 per day, $880 per week, $3,520 per month, $42,240 per year.

In this example, you’re making much less, but at least you have a life. You have your mornings, evenings and weekends free. In my opinion, this is a much more sustainable situation and a recipe for a happy life if you can live off that income. Remember, that’s your gross income and doesn’t account for what you have to pay out in taxes and your expenses.

Leverage Business Model

If your goal is to create a lucrative pet sitting career, let’s talk about the leverage business model, which I teach my Multiply Students. To make a substantial income in this industry and to achieve the freedom-based lifestyle you deserve, you need to leverage yourself through a team of heart-centered pet care professionals who hold the same beliefs, values, and pet care philosophy that you do. Let’s run some numbers to illustrate this point.

We’re going to restructure your business from that first example where you’re doing crazy visits, seven days a week, you’re making good money, but you have no life, and you’re miserable. So let’s restructure this. Okay, so say you keep six midday dog-walking clients, six visits a day at $22 per visit, five days a week. Equals $132 per day, $660 per week, $2,640 per month.

Next, you hire three pet sitters to absorb the rest of your current clients and to take on new clients. This is the same equation for all three sitters. Sitter one has eight visits a day at $22 per visit. This is $176 per day, $1,232 per week, $4,928 per month for the business, so that’s grossing for the business. Say you take 50%, so $2,464 goes to the sitter, and $2,464 goes to the business. So that’s the same equation for sitter one, sitter two, and sitter three.

Now, you have your midday walking income still, so that’s a total of $2,640 per month. So the income you received from center one is $2,464. Plus, the income from sitter two, $2,464.

The income from sitter three, $2,464. Your owner’s income is $2,640. This equals $10,032 per month. The gross revenue for the business equals $17,424 per month. Now, let’s look back at your previous structure. You were making $7,392 per month working 12 hours … 12 to 15 hours, to be quite honest, per day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Now, by bringing on only three pet centers and drastically lightening your load, you are now making $10,032 per month.

This is the recipe for creating a lucrative pet sitting career.

How Much Money Can I Make As A Pet Sitter

 

For those high-achieving pet sitters who do have dreams of growing a more significant business, you now have gifted yourself the time to work on your business and market your business to serve more clients and therefore make more money with even more free time.

Do you see how this works? I’m going to say that again. You’ve now gifted yourself the time to work on your business and market your business, so you can service more clients and therefore make more money and have even more free time. It’s an equation, guys.

All right, so let’s take this a few steps further so that you can see the power of a team. Twenty sitters are working five days per week. Each sitter has six visits per day at $22 per visit. This equals $2,640 in daily revenue, $13,200 in weekly revenue, $52,800 in monthly revenue. Your 50% equals $26,400 per month. Pretty great, right?

This illustrates the power of a team. You give the client work to the technicians, and you focus on the business growth or the strategy work of your company.

So Courtney Anderson of waggitytails.com leveraged herself through a team and experienced explosive growth in her business. Courtney decided to start building her team one year after she launched her business in 2014.

Courtney now employs 13 pet sitters and a part-time office manager. Her team services 200+ clients and 50 recurring weekly clients. Courtney’s yearly revenue has increased by 652%. And she attributes her massive success to the power of a team.

So get out your paper and figure out the math. How much money do you want to make? How many clients would you need to support that number? How many sitters would you need to support that number?

Remember to account for taxes and expenses from your gross income. In all these examples, I’m speaking gross. Again, you always need to pay your taxes and account for your operating expenses for the company. Luckily, in our industry, we don’t have a ton of overhead because our business occurs in our client’s homes, which is a plus. But again, these are all gross numbers. We need to account for taxes and expenses.

I honestly never dreamed that my pet sitting business would create so much prosperity in my life. After I learned about the power of leverage, team-building systems, processes, and automation, the sky became the limit for my business. And I’m so grateful for the blessing of my business. All right, guys, so this is what is possible. Let’s close this out.

This is what’s possible for you. When you’re asking, “How much can I actually make in this industry,” again, do the math. Figure out what you are going to charge. How many clients do you need? What kind of lifestyle do you want?

Remember, your business is supposed to serve your life. I speak to so many of you, and your business is not serving your life. And it’s sucking the life out of you. It’s not the purpose of a business.

Remember, if you do all the visits, you don’t have a business; you have a job.

Again, you can have a lucrative pet-sitting career by leveraging yourself through a team. If that’s not for you, have at it. Stay solo. And do the math and figure out what you need to do and how many visits you need to do in a day to create the income that you need for your life.

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The-Top-3-Essentials-for-Pet-Sitting-Websites

The Top 3 Essentials for Pet Sitting Websites

Pet Sitting Websites are the Cornerstone of Your Business

Pet sitting websites are the cornerstone of your business. In most cases it will be your customers first impression of you and your business, so it’s important that you make those first few seconds when a visitor lands on your page count.

My advice to you is to hire a reputable graphic designer who will create a beautiful and functional web site for your company. I promise you, this will be the best money that you ever spend on your business! You can easily have a new site created for a reasonable amount of money. Visit  www.guru.com,  odesk.com or elance.com (odesk and elance is now upwork.com) to post your job and find a great designer.

When designing your pet sitting website it’s important to communicate with your designer exactly who your target market is and what it is that you’re looking to accomplish. Remember, designers are great at creating beautiful sites, but not many know and understand the business side of things. You need to let them know exactly what should be included.

The 1st Essential for Pet Sitting Websites

The first essential is your contact information on each and every page of your website. I know this seems like a no-brainer, but how often are you on a site where you can’t fine the phone number? Pretty often, right? You don’t want your visitors to ever have to search to find a way to contact you. Also, we’re now in the mobile age where a large percentage of your pet sitting prospects will be on their phones when they land on your page. Make it easy for them to reach you. All they should have to do is point and click to call your office.

The 2nd Essential for Pet Sitting Websites

The second essential is to establish the “know, like and trust factor” with your visitors. I know I’m always harping on this, but in our industry this is crucial for converting visitors into paying clients. Think about it this way… our new customers are in essence giving strangers the keys to their homes and trusting them to take care of and safe-guard their most prized possessions. They need to visually see you and immediately get the feeling that you are a person for whom they can trust and rely on.

How do you do this? You add a video of you on the homepage of your site. I know everyone’s first reaction to this is, “no way!” That was certainly my first reaction, but I’m telling you if you want to bring in tons of new clients, video is a MUST!

The 3rd Essential for Pet Sitting Websites

The third essential is testimonials from happy clients. Social proof is one of the best and most cost-effective ways to convert prospects into paying clients. If they can see that your current customers are raving fans they will be much more likely to use your service. If you don’t have testimonials, go and get them! Ask your clients if they wouldn’t mind writing a few words about their experience with your company. If you’re just starting out, be sure to go above and beyond the call of duty for your new clients (you should always do this,) then follow-up with them afterwards to see if they were happy. If they are, you ask them for a testimonial.

Try and get into the mentality of going and getting the things that you need but don’t have versus having the mindset where you say, “I don’t have that, so I’m not going to do that.” You won’t get too far in business if this is the way you think.

Your Homework Assignment: Go and do it or go and get it!

  • If you don’t have a website, get one! Websites are so inexpensive these days; there is really no excuse to not have one. If you don’t have a website you will lose credibility with your pet sitting prospects and you will fall drastically short against your competition.
  • If your website is basically a virtual brochure it’s time to upgrade. Hire a designer and get a professional site created. Be sure to include the contact information on each and every page.
  • Record a video of you on your homepage. If you can’t afford to have a professional one created then have friend record it for you on your phone. It doesn’t matter! You just want your prospects to know, like and trust you.
  • Gather testimonials for your site.
  • Download my 12 Website Essentials Infographic right below this post. This will help you to create your new amazing pet sitting website!

Howdy, Pet Lover! Do you want to have all the pet sitting clients you need? This resource is 100% FREE and is my gift to you. Enjoy!
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Using Automation in Your Business

Using Automation in Your Pet Sitting Business

First, what actually is automation?

It is taking the manual processes out of your business. Instead, it’s the use of technology and automating various business tasks. Automating a pet sitting business replaces the manual effort needed to execute everyday tasks. Here are some of the benefits of using automation.

It boosts productivity and customer satisfaction, and it aids businesses in cutting costs, streamlining processes.

I love all things streamlining and improving efficiency, which leads to revenue growth and customer satisfaction. It also dramatically minimizes the chances of errors, which brought me to my first experience with automation, finally biting the bullet and investing in scheduling software.

When I was doing everything manually in my pet sitting business, especially the scheduling, mistakes happened quite frequently.

But after I finally, again, bit the bullet and invested in scheduling software, there were no more mistakes with service confirmations, missed visits, or client and pet care information, or tracking payments.

I’m going to tell you the experience I had that led me to finally getting scheduling software. I had an overnight service order for a golden retriever in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania. It was like 15 years ago. I had down the date that I was leaving was X date, and they had it a day later.

I couldn’t have done that date because it was over Easter, and I would be away over Easter. So I don’t know where the miscommunication happened, but this was a manual process back then. This dog was left alone for 24 hours a day.

Being the business owner, that was entirely my fault because I didn’t have a system in place that tracked all of the scheduling or checks and balances, which the scheduling software gives you. This client was super upset, and I don’t blame them. I lost nights and nights of sleep over it.

I woke up in cold sweats, and it was one of the worst feelings I’ve ever had in my life. So from that point forward, I said, “I’m not doing this anymore. I am going to put my big girl pants on, and I’m going to invest in scheduling software.”

Using Automation in Your Business


The benefits of using scheduling software. Number one, it’s peace of mind for you.

I used to wake up like, “Oh my gosh, did I visit that Westie? Oh my gosh, did I see that powered or that cat?” And I’m like, “Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. I did. I did. I did.” But again, it’s all in my head, and it was all on paper.

When you have software that tracks things for you, you don’t have to worry about that anymore. It’s taking up a lot of space in your brain. Trust me. It gives you peace of mind, and then it provides the client with peace of mind.

So not only does it give you a unique selling proposition to give to your customer prospects, but they can know that they can go away or go to work. They can have total peace of mind because they are going through the scheduling or the service confirmation, ensuring that all the requested dates are there.

Then they’ll get confirmations, and then they’ll get notifications when the visits are complete, and then they’ll get communications that the sitter was there or you were there, so on and so forth. So it gives them peace of mind. You can do all of your client and pet profile management.

Back in the day, when I did everything manually, I had them in file folders, which was like crazy. I finally threw them all away, by the way, maybe about three years ago.

I was like, “I don’t need these anymore because everything is online. Everything is tracked inside the software.” Easy scheduling and tracking. Again, the client can book their service online. They can tell you precisely what you want. You or your manager can then go ahead and schedule it, send it to the client, and say, “Hey, is everything on this correct?”

You’re putting that back on them to look at it and say, “Yes, everything’s correct.” Okay, we have an agreement, take payment, and move from there. You can do invoicing all from the same software, which is so easy.

Back then, when I was doing it manually, I would print out Word documents and leave the bill on the counter with a self-addressed envelope and then hope that my clients would get me payment in a quick way. Now they are invoiced ahead of time. We keep a credit card on file. We charge it four days ahead of time.

And then all of our regular clients who use this monthly are on an automatic billing schedule. They know every 30 days they’re going to be billed for the following month, and it just moves so much easier. I used to find checks in my pocket. I’d be like, “Did I deposit that?” It was just a mess. And then you can keep the credit cards on file, which I just mentioned. And then the sitter management and sitter visit tracking are essential.

You can do all your HR stuff right from your software on your sitters, and you can make sure that they are going to the client’s house, what time they show up, what time they leave. They’re going to communicate with the client through the app.

So again, going back to the peace of mind for you and the client, but you, as the pet sitting business owner, can track these people that are out representing your company. When you do all this stuff manually, you’re not using this type of technology; this is all that you’re missing out on. It just makes your life so much easier.

I get asked this question all the time. I think that Time to Pet is the best software on the market. Now, there are many, many to choose from. I’ve heard good things about Precise Petcare. I’ve heard good things about Leashtime, but I would say 99% of my students use Time to Pet, and they love it.

I spoke with Mike yesterday, and he is giving you guys a special link. It’s https://timetopet.com/r/petnannycoach. You’re going to get the regular free 14-day trial. It can’t hurt. Go there and sign up and get the free trial.

If you decide to sign up, he’s also giving members of our community 50% off their first three months. So thank you, Mike, from Time to Pet. He has an amazing platform that I’m just super impressed by. Go check it out. It doesn’t hurt to give it a shot.

If you are on a super budget-friendly option, there is an app called pocketsuite.io. I think it’s around $9 a month, and it’s a straightforward way to get started with technology and using the software. It’s not pet sitting specific, but it’s a scheduling app, and you can accept payments through it.

Some of my students who are just starting opt for this, to begin with. And as soon as things get moving, they’ll move over to Time to Pet or another software.

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation is all about using software to automate marketing activities such as email marketing, social media posting, and ad campaigns such as Facebook Ads or Google AdWords. For example, I use a marketing software called Keep Classic by Infusionsoft. I love it. I’ve used it forever.

However, it’s super expensive, and it has many bells and whistles that you most likely won’t need. One less costly option is MailChimp. For your first 2,000 subscribers, it’s free.

You can try ActiveCampaign for about $10 a month, ConstantContact, or FloDesk. I suggest that all of my students use ActiveCampaign because it’s inexpensive and has all the power that Infusionsoft has. Like anything, with any software, there’s going to be a learning curve, and you need to take the time to learn how to use it so that you can start making money from it and utilizing it.

It’s not sitting there not being used, and you’re just paying this monthly fee. But MailChimp is free. It doesn’t have the same amount of power as ActiveCampaign does. You can check out ActiveCampaign, ConstantContact, or FloDesk.

Let’s talk about an example of a marketing campaign using an email autoresponder like Infusionsoft or ActiveCampaign. We’re going to go over today what I call an opt-in offer.

A prospect hits your website, and you are giving them something of value in exchange for their first name and email address so that you can then market to them to have them become a paying customer with your pet sitting business.

Here’s an example on my website. I offer an information packet, which is pretty much just a condensed version of my website in a PDF format. I give a high-value coupon along with the information packet. The prospect hits my website. They click that “Download Now” button. A pop-up comes up. They give me their first name and email.

Then this starts. It looks like inside Infusionsoft, guys, where it says here the info packet lead magnet. That’s the form. They fill it out on the website, and that’s what triggers the campaign to start. Boom! They go into that first sequence, which is the info packet delivery.

Now, this is what it looks like on the inside of that sequence. The first email they’re going to get is the delivery. They asked for the info packet and coupon, so I am giving it to them. Here’s what you requested. Here it is. Then a day later, I talk about the pain points.

It’s an email talking about how not to make the same mistakes that I did when I hired a pet sitter that lost my dog down the shore. Poor Dr. Watson. That was a terrible story.

But again, it’s speaking to their pain points, and you don’t want to trust any old person to come in and take care of your pet. Again, using a professional service, this is why you want to use a professional service, so on and so forth. Then two days later, I say, “Hey, do you have any questions? And here’s another bonus. I have an ultimate guide for all Main Line pet owners.” So again, I’m giving more value to them.

I’m positioning myself as an expert and the go-to resource for them. They have a whole PDF that’s emailed to them that has all of the local pet hotels and parks and pet shops and vets, so on and so forth. Then four days later, I do the Call To Action.

I say, “Hey, your coupon is about to expire. If you want to sign up for a Pet Nanny service, now is the time to do it. Click here to schedule.” The idea here is by the end of this email sequence that I am going to have converted a prospect into a buyer. If they don’t become a buyer, that’s okay.

Right now might not be the right time for them, but you can still keep in touch with them through other email marketing campaigns and holiday reservation reminder campaigns. You could have pop-up sales. Then, when they are ready to buy, you’re going to be the first person they think of because you have been keeping in contact with them.

Other options for me to get their information on my website. It’s called a red offer, a yellow offer, and a green offer for prospects that hit your site.

The red offer is for people looking for more information, so that’s going to be the information packet and coupon. Then some people are a little more warm, and they’re going to say, “You know what? This looks really good. I’m going to ask for a quote.”

Yes, all of my pricing is on the website, so they can quickly go there and get it, but many people asked for the quote, making it easy for them to do so. So that would be the yellow offer. They’re a little warmer. And then we have the green offer, which is they become a client.

You want to make it easy for your customers to buy from you. Some people are going to hit your website and say, “I am ready to start.” They hit the become a client button. They fill out the form, and then whole different automation starts.

Social Media

You can use tools like Hootsuite, SmarterQueue, Meet Edgar, or Buffer to schedule your social media posts and your social media plan. I used to use Meet Edgar. Now I use SmarterQueue. The cool thing about that software is that they create a library of your posts so that they continuously post over time. So you’re not going to post it once and then go into the abyss and never be seen again.

It’s reutilizing your posts from before, which is fantastic. You can also just use simple Facebook scheduling. They do it right there inside of Facebook.

You click the little clock, and you can schedule all your posts that way. But that way, you’re not doing it. So if you do it only when you think of it, it’s not going to get done is not going to be as effective as if you plan it out and automate the process if that makes sense.

Hiring Automation

Hiring automation is leveraging technology to allow companies to automate recruiting tasks and workflows to increase productivity, accelerate time to fill, reduce cost per hire, and improve the overall talent profile of their organization.

Today, I’m going to show you an example of a hiring campaign that I use inside my business, Pet Nanny-Pet Sitters of The Main Line. The automation is triggered when a a sitter prospect hits my website and fills out the job application.

If you are using ICs, you don’t want to call it a job application. You want to call it a questionnaire. Regardless, they hit the website. They fill that out, and that is going to trigger the automation to start. There’s the form. They fill out the application.

Then the sitter job description is sent to them. If they download the job description, they are given an interview invitation, which has a scheduling link inside. If they schedule the interview, the scheduling software tags them, and then they get their interview prep and confirmation emails.

So again, based upon the action that the sitter prospect is taking, these things happen. If they don’t take action, they don’t move forward in the automation. If they never download the job description, they’re not getting an interview invitation.

If they don’t schedule an interview, they will not get the interview prep and confirmation emails. But it’s taking that manual process. I don’t have to move them through anything manually. It’s based on the actions they’re taking.

It takes a lot of time out of this process. I want to bring you inside the sitter job description sequence. They fill out the application. The job description is emailed to them. That’s right here.

We also send a voicemail that says, “Hey, Jessica, I just sent you the job description. It may end up in your promos folders. If you have a Gmail account, make sure you look in there. Also, look in your junk folder.”

If it didn’t hit their inbox, we want to make sure that they know that it was set. If they don’t download it, we try a second time a day later. And then if they still don’t download it, they’re moving to an inactive prospect. I no longer want to market to this sitter prospect because they didn’t download the job description. So they’re no longer prospects. That’s an example of hiring automation. You can also automate your workflow.

Workflow Automation

Workflow automation is a way to streamline essential processes in your business to minimize delays, so things get done faster. Here are some examples here. If we mail a lockbox to a client, a two-second form is filled out that automatically shoots off an email to the client saying, “Your order for the lockbox has been completed and is on its way to you.”

Suppose someone’s out of the service area. We get lots of requests about pet sitting service that we don’t cover their service area. We can fill out the two-second form, and it automatically sends an email letting them know, “Hey, unfortunately, you’re not in our service area. Here is where you can go to find a reputable professional pet sitter in your area.”

Suppose we want to send referral thank you cards. If I get a referral from a strategic alliance or a client or a friend and send them a Send Out Card with a gift card attached to it, I fill out the SOC referral $5 Starbucks. This card is going to go out and say, “Hey, Jessica, thank you so much for the referral. We always appreciate it. Enjoy a cup of coffee on me at Starbucks.”

We also do this for reviews. If someone leaves a review on Yelp or Google, we will send a thank you. Thank you cards with the Starbucks gift cards, but we make it easy to do so. If I were to do this manually, I would have to write the card out. I’d have to put it in the envelope. I’d have to write out the envelope, put the postage on, bring it out to the mailbox. I mean, how often are you going to do that?

I have it set up that it takes two seconds to fill out this form inside Infusionsoft. Then, it goes to send out cards. Finally, it creates the card and mails it off with a gift card attached to it.

Other ideas for workflow automations are when we need to have a sitter schedule, a pre-departure meeting, a registration meeting, a meet and greet, or schedule an essential pickup. My manager goes into the contact file, fills out this two-second form, and sends those email notifications to the sitter.

She doesn’t have to go back and forth a hundred times with the sitter letting them know. It’s all documented and organized inside Infusionsoft. It takes two seconds to fill out the form. The sitter gets the notification, and then the sitter is to let our manager know that the meeting has been scheduled.

And then Sue will mark the task complete. That way, she knows. “Oh my gosh. I sent the email to Kylie about scheduling a pre-departure meeting. I never heard back from her,” because this goal of the pre-departure meeting being scheduled is still sitting on her dashboard. So it’s a check and balance system too.

Final tip, if you are going to invest in an automation tool, like a scheduling software like Time to Pet, or an email autoresponder like MailChimp or ActiveCampaign, or you’re going to get Hootsuite or Buffer or SmarterQueue, any of these things, take the time to learn how to use them.

These softwares are built to make you money. People ask me all the time, “What about the expense?” If you use these tools, they’re going to make you money.

An expense is when you’re paying for them, but you don’t take the time to learn how to use them. They sit there, and you get charged month after month after month. They’re going to waste. They’re not bringing you, new clients. They’re not bringing you new leads, et cetera. That is when it’s an expense.

Don’t be scared of technology.

Think to yourself, what did I use not to be able to do that I’m terrific at now? Walking, we didn’t know how to walk when we were born. Now I’m an excellent walker. It’s the same thing. It’s a new skill you need to learn, and it’s going to benefit you and your business, and it’s going to help make you more money and give you more freedom in your pet sitting business.

 

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Work Family Balance

Work Family Life Balance

One of the members of our community, Emily Lewis, asked me to talk about work-life balance in her pet sitting business. There are two main topics I want to cover.

First is when you have young children, and you’re trying to build your business, and I did a video about this last year. Here is a link to that video: https://youtu.be/302z5z1PikI

Hire a manager.

When I started having my family, having Lucy, that’s when I hired my first manager. When I hired her, I wasn’t expecting to keep her on to work for me.

I was planning to have her come for three months and cover things for me to be a new mom and enjoy my new baby. I ended up loving mothering so much, and she was doing such an amazing job that I decided to keep her on. When Lucy got a little bit older, I realized that I had all this time now because my manager was taking care of things.

She was taking care of all of the administrative tasks for me, which freed up so much of my time to focus on growing the pet sitting business. So that is why I kept her on. The year that I did hire her, I made an additional $53,000. So it was like, “Well, this is a no-brainer.”

Have a support team around you.

When you hear me talk about building your team, I’m not only just talking about building your team of pet sitters. I’m talking about your support team around you. I now have three managers and a virtual assistant that helps me with everything.

I can focus on marketing and getting new clients, and having our current clients booked more frequently. That’s where my manager onboarding system comes from.

I think it’s important. It is part of a process.

Work Family Balance

 

The manager also helps to free up your time to be a mom as well.

Have an organized household and set boundaries.

My kids are now in school. They’re at school every day until four, and then I can focus on the business. So my suggestion for when you have young children is get a support staff around you, and work when the baby sleeps, and work when your husband gets home from work. That’s what I used to do. I used to hang with my kids, and then when he got home, that’s when I would sit down and get my work done.

Now, if you’re asking about COVID, that’s a whole different ball of wax. If your kids are home, luckily, my kids are in Catholic school. So they are in school full time. They have been since September.

Last spring was not easy, and my suggestion for that is you need to be super-duper, duper organized in your household, and setting boundaries. Ensuring everything’s set up at the beginning of the day, in their specific spots. Make sure they have everything they need. Lunch is made the night before, and have space for just yourself to work in your home.

We have a system in my house when I have a smiley face on my door; they’re allowed to come in. When they have a sad face on the door, that means they are not allowed to come in. That means I’m either doing a Facebook Live, I’m recording a video, I’m on phone calls, I’m teaching. So that’s kind of how they know whether they can access the office or not.

Delegate duties to your manager.

My manager handles all phone calls, emails, scheduling, and keeping track of all of the sitters availability. My hiring manager takes care of the sitter recruiting, the sitter assessments, and the sitter onboarding. Then she manages them as well.

Sue is my main manager that does all of the face-to-face client work. I have my sitter manager and my hiring manager, Jessica. My Online Business Manager is Michael, and he runs both sides of my business, so Pet Nanny and Pet Nanny Coach. He helps with all tech and marketing stuff and organizing all the projects that we’re working on in my pet sitting business.

When you get to a point in your business where you have 2,000 clients to service, that managerial role does become a full-time job and will suck up all of your time. That is when I suggest bringing on the manager and again, freeing up your time to be with your children.

I can go to any school function that they need me, all the sports events, that’s all taken care of because I am not the system in my pet sitting business. I’ve created a business that’s a machine that runs without me because of the amazing support system and the systems that I have put into place. So I can run the business.

Create a miraculous working routine.

So you want to make sure you’re getting up, and you’re doing something positive for your mind. Whether that’s listening to a positive podcast, reading something positive, doing yoga, exercising, something where you are starting your day off on the right foot. Mine includes Peloton and meditation.

Get up and get dressed.

During COVID, people were just kind of lounging around in their sweat pants, and it’s not good for motivation. So get up, get dressed, put a little makeup on, do your hair, and that’s going to help with the motivation.

Have a designated workspace.

So everybody in my home knows that when this door’s closed, a sad face is on the door, that mommy is working, and I’m not to be interrupted until I come out and give them the A-okay.

Now, if they’re very little, obviously that’s going to be different, but my kids are a little older now. So that’s a system that works for us.

Plan weekly.

You want to make sure that you’re doing your weekly planning on Sundays. We call it the see it through strategy where you’re taking everything out of your mind, put it onto paper, and put it onto your calendar so that you know exactly what you’re working on every day.

Then on Friday, you’re going to do the Finish Up Friday hour where you’re going to go through and see all the tasks you had on your calendar to see what wasn’t completed. Then you’re going to put that on the following week’s calendar.

Define boundaries with family and friends.

I used to talk on the phone all the time with my friends during the day. I don’t answer it anymore. I don’t answer text messages until the day is over. I’m taking care of my family and building a business, and now they know that I’m not available to chat about the Real Housewives during workdays.

Meal prep.

I try to plan my meals every week. I use an app called Plan To Eat, which I love. I put the recipes in for the week. It creates a shopping list. Billy does all the food shopping. He has the app, and he knows exactly what we need to buy at the store because I have everything planned for the week. I try to do as much prep work at the beginning of the week.

Chopping the onions or making the ziti, or today I’m making shepherd’s pie. I try to do as much as I can at the beginning of the week.

Design an end of day routine.

When you have a family, you want to turn off your computer, turn off your phone and be present with them. I have a whole routine that I’m shutting down for the day, and then I’m with the family, and that’s it.

Again, that’s from having that support team. You’re not on-call 24/7. Having a pet sitting business for years, I was on-call seven days a week, 365 days a year, and that’s not the way a business is supposed to be. It’s supposed to add to your life, and you need to create these support systems around you so that you can shut it down at the end of the day and be with your family.

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7 Tax-Saving Tips for Pet Sitters

7 Tax-Saving Tips for Pet Sitters

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Tax time is upon us. I want to talk about seven tax saving tips for your pet sitting business.

1. Keep your tax and financial documents for at least seven years.

If you’re ever audited you’ll need those records. Any claims made at tax time require supporting documentation. Keeping good records is an excellent idea for any pet sitting business owner because it encourages organization, always a good thing.

It’s challenging to reconstruct records at a later date. To give you a real quick story about how this is very important, I have been audited twice. They tried to audit me one year after the second audit that I had won. I’m supposed to have five years safe harbor.

My accountant went back and said, “Hey, you guys audited Colleen last year.” They said, “We have no record of that. We have no documentation of that. You need to prove that we did.” Thankfully, we had all of our records. I was able to send it to them so that they couldn’t continue with the audit.

So, a simple system I use is Dropbox, and I have a Financials folder. I have a folder for each year where I store all of my financial documents. There you go, a straightforward system that you can implement today in your business.

2. Understand your loans.

The IRS doesn’t classify most business loans as income. The interest paid on loans is generally a deductible expense. It’s essential to have records regarding the use of any loans, which may be for equipment, or to finance some other activity.

In the year 2020, with all those PPP loans, you must understand how that implicates your taxes and how it’s forgiven if you took out a PPP loan.

3. Know the different types of audits.

First, there’s an office audit, which generally is a simple audit where you’ll be requested to report to your local IRS office to resolve some slight discrepancy.

Then, there’s a correspondence audit where they’ll, it’s hard to say, where they’ll ask you to mail in some documentation.

Then, there’s a field audit, which I went through. These tend to be comprehensive audits conducted at your place of business—very, very stressful. I would never want any of you to have to go through what I went through. I ended up winning, by the way, which was good.

Then, lastly is the criminal investigation audit, which, hopefully, will never happen to anybody watching this video. If you get notified that a criminal investigation audit is happening to you, immediately consult your lawyer because you’re suspected of tax evasion.

4. Pay your quarterly tax bill.

When you have an employer, your taxes are regularly taken out of your paycheck. If you’re self-employed, you’re required to estimate your tax each quarter and pay it. Failure to pay this can result in a significant tax penalty.

You might also end up with an enormous tax bill than you can handle in a single payment.

7 Tax-Saving Tips for Pet Sitters

 

I did not pay my quarterly taxes for years, and I would stress about it, and I would toss and turn, “Oh my gosh, am I going to have enough money to pay the taxman?” One year I did get caught with a $15,000 bill that I was not prepared for. So, I never again missed a quarterly payment after that experience.

5. Prepare early.

The vast number of tax filers wait until the last minute. If you’re expecting a refund, this can be the worst time to file. The IRS is overwhelmed with all the tax returns that pour in. So, preparing your tax return early leaves you time to find any missing documents and answer any questions, all right? It just gives you peace of mind to get it done with, get the monkey off your back.

6. Get help.

Depending on your business finances’ complexity, hiring an expert to prepare your pet sitting business tax return is an excellent idea.

In theory, the money you spend ought to result in a smaller tax burden. It can be helpful if any legal issues arise. The price you’re going to pay for using an accountant and a CPA lets you know what you can be deducted. You don’t know what you don’t know. That’s going to be money in your pocket that you’re not paying to the government. I’s going to pay for itself to use an accountant or a CPA. That’s number one.

Number two, when I was audited, my accountant was so awesome. He dealt with the whole thing. He knew exactly how to structure the audit. He knew exactly what language to use. He knew exactly how to organize everything, where I easily won that audit.

Without him, I don’t even know what would have happened. That audit was for using independent contractors appropriately. That’s a whole other story. Thankfully I had him because he was an MVP in that experience.

7. Avoid using taxes collected from employee payroll, or that you put aside to pay business expenses.

Don’t do that. That happens when you have all of your money in one account.

My tip for you today is to create a bank account outside of your regular bank. I want you to title it The Government’s Money. It’s not your money.

Every week, you’re going to take a percentage of your revenue; you’re going to transfer it out of your bank into the government money account. By the time you’re ready to pay your quarterly tax bill, the money is there set aside, and you’re not tempted to touch it because it’s outside of your regular bank, out of sight, out of mind, okay?

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How to Manage Fear in Your Business

How to Manage Fear In Your Pet Sitting Business

My mission in 2021 is to help as many pet sitting business owners get their businesses back after COVID. I will be popping in here every week to do these little mini-lessons. Lorraine, a member of our community, asked me to focus on fears.

Historically, fear has helped us as humans stay alive. As we’ve evolved, what it’s done is pretty much stop most people from taking action in their lives. Back in the day when we were cavemen, fear helped us to stay alive. If you’re like walking down the highway and a car is coming, and you feel fear, that’s a good fear.

Suppose you’re fearful of judgment, failing, embarrassment, and success; all these other fears we have are not serving us at all.

Remember, fear is just an unpleasant emotion.

Back in the day, I had an intense fear of judgment and failure, which kept me stuck for a very, very, very long time. I’m here to tell you today is that fear is just an unpleasant emotion. It’s in our minds. It’s make-believe. You’re making yourself believe something. Most people are afraid of feeling unpleasant emotions, so they’ll avoid doing anything that brings those up. That’s what keeps us stuck.

Start moving through fear with your courage.

I do not like speaking live in front of people, but I’m doing it anyway. I was fearful of embarrassing myself, of saying something stupid. What I do is I stop when I start feeling that emotion; I close my eyes I take a deep breath. I feel the fear. And I remind myself that it is all just in my mind, and I’m going to act despite it anyway.

How to Manage Fear in Your Business

 

This is a mantra that I say to myself many times that helps calm me. I deal with a lot of anxiety. I’ll wake up in the middle of the night with anxiety for absolutely no reason.

That is my mini-lesson for you today. Understanding that fear is in your mind. Stopping yourself when you are feeling fearful. Reminding yourself that this is in your mind, you’re making yourself believe something that isn’t true.

It’s not necessary. You’re causing suffering in your own life. I cause suffering in my own life. When in reality, that was just false belief systems that I was creating in my mind.

When you start doing this, and you start moving through fear, that’s when you start gaining confidence through your courage, and it’s just going to get easier.

Do meditation.

Another thing that you can do to start helping with this is meditation. I know meditation was challenging for me. When I first started meditating, I would last a minute. Now I’m up to about 25 minutes.

Meditating and EFT tapping are good ones. You go to YouTube and look up EFT tapping for fear. Listening to binaural beats at night when you’re going to bed. Hypnosis. There are a million things that you can do to start working through your fear.

Mind work is the most important one. It is understanding that you are the thinker of your thoughts. The thoughts that you’re thinking are what is creating the fear in your body. Without your mind, the fear wouldn’t exist.

Journaling helps, writing this stuff down. So helpful. I tell my students to create a morning practice for themselves when they get up and do something positive. Whether if you’re spiritual. If it’s reading scripture. If it’s reading something or listening to something positive, journaling, meditation, exercise, all good things for helping deal with these fears.

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My Secret Sauce to Building a Lucrative Pet Sitting Career

My Secret Sauce to Building a Lucrative Pet Sitting Career

I realized that I had been making videos for members of the pet sitting industry for many years. Some of you may not know who I am if you’re new to the industry. So I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know a little bit about me and how I was able to make millions was in the pet sitting industry, and how I became to be a coach to help others create lucrative pet sitting careers.

Flashback to 2001. I was a special education teacher teaching Down syndrome children, and I was completely unhappy in my career. As much as I loved the children, I did not feel like I was supposed to be doing this. I felt like I was trapped in the classroom all day. I wanted to be out in the fresh air, and I didn’t know what to do. I graduated from Ohio State with a special ed degree. So I had just assumed that this is what my path is supposed to be, to be a teacher.

After a heartfelt conversation with my parents where they asked me, “Colleen if you could do anything, what would it be?” And I said, “Well, I wouldn’t mind playing with dogs all day.” I said it as a joke, but it ended up being the sentence that changed my life. I decided at that moment that I was going to create a business based on my love of animals. That was how Pet Nanny started.

The problem was I knew nothing about business. Back then, I think there was like one book on the market. I read the book, and I followed the instructions, but that’s pretty much all I knew about business.

I didn’t know about business, marketing, team building, systemizing your business, and managing my finances. I spent a lot of years spinning my wheels. I did not get very far with the company. I ended up creating another job for myself, where I was working a lot.

I had clients, but non-ideal pet-sitting clients who didn’t respect me. They took advantage of me, called me all hours of the day and night. I had no free time. I’d never spent the night in my bed because I was always at my client’s houses, and it got exhausting.

To me, it was like I was maybe making a little more than I was when I was teaching, but I had no free time whatsoever. I completely lost my freedom. So at that point, I was trying to decide, do I want to do this? Or do I want to start something else? Maybe pharmaceutical sales, go back to teaching. I didn’t know.

Then again, I made the decision. I’m going to give this a go. I’m going to try to create a business that can run without me being an integral part of running it.

Create a business that can run without you being the integral part of having it run.

So I hired a business coach. I attended events, read books, and did everything. I implemented, and I got results.

How I've Made Millions in the Pet Sitting Industry 2


Currently, I have three managers that manage the company and a staff of 40 pet sitters that go out to take care of my client’s home. On average, we make around $75,000 a month in revenue, and I only have to work one hour a week in the business.

I started knowing absolutely nothing to get where I am today. It took me a lot of years to get to where I am today.

That’s how you will market your business, how you’re going to get new customers, how you’re going to wow your customers, and how you’re going to nurture your current customer list.

Have support. Find amazing pet sitters.

This is how you’re going to assess to make sure they’re going to be a good fit to work with your company, and it’s how you’re going to onboard them.

So by the time they’re ready to get started with your customers, they’re going to do a fantastic job.

What systems do you need in your business for it to run like a well-oiled machine? How to document them and build out your online business hub so that your business can run without you. That is how you know you have a true business.

Have the freedom to continue growing the business and doing things you love.

Guys, money is a good thing. Think about all of the things you can do and all of the charities you can commit your time to if you have extra money.

And freedom. You’re not stuck working like I was seven days a week, 365 days a year. You can have the freedom to continue growing the business on the backend. You can have the freedom to take part in hobbies that you love. Horseback riding, tennis, and paddle tennis. You like to travel. You want to work from different areas. You can do that when you build this type of business.

How many pet owners and pet lovers in your community can you impact with your amazing service?

So by you building this awesome pet sitting business, you’re going to be able to service so many more pet lovers and their furry pals and provide them with stellar pet care. And become a standout in the pet sitting industry.

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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4 Ways to Increase Sales in Your Pet Sitting Business

4 Ways to Increase Sales in Your Pet Sitting Business

I get a million questions about marketing and how do I make more money? We tend to over-complicate things. It’s pretty simple.

1. Increase the number of new customers you bring to your business.

This is where you want to have a sales system where you are getting your pet sitting business, messaging, and offers out in front of new people and adding new people to your customer list.

2. Increase customer frequency.

It means getting your current customers to book from you more frequently. Again, you need to have a sales system to incentivize and remind your existing customer list to book service from you.

4 Ways to Increase Sales in Your Pet Sitting Business

 

It’s also the most forgotten practice in business. You have a customer list. These are the people that are willing and ready to buy from you.

3. Increase average transaction value.

Having your customers spend more money each time they book from you. Well, how do you do this?

Don’t just offer the basic 30-minute visit. Go to my website at petnannymainline.com, and you go to the services page, you will see that I offer a wide array of services, from 15, 30, 45 minutes, 60-minute, two-hour visits.

Plus, we have an entire menu of add-on services, or we call them concierge services. So when our customers are traveling, we will not only do the pet-sitting, dog-walking, and house sitting, but we will take care of an array of things that they need to be done in their home to keep things running smoothly for them. This will increase the average customer transaction.

4. Lastly, increase profit margin.

Increase your profit margins, meaning you need to make more with each visit booked. How do you do this? You can streamline and lower your expenses, or you can raise your rates.

Think about your compensation schedule for your sitters, as well. That’s another way to increase your profit margins.

Howdy, Pet Lover! Are you struggling with attracting new clients to your pet sitting business? Would you like to have a consistent pipeline of new clients coming to your business? Well, wait no longer, my friend. Grab my FREE report, 125 Ways To Get More Pet Sitting Clients. This resource is 100% FREE and is my gift to you. Enjoy!
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