Warning: Declaration of YOOtheme\Theme\Wordpress\MenuWalker::walk($elements, $max_depth) should be compatible with Walker::walk($elements, $max_depth, ...$args) in /home/petnanny/public_html/petnannycoach.com/wp-content/themes/yootheme/vendor/yootheme/theme-wordpress/src/MenuWalker.php on line 8

Creating Boundaries and Expectations With Your Pet Sitting Customers

I speak with many pet sitting business owners on a weekly basis and something that most all of them have in common is their lack of creating boundaries and expectations when setting up a pet sitting business.

Case In Point

I spoke to a very smart and ambitious owner last week who told me that her dream is to build a million dollar pet sitting business. She then told me that she emails and/or texts all of her customers every Sunday night to see if they’re going to need service for the upcoming week.

I explained to her that setting up a pet sitting business means she must set her business up now for where she wants to take it. Meaning, if she had a million dollar business would she be able to personally text and or email every single customer to see if they need service? No, of course not! She could maybe automate it, but most definitely would not have the time to do it herself.

Creating That Expectation With Her Customers

She is also creating an expectation for her customers. Let’s just say the business grows to a point where she can no longer continue sending out the personal reminders. Her customers are going to be like, “Hey! Where’s my reminder text?” because that is now the expectation that she has created.

My Experience With This

I have personal experience with this exact issue. I once had this very high-maintenance client. My Client Happiness Manager found it easiest to reach out to him on Friday afternoons to see what he needed for the following week, so she didn’t have to deal with a Saturday or Sunday phone call from him. Well, one week she forgot to reach out. The client called on Monday morning frantic about his dogs and was very upset that he did not receive his reminder email. I mean, really?! As annoyed as I was about his attitude, it was our own fault for creating that expectation. I then stepped in and kindly explained to him our actual procedures for scheduling. He responded that if he didn’t receive the reminder from our office that he would take his business elsewhere. I said, “good riddance!” No, I didn’t actually say that. I wanted to, but I took the high road. I expressed my disappointment, but wished him and his pups the best of luck. They can now be someone else’s headache. I know that sounds harsh, but I’m telling you, if you start “unleashing” these types of negative, heartsick clients, you will make room for more of your ideal clients.

Unleashing negative, heartsick clients, you will make room for more of your ideal clients. Click To Tweet

I just went off on a bit of a tangent there. Back to boundaries and expectations…

How to Create Boundaries and Expectations

If you want your clients to communicate with you via email, don’t text them or accept reservations via text. Kindly explain to your customers that text messages sometimes fall through cracks and that you would prefer they use your online scheduler or email.

If you don’t want to be on call 24-hours per day, don’t answer the phone or emails in the evening. On your voicemail message include your office hours and when callers can expect to hear back from you. For your email, create an auto-responder, which includes the same info. Turn on the auto-responder at the end of the day and set a reminder to turn it off in the morning.

setting up a pet sitting business

The Downside of Doing “Extras”

I tell our sitters to please be careful with the extras they provide, because what will happen when the next sitter goes to their home? The client is going to expect the extras for which their new sitter isn’t obliged to provide because it’s not part of her job description.

Summary

You must create clear boundaries and expectations with your customers, so that you can leverage your time, your business and your sanity. This will allow you to manage many more customers and provide them all with a level of service that is top-notch and replicable.

Your Homework Assignment:

  • What expectations are you creating with your customers? How can you manage your customer’s expectations better?
  • What boundaries would you like to set?
  • Next, send out an email or snail mail letter explaining when and why your procedures are changing.
  • After your letter goes out, enforce your boundaries!

TIP: Remember…

“Those that mind don’t matter and those that matter don’t mind.” Click To Tweet
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!

Enter Your Info Below to Download The Complete Checklist For Starting a Pet Sitting Business!

 

Privacy Policy: We promise to protect your privacy and we will NEVER share your email address.

 

Stop Working In Your Pet Sitting Business!

You will make amazing strides in your pet sitting business when you start working ON your business.

I have some exciting news!!! I have recently taken the next big step in my own pet sitting business…. I have hired a Sitter Manager. Woohoo!

I’m going to rewind a bit to first tell you how I found myself in the position of needing to make this hire for the continued health of my business.

Many moons ago I hired my first “virtual assistant,” whose job title is now, “Client Happiness Manager,” or “CHM” for short.

My CHM is responsible for:

  • Scheduling
  • Answering the phones
  • Client communications
  • Processing new clients
  • Sitter schedules
  • Office administrative support

My responsibilities as the owner were:

  • Marketing
  • Client attraction
  • Client retention
  • Sitter recruiting
  • Sitter screening
  • Sitter processing
  • Sitter management
  • Dealing with B.I.G. issues (Ugh! We hate those, right?)

So, as Pet Nanny has continued to grow by leaps and bounds, my CHM and I found ourselves working around the clock and more importantly, we constantly found ourselves with a shortage of qualified pet sitters. This in turn was stopping the growth of the business. Do you see the vicious cycle here? This is when I knew it was time to bring in additional support.

First, my CHM and I had a sit down and mapped out exactly what we needed the new administrative person to handle. What became crystal clear was that we needed someone who would be responsible for:

  • Sitter recruiting
  • Sitter interviewing
  • Sitter screening
  • Sitter processing
  • Sitter management
  • Vet & pet store relations
  • Back-up to the CHM

In short, someone that would keep our sitter roster, chock-full with awesome Pet Nannies and also serve as the back-up to my CHM on weekends and when she needed some time off. This would then free up my time to beef up the marketing piece and have more time to dedicate to my most favorite peeps… My coaching clients. It would also give my wonderful CHM some breathing room before she went bonkers on me. 😉

So, as you can see, bringing on additional support is going to help me to exponentially grow my pet sitting business.

As pet sitters, most of started our business because we are first, animal lovers. We start by doing the pet sitting ourselves happy as can be because we get to play with pets all day. Then we hit a financial plateau, because there are just so many clients we can squeeze into a single day. Then, in most cases we hit burn out, because running around morning, noon and night, 365 days per year is a recipe for disaster.

The answer to this very common problem is to remove yourself from doing the actual pet sitting. In other words, “stop working in your business and start working on your business.” This is how you will be able to expand your business and make a lot more money in this industry. Another perk… You have your sanity and your free time back. Check… Check!

For those of you who are yelling at your computer right now, “But I started this business, so I can work with animals!!!!!” I get it. It’s a tough decision, but the honest truth is that you will most likely live the scenario I explained above until you make the jump from “Pet Sitter” to “Pet Sitting Business Owner.” I do have some good news for you though. If you insist, you can be the “permanent backup.” Meaning, if a sitter gets sick or has an emergency, you can fill in for them. Then you can get your animal fix. Sound good? 😉

Your Homework Assignment: Take an assessment of your pet sitting business…

  • Are you doing all of the pet sitting visits, dog walks and house sitting stays on your own? (You shouldn’t be.)
  • Are you dedicating 4 hours per day on marketing your business? (You should be.)
  • Would bringing on additional pet sitters or office support help you to actually grown your business and make more money (I bet you it would.)
  • Is it time to bring on some support, so you can stop working IN your pet sitting business and start working ON GROWING your business? Food for thought.

Enter your first name and email address below to download our Team Expansion Tool Kit
It’s 100% FREE!

Privacy Policy: We promise to protect your privacy and we will NEVER share your email address.