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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My Client Payment System

My Client Payment System

Today’s business growth video is a question that comes from a member of our Pet Nanny Coach community Facebook group. Kate writes, “How do you all accept payment? I’m so tired of the scattered methods. Cash, check, Venmo, Zelie. It’s everything. I’m a mess. Any suggestions? I know I should have done this a while ago.”

I can identify with what you’re going through because there was nobody worse than me when it came to tracking money. I would find checks in my coat pockets and the back of my jeans and my roommate used to borrow my clothes, and she’d find checks all the time. She’d say, “Wow, you must be wealthy not to have to deposit these checks.”

I would feel guilty if I lost a check, and I wouldn’t want to ask the client. So I would miss out on $600. It was just a nightmare. Then we had other people that wouldn’t pay, but I wasn’t treating my money or the energy around my money with respect. So, therefore, my clients weren’t treating me with respect for money, and it was a vicious circle.

I made this change probably about 13 years ago, and I’ve never looked back.

Get Scheduling Software.

I now bill the clients and create a service order. Then, four days before their scheduled service, I charge the credit card that we keep on file in my pet-sitting software. So that is how we do it.

I get a little bit of pushback from other members of the community. Well, what about the clients that don’t want to do that? Well, then they’re not my ideal client, and they can find service somewhere else.

Billing information is collected at onboarding.

There are two things that a client needs to do before we will schedule a registration meeting. First, they need to complete their welcome packet. It’s all their client and pet care information, sign their service agreement, and then need to give us their billing information.

If they don’t want to do that, Pet Nanny Pet Sitters of the Main Line is not the service for them. No judgment. Everybody has the right to make their own decisions, but that is how I run my business. It now runs seamlessly with me not having to worry about missed payments or tracking payments. It’s all right in there. It’s so easy.

The software keeps track of the credit card expiration.

The software system lets us know when the cards expire, and the client gets an automatic reminder email, “Hey, the credit card that you have on file with Pet Nanny has expired. Please update it.”

There has never been an issue since then. So think about it. Maybe that’s not the right system for you. This is your business, your rules.

What systems can be put into place to minimize time spent?

Consider what the pain points of your money management systems are and what systems can you put into place to minimize the time spent and make it easy for your clients to buy from you and make it easy for you to keep track of your books and your finances.

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How we Handle Bookkeeping & Payroll in my Pet Sitting Business

How We Handle Bookkeeping & Payroll in my Pet Sitting Business

I started using my bookkeeper probably about ten years ago for my pet sitting business. I remember just thinking like, “Oh my gosh, this is such a huge investment.” but I read the book Profit First, which completely changed how I view money, and finances, and systems.

I ended up finding a bookkeeper who specialized in Profit First, and she was located in Pennsylvania. So it just seemed like a perfect combination. We’ve been working together ever since.

Have your pet sitting business set up in Quickbooks Online.

You don’t have to use QBO. You can use software like Xero or Wave apps; there’s a ton. We use QuickBooks Online, and we have all of my Profit First bank accounts connected to it.

They go in there every week, and they categorize all of my expenses to make sure that everything is organized.

At the end of the year, make sure everything is balanced. Then send to your CPA to do the taxes.

People ask me often, “Colleen, is this something that you think I should invest in?” If we do not have the budget for it, as of now, it’s absolutely something that you can do on your own.

But when you do end up getting an influx of cash that you will justify that expense, I highly recommend it. It just makes everything so lovely, neat, and organized.

Move your payroll over to a software system called Gusto.

My manager, Sue, runs the payroll every two weeks. All the visits from the first of the month to the 15th are run on the 16th. All the visits from the 16th to the end of the month are run on the first. It’s simple to use.

I use Employees, and it calculates all of the taxes and whatnot, and then sends all of the employees their paperwork at the end of the year, 1099s are for independent contractors. If you use independent contractors, it will do that for you.

Back in the day, I used to sit every two weeks, and I would write the checks to 20 some pet sitters, and it took forever. It was a giant waste of time. So I had put these fantastic software systems into place.

So with QuickBooks Online and Gusto, and using my team, my bookkeeper, and my manager, it’s not part of my duties anymore.

How we Handle Bookkeeping & Payroll in my Pet Sitting Business

 

Again, freeing up my time to focus on money-generating activities, marketing, and getting new clients. So that’s how we do things here at Pet Nanny and Pet Nanny Coach.

I use a Profit First bookkeeper who keeps my QuickBooks Online completely neat, organized, and categorized weekly.

My CPA does my taxes, and my manager, Sue, the Pet Nanny manager, runs the payroll every two weeks. So hopefully, you guys found that helpful.

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2 Ways to Manage Your Money in Your Pet Sitting Busines

2 Ways to Manage Your Money in Your Pet Sitting Business

When I started getting good at business doing marketing and the money started coming in for my pet sitting business, it was a super stressful time because I had no money management in place.

I’m super excited to chat with you today about my two favorite ways to manage your money.

#1 Hire a professional.

An accountant can guide you by setting up budgets for your business that can help you write things off for your business, keep track of monthly numbers, tell you if you’re on point, and can do your tax returns at the end of the year.

It is hard to figure this out all by yourself. Being an entrepreneur is like a full-contact sport. You need to know so much, but this is not one of those things.

2 Ways to Manage Your Money in Your Pet Sitting Business

 

#2 Create simple money systems.

When you do this, your business will scale quicker. A simple money system I suggest doing is checking your income daily. What you track grows. It’s a universal law.

Another system you can do is do your weekly allocations. Each week you’re going to allocate a percentage to your operating expenses, your tax account or the governor’s money accounts, to your profit account, and your owner’s pay.

You already know how much money is coming in percentage-wise, what you’re allocating to each of those accounts. And then guess what?

At the end of the year when taxes are due, you’re not going to have the midnight sweats like I used to have. “Oh, am I going to be able to pay the taxman?”

Now I think it’s super fun. I love logging in. I love seeing it. I love that it’s all organized, I love that I have a great relationship with my accountant, who helps and guides me to create these systems in my business so that I can enjoy my life and all the money that I’m creating in my life.

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Tax Tips for Pet Sitters

Tax Tips for Pet Sitters

Plan ahead and never again get caught short at tax time

Taxes used to stress me out more than you can imagine. Every year I would be shaking in my boots as I anxiously awaited to hear what I owed. The problem was that I never planned ahead. Why didn’t I plan ahead? Because I didn’t know how. You don’t know what you don’t know. Now you will know. Pet Sitters that follow the simple method below will always be prepared for the tax man.

Tax Tips for Pet Sitters

#1. You need to stay on top of what your quarterly tax payments need to be and if you’re making more money than you anticipated, you need to be putting more money aside for taxes.

#2. Create a separate account for your taxes: I use Capital One 360 (previously ING.) It’s super- easy to create an automated savings or checking account.

 

#3. Name the account “The Government’s Money”: The money you deposit into this account is not yours. It is the government’s money. Labeling it like this will be a gentle reminder that the money is not yours to touch. Do not borrow from this account!

#4. Deposit 20%: Every single time you make a deposit into your business account, you transfer 20% of that deposit into your tax account.

I most definitely suggest that you consult with your accountant about tax planning, but if you follow these simple tax tips for pet sitters you will always be prepared for tax season. Hallelujah!

Today is tax day and I’m completely prepared. I never thought I would see the day. I’m a happy Pet Nanny!

Your Homework Assignment:
If you don’t already have one, open a tax account where you can easily transfer at least 20% of your business deposits into. Then name the account “The Government’s Money.” You’ll thank me later. 😉

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How To Track Your Pet Sitting Business Growth

“If you want to make more in your pet sitting business it is crucial that you track and record your income.” 

This was a concept I learned a few years back and I have found it to most certainly be true. In my experience what you track closely and consistently will continuously grow month to month in your pet sitting business. This is such a simple concept, but I promise you, if you implement this tip, I bet you will see the same result.

What you track closely and consistently will continuously grow month to month. Click To Tweet

There are things that you should be tracking each and every month in your pet sitting business, in order to bring more to you. If you’re unsure of what exactly you should be tracking, my advice to you is track everything you want to see GROW, starting with your income.

As the owner of your business it is important that at the end of each and every month you track and record certain numbers and stats and compare them to your past months and past years numbers.

This will give you an unbelievable sense of accomplishment. Sometimes, I’m astounded at the massive growth we experience in a certain month and it feels good to give my team and myself a well-deserved pat on the back.

Other times, I may notice a slump in sales in a certain area of my business, but this gives me notice to ramp up my marketing in that area.

Ok, so what is it you should be tracking each month? Here are 3 basic areas you can start tracking immediately to get the ball rolling.

#1. Total New Clients

Then break that number into categories.

  • New Mid Day Clients
  • New Pet Sitting Clients
  • New House Sitting Clients

#2. Total Monthly Revenue

Then break that number into categories.

  • Mid Day Walking Revenue
  • Pet Sitting Revenue
  • House Sitting Revenue

#3. Total Web Form Submissions

These are the forms that you should have on your website, that gives your visitors/prospects an easy way to contact you and take the next step.

  • Become a Client Submissions
  • Request a Quote Submissions
  • Lead Magnet/Opt-in Offer Submissions

How to Track Your Pet Sitting Business Growth

Here’s an image of my basic spreadsheet, which helps me track my pet sitting business growth.

pet sitting business

Your Homework Assignment: Create an Excel, Numbers or Google Worksheet, broken down into the categories I have listed for you and track these numbers every single month. If you don’t have web forms on your web site, get web forms on your web site. Finally, celebrate your growth!

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