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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The Importance of Having a Powerhouse Team

The Importance of Having a Powerhouse Team

We are now in 2021. I was very excited to close the books on 2020 because it was the worst year of my life as it was for so many. I was excited for 2021 to hit the ground running and start with a bang and throw myself back into my pet sitting business because business building makes me happy.

When out of nowhere, I received a positive diagnosis for COVID, completely unexpected. A family friend accidentally gave it to my entire family. We’re all fine. I had a horrific headache and exhaustion for two weeks—nothing where I had to be hospitalized or anything.

The reason I’m telling you this is that something unexpected happened to me. And I was once again reminded about the importance of having a powerhouse team to help with your business.

The system runs the business, the person runs the system.

My business could entirely run without me because I had everything from soup to nuts systematized, and then I have a team of amazing people who implement the system. So, therefore, I am not the bottleneck.

So I’m not even just talking about having a pet sitter team as the business owner. It would be best if you had somebody helping you on the administrative side because you might have people who can go out and do the walks but if you were sick like I was, I was pretty much narcoleptic fallen asleep every hour, I needed somebody to be able to manage things on the backend.

For my coaching business and my pet-sitting business, the managers were able to take care of everything. I was able to sleep and heal, and everything ran seamlessly.

Start thinking about the systems in your business.

Every single thing that you do needs to be documented with point by point outlined instructions so that you can easily delegate it to a team member and they can implement the system. I will repeat it.

The Importance of Having a Powerhouse Team

 

When you have a business that can run without you, you truly have a business.

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Become a Visionary of Your Pet Sitting Business

Become the Visionary of Your Pet Sitting Business

When I first started my pet sitting business, I was going through the motions. I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t have the slightest clue what I wanted to create. I would go day by day by day, and I pretty much flew by the seat of my pants for about a good five years… until this concept was introduced to me.

You think, well, of course, I know what I want to create, but most people don’t.

Today I want you to get clear on exactly what it is that you want to create in terms of your business.

#1 What is your vision for success?

It would be best if you get crystal clear on what you want to create in your business. You need to close your eyes, and you need to think about it.
– How much revenue do you want to generate?
– How many clients do you want to service?
– What services do you want to offer?
– How many team members do you want?
– What role do you want to play? CEO, Manager, Pet Sitter, Dog Walker etc.

Become a Visionary of Your Pet Sitting Business


Close your eyes and visualize in your mind what your successful business looks like.

For me, I created this business where I was the bottleneck, and I was working 7 days a week, 365 days a year, living in other people’s houses. I got clear on the freedom that I wanted, and I visualized the business to give me freedom.

And then I felt what that was going to feel like. That is part of it. It is not only seeing what you want to create in your life and your business, but feeling how it feels now and being grateful for it now, and trusting that it will come to you in the future.

#2. Create a daily practice of closing your eyes, painting a picture in your mind of what your future success looks like.

We are all creators of our own lives. What we think about and what we feel is creating the reality we live in. We’re manifesting stuff daily, and we can do it more powerfully, effectively, and intentionally if we connect with it and take small steps to get a little closer every day. Commit just 5 minutes every day to visualize what it is that you’re trying to create.

#3. Believe with the conviction that your vision for success is yours for the taking.

Trust in knowing that it’s on its way to you. Believe whole-heartedly that it’s on its way to you. You have to get yourself in a place where you believe that you can achieve your goals with absolute certainty, that it’s your destiny and your reality. Feel like success is already yours and on its way into your life.

Get clear on what you want, tune in with the vision every single day, and believe with conviction that it’s yours for the taking.

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TITLE - Email Marketing Ideas for Your Pet Sitting Business

Email Marketing Ideas for Your Pet Sitting Business

I get a lot of pushback with regards to email marketing. Most of my students don’t use an email autoresponder like MailChimp, Active Campaign, or Infusionsoft in their pet sitting business.

They say, “I don’t want to be pushy. I don’t want to send emails.”

I get that. I used not to like it either, and it made me feel uncomfortable.

QUOTE - Email Marketing Ideas for Your Pet Sitting Business


Thus, this is why people and business owners should have an email strategy in place in their business. Today, I want to go through different email marketing types you can implement in your pet sitting business.

Have a welcome email.

When you sign up with a new customer, you want to have an email that shows them exactly who you are, easy to follow steps and systems to go through to onboard them to your company.

They will now know who you are, how you do business, what their responsibility is as a customer and your responsibility as the business owner.

I’ve had many welcome emails that I keep making better as time goes on. A welcome email is one of the easiest ones you can start with. Have a welcome email to open your arms and welcome your new customers to your pet-sitting business.

Offer an educational email.

You’re keeping in touch with your customer base, or your customer prospects, to stay top of mind with them so that when they are ready to buy or are willing to schedule service, you’re going to be the first person they think of. You do this by offering value and educating them.

Think of what you can send to your customer prospects and customers that would make them think like, “Wow, that’s an excellent email.”

Think of anything newsworthy in the pet sitting industry. Think about cross-promotions with other pet businesses in your area. Would your customer love a $30 coupon to a local pet store?

You and these businesses can work together and cross-promote, educate, and provide value to the people on your email list.

Think of different, fun ways. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. What would my customer find value in? And if I were the customer, what would I like to see in my inbox?

Write promotional emails.

You’re allowed to promote yourself and your business. You are in business to make money.

“Hey, Christmas is coming up. Are you headed out of town for vacation? I would love to take care of your pets. Here’s a pop-up sale we’re doing. Book your summer services now. Pay in full, and you’re going to get $39 off your service order.” So on and so forth.

Don’t be shy about promoting yourself, even with social media.

Create triggered or transactional emails.

You are offering a free download, a free PDF, a free coupon. When a potential client sees those and they say, “Yes, I want that. Here’s my first name and email.” boom, an automation kick in.

You don’t have to go home and say, “Ooo, I have to send this person that asked for this PDF, the PDF when I get home.” It just happens automatically.

Use lead nurturing emails.

When someone does raise their hand and says, “Yes, I want what you have to offer on your website,” you want to have a campaign set up where you are nurturing them.

You are letting them know, “Hey, this is who I am. These are my pet care values. These are the paying points that I help solve for my customers.”

You always want to speak to the benefit and outcomes that your customer prospects will get by choosing your pet-sitting service.

You can easily do this in a well thought out, nurture sequence. Your customer prospects can get, let’s say, four to five emails from you, one a day, and each of those emails is going to help move them along the process to them becoming a paying customer because you’re the only logical choice. That’s what that lead nurture sequence does for you.

Create re-engagement emails.

Often, we have these pet-sitting clients come, sign up, and use us. We don’t hear from them again.

You can do different re-engagement campaigns to offer a big high-value coupon if they book service within the next two weeks.

You could say, “Hey, Christine. I haven’t heard from you in quite some time. Here is a 40% off coupon that you can use towards your next service. If you sign up by…”.

You want to add scarcity, so put a deadline date in, and then that is going to re-engage them. One, to become active on your list because they’re taking action within the email. Your email service provider is going to say, “Okay, this person’s active.” Then, they’re also going to book service, and you want to get them re-engaged with your company. You want to nurture them again, and you want to stay top of mind with them.

That is email marketing 101 in a nutshell. Don’t be fearful about it.

You can check out MailChimp; if you want to get started to test this out on your own. It’s free for the first 2000 subscribers. Then you can choose one of these emails to implement in your business.

Take action, and then really think out an email marketing campaign for your business. Because email marketing works.

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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TITLE - How to Manage Your Pet Sitter's Lack of Response Time

How to Manage Your Pet Sitter’s Lack of Response Time

I’m doing a follow-up to a video I did a few weeks ago, wherein I gave a tip to include due dates when requesting things from your team of pet sitters or customers.

I received a follow-up question from a community member.

“Colleen, I loved that video. I implemented it immediately. However, I still heard crickets from my staff of pet sitters. What would be your next step? Or what consequences would you institute if this happened to you?”

I would call a meeting with the said sitter and say, “I sent you this email on this date. I gave you this due date. Number one, I never received an acknowledgment. Number two, you did not turn in the video by said date. Why is that?”

Then you listen to their response.

QUOTE - How to Manage Your Pet Sitter's Lack of Response Time


You don’t want to be that person, just the talking head. Take time and listen to what they have to say.

Then I’d say, “Okay. A requirement for this position is I need this video to create a trust factor for our customer prospects. I also need you to respond to me when I request something from you. I’m going to ask you, is this still a position you are interested in doing?”

If they say, “Yes, absolutely,” say,

“Okay, wonderful. But moving forward, I’m setting this boundary, which is the personal responsibility that I’m requesting from you. This is how we do business around here. You ignoring my emails is no longer going to fly.”

If they say, “No, this isn’t actually for me,” you are better off.

Think of it this way. Let’s say your customer left a last-minute note. They’re running out the door, and they said, “Oh shoot, there are two new plants by the slider. I need to have the sitter water them.”

Do you want a sitter to be like, “I don’t know if I’m going to do that today. I don’t feel like it.”?

No, of course not. That is pretty much what that sitter did to your professional email, requesting a video from them and giving them a duty. They blatantly ignored you.

Now, it may have fallen through the cracks. There may be a reason. With this specific situation, people are often nervous in front of the camera, and instead of telling you that, they may have just tried to ignore it.

This isn’t a total deal-breaker. It would be best if you instituted what you’re going to allow and set the stage for what you expect from your team of pet sitters.

If they explain, “I’m just really nervous about being in the camera,” give them helpful tips and tricks.

If they say, “No, this position isn’t for me,” you’re better off. That is how I would personally handle it. It doesn’t have to be a contentious conversation.

It could be a friendly conversation. “You’re amazing. I love how my customers love you, and the pets love you. But here’s the deal. I am the owner of this company, and I need to know when I send you a request for something that you, one, acknowledge and, two, get back to me in a timely fashion. If that’s not going to work, then this business relationship isn’t going to work.

I hope that makes sense and you find that helpful.

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Direction & Control if Using ICs as Pet Sitters

Direction & Control if Using ICs as Pet Sitters

People have strong feelings about using pet sitting independent contractors as employees. I have much information on this subject that I want to share about this as long as nobody emails me or posts crazy things.

I successfully built a high six-figure business, using independent contractors for 17 years. I switched to employees in 2018 because I kept getting audited. They kept coming for me, and I kept winning the audits.

The last time they came for me, they said just one year after I’d already won the previous audit that no record of that audit and that they were going to do it again. It was an exhausting situation, and I didn’t feel like fighting it anymore. I just wanted the monkey off my back. Thus, I let this win, and I switched to employees.

And it’s been great.

There hasn’t been a big difference. I do team meetings, they do marketing for me, and they can have car magnets (not that I use car magnets. If I wanted to, I could have them do that). Employees get the perk of getting benefits now, which they appreciate.

Direction & Control if Using ICs as Pet Sitters


Understanding the direction and control aspect of using pet sitting independent contractors and ensuring you create the correct framework will help you when you get audited.

Your clients direct and control your pet sitting independent contractors.

Your clients ask them to be there at a specific time and have outlined the pet care plan for the independent contractor to fulfill. You are simply the connector between the IC and your client.

This setup is how I won all the audits that I went through. I went through the 20 point checklist as well, had everything set up correctly, etc. You can ask employees to use car magnets, wear clothes with your logo, etc.

If people are using IC’s, I believe it’s their choice and great if you’re using employees.

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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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Work Smarter Not Harder In Your Pet Sitting Business

Work Smarter Not Harder In Your Pet Sitting Business

Are you still working too many hours in your business?

Every day in my free Facebook group, the Pet Nanny Coach Community, I post a tip of the day to help you grow your pet sitting business.

Last week one of the tips was to get seven to nine hours of sleep at night. It’s not groundbreaking advice, but most of us don’t do it.

However, I was surprised by the responses. Some people said, “Huh, tell the dogs that.” Some people said, “Yeah, right.”

But one specific comment stuck out. A member of our community said that following my advice to hustle and work hard on your business means that she works from 5.00 AM to 11.00 PM every day, leaving absolutely no time to get even seven hours of sleep a night.

I teach working less and making more

And I thought this is not at all what I teach my students.
Yes, I want you to hustle. Yes, I want you to take action. Yes, I want you to implement all these amazing business strategies in your business.
But that does not mean working from 5:00 AM to 11:00 PM!  As a lifestyle that is going to cause burnout and most likely is going to cause you to quit.
It’s not sustainable. And I know because I lived it for five years.
What I teach is working less and making more.
The more you work in your business (rather than on your business) the less money you’re going to make because there’s only so many hours a day that you can trade for dollars which puts a glass ceiling over your head.
Work Smarter Not Harder In Your Pet Sitting Business
But when you leverage yourself through a team of heart-centered pet care professionals that will take exceptional care of your clients’ pets, the sky is truly the limit in how big you can grow your business.
I teach my clients how to get more clients, make more money, and have more freedom.
Freedom is an integral part of what I teach. Your business is supposed to add to your life, to give you a lucrative income stream and provide the time to be able to do the things that you love.

Grow a pet sitting business that serves you

Freedom comes from team building and creating systems and processes in your business, which is what I teach in my Multiply Mastermind program.
My tip today for you, my friends, is to start thinking about how you can work smarter and not harder.
How you can get out of the day-to-day grind, trading hours for dollars, and how you can grow an exceptional, awesome business that serves you, serves your life and gives you the freedom to enjoy your life. Because that is what I want for all of you.

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