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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5 Reasons Why Your Pet Sitting or Dog Walking Client Prospects Back Out

Sometimes it happens that you have a wonderful conversation with a pet sitting prospect. They are super excited about using your pet sitting or dog walking service and then for what seems like no reason what so ever they back out. You’re left confused thinking, “what happened?”

Any of us who have been in the pet sitting industry knows that this happens often. Sometimes, there is nothing you can do about it, but it’s definitely worth examining.

In my personal experiences it boils down to the following:

#1. Simply put, he or she may not be your ideal dog walking or pet sitting client.

Be honest with yourself, sometimes your gut tells you that this person is going to be difficult, but you ignore your inner voice and decide to sign them up anyhow because you need the money. We’ve all done it and we all have regretted it.

#2. They’re not convinced of the VALUE that you’re dog walking business is offering.

As compared to our competition, my pet sitting service Pet Nanny, offers immense VALUE to our clients. We’ve gone above and beyond to make our service stand out. We truly care about our clients and their pets and will give them nothing but the very best that pet care has to offer. Sometimes a pet sitting prospect may not see the value that you are trying to portray. They think, “pet sitting services are a dime a dozen. It doesn’t matter who I hire, I’ll still get the same result.” In this case you may be speaking too much about processes and not the RESULTS that they receive from using your service… complete and total peace of mind. Attempt to shift some of the things that you are saying in your get acquainted call to focus on the RESULTS that they will receive from using your awesome service.

#3. They’re concerned about the money.

We all know that there are a million pet sitting businesses out there and we also know that there are many that greatly undercut the prices of the more professional services to try and gain clients. Again, the money issue is usually based on the fact that your pet sitting prospect does not see the VALUE in what you are offering. Examine how you are presenting this to your prospects. Just remember, there are some people out there that are bargain shoppers no matter what and guess what… they are NOT your ideal client. There are also some people that may not be able to afford your service. Pet ownership is can be a hefty expense and if they can’t afford your top-notch service than wish them the best of luck and perhaps refer a less expensive service to them.

#4. People want it to be easy.

Make it as easy as you possibly can for pet sitting or dog walking clients to sign-up and use your services. If there is too much hoopla involved, they may move on due to frustration. So, examine your processes and streamline as much as you possibly can to make it as simple and easy as possible.

#5. He or she is the last minute customer that suddenly realizes they have weekend plans but nobody to watch their pets.

I have devoted an entire blog article to this issue. These people call every service in town trying to find someone to help. You then jump through hoops to help them out. Then, when you call them back they say, “awww… thanks, but my Mom is going to watch them.” DO NOT waste your time with these people. I don’t take any reservations for new clients unless I have 3 solid days to process them. 9 times out of 10 these last minute callers will not be your “ideal client” and if they do end up using you that weekend, you most likely will not hear from them again. Trust me on this one. I’ve made this mistake countless times.

pet sitting prospect

Your Homework Assignment: Spend some time and examine feedback from clients that have backed out. Make a list. What are they saying? Is there anything that can be changed?

If it’s a value issue than it’s time to change the way you are speaking to prospects and perhaps changes need to be made in your marketing materials to convey the VALUE you offer and the RESULTS that your clients receive.

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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My #1 Pet Sitting Business Secret

My #1 Pet Sitting Business Success Secret

Are you ready to hear my number one pet sitting business secret?

It’s something available to anyone starting a pet sitting business and was the one thing I did that really boosted my business and got me to where I am today.

So, if you’ve been reading my blog for a while you know that at the beginning of my business journey I was pretty miserable.

Working around the clock for clients that I hated, I almost quit. In fact, I almost went into pharmaceutical sales!

After having many long conversations with my husband and my parents, I decided not to quit but to go all-in.

A business coach is like a roadmap to success

Almost miraculously, just as I’d made that decision this person stepped into my life out of nowhere.

Her name is Fabienne Fredrickson, a business coach who came to speak at a pet sitting conference in Philadelphia.

Immediately I thought. “This is who I want to work with. I want to hire this woman to teach me how to have a successful business.”

I came home and told my husband that this is what I’m going to do. I’m going to hire somebody that has the business results that I want in my life. I need someone to teach me what it was that I didn’t know.

And he said, “All right, well that sounds great. How much is it?”

I think back then the program cost $15,000 and he about had a heart attack.

I don’t blame him, he didn’t know about business coaching or business building and it was a lot of money.

Finally, after discussing it long and hard, he said, “Fine, I believe in you. I trust you. But the deal is whatever she tells you to do, that is what you have to do. Every last thing she tells you to do.”

And I did. I joined the program, I learned, I implemented, and I got results.

Back then there wasn’t a pet sitting business-specific coach so I went with a general business coach. But she taught me all about marketing, all about ideal clients, and attracting your ideal clients.

She taught me all about systems and processes and how to have a website that converts. She taught me all about automation. I listened. I learned.  And then most importantly, I took action, and in one year I increased my business by 100%. It was a big year.

The $15,000 investment was absolutely worth it.

Make an investment in your future

The key was I hired somebody that had the results in their business and in their life that I wanted, and that could show me what to do.

It gave me a shortcut to success.

And that’s my number one pet sitting business secret. Hire yourself a business coach, whether it’s pet sitting specific, pet business specific or somebody else.

So, my advice is to find somebody that you connect with. Find somebody that you trust. Find somebody to show you the way and give you a shortcut.  Without a roadmap you can spend a lot of years spinning your wheels, not making enough money, wasting your time, wasting your freedom when you should be making money, enjoying your life.

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Hiring Pet Sitters For Your Business

The Struggle of Hiring Pet Sitters

Why is hiring pet sitters a problem for some business owners?

One of the most common problems discussed by my students or in my Facebook group is the struggle of hiring pet sitters to grow their business. Sometimes even the thought of hiring a team is too scary and so they decide to stay small, stay working for themselves, being a sole proprietorship.

Then some people take the leap and try to find good people, but they run into issues getting reliable sitters which leads them to give up and go back to running a one-person show.

As we know, there are only so many hours for dollars that you can trade in a single day. So, you’re automatically putting a ceiling over your head with how much revenue you can build in your pet sitting business.

To make a substantial income in this industry, you need to leverage yourself through a team of heart-centered pet care professionals that are going to take stellar care of your client’s pets.

Hiring Pet Sitters

Now, hiring is difficult. It is hard. I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that something’s easy when it’s not.

Finding good people is something that we work on daily at Pet Nanny-Pet Sitters of The Main Line. We have a system for hiring and we’ve used it consistently to grow the team and the business.

There are two steps I want you to take if you want to get serious and grow an amazing team of pet care professionals.

1. Create an attraction system

First,  you need to create a system where you are continuously attracting potential sitters so that you can pick the best candidates for your business.

Your time is precious which means you want to make sure you weed out the applicants who will not work before you even have your first initial interview with them.

2. Test potential sitters at the interview stage

Then you need to have a second system for the interview process to see how your new sitter would perform in different situations.

Their work is going to be a direct reflection on your pet sitting business, therefore, you need to be happy with how they work before you hire them for your company.

Also, this needs to be part of your regular daily business practices. You can’t say, “Okay, I really need sitters,” and then just hope and pray that a resume lands in your inbox.

You need to constantly have a system on autopilot where you are getting the message out that you’re hiring and you’re looking for great people. This leads to interviewing on a weekly basis and putting people through your systems on a weekly basis. That is how you build an amazing team. Yes, it is challenging, but don’t let that stop you from growing.

Currently, we have 40 pet sitters at Pet Nanny-Pet Sitters of The Main Line and we still have weekly meetings discussing where we’re going to find people. In this way, we have grown the most amazing team and the most amazing business.

So, if this is what you want to do, don’t let fear hold you back from hiring pet sitters. Create the attraction system, create the hiring system, make it part of your daily business practices, and you will be able to do it.

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Use a Facebook Group to Manage Your Team of Pet Sitters

Use a Facebook Group to Manage Your Team of Pet Sitters

Improve communication across the team with this useful tool

If like me, you have a large number of people on your pet sitting team, sometimes you feel out of touch with them. This is especially true if you have a manager in between you and the rest of the team.

At Pet Nanny of the Main Line we have a large team of 40 sitters, they are out working every day and I have very little communication with them on a day-to-day basis.

But it’s important that we keep a connection with our staff so that everyone is working from the same page and understands the company’s expectations. Even our best sitters sometimes make mistakes and need a gentle reminder of our specific policies for providing exceptional service to our clients.

One way we improved communication across the whole team was to create a private Facebook group just for our pet sitters. If you are looking for tools to manage your team of pet sitters, I recommend this free option.

Use a Facebook Group to Manage Your Team of Pet Sitters

If you are a member of my free Facebook group Pet Nanny Coach Community, you’ll see that I post a tip of the day.

It’s popular with the members and I decided to set up a similar resource for my pets sitters.

It’s a series of gentle little reminders about what to do when working for our clients.

Such as, don’t forget to check the key when you are at a registration meeting. Make sure that your first contact with a client is always via phone, not text messaging.

Check that all the doors are locked when you leave the house. Make sure that you rinse the dog bowls or cat bowls on your final visit. Don’t forget to wipe the counters.

Celebrate the small and big wins together

Another function of the Facebook group is to create a community and try to bring us all together.

When we work remotely rather than in a regular office, this virtual space is where we get to know each other and share common issues, as well as celebrate successes.

We have theme days such as “Favorite Pet Friday and we also have team meetings within the group using Facebook lives and chat.

When we want to praise a sitter who has gone above and beyond for our clients we celebrate them as “Sitter of the Month, and it inspires and encourages everyone.

It’s also a great way to quickly reach a group of pet sitters in one go. At times when we’ve needed an urgent pet visit and putting a message in the group helped identify a sitter who could respond immediately.

So, my tip for you today is Facebook groups is a great tool to manage your team of pet sitters. They’re free, you can set reminders, run meetings and communicate face-to-face using lives and group chat.

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