3 Steps to 5-Figure Months in Your Pet Sitting Business

3 Steps to 5-Figure Months in Your Pet Sitting Business

Today we’re talking about three simple steps for you to create consistent five figure months in your pet sitting business.

Step 1: Create a sales system that attracts new clients to your business.

Create a sales system that attracts new clients to your business while incentivizing your current customers to book from you more frequently.

Step 2: Systematize every single thing in your business.

It’s taking everything out of your head. It is documenting it onto an online business hub into some manual to easily delegate it to your support team.

Step 3: Have a Support Team

You will make a substantial income in your pet sitting business by leveraging yourself through a team of heart-centered pet care professionals that will take amazing care of your client’s pets. Then eventually, your support team will get even larger with a manager, a virtual assistant, and such.

Those are the three steps. You need to be acquiring new customers. You need to be systematizing every last thing in your business so one, you’re creating something of value that you’ll be able to sell down the road, and two, it makes it easy to run. It establishes that turnkey business where you’re not the person that’s having to do everything.

Lastly, you’re delegating to other people to do the work of running your pet sitting business.

QUOTE - 3 Steps to 5-Figure Months in Your Pet Sitting Business

 

As the business owner, you are not supposed to do the client work.

You are supposed to be the visionary. You’re supposed to be the person behind the scenes, and you delegate the client work to your team. It’s that simple.

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30 Ways to Get More Pet Sitting Business

30 Ways to Get More Pet Sitting Business

Most business owners think they shouldn’t market if their pet sitting business is flush with clients. This is incorrect thinking! To always have clients you must always be marketing. You should not count on the fact that customers are yours forever once they sign up with your service. You must implement a variety of marketing strategies to create a consistent pipeline of new business.

Here are 30 ways a professional pet sitter can get more pet sitting business.

1. You need to build a client-attractive website.

I talk way too often to pet sitters that don’t have a website. Guess what? Everybody is online. Everybody’s on their phones. Everybody’s on their computers. Everybody is Googling how to find out how to do things or find services they want to use. You need a website so that people can find you. And then, on top of that, you want to make it client-attractive so that when people hit your website, they immediately have the know, like, and trust factor. You have all of the important aspects to your website so that people are going to convert into paying customers. I go in-depth in this in my Launch and Grow program. It is so, so, so, so important.

2. On that website, you need to add a lead magnet.

What’s a lead magnet? It is something of value that you are giving to your website visitors in exchange for their first name and email address. The idea here is that you want to follow up with these people, and you want to follow up with those who hit your website but don’t buy or don’t become customers. And that’s how you do it. So currently, my lead magnet on my website is an information packet coupled with a high-value coupon.

3. Create a sales funnel with a time-sensitive offer to create urgency.

When someone visits my website they say, oh, this looks pretty good. I will give them my first name and email address. We provide them with an information packet that they can download. Then they get the $25 off coupon. Then they are dropped into a sales funnel where they’re going to get consecutive emails from me.

I’m going to speak to different pain points and the benefits of using my service. And in the end, I’m going to say, “all right, now’s the time. If you want to cash in on that coupon, do it before the deadline ends.” Time-sensitive offers create an urgency that compels people to take action and buy and use their coupons.

4. Join a networking group.

One of the easiest ways to build your client list when starting your business is to join a networking group. You could try LeTip, and I loved BNI, Business Network International.

The deal is, if you are going to join one of these groups, you need to commit to it. You need to show up to every meeting, and you need to be referring other people in that group. Another tip I have for you, try to find an established group. A lot of BNI chapters are new, and you don’t want that. You want to a chapter that’s been around for a while. You want people in that group who know what they’re doing and are committed to the networking process—one of the easiest ways to get clients.

5. Actively participate in local Facebook groups.

This is a free method. Join all the local Facebook groups, and they don’t even have to be pet-related. It could be moms, and it could be recipes, and it could be restaurants. And they can be pet-related.

People are always asking about pet sitting services and dog walking services in those groups. If you spend 20 minutes a day to show up in these groups and keep an eye out, you can also add value by posting relevant articles about the importance or benefits of using pet sitting businesses. It’s just such an easy way to connect with members of your community and to get clients.

6. You want to blog and guest blog.

Blogging is going to position you as an expert in the industry. And here’s a little known fact: People like doing business with experts and not novices. So that’s the number one thing a blog is going to do for you. It’s going to position you as an expert in your industry.

The second thing it’s going to do is create relevant content for your pet sitting prospects.

The third thing it’s going to do is create search engine optimization opportunities for your client-attractive website. Because you’re going to be using keywords that your pet sitting business prospects are going to use – that’s what they’re typing into Google search to find you.

Then there’s guest blogging. You submit your articles to other blogs, which then back-links them to your website. This gives your client-attractive website credibility. It’s going to increase that search engine optimization, where people will be able to find you. So get into the habit. Like networking, you have to commit to the process, and you need to be doing it every week, or it’s not worth doing.

7. SEO your website.

A blog is a way to SEO your website, but there’s also many other ways to SEO your website. SEO stands for search engine optimization. We want Google to be able to find your website and index it so that people looking for your service will be able to find you. SEO will increase how high you’re going to show up in those search results. So you want to be using keywords, and you want to add meta descriptions to your images. This is an easy way to get clients because now they’re going to be able to find you. You can find out more here.

8. Showcase your testimonials.

30 Ways to Get More Pet Sitting Business

 

So when you get positive feedback, or you get a review from a client, showcase it. Include it in emails. Make sure you have a page on your website that has all of your testimonials on there. Make sure that you’re putting it out on social media. Let people see the social proof and testimonials.

9. You can run contests.

Contests are fun and an inexpensive way to build buzz for your business. Everyone loves free stuff, and it’s a very easy way to build your email list. So get creative and have fun with this.

10. Build strategic alliances.

Strategic alliances are business owners that target the same target market as you, pet owners, but they don’t provide the same service. We’re not talking about pet sitters or dog walkers, but about vets, pet stores, pet groomers, pet photographers, and pet massage masseuses. That’s who you want to build these relationships with, where basically, you are promoting your services to each other’s client lists. It’s a win-win.

11. Create referral partnerships.

This is any business that is going to refer business to you. It doesn’t have to be pet-related. I partner with my friend who owns a carpet cleaning business. We’re always running promotions back and forth to each other’s lists. My neighbor Claire owns HomeCooked and always puts out my business cards. When I’m hiring, she always puts out my hiring postcards. I also let my clients know about her amazing business. So developing these referral partnerships and making sure that you include them in your marketing plan is an easy way to get clients.

12. Run online paid advertising.

Google AdWords is one of the best things I’ve ever done for my business, honestly. I am always running Google AdWords campaigns. The money that I spend for those advertising campaigns pays for itself, When you consider my customers’ lifetime value, it comes back to me a hundredfold.

So don’t be scared. I would look into delegating this to someone who knows what they’re doing and can set it up for you. You can find people on Upwork or Fiverr, and you can also run Facebook ad campaigns or Instagram campaigns or run YouTube ads. There are all different types of marketing strategies.

Don’t be afraid of paid online advertising because it works. I love seeing the ads. When I’m on social media, I’m like, oh, who’s advertising to me? I find it so fascinating. And guess what? I’m always buying stuff, especially when I’m on Instagram.

13. Create a referral program.

You want to turn the people that use your service into a non-paid sales force. So incentivize the clients that love you to refer you to the people they are friends with.

Then you have to educate these people about how your referral program works. You can’t just make it, put it out into the universe, and be like, okay, done. No, you need to communicate with your referral partners at least on a monthly or bimonthly basis.

This is the best way to do it: Hey, just a reminder, we love and appreciate referrals. And when you refer a client to me, they get $25 off, and so do you. And you’re just constantly reminding them of your referral program.

14. Run a direct mail campaign.

People forget about direct mail. People read and love snail mail. Emails a lot of times get deleted nowadays. In my Multiply Mastermind training program, one of my students’ strategies is called the Five House Marketing Rule. That’s another video, and you can click here to check that out.

15. Write a warm letter.

This would be a specific direct mail campaign. So a warm letter is a letter that you create and send out to everybody on your contact list. This is clients, past clients, friends, family, anyone that’s on there. Anyone that knows, likes, and trusts you is going to get a warm letter. The warm letter is simply updating them about your business.

Let them know that you love and appreciate referrals. If there’s anything that you can do in return for them, just let you know—such an easy, simple strategy to get clients.

16. Run promotions to prospects that never signed up for service.

So you have your client-attractive website. People come; they give you their first name and email address. They get dropped into that sales funnel, but they don’t end up converting into a paying client.

Don’t forget about these people. You can continue to market to them and run promotions. You can do 40% off if you book by the end of the week, so on and so forth. Get creative.

17. Donate your pet sitting services to charity.

I donate high-value gift certificates to so many animal-centered charities in my area and all types of shelters. So I usually do $250, and it’s such a great way to get new clients and get your name out in the community.

18. Use car magnets to advertise your business.

I have never done this, guys, but so many of my students do it and swear by it. And guess what? I always read car magnets. So I’m sure it is a great strategy. You can get them inexpensive nowadays. And you want to have your phone number nice and clear with a call to action.

19. Use your email signature.

This is valuable real estate that people forget about. Every email that you send out, you could have a call to action in your email signature. It could be a booking service. It could be to leave a review. It could be to leave a Yelp review. I mean, there are a million things that you can do with your email signature. Every time you’re sending that out, people will see it, and it’s a way to get clients and get them to take action.

20. Host live events.

Hosting a community event is a sure-fire way to build trust with your community members and showcase your services. It’s also a way to get free local press coverage. So a common one that many of my students do is have pet Halloween costume contest live events, where everyone in the community brings their pets. Such a great way to meet people in your community. And then you want to let the local press know about it to run stories about it.

21. Send out a press release to your local media.

Again, suppose you’re hosting a live event or hosting a contest, or something’s changing in your business, or something big happens in the pet sitting industry. In that case, local media is always looking for stories, and they want your press release. So don’t forget about that. That’s old-school marketing. But guess what, it works.

22. Hang flyers in local establishments.

Old school, but it works. I was in the bagel shop the other day, and there was a bulletin board. I just sat there, and I read through every single one. I was in the G Lodge, a restaurant around the corner from me, the other day. Again, bulletin board. Waiting for my table, I read every single thing on the bulletin board. It’s a great way to find sitters and to get clients.

23. Used social media.

People are on social media, guys, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube. Send out relevant articles about pet care. You can post memes, and you can do videos, and you can do word puzzles. I mean, there are a million different things that you can do on social media to attract clients to your pet sitting business. Take advantage of these channels because they’re free.

24. List your business on business directories.

Getting your business listed on as many online directories as possible is an excellent strategy for boosting your company’s visibility, and this adds to that credibility factor of your website.

In my Launching Growth program, I give my students, I think it’s about 78 different websites that they can go to and get their business listed, which gives clout to your website, which increases your rankings. It’s an easy way for your clients to be able to find you.

25. Claim and optimize your Google My Business page.

Google My Business is a free marketing tool available to you, and you should have it optimized. People are online Google looking for pet sitting business services. If you have your Google My Business optimized and up to date, it’s such an easy way to get clients.

26. Contact pet friendly apartment complexes.

So you want to reach out to the managers of these apartment complexes. Why am I having a hard time saying that? Let them know about your business, and ask if you could be included in the welcome packages they give out to new renters or new buyers.

27. Partner with a shelter, and all offer a discount for newly adopted pets.

Somebody goes and adopts a new pet, and the shelter says, hey, if you ever need a pet sitter, Pet Nanny-Pet Sitters of The Main Line is the premier service in this area. And then you can give them a coupon as well, and they’ll take action.

28. Market to neighbors of your existing clients.

This goes back to that five-house marketing campaign that I told you about earlier. If you get a client in a neighborhood, you want this entire neighborhood to know about your pet sitting business. It’s an easy way to get clients because if they know that their neighbor trusts you with their pets, they are more likely to trust you. It’s also much more convenient, with a lot less drive time between clients. So you should always be focusing on the immediate neighbors of your clients.

29. Target new homeowners.

This information is public. You can easily get the information for new homeowners in your area, and you could do direct mail campaigns to them. There’s also a service called Welcome Wagon that you could look into.

30. Oh, the last one. So run a reengagement campaign to inactive clients.

If we have not heard from a client in over a year, we run what we call a reengagement campaign, where we send them an email with a high-value offer for them to book service within, say, 14 days.

Then you’re going to continue to stay in touch with them and incentivize them to book service. Don’t forget about the people that have already raised their hands and said, yes, I want to hire your pet sitting service. Get in touch with them, and give them an offer. Get them back and onto your active list.

So there we have it. Thirty ways a professional pet sitter can get more pet sitting business, or for short, 30 ways to get clients. I hope you guys found this helpful.

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Create Systems from Your Mistakes

Create Systems from Your Mistakes

One of my dear students had a horrible thing happen to her this week. She was house-sitting for a current client that had an aggressive dog. She knew the dog was aggressive, but she had been house-sitting for the dog for two-plus years.

The dog loved her. She got a little too comfortable. She was playing with the dog and hugging the dog, and rolling around with the dog. Out of nowhere, this dog bit her horribly. I saw the picture, I about died. I immediately called her to make sure she was okay, and we had a discussion.

She was like, “This was my fault. I let down my guard. I knew this dog had aggressive tendencies. However, I just got too comfortable.”

Use the incident as a learning lesson.

My suggestion was to, one, really help yourself emotionally, obviously, to get over the pain of the incident. But then to use it as a learning lesson for herself and her team and create a system through mistakes and accidents. So what do I mean by this? When something terrible happens in your business, it’s awful. It feels like a punch in the gut, but you need to get into the practice of creating a system from what you learned from the incident.

Create a system from what you learned. Have a meeting with your team and present the protocol.

In this case, I would have a meeting with my team. I would explain in detail what happened. I would show them the picture of my injury, and I would say, “Okay, here is the protocol. Here is a reminder that this is how we deal with dogs that we have that are aggressive.”

Now, in my case with my business, I would no longer service the dog. Okay? To me, it’s too much of a liability with my pet sitters to have them in a home with a dog that could hurt them. That might be something that you might change.

You might have a new policy in place where you’re going to say, “Okay, no aggressive dogs whatsoever are going to be on our client roster.”

In this case, I know this pet sitter well, and this business owner, and I know she’s probably not going to give up this dog, so she will likely have the policy where she’s going to be the one that’s going to take care of it. But then she’s going to know our boundaries, and she’s going to be reminded, “Okay, this is what you do when you go into a client’s home with a dog that has aggressive tendencies.”

Turn the things that happen in your business into systems.

Create Systems from Your Mistakes


It’s taking any simple thing that happens in your business and turning it into a system, turning it into a policy, turning it into a procedure to make your business better, to make your team better. Having regular team meetings to discuss the mistakes or the accidents and the new streamlined system in place is imperative for you to grow your business. I do this in my life in general, not even in my business.

When something happens, what’s the system?

How can I make this reasonable moving forward, too, so it doesn’t happen again? That is my advice for you today, guys. Create a system policy or procedure out of a mistake or an accident, and your business is going to be better off.

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How to Multiply Your Pet Business

How to Multiply Your Pet Business

Today we’re talking to the multipliers, those who are at the stage in their pet business where they have laid the foundation, have the website, the profit plan, the clarity, and all of the goodness in place. They have clients.

But they’re working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year in their business. They are doing the pet sitting, the house sitting, the dog walking, the scheduling, the emailing, the sitter management (if they have them), the client resolution, and everything that goes along with running a pet business.

This is where most of us get stuck. This was where I majorly got stuck. I had no idea how to get out of this grind of the day-to-day working constantly and not understanding what I needed to do to multiply my business. I was stuck at an income level. I lived a life that I was not happy with, working way too much, and didn’t know what to do.

So I took the first step, and I decided to go for it. I hired private mentors, joined mastermind groups, coaching programs, attended seminars. I read books. I learned. That’s pretty much what anybody can do. Because you don’t know what you don’t know. I didn’t know what I didn’t know.

After years of studying and implementing, I saw my income start to increase drastically. Years later, I found out that my income level is at the top of the pet-sitting industry. So people started coming to me and saying, “Oh my gosh, Colleen. How did you do this? And can you teach me how to do it?” And I was like, “Well, I’m not a business coach.”

I started thinking that if I can help other people, I’ll give it a shot. And that’s where Pet Nanny Coach came from. At that point, I taught many pet business owners how to multiply their businesses to six figures and beyond in 12 months or less.

That’s what I’m here to talk to you about today. What needs to be done in your pet business so that you can multiply to six figures and beyond, get yourself out of the day-to-day, and start enjoying your life? When you have a business, you’re not meant to work in it seven days a week, 365 days a year. That’s more of a job, and that’s not a good job. I’d rather go work for someone else, and have my weekends and nights free, to be honest.

So the eight steps in my Multiply Formula are:

Step 1: You need to learn how to effectively manage your time so that you get more done in your business.

Everybody I talk to says: “Colleen, I don’t have the time.” Well, guess what? You need to make the time. It’s not just going to happen magically. A business wrapped in a nice big red bow is not going to be left on your front doorstep.

You have to take the time to learn about all of this stuff and implement the strategies to make it happen. So that’s step one. It would be best if you learned how to manage your time effectively. That’s going to be step one in getting you out of the business of constantly working in the business. You need to start working on the business.

Step 2: You need to put your marketing on autopilot so that you are consistently attracting a pipeline of new clients to your business.

Some pet business owners do feast or famine marketing; some don’t market at all. It’s impossible to maintain your business with that. People move. People have babies. You may have clients you no longer want to work with.

There are reasons why you need to be generating new business. And it would be best if you had a marketing plan and a marketing calendar, implemented and on autopilot so that you were consistently bringing new clients into your pet business.

Step 3: Design amazing customer experiences so that your customers refer you all over town.

Most of the sitters that I talk to pretty much are doing the basics. They answer the phone, they set up clients in the scheduling software, go to the meet and greet, have them sign the papers, and do the visits. And that’s it.

So think about what a fantastic customer experience is for you. Have you ever flown with a particular airline that’s just been amazing? And you’re like, “Oh, this is so great.” Or you’ve been to a hotel where you feel like you’re like a prince or princess. Think about things you can do to really wow these new customers of yours and make them raving fans.

Don’t just do the bare minimum. Go above and beyond and make these customers raving fans. That is how they’re going to refer you. They’re not going to refer you if you’re just kind of like, “Okay, I’m going to do the bare minimum and then roll out.” It doesn’t work that way.

How to Multiply Your Pet Business


Step 4: Build a team of heart-centered pet care professionals who will take stellar care of your customer’s pets.

This is another spot where sitters get stuck. They’re like, “It’s all about me. I am the reason that all of my clients love me. They’re not going to use my pet business if it’s not me doing the pet-sitting.” And I just got to tell you, you have to get that thought out of your brain because it’s not true.

It’s a story that you’ve made up in your head. And yes, if you decide to hire for the first time, you may have some customers  jump ship. But I guarantee they’re not the customers that you love and adore working with. The customers that I loved and adored working with when I made this leap into building a team were happy for me. They understood that I needed to build a team to even be in business and make ends meet in this industry.

It can’t just be any team. You can’t just pick any Joe Schmoe off the street and send them out to your client’s homes. You need to find heart-centered pet care professionals who will love and adore your clients just the way you are. So what does that mean? I’ve talked about this before.

You need to have an attraction system, a hiring system, and an onboarding system that will create these amazing team members who will create unforgettable experiences for your customers. It’s no easy feat. Team building is one of the hardest things you’re going to do in your business. Learning how to do it right and building an incredible team makes life so easy, fun, and great. And you’re going to start loving your business again. It gives you the time to start enjoying your life.

Step 5: Create systems and processes in your business.

You should be documenting every single thing that you do in your pet business, more than once. So many people have their businesses in their heads, and they run it by saying, “Okay, what are we going to do now? What’s next?”

You should have everything documented, A to Z. What does every single thing in your business look like? It needs to be documented somewhere. Then it’s super easy to delegate. You don’t ever want to be the only person that knows and understands your business. If something happened to you, somebody on your team or a family member could jump in and know what to do.

Step 6: Organize your business finances and generate greater profitability by creating a Profit First financial system.

This is where I fell short for entirely too long. I was like the worst with my finances. And until Profit First by Mike Michalowicz came into my life, the more money I made, the more money I spent.

Setting up a Profit First financial system starts with organizing your finances with at least a business checking account. I can’t even tell you how many people I talked to who don’t even have business checking accounts. Everything’s being funneled into one account. By the way, there’s no judgment because I did that for a lot of years. I’m just saying there are easier ways to manage your money and create a more profitable business by getting your finances in order.

Step 7: Hire a powerhouse manager to run the day-to-day operations in your business, and you can focus your time and your energy on business growth.

Sitters sometimes say, “I’m still working in the business. How am I going to hire a manager?” This doesn’t have to happen immediately, but this needs to be a goal of yours.

The first goal is building a team of sitters. Then you remove yourself. You become the manager. When that becomes a full-time job, that is when you have to hire a powerhouse manager. I have three exceptional managers work for me, whom I trust to treat my clients well.

I call them my client’s happiness managers, and my clients love that too. But that frees up your time to focus on business growth, which is marketing, getting clients, streamlining, and systematizing so you can multiply.

Step 8: Automate as many of the manual tasks in your business to save time and increase efficiency.

You got to get on board with the technology. Not every phone call, email, the text message has to happen manually from you.

You can set up marketing campaigns where people go through funnels on your website, where the goal is for them to become buyers and customers. You can streamline your whole hiring system using automation.

You can send lockboxes and cards and all sorts of cool things using automation. Automation rules, and it’s super scary for a lot of you. I get it. I’m a tech person, so it’s not frightening for me, and I’ve embraced it. Automation and technology are here to free up your time and make you money. So if you take the time to learn it, you are going to benefit significantly from it.

To make a substantial income in this industry, you need to leverage yourself through a team of heart-centered pet care professionals who will take stellar care of your client’s pets. You have to do all this.

 

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How to Conquer Overwhelm

This week, we are focusing on how to conquer overwhelm, getting all of those dastardly tasks and things we need to do out of our heads and start taking action on them so we can move our pet sitting business forward.

I’ve been noticing a very common denominator among the pet-sitting business owners I speak or work with.  And it’s something that most business owners struggle with at one point or another.

It happens when you’ve got so much going on that you can’t see through the trees! Most likely, you’re out still walking the dogs, taking care of the pets, and you don’t really have a whole lot of time to work on the business.  That’s when overwhelm kicks in.

When you start feeling overwhelmed, you might want to give up.  But don’t do that!  I’m going to show you how to push through to the other side and avoid burnout.

Here are some concrete tips on how to overcome your overwhelm, conquer that overwhelm, really start focusing on moving your business forward and reach the goals you’ve set for your business.

#1 Brain Cleanse

The first step is to get everything out of your head. You want to do a total brain cleanse. Just go ahead and dump everything. Every single thing that you can possibly think of – get it out of your head and get it on paper.

Below this video, I’m going to link to some awesome dry erase sheets that you can put up on a wall and write everything down. If you have a whiteboard, use it. If you prefer doing it on your phone, or in your notes, do that.

You can use a mind-mapping tool like MindMeister if that works better for you. A notebook works great. However you do it, just get it out of your head and onto paper.

#2 Organize

The second step to conquering overwhelm is to organize everything you wrote down into projects. Then beneath the projects, list out the steps that need to take place for you to complete the project.  You might end up with five or six projects in front of you.

#3 Prioritize

Next I want you to prioritize the projects you created.  What are we going to do first? What comes second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth?

#4 Schedule

Now that you have everything that used to be floating around in your head written down, organized and in order, you are going to actually schedule these into your calendar.

Every Sunday, you can print off your weekly planner and schedule time to work on each project.  You've got Monday through Sunday - what step of which project are you going to work on each day? Click To Tweet

Take the time to write everything down.  Walking around with everything competing for bandwidth in your brain means you are much less likely to get it done. Get it out of your head and start working on those projects that you’ve wanted to get done for a long time. I know you can do it!

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How to Hire the Right People for Your Pet Sitting Business

How to Hire the Right People for Your Pet Sitting Business

I work with many petpreneurs looking to scale and multiply their pet sitting business to six figures and beyond. One of the steps in the multiply formula is to hire a team of heart-centered pet care professionals to take stellar care of your pet sitting clients.

Hire a team of heart-centered, pet care professionals.

Now there is something really important about that step, and it’s the heart-centered pet care professionals that are going to take stellar care of your pet sitting clients. You do not want to hire people who will go out and take poor care of the clients obviously or miss visits, but guess what? This happens all the time because you are not hiring the right people, and you don’t have the right systems in place so that you’re attracting and onboarding the right people to your pet sitting business.

Years and years ago, before I had all of this thought out, I had some real losers on my team. I could bore you for hours with some stories. I seriously should write a book about some of the things that have happened on my watch by people I employed.

I’m not saying that I’m absolved of all sin when it comes to this, but I do want you guys to learn from my mistakes. It would be best if you started with mapping out a system where you’re going first to attract the right people to your business.

Map out a system to attract the right people to your business.

Think about your attraction system. What are you putting out there to get people to apply to work with you? Do you even have an ideal sitter profile where you have written down all of the attributes you are looking for in a pet sitter?

If you already have a roster of sitters, think about your A+ ones. Who do you love, and what makes them great? Write it down; this is a manifestation tool.

How to Hire The Right People for Your Pet Sitting Business


Then in all of your marketing, your Facebook ads, your online ads, or anything you’re using to get the word out about the opportunity to work with your company, this is the language you want to use to attract the right people to your company business.

Prepare questions & expectations to know if they are a good fit for your company.

Then is the hiring system. The whole process of when you meet and interview them. What kind of questions are you asking them to find out if they will be a good fit for this company? And are you setting expectations about what you’re looking for in the people?

It’s not just about, “Are they going to be a great fit for the company?” It’s also about, “This is how we do business around here. Are you okay with this?”

For example, you are setting the expectation of availability. Yes, this is a great job, yes it’s flexible hours. Yes, if you’re an IC, you create your schedule. However, we do expect availability. If you take off every single weekend and every single holiday, this isn’t going to be worth your time or mine.

If you tell me that you’re available 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday to do mid-day walks and then two weeks after starting, you tell me you’re not available or only available for an hour of that time, you’ve now just wasted my time. I could have passed up an excellent candidate.

So right from the start, this is what is expected. This is the position that you’re applying for; this is the expectation of availability. Plus other expectations of what you’re looking for.

Then if they go onto the onboarding stage, what’s the process? You need to have a system in place where you’re evaluating them. Does it take them two days to return an email? That isn’t going to change after you hire them. They’re going to show you right from the get-go how they communicate. Trust me, it’s not going to get any better.

So map out a system. What are you going to have set up in place that will allow you to evaluate how they’re going to be as pet sitters when you hire them?

Have a system in place to evaluate them.

Finally, when they are hired, how are you going to manage them? How are you going to see if they’re happy? Do they have too many visits, or do they not have enough visits? What is your stay in touch system that warns you if they have one foot out the door?

Nothing is worse than a sitter calling and saying, “I’m giving you no notice, and I’m leaving tomorrow.”

Keep in touch with your sitters. Make sure you have a communication system in place, so you know and are evaluating, “Is this person happy? Are they happy with the position?” Because if they’re not, you want to make sure that you have your eyes out and look for another great person to replace them.

I’ve had some real doozies in my pet sitting business over the last 18 years, but I can tell you now, since I have learned all of this and I have created an attraction system, a hiring system, an onboarding system, and a management system, I have a fantastic team of pet sitters. I’m not even kidding.

Yes, here and there, some less than stellar people have slipped through the cracks. I have about 40 pet sitters on staff, so that will happen from time to time. But I would say, for the most part, I have an amazing, stellar team of pet sitters.

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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The 1 Hour Rule

The 1 Hour Rule

You may have heard the 10,000-hour rule, which means that you can learn to become an expert at anything as long as you give it 10,000 hours of your time. Now, this very well may be true.

However, thinking that way stops people in their tracks because your brain automatically goes into overwhelm and overdrive. And when that happens, you start procrastinating, and therefore you do not take action, so you stay stuck where you are.

Think a little smaller.

Think about doing one newsletter or writing one blog post, learning how to do one automation inside your email autoresponder, or completing one module. Just think of it as one hour of your time each workday, Monday through Friday, and think about all that you can accomplish by just focusing on that one task and that one hour.

Chunk down these big projects into tiny, small, manageable tasks.

Block out that time on your calendar to show up for yourself and your business, these wins will start to stack, and then you’re going to gain momentum, and then you’re going to get clarity because clarity comes from taking action.

Instead of thinking like, “Oh my gosh, 10,000 hours I’m going to have to put into learning how to build a business”…


The 1 Hour Rule


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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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