Implement Two Follow-up Systems in Your Pet Sitting Business

One of the greatest opportunities overlooked by pet sitters or service-based business owners is the fortune in the follow-up. My suggestion for you is to create two follow-up systems.

Implement Two Follow-up Systems in Your Pet Sitting Business


For Prospective Customers

One for prospective customers, so people that have expressed interest in working with you, whether they emailed you, called you, filled out a form, reached out on Facebook, they have somehow said, “Ooh, this sounds good. Let me learn more.” Those are your prospective customers.

For Existing Customers

People who have used you in the past have already raised their hand and said, “Yes, I want to work with you.”

If you have a system in place following up with them regularly, giving them advice about pet care, putting in reminders to book service or incentives to book service, you’re just consistently keeping in touch and following up with these people; you are drastically going to increase the rate that your existing customers book from you.

So two systems. One for prospective customers, people that have said, “Yes, I’m interested.” And, of course, the people who have already said yes need to be reminded. You will get many more bookings if you send out these reminders and touchpoints.

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10 Tools & Strategies for Your Team of Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers

We’re going to go through 10 strategies and tools for pet sitters that I regularly use in my business and I couldn’t live without.

1. Comprehensive onboarding system for your dream team of pet sitters.

The best thing you can do when you are growing your team is to create a well-thought-out and streamlined onboarding system so that your pet sitters have a clear understanding of what is expected of them and what they can expect from you. You want to create properly trained pet care professionals that will do an outstanding job. You’re going to do that through your comprehensive onboarding system.

2. Organize your team members’ information and documents in a cloud-based software like Google Drive.

I love Google Drive. We keep payroll documents, background checks, signed handbooks and contracts, incident reports, paid time off submissions, and key tracking organized there. You name it, and we use Google Drive for everything. Couldn’t live without it.

3. Use a payroll company.

For years, I spent way too much time writing checks manually. I regularly wrote twenty-five checks at a sitting. I don’t know how long that took. Now I use a payroll company named Gusto. I love them. Another option would be Paychex.

4. Use a pet sitting software.

I did a video on this last week. You want to invest in pet sitting software. Options include Time To Pet, Precise Pet Care, LeashTime and Pet Sitter Plus. If you’re on a tight budget, try PocketSuite. There are lots of options out there at different price points.

5. Use Zoom for virtual conferencing.

I love Zoom. We do all of our sitter interviews over Zoom. We do training calls, team meetings, and regular check-in calls with our team of pet sitters. It makes it so much easier. No more having to meet people at Starbucks and have them stand you up. That was a huge time suck as well. So use virtual conferencing like Zoom.

10 Tools & Strategies for Your Team of Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers-ver02


6. Use Facebook groups to create a community.

You want to create a community with your team of pet sitters and your internal staff. You don’t see them a lot. They are independent and out working alone, but you can create a community using a Facebook group. You can announce Sitter of the Month. You can have fun contests. We have Favorite Pet Friday, where the pet sitters post their favorite pet of the week. Sitters can find coverage if they need help with finding someone to do their visits. We can discuss issues that have popped up. We can point out things that went well. We highly recommend Facebook groups.

7. Use Slack for internal communication.

I use Slack for my internal communication, meaning my team of managers and virtual assistants working for the company. Many of my students also use it for their team community. So instead of using a Facebook group, they use Slack and love it. It has a mobile app, so all your communication with your staff would go through that app, and everything is trackable and searchable within the app. So check it out.

8. Use Asana for project management.

I love Asana. I also use this with my internal team of managers and virtual assistants, and it’s for our project management. It’s how we keep track of all of our to-dos and who is responsible for what. And then we have due dates on everything.

9. Use JotForm or Google Forms for surveys.

Every three months, I ask my pet sitters to complete a survey. I want to know how they like the job, do they have too many visits, do they not have enough visits. This is how you can anticipate how much longer people will be with your company because the last thing you want is having a sitter quit on you unexpectedly, and then you’re left with their schedule of visits that you have to fill. If you use the JotForm to keep in touch, you can anticipate issues. We also share our client and pet profiles that our clients fill out. They fill out the JotForm. Then we share that with the sitter as well.

10. Use SendOutCard or ThankU.io for greeting cards.

These are greeting card software apps. We use it for a lot of stuff. I send sitters gifts for their year anniversary, if they are Sitter of the Month, etc. We also use it for new clients.

 

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Is Pet Sitting Software Worth the Business Expense

Today’s Business Growth Video asks if pet sitting software is a necessary business expense.

The answer to this question is a resounding yes. This is something that I wish I had invested in so much sooner in my business.

The number one reason is that I used to have the night sweats and spheres of me missing a pet sitting visit. When you use a pet sitting software, that worry goes away because everything is tracked online through the software.

Is Pet Sitting Software Worth the Business Expense


All of your clients’ pet care plans are nice and organized inside the software, and you can keep client credit cards on file and then charge them before the service begins. It also streamlines and organizes everything. So no more chasing payments. It is just an absolute must and something like I said, I wish I had done sooner.

I recommend Time To Pet software. 99% of my students use it and love it. I have a coupon code that I will link to below this video. It will help with the starting expense.

Other options are Precise Petcare, Leashtime, PetSitClick, Scout, and Power PetSitter. There are lots of options out there. So check those out as well. If you were on a super tight budget, look into something called PocketSuite, it’s about $9 a month, and it’s a great starter software. It’s not pet sitting specific, but it’s a great starter software for scheduling and accepting client payments. So if you’re on a tight budget, start there, and then you can always upgrade to a more expensive pet sitting software in the future.

Coupon code: timetopet.com/r/petnannycoach

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The Top 15 Things to Automate in Your Pet Sitting Business

Today, we’re talking about the top 15 things you should automate in your pet sitting business. When I talk about automation, I mean that you take the manual processes out of your business by leveraging technology.

Technology is designed to save you time and make you money. So, I teach how to use this to free up your time to focus on revenue-generating activities. Here are the top 15 things that you can start with.

1. Customer Scheduling.

There are a million out there, but you’re automating your customer scheduling and reminder processes using software like Time to Pet, Power Pet Sitter, Precise Petcare, Leashtime, Bluewave. If you’re new, you can also check out software called PocketSuite. I think it’s less than ten bucks a month, but worth it, absolutely worth it.

2. Backing up your files.

Do you ever think, “Hmm, I want to back up my files today.” No, it is not a top priority, but coming from someone that lost all their files once, this is an absolute must. You can use a cloud-based backup like Dropbox, where you can establish a daily or weekly time for a background backup to happen.

3. New-customer onboarding.

You can use an email autoresponder, something like MailChimp or ActiveCampaign, to run your clients through a new-customer onboarding sequence. They complete their new client forms, sign their contracts, and get introduced to their new pet sitter. You start it, and then it just runs through the whole process. I give this to my students who are in my Multiply Mastermind program.

The Top 15 Things to Automate in Your Pet Sitting Business

4. Customer follow-ups and surveys.

Again, using your autoresponder or your pet-sitting software, you schedule these follow-ups and survey requests with your customers. So important. You want to make sure that your customers are happy with your pet sitting business, but also, when they are happy, that’s a testimonial that you can showcase for your business.

5. Lead capture and follow-up.

Somebody comes to your website, and they see your lead magnet. “Ooh, this is a great high-value coupon. I’m going to give my first name and email address to get this.” Then, boom, the campaign automatically starts to your email autoresponder.

They get a series of emails to convert them into a paying customer by the end of the sequence. You are not having to manually go in, “Oh, someone filled out a form. I better send them all these emails, one, by one, by one.” No, it just happened in the background.

6. Billing and failed payments.

Use your scheduling software to keep your client’s credit card information on file and process the payment before your client’s service begins. So, instead of you providing service… so the need is already met… printing out an invoice, leaving it on the counter, hoping and praying that they mail it in.

Or they leave it on the counter, then you put it in your pocket, and you lose it, or your sitter, one of your sitters has it and doesn’t mail it to you. The list goes on about how many things can go wrong when you do this manually. If you get this all set up through your pet sitting business software, they pay ahead of time, and it’s super-easy. Then also, if their card is declined or needs to be updated, the system automatically sends them an email. You do not have to do it.

7. Referral and testimonial request.

Using an autoresponder again, like MailChimp or ActiveCampaign, you can run referral-request promotions and ask for testimonials and reviews.

8. Receipts.

We are in business. You need to have a receipt for anything that we spend on our business. Audited, need the receipts. You can use an app like Shoeboxed to scan, organize, and store your business receipts.

9. Website traffic tracking.

Google Analytics allows you to set up a simple report to have emailed to you once a week to look at it quickly to see what your traffic was, how many visitors were there, where they are located, and so on. So you don’t have to think, “Oh, I need to go into Google Analytics.” Because everybody wants to do that. These reports are automatically emailed to you.

10. Social media posts and promotions.

You can use software like SmarterQueue, Hootsuite, or MeetEdgar, which allows social media posts to be written in batches, and then dispersed throughout the week or month using a scheduler. So, you load the content up ahead of time. You decide when you want it sent out to your social media channels, and you don’t have to think about it.

11. Greeting card mailing.

Integrate your email autoresponder with a company like Rocket Notes, or send out cards to automate new-customer welcome greeting cards or thank-you cards. So, at Pet Nanny, when somebody signs up as a new client, and I run them through that new-customer onboarding campaign, it sends a notification to Rocket Notes, which then mails them a greeting card that they get in the mail. It’s pretty cool.

12. Collecting job applications.

Add an online form like Google Forms or Jotforms to your website to collect sitter applications and automatically follow up with them. Someone says, “Oh, I would like to work with Pet Nanny.” They fill out the application. They then get dropped into an autoresponder email sequence, where they are getting the appropriate emails and an invitation to schedule an interview. You do not manually have to do it.

13. Sitter hiring.

Run your sitters through an automated assessment campaign to evaluate how they communicate and follow directions. One of the best things I’ve ever set up in my business, also something that I give to my Multiply Mastermind students.

You want to create these assessment tasks for sitter prospects to run through so that you can be assured that they’re going to be a good person before you hire them. It can be automated, and you don’t have to do it step by step—such an integral part of my business.

14. Sitter onboarding.

Run your sitters through an automated onboarding campaign, which takes them through all the steps they need to complete before they are sent out in the field to work with your customers. Something else I give to my Multiply Mastermind students, I provide the link, and it goes right into their active campaign.

They customize it for themselves. They are onboarding these sitters so that they do not have to do it step by step with every sitter, and it becomes redundant and boring. You can automate so many steps of that process.

15. Contract signing.

Use software like DocuSign or SignNow to have your clients and sitters sign their contracts. Versus a “Hi, client, high new client. Here’s the service agreement.” Having to sign it, come home, put it in a file or picture it, scan it, take a picture of it, and upload it to your Dropbox or Google Drive. You can automate that whole process using one of these contract-signing software.

 

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Work ON Your Dog Walking Business, Just Not IN it

If you’ve been following me, you’ve probably heard me say a gazillion times, “Stop working in your business and start working on your business.” This was the major shift that completely changed the trajectory of my career and my life with my dog walking business, and where I learned this was the E-Myth Revisited.

It was the first business book I read that had a major impact on my life. It’s just like bells went off in my head, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, “I am doing this business thing all wrong.”

So what the E-Myth says is that entrepreneurs are people that understand that going into business is something that you do. You’re building a business that runs without you having to do the work to create the revenue and the income.

The problem is that most small business owners are technicians. They’re like myself and most of the students that I work with. We go into the pet industry because we love and adore animals and want to provide amazing pet care. But then we decide that we want to grow the business, and we don’t know how to do that because we are technicians. We’re not entrepreneurs innately, as the word would define.

So that is the big shift. You have to start thinking differently about your business. If you had a hundred different locations, you would not be able to service a hundred different locations, be the manager, be the pet sitter.

Work ON Your Dog Walking Business, Just Not IN it

 

You would have to think about your dog walking business differently in terms of creating systems and processes that are easily replicable between all locations and that it is running without you being the person that is doing all of the marketing. You’re not the person that’s doing all of the admin. You’re not the person that’s doing the pet sitting. You’re not the person doing the database, the hiring, and all of the stuff that goes into it.

Start thinking of ways to remove yourself as the bottleneck.

You have to start thinking about yourself from a place of removing yourself as that bottleneck in your dog walking business so that you can create these processes so that you’re able to grow your team and you’re able to service more customers and, therefore, make more money.

You have to get out of the technician mindset and move yourself to that entrepreneurial mindset of working on your business and not in your business. This creates freedom in your life, which makes money in your business. It’s such an important shift if you want to grow a lucrative dog walking business.

 

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The Power of Momentum

Today our topic is the power of momentum. I have been teaching pet sitting business owners how to create lucrative pet sitting careers for many years now. And the one differentiator that I see between those who can produce the results they want and those who aren’t is the ability to generate momentum for themselves.

These people figure out how to get motivated, stay motivated, persevere, and get things done even when they don’t want to. I’m here to tell you that your brain is not wired to want to get things done. Our brains are wired to keep us nice and warm and cozy in our houses to watch Netflix, eat, and search out comfort.

The Power of Momentum

 

When you start doing something new and start building your pet sitting businesses and taking action, your brain’s like, whoa, hold the phone. Hold on. Don’t do this. Go back to what you were doing before because that’s safe. The people who keep moving forward and understand that this is resistance they have to move through, and they find ways to generate that motivation. These are the people who get results in their business.

In my Multiply Mastermind program, we have a book club. This month our book was The 5 Second Rule Mel Robbins. In this book, she teaches a brain hack that you can do when you start feeling this resistance come into play.

The 5 Second Rule

She says when you start hearing that negative self-talk, and it’s saying, hey, don’t do the business building work today. Hey, don’t work out today. Hey, don’t eat that healthy food; eat something much yummier. You can count down five, four, three, two, one, go, and you have to move your body.

This is a simple brain hack that you can implement in your life to start moving through that resistance and generating that momentum so that you can create the results in your business that you want.

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Create a Weekly Scorecard for Your Pet Sitting Business

In my Multiply Mastermind Program, we have a monthly book club. We read a fabulous one this past summer, and it was called Traction by Gino Wickman. I love this book so much because he dials down how to get a business where you are not the person that’s doing the client work. How do you do that in your pet sitting business?

Create Systems and Processes

The system runs the business, and the person runs the system. If you’ve heard me say it once, you’ve heard me say it a million times. This is how you create a turnkey system for your business without you actually being the one doing the client work.

Create a Weekly Scorecard for Your Pet Sitting Business

In this book, one of the strategies that he suggested to create is a weekly scorecard for your business. This puts your data into a quick and easy snapshot that you can look at every week.

 Create a Weekly Scorecard for Your Pet Sitting Business


Every Monday, my manager fills out the scorecard from the week prior. She sends me an email. I can open the email first thing Monday morning and see exactly what happened the week before. It immediately put this into action with my pet sitting business.

I will go through and tell you what we are tracking in the pet sitting business at Pet Nanny. I absolutely love this tool.

First, we’re doing weekly revenue, then payroll, then how many client prospect phone calls we had. How many new clients have we enrolled. How many surveys were submitted. How many business review requests were made. How many testimonials have we received.

How many customer problems we had. How many refund requests did we have, or how many refunds were given.

Then we move on to the sitters. I want to know the total number of sitter applications, and then I dial down that number even deeper into how many applications are in the service area. We could receive many applications, but if they’re not in my actual service area, they’re useless.

Then I want to know how many interviews were scheduled. How many were completed. Then I want to know the total number of pet sitters currently on our roster and how many are still needed.

Then I dial that number down even deeper to the specific service areas where we need sitters. How many sitters do we need in Malvern? How many do we need in Wayne? How many do we need in Berwyn? So on and so forth.

That way, we’re clear on what we need to be working towards.

Use the Scorecard Yourself if You Don’t Have a Manager

This is something super simple that you should start right away for your business. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a manager yet. You can be filling this out. Then when you do hire your first manager, this will be something you will delegate to them.

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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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