How to Start a Dog Walking Business

How to Start a Dog Walking Business

Today, our topic is how to start a dog walking business or a pet sitting business.

1. You need to take action.

If you have been thinking about this for a long time but can’t seem to move forward with your idea, you need to take the first step. Here’s what I want you to do. Count with me, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, go. Take action.

Action is going to build momentum. Just get started. When your mind goes, “Oh no, no, no, I’m not ready, I’m not ready,” do the 5-4-3-2-1 rule and start.

2. Let’s get clear on your business vision and the results you want to create.

What exactly are you going to offer to your customers? Is it a dog walking business? Is it a pet sitting business? Is it a cat-sitting business? Are you going to do power walks? Are you going to do a pet taxi? Are you going to do a concierge service?

3. Create an Excel sheet to calculate your startup costs.

I highly suggest using a Google Sheet or an Excel sheet. The good news is that the startup costs for a dog walking business or a pet sitting business are very low. If you guys are like, “I want to do this,” but you’re worried about money, this is what you should be doing. You should be getting into this industry because you can get into this market at a very low cost.

4. Choose a smart name for your dog walking business.

Think about what people are going to be typing into Google. Are they going to be typing in ‘Cloud 9 Pet Sitting Services? No, they’re probably going to be typing in ‘dog walker in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,’ or they’re going to be typing in ‘pet sitters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.’

So what are you doing, and where are you doing it? If you can choose a name that has these keywords, you’re going to be way ahead of your competition.

5. Get legal.

First, you want to choose your business entity. If you’re starting, it’s most likely going to be a sole proprietor; that’s how I started. Then as I got larger, I moved over to a limited liability corporation to protect my assets. You need to choose.

What’s your entity going to be? Then you want to register your fictitious name or do business with the government, and then get a business license if necessary.

6. Write a tagline.

It’s a short, memorable phrase that’s associated with your service. I did not choose a smart business name when I started my business. I chose a very generic name that a million businesses have.

It was not smart, but what I did was, with my tagline, I differentiated myself. So Pet Nanny, Pet Sitters of the Main Line. There we go again with those keywords. What am I doing? Pet sitting. And where am I doing it? On the Main Line.

7. Have a professional logo design.

If you want to be a professional service, get a logo design. You can go to upwork.com, guru.com, fiverr.com, or 99designs.com, and you can have a logo design very inexpensively. It doesn’t cost a lot of money. When I had my logo designed, it was $700 back in 2001. Now you can get it done for nothing.

8. Have professional business cards and marketing materials designed and printed.

In my Launch & Grow Your Dream Pet Sitting Business, we go very deep into marketing strategies for you to get clients, and guess what? If you’re going to be a professional business, you must have a logo and marketing materials.

You need those marketing materials to be able to promote your business. Again, Upwork, Guru, Fiverr, or 99designs. Very simple, very inexpensive. Even VistaPrint has a graphic design service now, which is like $5. That’s how inexpensive it can be.

9. Price your services.

How much should you be charging? Do competitive research on other local pet sitting businesses and kennels, create an Excel spreadsheet, and get clear.

My suggestion:

How to Start a Dog Walking Business

 

10. You want to have a client-attractive website designed.

People need to find you on the web. People are on their phones; people are on their computers. They are searching for you on Google, and you need to have a professional website. In my Launch & Grow program, we go into depth about every piece you need to have to convert your website visitors into paying customers. This is important and inexpensive.

You need to have a hosting plan for a website, so godaddy.com, Bluehost, WP Engine, or SiteGround. I love SiteGround because you get all the security with your website at a quarter of your WP Engine cost.

11. Join trade associations.

So Pet Sitters International or my preferred association is the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters, NAPPS, which is all about education and how you can grow your pet sitting business. It’s well worth the money you will pay for these memberships. It gives you credibility, and you’re on their pet sitter search network. People go to their website and type in their zip code, and you’re going to be listed in their directory.

12. Register your business online.

In my Launch & Grow program, again, I give about 78 different websites you’ll want to register your business on. You want to register with Google My Business, Yelp, Bing, Yahoo, petsitting.com and petsitusa.com.

13. Insurance.

Try Business Insurers of the Carolinas or who I use: Pet Sitters Associates.

14. Prepare your paperwork.

Below this video you can find my Complete Checklist for Starting a Pet Sitting Business, where I give you the actual documents that you can email to your clients before you go and meet with them. This includes a welcome letter, and it has all their client and pet information, the vet release form and the key release form.

I also give you a digital process where you can do all of this online and get rid of the paper, which I highly suggest. So check out that link below.

15. Set up a business bank account.

Too many pet sitters I talk to are co-mingling their funds. They are getting checks from their clients, and they’re depositing them right into their personal bank accounts. No, no, no, no, no. You want a separate business bank account.

I would like more bank accounts, but that’s more of an advanced strategy. Start with just the business account. Go to your bank and say you’re starting a business. Bring them that fictitious name statement, doing business as, and you can open a business bank account.

16. Set up your social media accounts.

Set up your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and TikTok accounts. These are free channels that you can use to promote your business and get clients. Go and claim your listings or create them.

17. Shop for your supplies and go to step two in the checklist.

18. Get it all out.

You want to promote your business then. I have an amazing long video and PDF that you can download. 30 Ways a Professional Pet Sitter Can Get More Clients.

But to name a few, you want to send out a press release to your local media, post your flyers or postcards on local bulletin boards, drop your cards off at local pet stores and vets, give your business card to anyone you do business with, hairdressers, landscapers, dry cleaners, dentists, et cetera, announce your business on your neighborhood Facebook page, and the list goes on.

Download Links (as mentioned in video)

The Complete Checklist for Starting a Pet Sitting Business

30 Ways a Professional Pet Sitter Can Get More Clients

Hey there, Newbie Pet Sitter! Are you feeling stuck or overwhelmed with starting your pet sitting business? Fret no longer, my friend. I’ve got ya covered!

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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.

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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TITLE - How Do I Find The Time To Work On My Pet Sitting Biz-ver 02

How to Find the Time to Work ON Your Pet Sitting Business

So many pet sitting business owners say, “I don’t have the time. I’m now doing visits 15 hours a day. How do I have the time to grow the business?” So I thought, you know what, I’m going to put together a mini-training for you guys so that you can find the time to start working on the growth of your business.

In my Multiply mastermind program, I’ve devoted an entire module to designing a time management system because, let’s get real… if you can’t take the time to work on your pet sitting business, you’re not going to be able to scale it. Learning to manage your time effectively is an absolute must!

We all have the same allotted hours a day given to us, and we all will make the time for what we want and care about. Why does the growth of your business fall to the bottom of that list?

Figure out how you’re using your time.

I want you to challenge your perspective around your time. I want you to look hard at what’s happening with your time. You have to study how you work and what you do with every single hour of every single day. This close study is the only way to recognize bad habits you’ve developed over time and get a comprehensive look at what’s consuming your time so that you can make intentional shifts to find the time you need to work on your business.

Social media is a giant time suck. I have business owners who tell me they don’t have a single minute to work on the growth of their business, but then every time I’m on Facebook, there they are! If you’re spending countless 10 to 20-minute pockets of time of day on Facebook or Instagram, I just found you more than an hour a day to work on your business.

Find those time leaks.

So I have a whole workbook here for you guys at SuccessfulPetSitter.com head over there and download it. I want you to download my Daily Log Sheet at www.SuccessfulPetSitter.com, and I want you to log every activity you partake in each day for seven to 14 consecutive days.

Then I want you to categorize each activity. You’re going to be tracking everything you do on your time log, and then we’re going to categorize them. The category of time for this exercise is tactical work. This is you working in your business.

Strategic work, this is you working on your business. And non-business-related activities like family time are not bad; we all need family time. However, I still want you to categorize it, Netflix, Facebook, et cetera.

Lastly, interruptions are huge telephone calls, computer problems, kids, et cetera, text messages, and news alerts on your phone. If you can figure out how you’re constantly interrupted, maybe putting the do not disturb on will save you an hour a day. That works for me.

For example, let’s say you did visits from 7:00 AM to 9:30 AM. This would be tactical work. You answered phone calls and emails from 9:30 to 10:30 AM, tactical work. You mapped out an email marketing campaign from 10:30 to 11:40 AM, strategic work.

From 11:40 AM to 12:10 PM, you read your favorite celebrity blogs, non-business related. You get the picture. After two weeks of consistent tracking, you’ll see trends and patterns emerge in both your activities and the types of work you’re focused on.

How much strategic work are you doing, and how much tactical work are you doing? Also, what time of the day do you find yourself being most productive with your strategic work? I found out that I’m productive in the morning. As the day progresses, the less and less excited I am to do strategic work. You need to find that time and protect it. If it’s 6:00 in the morning, you need to figure out how to get to that computer at 6:00 AM every morning so that you can maximize that productivity time.

How often are you interrupted or distracted from completing a task? I just went over that. Study those interruptions and consider what they suggest about your business systems and habits. Making connections like this allows you to begin becoming more deliberate about how you’re using your valuable time.

Speaking of, I just got interrupted. I’m in the middle of recording. I did not put my phone on do not disturb, and there it is buzzing away. At least I have the sound off. Interruptions are huge guys, figure out how you’re being interrupted and try to minimize those interruptions as much as you can.

Step to embrace the strategic work of your business. It is fun. The truth is most pet-sitting business owners are “Technicians” at heart. They feel the greatest sense of reward when they’re productive, working in their business, and caring for their furry friends.

And strategic work- thinking about and developing strategies that guide the direction of your business can be frustrating to the technically-driven person. It can feel at worst like a waste of time, and at best, like a luxury.

You need to shift your mindset. It would be best if you believed that sitting and thinking about your business is precious work. What’s more, it’s part of your job – the one you chose for yourself as an owner of a business. To stop and think differently about your business takes a massive shift in perspective.

To break this mindset that built your business and got it to this point, you need to accept that doing the strategic work has a big payoff. And it does because if you don’t take the time to think more prominent than the day-to-day and create the structure your business needs to grow, nothing’s ever going to change.

I was stuck in that mindset for entirely too long. Just thinking of the day-to-day, what problems are in front of me? What can I fix right now? Instead of looking at the bigger picture.

Make the strategic work in your pet sitting business a priority by planning your day ahead of time.

This is huge. Working on your business is not extracurricular. It’s not something you do on the weekend or at night after your kids are in bed. That would be more of your life taken up by your business, which is precisely what we’re trying to free you from. You absolutely must make space in your daily schedule to do this work – because as the owner, this is your real job.

I want you to plan your day ahead of time. This is a massive piece of the puzzle.

QUOTE - How Do I Find The Time To Work On My Pet Sitting Biz


My challenge is to set aside one to two hours a day to work on your pet sitting business solely. Think about what you could accomplish in a year if you committed at least five hours a week to business growth. That’s 260 hours devoted to your business. Whoa! I want you to schedule this time on your calendar.

If you don’t schedule it, it’s just wishful thinking, and it will not happen. So every Monday through Friday from 5:30 AM to 7:00 AM, I’m working on my business. The times can vary. It doesn’t matter. This is simply a date you’re making with yourself. Don’t stand yourself up. That’s very rude.

If your day isn’t set before it begins, there’s no shot you’ll ever find the space you need to work on strategic priorities. Every business owner goes to bed the night before with great intentions, but if you don’t have the next day planned out, you inevitably fall into the familiar trap of having the day happen to you. Before you know it, it’s 8 PM, and you wonder where the time went.

So before your day begins, plan your schedule. Don’t make it the first task of the day. Don’t wake up and say, okay, I’m going to plan my day now. It needs to be done the day before because it won’t happen if you do it the day of.

Sit down at the end of each day, the night before, or in the morning before you arrive at the office. At the very least, I suggest the night before you even step foot into your workspace and get your priority tasks on your schedule.

I don’t want you sitting down at your desk where you work, checking your email, and then having the ambition to do your daily planning. Something else like an email, a customer, some fire you have to put out will demand your immediate attention, and your priorities will be sidelined. So if you’re going to do it in the morning of, do it before you enter your workspace, so you don’t get sidetracked.

Create systems for your life.

At Pet Nanny Coach, creating systems for your pet sitting business is a big part of what we do. Owners come to us looking for systems to give them control over all the critical parts of their businesses, produce order out of chaos, and create consistency and predictability that eliminate overwhelm and boost their businesses value.

Systems rule. And yes, systems do all of this and can ultimately help you create a business that better serves the life you dream of having. But to truly transform your business, you also need systems in your life.

In all my time working with business owners, I’ve learned how much business impacts life and how life can impact business. Imagine this: Every morning, you struggle to get your kids off to school, which creates a ripple effect. As a result, you get on the highway 10 minutes later than you want – a critical 10 minutes that means traffic is much worse – so you get to your first visit later, which pushes out the next one. So the whole day, you’re playing catch up, and it all started with getting your kids out the door on time.

There’s a system, pack their lunches and lay out their clothes the night before. Kids get bathed the night before and do not put the TV on in the morning. Four straightforward things that you can do that will keep you on track in the morning. I know this seems simple, but most won’t create and stick to this system.

I have a girlfriend. I was at her house one morning, and it was utter chaos. And the kids are always late, and they don’t have coats, forget their lunches, and forget their money. And I think if she just did these four things, her life would be so much easier, but she won’t do it.

To help you work on yourself as a leader:

  • Work on yourself in your own life.
  • Look at your life and ask what’s happening that negatively impacts your ability to be present and conscious enough to do the strategic work of your business.
  • Develop a routine that takes you from a reactive to a proactive state of mind – and stick to it.

That’s the goal here. We’re always trying to be proactive with our time instead of just reacting to things that happen to us day in and day out.

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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Using Automation in Your Business.

2 Meditation Tools for Pet Sitters

Listening to Binaural Beats when you are meditating or sleeping can help you manage your pet sitting business. This video describes the benefits of making Binaural Beats part of your daily routine.

Binaural beats are when you hear two tones, one in each ear, that are slightly different in frequency. Your brain processes a beat at the difference of the frequency. This is called a binaural beat.

Using Automation in Your Business.

 

About six months ago, I was advised by my coach to get earbuds and listen to binaural beats when I’m meditating. I was doing some reading about it, and I was like, it’s terrific to listen to binaural beats when you’re sleeping. It does all types of goodness for your subconscious mind, your subconscious thoughts. It reduces anxiety. It helps you increase your focus and attention, lower stress, increases relaxation, fosters positive moods, promote creativity, and helps manage pain.

These were all these benefits I heard about binaural beats when you go to sleep with them in your ears with your earbuds. But I like to sleep on my side or my stomach, and the earbuds would hurt. So I was like, “This isn’t working.”

I was scrolling through Twitter one day, and one of these ads pops up. This is like a sleep mask, and it has earphones on the side. It doesn’t hurt, and these are great for the plane too, or if you want to do a quick meditation in the middle of the day, block out all the light and go to sleep listening to different meditations, hypnosis, or binaural beats.

Another tip I have for you is this great app I found called Synctuition. This is a paid app, but it gives you all types of binaural beats for all different things. If you want to start a meditation practice or you want to up your meditation practice so you can become more productive in your life and your business, try these two things out.

Resources

evalax.com
synctuition.com
Understanding the Wellness Benefits of Binaural Beats

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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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My Client Payment System

My Client Payment System

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

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

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

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

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

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

Billing information is collected at onboarding.

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

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

The software keeps track of the credit card expiration.

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

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

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

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

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TITLE - 26 Office Organization Strategies

26 Office Organization Strategies

Office organization requires effort and planning, but it isn’t difficult to accomplish.

QUOTE - 26 Office Organization Strategies


Use these tips to turn your office into a haven for productivity.

1. Declutter.

This is what I’m focused on this month with my Multiply Mastermind students and my Scholar students. We’re doing a 30-day decluttering challenge, not only of our office but also of our homes and lives.

Empty, shred, get rid of everything that you don’t need or want. Take everything out and look at it. Then throw away or donate anything you don’t need. Ask yourself the question, is this serving me still? Am I using this? If not, it’s time to go.

Take one area at a time. If it doesn’t work, send it out for repair or toss it. If you haven’t used it in months and can’t think of when you need it, out it goes. Don’t forget about knick-knacks, plants, real or artificial, and decorations. If they’re covered with dust and make your office look shabby, they’re fair game.

2. The Desk Zone.

Desks should only contain the necessities, like your computer, phone, printer, and reference materials. Too many things cause clutter and disorganization.

Ideally, your desk should have drawers for supplies and files used daily. Pens, pencils, tape, paperclips, and staples should all stay in containers or in easy to reach drawers. This is your workspace. This is where you are going to make great things happen. You want to make sure this is clear of clutter, so you can focus and be productive on your business.

3. Clean Off Your Computer Desktop.

Digital messes count as clutter, too. Files sitting on your computer desktop are distracting and will make it difficult to focus. I make this part of my monthly system, where I am cleaning off all the files on my computer desktop.

I’m constantly downloading things, and I take that one day a month to put them in the correct Dropbox or Google Drive folder. I can tell when I look at somebody’s computer screen, and it’s covered with files, that we got some internal stuff going on. Remember, once a month, get that desktop cleaned.

4. The Paperless Office.

One of the best things you can do for your office and the environment is to go paperless. Paper creates clutter. Although a certain amount of paper is necessary, try reading and storing documents online instead. Before you hit the print key, ask yourself, do I need to print this?

5. Go Digital.

Organize all your files in cloud-based software like Google Drive or Dropbox. I use both. I teach my students in my Multiply Mastermind program how to create their business hub in Google Drive.

Then you want to create systems so that your files are easily accessible. If you went inside of my Google Drive or my Dropbox, you would think I have some severe OCD problems, but I can find anything in two seconds flat. That is how organized I have these files in there.

6. Inbox and Outbox.

Having in and out boxes on your desk creates space for those documents that have to be printed, as well as incoming and outgoing mail. This allows you to know exactly where documents are instead of having them in piles all over your desk.

7. Snail Mail.

Sort your mail every single day. Don’t just stick it in a pile to be sorted. Every day, the mail comes in. What’s going in the trash? What’s being shredded? What’s going in your inbox to deal with that week?

If you wait and just let those piles stack up on your kitchen counter or in your office, it’s going to create brain clutter. Remember, we’re trying to clear our outer space to stay focused on the important things that we want to accomplish during the week. Do daily mail sorting. It takes 2 seconds.

8. Filing Cabinets

An organized office needs file cabinets. Color coding makes it easier and faster to find information. If your files become stuffed, clean them out. Put prior years’ files in a labeled storage box to free space. For all of the documents that I need daily, I want them just like an arm’s reach away.

I have a silver cabinet here, things that I don’t need as often. So like worker’s comp stuff, insurance stuff, stuff like that, that goes in there. But quite honestly, again, I have very little paper because I’m trying to keep everything in the cloud.

9. Magazine Boxes.

Store the magazines you want to keep in special magazine boxes on a shelf to declutter your workspace. Better yet, throw them out as soon as you’re done reading them.

My mom loves to order me magazines, even though I constantly ask her not to because they create clutter. My system is when the magazine comes, I read it immediately so I can toss it. It stresses me out. When I see the magazine, I’m like, oh, I have so much to do, I don’t want to read this magazine, but I don’t want it hanging around. So I read them the day they come, and then I toss them.

If that’s not something you want to do, you can get these magazine boxes at, The Container Store, keep them on a shelf, so they’re not creating clutter in your office or life.

10. Paper Shredder.

Shred documents with personal information that you don’t need to keep. This will free up file space and protect your confidentiality as well. You don’t want to be throwing any of your personal papers with your information directly in the trash, so use your shredder for those documents.

11. Filter Your Email.

Create a filtering system for your emails. Examples of mailboxes to create, customer care, sitter correspondence, drafts. You’ll always want to have a drafts folder, so you do not have to re-type every single email that you send to sitters and clients, the applications that come in, etc. and you can have a complete file.

So what I do in my Mac mail program is I flag. I move all the things I need to do that need my attention that I have not yet completed. I flag them, and they’re in that folder. And then I go in and complete them. When I’m done, remove the flag and then delete the email.

You can also create rules inside your email client, where certain emails automatically get sent to these folders, and you don’t have to do it manually. But the goal is inbox zero. You don’t want your Inbox completely cluttered with emails. If you’re not reading them, delete them. Get rid of them or filter them.

12. Do not disturb.

Reclaim your time by hanging a sign on the door or a dry erase board to let others know you’re unavailable. Dedicated work time helps maintain an organized mind, as well as an organized office.

I don’t know what I would do without my do not disturb sign. When my three little children come home from school, they would barrel through the door if I didn’t have that sign on there. I know many of you have issues with boundaries with siblings, not siblings, spouses, or parents living with them, or children living with them. This is how you create that boundary – putting that do not disturb sign up on your office door.

13. Personal Items.

Personal items can crowd your workspace, and that’s okay, but don’t let them overrun you. Designate a specific area for personal items, and this will keep your desk organized and free from distraction.

So my children love to make me projects at school, and they want me to hang them all over my office. And I do too, but I don’t keep them too long. This is the only one I have right now. It says Happy Mother’s Day. And this is a pen in a cute little pot, but I keep this on my desk, but this will go away soon, just because I don’t like clutter.

14. Plan It.

A personal planner or desk calendar will help you keep track of your schedule and deadlines. Write everything down, including birthdays, appointments, client meetings, deadlines, and other helpful notes.

If you are a pen and paper girl, you can get calendars on Amazon that you can keep on your desk. I personally love Google Calendar, and I have a calendar for just my personal appointments. I have a calendar for my kids. I have a calendar for my marketing. I have a calendar for my programs, so on and so forth. I can share them with my students in certain programs or share them with my husband or share them with my team. They all sync from every device, and it truly is a lifesaver. So I personally love Google Calendar but use what you like.

15. Once a Month, Do a Clean Sweep.

Spend one day a month doing a total clean sweep in your office. Put files and supplies back where they belong, clean out desk drawers and file cabinets, shred papers that you don’t need if they contain personal information. Schedule a day to do this.

Every first Monday of the month, I have a business organization day where I do all of this. You know, my desktop, the computer desktop, my office, papers, throwing things away from the filing cabinet, going into my QuickBooks online, looking at the revenue and expenses from the month before, so on and so forth. It is a scheduled day on my calendar where I am doing a clean sweep.

16. Tip-Top Computers.

Computers are the lifeline of an office. Dust it weekly to keep it in tip-top shape, install and use antivirus software and system utilities to keep your computer running well. Also, you’ll want to back up and empty the trash regularly. This was big for me.

I do videos all the time, and I had so many videos sitting in my trash can. It was slowing down my computer so badly, and I didn’t even realize it. Now every week the computer gets dusted and the trash gets emptied.

17. What To Do.

Maintaining a to-do list will help you stay organized. Make it a habit to write down important tasks and cross them off as they’re completed.

Something I teach my students in my programs is called the See It Through Strategy. And a big part of this is taking weekly, either on a Sunday or Monday, you’re getting everything out of your brain, and you’re putting it on your to-do list, and then you’re scheduling it on your calendar.

I love to keep all of my notes on an app called Notability on my iPad, so everything is all in one place. You can use a notebook, you can use a Google Doc, but the point is that you are getting it out of your brain and putting it down on paper to use that brain space for business generating, money-making activities.

If we have everything in our minds, things don’t get done. It causes confusion. We want clarity, and doing this thought download at the beginning of the week of all of our to-dos and then organizing them on our calendar is so important. Again, I use Notability, which I love.

18. Deadline.

No one likes them, but we all need them. Incorporate your deadlines into your master to-do list and keep that handy in your planner. Sticking to a deadline schedule will force you to stay on track. Parkinson’s Law states that something will take for as long as you give it.

So if you say you want to get a website designed and you don’t give yourself a deadline, it could take you six months. But if you say, I’m going to give myself one month to get this done, that is how you increase your productivity. You have to provide yourself with deadlines, or otherwise, it’s just going to eat up all your time and take forever.

19. Ugly Cords.

Tidy up those messy cords with twist ties or rubber bands. I ordered a whole bunch of different colored ones on Amazon.

20. Reference Zone.

Set up a specific zone in your office for these materials. This could include binders, books, manuals, magazines, dictionaries, and professional items. A bookcase should fit the zone nicely.

I have a giant cupboard over here that I got at an auction. It holds so much stuff, it’s unreal, but this is where my reference zone is. All of my binders and reference documents from any program that I’ve ever joined, or documents that I create for my students is right here, and it’s behind a closed door so I don’t see it. If you can get something where you can close the door and keep that organized, that’ll be great.

21. Fresh Start.

Straighten your desk at the end of each day. That way, when you sit down in the morning, you can start with a clean slate. If you have a priority task that needs to be completed first thing in the morning, leave it out on the desk to help you get focused and ready to go.

If you do this one tip, I promise you your productivity is going to skyrocket. That is something I do, systematizing pretty much everything in my life, but at the end of every day, this desk is cleaned off.

That way, I can sit down with a clean slate, a clean mind, and get going first thing. If I sat down with piles of stuff everywhere, that’s not a good way to start your day.

It takes two minutes. Just clean off your desk, put everything away, and turn it off, shut it down, and head out.

22. Label It.

A label machine is your best friend. Labeling all files, folders, bins, containers, trays, boxes, and other organizational tools lets you know exactly what’s inside.

I used to have a Dymo label maker and stamp printer on my desk that took up a lot more space, so I switched to this because I don’t want clutter.

So label everything, and that way, you know exactly where everything should go.

23. Charge It Up.

Designate a space in your office to charge all of your devices. There are three children and two adults living in this house. We all have multiple devices. There were cords everywhere. Everybody was charging things in different places until I got a dry sink at an auction. And we set up a charging station. So everything’s organized. We have all of the charging cords labeled, so we know whose cord is whose, and everything’s right in one spot.

24. Organize Your Valuable Documents.

Create a special kit for all of your valuable documents, assets, and personal information. I ordered a fireproof briefcase from Susie Orman, the financial guru. We keep marriage certificates, birth certificates and anything about our assets in there.

You have to think if the house were to burn down and you could grab one thing, what would you need? That’s where you want to keep all those documents. It’s super organized.

25. Build a Life Binder.

Organize important papers in an easy grab-and-go binder. Here are some categories: medical, pet, auto, manuals, house, kids, and personal.

Many manuals are kept online now, so you might not even have to keep those anymore—just something to keep in mind. Keep it in your reference zone, and you can pull the binder out, and everything is right there and organized.

26. Utilize Wall Space.

If you have a small space, use your wall space to hang filing systems, calendars, whiteboards, shelving, and more. There’s so much more space when you go vertical.

Before I moved here to Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, I had a smaller office at my old house, and I used the wall space. It had all of my calendars and whiteboards and shelving.

Here, I don’t need it as much. I have a much larger space. I like things out of my sight. So I have these two glass cabinets, the big cupboard here, and then the dry sink back here, where everything is organized and put away out of sight. Use the wall space if you have a smaller space.

Keeping yourself and your office organized isn’t difficult after you create systems that you stick to. Following these simple tips will keep your office running smoothly, enable you to accomplish more, and help you feel less stressed.

If you are struggling with organization and clutter, it usually is a sign of something going on up here. You need to learn how to organize your mind, thoughts, and to-dos, and usually, the external physical environment becomes much easier to keep organized.

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How we Handle Bookkeeping & Payroll in my Pet Sitting Business

How We Handle Bookkeeping & Payroll in my Pet Sitting Business

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

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

Have your pet sitting business set up in Quickbooks Online.

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

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

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

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

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

Move your payroll over to a software system called Gusto.

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

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

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

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

How we Handle Bookkeeping & Payroll in my Pet Sitting Business

 

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

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

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

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