How Much Money Can I Make As A Pet Sitter?
Today’s mini-training talks about how much you can make pet sitting. Here’s what you’ll learn.
- What the earning potential is at different levels of the pet sitting industry.
- Why a clear vision of what you want and why you want it is so important.
- The difference between having a job and having a business.
- The power of the leverage business model.
But first, in case you don’t know me, my name is Colleen Sedgwick, and I’m the founder of Pet Nanny Coach. I teach pet sitters how to launch, grow and multiply their businesses.
As you can imagine, I get asked quite often, “Colleen, is it possible to have a career taking care of animals and make a solid income doing it?” And my answer is always an emphatic, “Yes, I am living proof that it is possible.”
Back in 2001, when I started my business, I didn’t have a clear vision for my company. As you all have heard me say countless times, “I didn’t know what I wanted and why I wanted it,” which is an integral part of having a successful business. It seems basic, but it’s so necessary.
All I knew was I wanted to quit my job as a teacher and work for myself. I used to say things like, “Yeah, I want to make my hours. I want to work for myself. Make my hours. Be able to get on the shore when I want.” And I learned quickly that being the owner of the business and the technician doing the client work inside the business wasn’t easy and required an exorbitant amount of time.
I didn’t realize when I started my business that I was never meant to do the client work. I thought the opposite.
In reality, if you are doing the client work or, in our world, the pet sitting or the dog walking or the house sitting, you don’t have a business. You have a job. Please don’t get mad at me. Don’t shoot the messenger, my friends. There is no judgment here because I used to think the same thing as you.
I started this business based on my love of animals. So I should be the person out taking care of them. It makes perfect sense, right?
Wrong! As a business owner, your role is to be the strategic visionary that delegates the client work to the technicians inside the business. Who knew? I certainly didn’t. I had no idea.
In today’s training, I want to break down the earning potential for all different levels of pet sitting, so you have an unmistakable picture and can make the best decision for you on what path suits you the best.
First, I know that some don’t want large businesses like the one that I have. You want to do pet sitting as a solo show, which is fine, by the way. You do you, my friends. Don’t email me or go to social media. But all I do is talk about growing these big businesses. If that’s not for you, that’s not for you. But we’re still going to talk, and we’re going to do some numbers for all levels, so stick with me.
Let’s do the math. Let’s assume that currently, it’s you doing all the pet-sitting. You have a packed schedule of twelve 30-minute visits per day at $22 per visit, seven days a week. This equals $264 per day, $1,840 per week, $7,392 per month, $88,704 per year. That was pretty good. On paper, this seems great. I remember the days I strived for this.
But let me be clear. This is not an equation for a happy and healthy life. This is a recipe for burnout, mistakes, unhappy clients, and an unhappy life. I know because I lived it. As a result, if this is you, you’re working way too hard. You may be asking yourself, “What am I not getting here?” You’re feeling stressed in other areas of your life. Can you relate to this? I certainly can because that was my life for quite some time.
So let’s dial this back a bit to make it more manageable. Now, let’s say that you had eight 30-minutes midday visits at $22 per visit, five days a week. So now we’re just doing midday walks. We’re not doing mornings. We’re not doing evenings. We’re not doing overnights. We’re not spending our weekends pet sitting. So it’s eight 30-minute midday visits, Monday through Friday. This equals $176 per day, $880 per week, $3,520 per month, $42,240 per year.
In this example, you’re making much less, but at least you have a life. You have your mornings, evenings and weekends free. In my opinion, this is a much more sustainable situation and a recipe for a happy life if you can live off that income. Remember, that’s your gross income and doesn’t account for what you have to pay out in taxes and your expenses.
Leverage Business Model
If your goal is to create a lucrative pet sitting career, let’s talk about the leverage business model, which I teach my Multiply Students. To make a substantial income in this industry and to achieve the freedom-based lifestyle you deserve, you need to leverage yourself through a team of heart-centered pet care professionals who hold the same beliefs, values, and pet care philosophy that you do. Let’s run some numbers to illustrate this point.
We’re going to restructure your business from that first example where you’re doing crazy visits, seven days a week, you’re making good money, but you have no life, and you’re miserable. So let’s restructure this. Okay, so say you keep six midday dog-walking clients, six visits a day at $22 per visit, five days a week. Equals $132 per day, $660 per week, $2,640 per month.
Next, you hire three pet sitters to absorb the rest of your current clients and to take on new clients. This is the same equation for all three sitters. Sitter one has eight visits a day at $22 per visit. This is $176 per day, $1,232 per week, $4,928 per month for the business, so that’s grossing for the business. Say you take 50%, so $2,464 goes to the sitter, and $2,464 goes to the business. So that’s the same equation for sitter one, sitter two, and sitter three.
Now, you have your midday walking income still, so that’s a total of $2,640 per month. So the income you received from center one is $2,464. Plus, the income from sitter two, $2,464.
The income from sitter three, $2,464. Your owner’s income is $2,640. This equals $10,032 per month. The gross revenue for the business equals $17,424 per month. Now, let’s look back at your previous structure. You were making $7,392 per month working 12 hours … 12 to 15 hours, to be quite honest, per day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Now, by bringing on only three pet centers and drastically lightening your load, you are now making $10,032 per month.
This is the recipe for creating a lucrative pet sitting career.
For those high-achieving pet sitters who do have dreams of growing a more significant business, you now have gifted yourself the time to work on your business and market your business to serve more clients and therefore make more money with even more free time.
Do you see how this works? I’m going to say that again. You’ve now gifted yourself the time to work on your business and market your business, so you can service more clients and therefore make more money and have even more free time. It’s an equation, guys.
All right, so let’s take this a few steps further so that you can see the power of a team. Twenty sitters are working five days per week. Each sitter has six visits per day at $22 per visit. This equals $2,640 in daily revenue, $13,200 in weekly revenue, $52,800 in monthly revenue. Your 50% equals $26,400 per month. Pretty great, right?
This illustrates the power of a team. You give the client work to the technicians, and you focus on the business growth or the strategy work of your company.
So Courtney Anderson of waggitytails.com leveraged herself through a team and experienced explosive growth in her business. Courtney decided to start building her team one year after she launched her business in 2014.
Courtney now employs 13 pet sitters and a part-time office manager. Her team services 200+ clients and 50 recurring weekly clients. Courtney’s yearly revenue has increased by 652%. And she attributes her massive success to the power of a team.
So get out your paper and figure out the math. How much money do you want to make? How many clients would you need to support that number? How many sitters would you need to support that number?
Remember to account for taxes and expenses from your gross income. In all these examples, I’m speaking gross. Again, you always need to pay your taxes and account for your operating expenses for the company. Luckily, in our industry, we don’t have a ton of overhead because our business occurs in our client’s homes, which is a plus. But again, these are all gross numbers. We need to account for taxes and expenses.
I honestly never dreamed that my pet sitting business would create so much prosperity in my life. After I learned about the power of leverage, team-building systems, processes, and automation, the sky became the limit for my business. And I’m so grateful for the blessing of my business. All right, guys, so this is what is possible. Let’s close this out.
This is what’s possible for you. When you’re asking, “How much can I actually make in this industry,” again, do the math. Figure out what you are going to charge. How many clients do you need? What kind of lifestyle do you want?
Remember, your business is supposed to serve your life. I speak to so many of you, and your business is not serving your life. And it’s sucking the life out of you. It’s not the purpose of a business.
Remember, if you do all the visits, you don’t have a business; you have a job.
Again, you can have a lucrative pet-sitting career by leveraging yourself through a team. If that’s not for you, have at it. Stay solo. And do the math and figure out what you need to do and how many visits you need to do in a day to create the income that you need for your life.
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