How to Get Your Pet Sitting Business Back after COVID-19
2020 was an unprecedented year for our lives and our pet sitting businesses. We watched the world close up, and our enterprises close without knowing when it will end. Thankfully, a vaccine has been developed. I am ready to ramp up to make 2021 my best year in business yet!
The number one complaint that I heard pre-Covid was, “Colleen, I just don’t have the time to work ON my business!” This complaint is the issue that holds most pet sitters back from creating lucrative pet sitting careers. They’re stuck working IN their businesses rather than ON their businesses. As terrible as 2020 has been, it has gifted all of us the time to work ON our businesses. My challenge to you is to use this time to create the company of your dreams.
STEP 1: Audit Your Standard Operating Procedures
“Organize around business functions, not people. Build systems within each business function. Let systems run the business, and people run the systems. People come and go, but the systems remain constant.”
– Michael Gerber, E-Myth Revisited
What Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) can you improve upon, streamline, or eliminate?
- Client Prospect Phone Call
- New Client Onboarding
- Registration Meetings
- Client Scheduling
- Key Management
- Client Communication
- Client Payments
- Client Surveys
- Client Testimonials
- Cancellation Policies
- Severe Weather Policies
- Referral Partnership & Strategic Alliance Relations
- Sitter Recruiting
- Sitter Assessment
- Sitter Onboarding
- Sitter Management
- Sitter “Do Not Schedule” Requests
- Internal Communications
- Team Meetings
- Marketing Systems
Take some time on this step, as this will be the foundation of your business, my friends! Your ability to multiply to 10K or more all depends on the behind the scenes processes of your business. THE SYSTEM RUNS THE BUSINESS. THE PERSON RUNS THE SYSTEM.
BONUS TIPS: How to create phenomenal SOPs:
- Use a cloud service to create an online business hub like Google Drive.
- Use a screen recording software like LOOM to record screen share videos of you walking through your SOPs.
- Write your SOPs in a step by step format to create easy to follow instructions.
- Maintain your SOPs over time.
STEP 2: Get or Upgrade Your Pet Sitting Software
Implementing pet sitting software is one of the easiest ways to streamline your pet sitting business. If you have not yet invested in software, I highly recommend that you do! The peace of mind it provides you is priceless. There is a learning curve when learning any new skill or software. Now is the perfect time to take on the challenge.
If you already have a software program in your business, but you’re not happy with it, now would be the time to upgrade.
Softwares that I recommend based on happy student reviews:
- Time to Pet
- Precise Pet Care
- Pet Sitter Plus
BONUS TIP: PocketSuite is an excellent software for those pet sitting business owners on a tight budget.
STEP 3: Keep in Touch With Your Current Customers
The best marketing that you can do at this moment is to keep in touch with your current customer list. If you are open for business, let them know and educate them on your COVID-19 Precaution Guidelines. Your pet-loving community may not need pet care at this exact moment, but if you stay in touch, you will be the first person they call when they do. They can also refer you to friends and family that do need pet care.
Ways to Stay in Touch With Your Pet Sitting Customers:
- Send a monthly newsletter with updates and filled with value
- A direct mail campaign
- An early summer booking promotion
- Social media posts
- Create video how-to’s
- Send gifts to your VIP clients
- Create video content
- Publish blog posts
- Add live chat to your website
- Include a pop-up to your website, letting them know you’re available during COVID.
BONUS TIP: You should continue your Stay-in-Touch Marketing Plan even after the pandemic has passed. Acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than having an existing customer book from you again. You make this happen through your Stay-in-Touch Marketing Plan.
STEP 3: Audit Your Finances
It’s essential to know your numbers! Most of the pet sitting business owners that I work with shy away from financial activities. I teach how to create a weekly financial system in order to always be on top of what money is coming in and what is going out. It’s a universal law that what you track grows!
- Run your Profit & Loss Statements for 2019 and 2020 to evaluate how much of a hit your business took. It will also help you to set your 2021 goals.
- Run your monthly revenue reports to help with your goal setting.
- Conduct an audit of your expenses and see what you can downgrade or eliminate.
- If you don’t have a weekly accounting system, create one!
- Open a tax account, and make weekly deposits to it, so you will never be caught with a large tax bill.
- Begin to compile your documents for your tax returns, statements, receipts, etc.
- Make sure you have all of the correct financial records for your contractors or employees.
- Make year-end purchases to use as tax write-offs.
- Verify any loan accounts, amounts still owed, payment schedule, and estimated payoff.
- Meet with a financial professional to ensure that you have everything in order.
- Consider raising your rates in 2021.
BONUS TIPS: Use financial software like Quickbooks Online or Wave Apps, and read “Profit First” by Mike Michalowicz.
STEP 4: Plan for the Upcoming Year
Yearly planning is crucial because it’s your roadmap to success. COVID-19 is not going to be around forever, so you must have a plan ready to execute to attract new, ideal clients to your business, have your current clients book from you more frequently so that you continue to multiply your business.
- Pick a day that you will commit to engross yourself in your planning fully.
- You need space to think and be creative. Break out the whiteboard and remove all distractions. Consider getting a hotel room. If you do this at home, make sure to send everyone away!
- Plan with someone who knows your business. If you are a one-person show, grab a friend or a peer to plan with. If you have an assistant, have them with you for this process if you can—even if it’s just over Zoom!
- Brainstorm your opportunities and big dreams- Say you could wave a magic wand, and just like that, no matter what you journeyed out to do in your business, you couldn’t fail. What projects and new experiences would you say yes to? What would you do if you couldn’t fail? What would a wildly successful year look like for you?
- Decide on your non-negotiables- One thing that is just as important as dreaming up your significant opportunities is to look at your non-negotiables: What are you NOT willing to do or experience to get to your wildly successful year? What are the things you’ve done or experienced that you’re done with? What are the things you no longer want to experience again? In the future, when you need to decide on how you spend your time or what you’ll do, what are your non-negotiables?
- I will no longer work nights or weekends.
- I will no longer do any of the pet sitting.
- I will no longer accept non-ideal clients.
- I will no longer manage the office.
- I will no longer hire non-ideal pet sitters.
- I refuse to start something and not finish it. That’s something that is no longer happening in my business!
- Declare how much money you want to make in 2021. Be specific!
- Review what did work in 2019 and 2020.
- Design your marketing plan-How will you get new, ideal clients and have your current clients book from you more frequently?
- Add your income-generating activities to your calendar.
- Decide how you will need to show up in 2021 to reach your goals.-“If I’m able to pull this off, to create the most wildly successful year, how do I need to think? What thoughts will keep me moving forward? Who do I need to be?
If you’re ready to make 2021 your most incredible year in business yet, I invite you to schedule a complimentary Strategy Session with me.
Go to www.MeetWithColleen.com to schedule your 10K Month Pet Sitting Blueprint Strategy Session to learn how to scale your business through Sales, Systems, and Support.
If you have any questions, please feel free to shoot me a message and www.MessageColleen.com
I can’t wait to talk with you!
P.S. If you’re not already a member of our free Facebook Community, where people turn their passion for pets into paychecks, go to www.PetNannyCoachCommunity.com.
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