Tag: how to grow my pet sitting business

Get More Done in Your Pet Sitting Business by Creating a Model Calendar

Get More Done in Your Pet Sitting Business by Creating a Model Calendar

Pet sitters struggle with time management, especially if you are still out doing the dog walking, pet sitting, and house sitting. Thus, it makes it challenging to work on the business to move it forward. I talked about this previously when writing about Creating a Container Around Your Time. Today’s lesson has to do with Making a Model Calendar.

Make a Model Calendar

The model calendar is a strategy wherein you get a Google Calendar, then create a structure and routine for yourself.

For example:
– Monday 7:00 am: Plan your week. This is your planning power hour.
– Tuesday to Saturday 7:00 am: Admin work. Check customer emails, respond to customer requests, etc.

Put Focus Time on your calendar.

This is when you are committed to showing up for yourself, to work on and grow the business. If you stick to your calendar, you are going to be so much more productive. But the trick is to show up for yourself. The only person you’re letting down by not following your model calendar is you.

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Don’t forget to test your model calendar.

You may find out that you don’t show up for your Monday power hour sessions. So you may decide to move that to Sunday afternoons.

You may find out you need more time for admin work on Mondays and Fridays. So you may increase those hours.

You may find out you’re not showing up for your focus time and implementation time to work on the business at that specific time for whatever reason. Move the time.

The hours of service can vary among pet sitters. You need to test things out to figure out what works for you.

So creating a routine, structure, and framework for your week helps get much more done. Go to Google, create a Model Calendar, and get to it.

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10 Ways to Effectively Communicate With Your Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Team

10 Ways to Effectively Communicate With Your Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Team

Finding that sweet spot in communicating with your team is essential to your pet sitting business growth. Building a team of sitters that trust you and that you can trust working with your managerial team is a top goal.

Here are ten tips on how to do this effectively.

#1 Conduct monthly video conferences.

My managers run these meetings for me via Zoom. We discuss what is going on in the business, what worked well, what slipped through the cracks, and what we can improve on. We also take the opportunity to answer any questions and get any feedback.

For those who can not make the meeting, the video is emailed to them and posted in our team Facebook group.

You can use a Facebook group to communicate regularly. You can post tips and tricks, things to remember, policies and procedures, report the need for a last-minute sitter, etc. This Facebook group is proven invaluable for bringing everyone together in one location, and you can quickly get a message out.

#2 Send regular monthly newsletters.

For those sitters that can not make the meeting, you can not trust all of them to watch the video. A newsletter is a great way to get any messages across.

A newsletter can be a letter letting them now, “Hey, this is what’s going on. This is what’s new with you.”

Enumerate all the things you would discuss in the video conference.

#3 Use Slack for internal communications.

Slack is an excellent tool to communicate effectively with your management team. Slack is searchable, so if you’re looking for something you want to discuss, you can use its search bar to find what you are looking for.

#4 Have regular check-in meetings and surveys where you encourage feedback.

Whatever time period you decide, you’re going to want to send out a survey. Ask your sitters, “How is it going? Do you have too many clients? Would you like some more clients? What would you like to be different about the position? How much longer can you see working for the company?”

You’re trying to get ahead of the game. You want to make sure you are keeping in touch with them. The last thing you want is a sitter who’s unhappy, quitting, leaving you with clients who don’t have coverage.

These regular check-in meetings and surveys help you deal with that. Don’t forget to encourage feedback, letting them that you are open to hearing what they have to say and that you’re willing to make changes.

Communicate your boundaries too.

“Hey, I only want to work mid-days, Mondays, and Fridays.”

That’s where you will discuss the job description, and say, “You were hired from Monday through Friday, 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. So, unfortunately, that is outside of the position that was offered.”

It goes both ways. But being able to communicate about it, especially now, when we have Zoom and don’t have to meet, it’s invaluable.

#5 Celebrate their great work and express your appreciation.

If somebody goes above and beyond for you, show them your appreciation. Send them a card in the mail, or gift cards, or an email.

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#6 Build comfort in talking about what is not working.

There was a time in my business when I was fearful of expressing things that I was unhappy about. I still struggle with that a little bit, but I’ve gotten much better.

You can’t be fearful of expressing things that you want in your business. You are the owner of the business. I’m here to remind you and remind myself that you have every right to express when you are unhappy about something.

#7 Create boundaries with methods and timing of communication.

Having people consistently go to you to fix their problems and communicate with you at all hours of the day is unacceptable.

Nobody should text you at midnight saying, “I am locked out of a house.”

What are you going to do at midnight if they are locked out of a house? They need to be trained and trusted to be able to handle a situation. They should know what your protocol is, to begin with, before they even go out into the field.

So it would be best if you created those boundaries with them, letting them know the best way to communicate with you, how you want to be communicated with, and between what hours.

#8 Respond to every team member’s email within 24 hours.

Letting emails sit in your inbox never has worked out well. Trying to communicate as quickly as possible is a great tip.

#9 Acknowledge special moments in their lives.

When people who for you and are having special moments in their lives, you want to celebrate with them and let them know that you care.

You can use sendoutcards.com, an easy way to send a greeting card and any gifts or gift cards.

#10 Make internal documents and knowledge easily accessible.

Once you have everything broken down into individual SOPs, you can easily share it with your team.

“Colleen, I don’t know how to send an email in Infusionsoft.”

“Okay, this is how you do it.” And you click the link, and you copy and send the link to your team via Slack, maybe.

And then they’re able to go ahead and follow the SOP. You can also include video links in those SOPs, and you are off to the races.

I hope these tips are helpful to you. You can also go to my YouTube channel where I’ve got tons of videos over there to help you build your pet sitting business. Or you can join our free Facebook group at petnannycoachcommunity.com. Don’t forget to say hi.

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Create Your Ideal Pet Sitting Client Profile

Create Your Ideal Pet Sitting Client Profile Before Mapping Out Your Pet Sitting Business Plan

Identifying who you want to attract as clients to your pet sitting business is the first thing you should do before mapping out your pet sitting business plan. When you know WHO you want to work with, marketing becomes so much easier!

There are numerous things that universally will constitute an ideal pet sitting client.

  • Those who you really enjoy working with.
  • Those who need your help.
  • Those that value what you offer.
  • Those who can easily be identified and contacted.
  • Those who will happily pay what you are worth without attempting to negotiate.
  • Those who write excellent testimonials for you.
  • Those who will refer you time and time again.

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How to Get More Pet Sitting Referrals

How to Get More Pet Sitting Referrals

Referrals Make The Very Best Pet Sitting Clients
This is the actual icon that Pet Nanny uses in our Welcome Email. Right from the get-go we want our customers to know that we love and appreciate referrals.

Why do referrals make the very best customers?

  1. Referrals are coming to you from someone that has already done business with you and is happy and pleased with the work that your pet sitting business has done for them.
  2. Pet Sitting Referrals that come from friends are also great, because they know that their friend has no ulterior motive other than to do what is best for them.
  3. Referrals are much more likely to buy because they have been given the green light by the 3rd party. They are pre-sold.
  4. You don’t have to spend money on advertising to bring them in as clients.
  5. You don’t have to sell yourself, because someone has already done that for you.
  6. Referrals are the customers who will be more loyal to your business. The psychology behind someone standing up for you and saying how wonderful you are, breeds the loyalty factor.

How to Get More Pet Sitting Referrals quote

 

How do you generate more referrals?

  1. First and foremost, you have to provide outstanding service. Nobody is going to refer any run of the mill business. These people’s names will forever be attached to you, so they are only going to refer your pet sitting business if your customer service and level of pet care is truly exceptional.
  2. Create a connection with your client’s right from jump street. All new Pet Nanny clients receive a Welcome to Pet Nanny greeting card, which thanks them for their business.
  3. Celebrate their Birthday! Send them a birthday card with a small gift card or discount code to your pet sitting service. I personally believe that Birthday card goes a lot further than a Christmas Card does. Christmas cards and gifts seem to get overlooked due to the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.
  4. Send them handwritten cards. In the digital age with which we live, the art of a handwritten note is becoming rare. If you take the time to do this, it will be noticed and appreciated.
  5. Send thoughtful gifts. Each year (not at Christmas) I send my highest revenue generating clients a gift. It’s usually a care package for their pets, but I’ve also done gift cards, wine and scotch. This will depend on how well you know the client. Take notice to the things they like and surprise them with it!
  6. Ask for the referrals. I know this sound strange, but some people just need to be reminded that you love and appreciate referrals. As noted above, we let our clients know right from the start. I then have reminders and promotional campaigns in place to continue to drive referrals.
  7. ALWAYS thank your clients for referrals. This is a MUST! Do not take for granted these people will continue to send you referrals. You must thank them. I know a painter who continuously received word-of mouth referrals from this one source. I continuously reminded him to thank her, which he did not. Can you guess what happened? That’s right! The referrals dried up. She has not referred him in over 2 years. I warned him.

In short, if your business provides outstanding service and you make your clients feel good and appreciated, you will create a continuous pipeline of the very best clients!

This is a short list of idea. If you have any great ideas to share, please comment below. I would love to hear.

Your Homework Assignment:
Make a list of the things that you currently are doing to generate referrals. Next, brainstorm some ideas which you can implement to greater fuel your referral pipeline. Trust me, you’ll be so glad you did. As soon as I learned the importance of referrals and implemented my own strategies, I saw a huge jump in the amount of new monthly business that Pet Nanny generated. Huzzah!

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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Crush Them With Social Proof!

Are you looking to get more pet sitting clients? Of course you are! One best way to bring in new clients is to provide them with social proof. What do I mean by social proof? I’m talking about reviews and testimonials from happy clients that have used your pet sitting service.

Testimonials are a Powerful Client Attraction Tool Click To Tweet

Testimonials from happy clients will put your prospects more at ease about working with you. Let’s face it, hiring a pet sitting service to come into your home while you’re not there to care for your most prized possessions can be a scary thing for people. You will ease their worries by showing them the amazing results that other clients of yours have received. The testimonials will prove that your company is trustworthy.

You should have an entire page on your website solely dedicated to reviews, which should be updated often. The more reviews the better! You can never have too many. Take a look at Pet Nanny’s Reviews’ page.

If you don’t have testimonials yet, go and get them! Remember when I talked about shifting your mindset from… “I don’t have that, so I’m not going to do that.” To… “I don’t have that, I better go and get that!” That is the mindset of a successful entrepreneur. This is your perfect opportunity to put this into practice. Go ask your clients for testimonials!

pet sitting clients

Your Homework Assignment: Create your plan of attack for collecting testimonials to get more pet sitting clients.

  1. Make a list of the clients you love the most and who you know have received fantastic results from working with your pet sitting service.
  2. Type a personal letter to each of them telling them how much you enjoy having them as a client and that you’re looking to fill your client roster with clients just like them. Then ask them if they would be so kind as to share their positive experience with your company in the form of a testimonial?
  3. Request that they include a photo of their pet.
  4. Post it on your website, on your social media channels and anywhere else you can think of.
  5. Thank your clients for writing the testimonial. Send them a greeting card with something like a Starbucks gift card or a free visit. You must never forget to personally thank your awesome pet sitting or dog walking clients! This will breed loyalty.

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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5 Reasons Why Your Pet Sitting or Dog Walking Client Prospects Back Out

Sometimes it happens that you have a wonderful conversation with a pet sitting prospect. They are super excited about using your pet sitting or dog walking service and then for what seems like no reason what so ever they back out. You’re left confused thinking, “what happened?”

Any of us who have been in the pet sitting industry knows that this happens often. Sometimes, there is nothing you can do about it, but it’s definitely worth examining.

In my personal experiences it boils down to the following:

#1. Simply put, he or she may not be your ideal dog walking or pet sitting client.

Be honest with yourself, sometimes your gut tells you that this person is going to be difficult, but you ignore your inner voice and decide to sign them up anyhow because you need the money. We’ve all done it and we all have regretted it.

#2. They’re not convinced of the VALUE that you’re dog walking business is offering.

As compared to our competition, my pet sitting service Pet Nanny, offers immense VALUE to our clients. We’ve gone above and beyond to make our service stand out. We truly care about our clients and their pets and will give them nothing but the very best that pet care has to offer. Sometimes a pet sitting prospect may not see the value that you are trying to portray. They think, “pet sitting services are a dime a dozen. It doesn’t matter who I hire, I’ll still get the same result.” In this case you may be speaking too much about processes and not the RESULTS that they receive from using your service… complete and total peace of mind. Attempt to shift some of the things that you are saying in your get acquainted call to focus on the RESULTS that they will receive from using your awesome service.

#3. They’re concerned about the money.

We all know that there are a million pet sitting businesses out there and we also know that there are many that greatly undercut the prices of the more professional services to try and gain clients. Again, the money issue is usually based on the fact that your pet sitting prospect does not see the VALUE in what you are offering. Examine how you are presenting this to your prospects. Just remember, there are some people out there that are bargain shoppers no matter what and guess what… they are NOT your ideal client. There are also some people that may not be able to afford your service. Pet ownership is can be a hefty expense and if they can’t afford your top-notch service than wish them the best of luck and perhaps refer a less expensive service to them.

#4. People want it to be easy.

Make it as easy as you possibly can for pet sitting or dog walking clients to sign-up and use your services. If there is too much hoopla involved, they may move on due to frustration. So, examine your processes and streamline as much as you possibly can to make it as simple and easy as possible.

#5. He or she is the last minute customer that suddenly realizes they have weekend plans but nobody to watch their pets.

I have devoted an entire blog article to this issue. These people call every service in town trying to find someone to help. You then jump through hoops to help them out. Then, when you call them back they say, “awww… thanks, but my Mom is going to watch them.” DO NOT waste your time with these people. I don’t take any reservations for new clients unless I have 3 solid days to process them. 9 times out of 10 these last minute callers will not be your “ideal client” and if they do end up using you that weekend, you most likely will not hear from them again. Trust me on this one. I’ve made this mistake countless times.

pet sitting prospect

Your Homework Assignment: Spend some time and examine feedback from clients that have backed out. Make a list. What are they saying? Is there anything that can be changed?

If it’s a value issue than it’s time to change the way you are speaking to prospects and perhaps changes need to be made in your marketing materials to convey the VALUE you offer and the RESULTS that your clients receive.

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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My #1 Pet Sitting Business Secret

My #1 Pet Sitting Business Success Secret

Are you ready to hear my number one pet sitting business secret?

It’s something available to anyone starting a pet sitting business and was the one thing I did that really boosted my business and got me to where I am today.

So, if you’ve been reading my blog for a while you know that at the beginning of my business journey I was pretty miserable.

Working around the clock for clients that I hated, I almost quit. In fact, I almost went into pharmaceutical sales!

After having many long conversations with my husband and my parents, I decided not to quit but to go all-in.

A business coach is like a roadmap to success

Almost miraculously, just as I’d made that decision this person stepped into my life out of nowhere.

Her name is Fabienne Fredrickson, a business coach who came to speak at a pet sitting conference in Philadelphia.

Immediately I thought. “This is who I want to work with. I want to hire this woman to teach me how to have a successful business.”

I came home and told my husband that this is what I’m going to do. I’m going to hire somebody that has the business results that I want in my life. I need someone to teach me what it was that I didn’t know.

And he said, “All right, well that sounds great. How much is it?”

I think back then the program cost $15,000 and he about had a heart attack.

I don’t blame him, he didn’t know about business coaching or business building and it was a lot of money.

Finally, after discussing it long and hard, he said, “Fine, I believe in you. I trust you. But the deal is whatever she tells you to do, that is what you have to do. Every last thing she tells you to do.”

And I did. I joined the program, I learned, I implemented, and I got results.

Back then there wasn’t a pet sitting business-specific coach so I went with a general business coach. But she taught me all about marketing, all about ideal clients, and attracting your ideal clients.

She taught me all about systems and processes and how to have a website that converts. She taught me all about automation. I listened. I learned.  And then most importantly, I took action, and in one year I increased my business by 100%. It was a big year.

The $15,000 investment was absolutely worth it.

Make an investment in your future

The key was I hired somebody that had the results in their business and in their life that I wanted, and that could show me what to do.

It gave me a shortcut to success.

And that’s my number one pet sitting business secret. Hire yourself a business coach, whether it’s pet sitting specific, pet business specific or somebody else.

So, my advice is to find somebody that you connect with. Find somebody that you trust. Find somebody to show you the way and give you a shortcut.  Without a roadmap you can spend a lot of years spinning your wheels, not making enough money, wasting your time, wasting your freedom when you should be making money, enjoying your life.

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How I Raised My Family While Growing My Pet Sitting Business

How I Raised My Family While Growing My Pet Sitting Business

Growing my pet sitting business while growing a family

As a business owner who is also a Mom, I get asked the question so many times, “Colleen, how did you build the business you did at the same time you were raising the kids?”

So I thought I would share my experience of growing my pet sitting business while raising a family and dealing with all the hundreds of tasks and responsibilities which come with both those jobs.

It almost started by accident when I was pregnant with my first baby, Lucy.

I really wanted to spend the first three months with her completely and not work at all in my business doing any pet sitting or managerial duties.

Working while the baby sleeps

So I hired my first manager with the plan that she was going to leave after three months, but I fell so much in love with my daughter and with mothering that I decided to make the manager permanent.

Having someone to take care of the day-to-day running of the pet sitting business freed me up, during the quiet times when the baby was napping, to work on business growth strategies and marketing the business.

The result: I ended up increasing the revenue by $53,000.

And that was when I realized just what a powerful tool it was hiring someone to manage the pet sitting team.  The more time that you take to work on your business and stop working in your business, the more quickly you’re going to be able to scale your businesses.

How I Raised my Family While Growing My Pet Sitting Business

 

Then, when our family grew to include my two boys, I still made business growth a priority.

The kids would go to a babysitter for a few hours a day so that I could still continue to work on the business. But that also meant that during the second half of the day I could completely focus on them.

And now, everyone’s at school until 4 PM, so unless I’m doing a coaching call at night that’s when I stop work.

I get to work from home, so whenever they’re sick, they get to stay home with me. We never have to worry about that. I’m at every school function, and I get to be with them during school vacations.

Hiring a team let me focus on my priorities

My pet sitting business has given me the freedom and flexibility to enjoy my family.

So that’s how I did it, guys. I had already hired my team of sitters before starting a family, but hiring a manager really made the difference in allowing me to focus my time and energy where the business, and my family, needed it the most.

That’s my advice to you,  you need a team to do the client work and a manager to do the administrative work so that you can have the time to grow and multiply your business.

With that strategy, I raised these three little kids (see video above) all the while growing a company that I love.

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