Tag: how to grow my pet sitting business

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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11 Ways To Generate Trust With Your Pet Sitting Customers and Prospects

The best piece of advice I can give you for owning a pet sitting business is to create a reputation for yourself and for your business as being “trustworthy.” In this industry, our customers are in essence, giving the keys to their homes to complete strangers. They’re basically saying, “Come on in (while I’m not here) and take care of my precious pals and worldly treasures.” If you think of it from this perspective, you can see how hiring a pet sitting service is a very scary thing for our customers. It is your job to show your pet sitting customers and customer prospects that you and your business can be trusted implicitly. So, how do you create trust with your pet sitting customers and prospects? Here are 11 ways…

#1. Owning a pet sitting business requires a professional website

  • You literally have 3 seconds to make an impression on your website visitors. If you have a poorly designed and unprofessional looking site, it’s going to be a serious detriment to your credibility and will most likely result in lost opportunities.

#2. Include your business phone number at the top of every page on your website

  • Phone numbers that are front and center invoke trust.
  • Answer the phone when it rings! People will feel immediately comfortable if they know they can get a live person on the phone when they call.

#3. Post your credentials on your website by including the logos to associations for which you are affiliated

#4. Crush them with social proof!

  • Showcase the positive experiences of others who have used your pet sitting service. The more the better! If you only have a few, don’t let that stop you. You have to start somewhere.
  • Dedicate an entire page for your positive reviews. Here is an article on how to use social proof when owning a pet sitting business.

#5. Make it personal

  • People trust people. Showcase who you are on your About Us page. Tell your story on this page and be sure to include a picture or a video, so people can connect with you.

owning a pet sitting business

#6. Have a Meet Our Team Page

  • Your prospects will feel more at ease if they can visually see who will be coming into their homes. I suggest using video, but at the very least, include a picture and write-up of each team member.

#7. Have a blog on your website

  • Fresh and relevant content, for which your prospects will find valuable, is not only good for search engine optimization, but it also shows that your business is alive and kicking, which breeds trust.

#8. Include a Privacy Policy

  • Be clear about what you will and will not do with any personal data you collect. Make it easy to read.
  • You can have one generated for you by Ibuenda.

#9. Clearly communicate what your customers can expect from your services

Be crystal clear on exactly what your customers can expect from using your service. Click To Tweet

This is the knowledge-bomb!

  • Don’t ever promise anything that you can’t deliver on. It is better to under-promise and over-deliver.
  • Lay out your Polices and Procedures and be sure they understand all of them.
  • Let them know exactly when they will hear from their sitter to schedule their registration meeting.
  • Let them know exactly how they will hear from their sitter when they are gone.
  • Let them know how you will communicate with them.
  • Let them know exactly what will happen at each and every visit or house sitting stay.
  • Let them know how you will follow-up with them.
  • Let them know how they can schedule and how long they can expect for a service order to be processed.
  • MANAGE THEIR EXPECTATIONS! If you deliver on what you promised, they will trust you and they in turn will spread the word.

#10. Offer a Guarantee

  • Offering a guarantee will alleviate your customer’s sense of risk.
  • Pet Nanny offers a 100% money-back guarantee. I know that we offer superior service, so I’m not worried about people cashing in on this offer, and if a sitter does mess-up, I want to give my customer’s their money back. Why should they pay for a service they didn’t receive?
  • You may from time to time come across an unscrupulous individual, who is purposely trying to take advantage. When you do come head to head with this person, give them the refund and chalk it up as the cost of doing business (I’ll tell you a good story about this at a later time.)

#11. Keep in touch on a regular and consistent basis

  • Creating a “Stay-In-Touch Marketing Plan” will help to keep you top-of-mind with your customers and customer prospects, but it also essential for owning a pet sitting business. When your customers can rely on the fact that they will hear from you on a consistent basis, they also know they can rely on you to take care of their most prized possessions.

 Your Homework Assignment:

  1. Go to your website as if you were a first time visitor and ask yourself, “would I trust me based on this website?” If the answer is no, it’s time to revamp your site.
  2. Start to implement some or all of these 11 ways to generate trust with your pet sitting customers.

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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3 Low Cost Marketing Strategies For Professional Pet Sitters

First, I need you to understand that you must think of spending money as professional pet sitters as an investment. For example, say you spent $50 in a month on Google AdWords and those ads brought you in only 1 new client and the lifetime value of a new client is $1,000. You can easily see how that $50 is money well spent. You paid Google to bring you that new client, which you may not have gotten without them and you can expect that on average, that client will spend $1000 with you over their lifetime of using your service. Make sense? Investing in your business is a good thing. That being said…

There are some very effective low cost marketing strategies for professional pet sitters.

professional pet sitters

 #1. Get a website

Nowadays you can create a website for free and pay less than $1 per month for hosting, so there is no excuse why in the digital age we live in, you should not have a business website!

For FREE websites try, Tumblr, DoddleKit or WordPress.

Here is a video on how to easily create a free Tumblr blog site.

Here is a video on how to create a website using WordPress.

For inexpensive hosting, here is a list of the cheapest hosting companies.

 #2. Crush them with social proof.

Testimonials are one of my favorite low cost marketing tools, because they cost you nothing and they do all the selling for you.

Create a page on your website dedicated solely to rave reviews and direct your client prospects there. You can also create your own PDF handout with your very best testimonials. If you want to get fancy, go to www.fiverr.com and have someone create an attractive PDF for you. $5 is serious low-cost!

 #3. Send out a Warm Letter

A Warm Letter is a personal letter written by you to everyone in your address book. Your letter should be “warm” and it should tell your peeps all that’s going on with your business and the best way for them to refer you.

Make sure that the letter is written to the person (don’t make it general) and sign the letter. You can use a Word Doc Mail Merge to personalize the letters. Again, if you don’t know how to do a mail merge, go to www.fiverr.com, search for “mail merge” and hire someone to do it for $5. When choosing who to hire to do your work, make your choice based on their user rating. They can also create your mailing labels template from your list of contacts. Fiverr gives you the ability to have tasks like this completed for next to nothing, so there is no reason you should waste an entire day trying to figure out how to do it on your own.

Your Homework Assignment:

  1. If you don’t have a website, go get one. A website is an absolute business must-have!
  2. Start collecting testimonials from your clients and post them on your website and package them in an attractive PDF handout.
  3. Write a warm letter and mail it to your contacts.

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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Think BIG & Dream BIGGER

Think BIG & Dream BIGGER

You must set high goals for yourself to achieve great things in life

When I speak to a client about how much money they want to make in their pet sitting business, I am shocked at the answers that I receive.  The responses usually range anywhere from $30,000 to $75,000.  That’s an average of $52,500 per year for what these businesses hope and wish they could make. I find this not only shocking but also sad. You see, you must set high goals for yourself to achieve great things in life, and with all of these pet sitting business owners setting the bar so low for themselves, it’s no wonder there are so few profitable pet sitting businesses out there.

I‘m here to tell you that you CAN make so much more in your business and that you don’t have to play small. You can create a greatly prosperous and professionally fulfilling pet sitting business. I know that it may not seem possible, but I can tell you from experience that it is! By creating systems and leverage techniques you can ignite your pet sitting business into a moneymaking machine. First, you must change your mindset: 

You must think BIGGER, dream BIGGER and BELIEVE that you can do it. Then you have to do the work.

My personal business coach, Fabienne Fredrickson, shared with me a paragraph from Louise Hay’s book “You Can Heal Your Life.” This excerpt has resonated with me and hopefully it will do the same for you.

“I love the visualization of standing at the seashore looking out at the vast ocean and knowing that this ocean is the abundance that is available to me. Look down at your hands and see what sort of container you are holding. Is it a teaspoon, a thimble with a hole in it, a paper cup, a glass, a tumbler, a pitcher, a bucket, a washtub, or perhaps you have a pipeline connected to this ocean of abundance? Look around you and notice that no matter how many people there are and no matter what kind of container they have, there is plenty for everyone. You cannot rob another, and they cannot rob you. And in no way can you drain the ocean dry. Your container is your consciousness, and it can always be exchanged for a larger container.”

Think BIG & Dream BIGGER quote

After I read this I looked at myself and realized that I was carrying only a small pitcher. I wanted to make money, but I was content with “just enough.” That was the thought that I constantly told myself. (You have to start becoming keen to the sabotaging thoughts that go through your mind.) It wasn’t until I shifted my mindset and asked the universe to triple my income that the right opportunities started to present themselves. It’s strange how the universe works. “Ask and you shall receive.” It’s so true.

Your Homework Assignment:

Picture yourself on the shoreline, feet in the sand, looking out at our vast ocean of abundance. What’s in your hands? Now, change that mental picture to that large pipeline. Next start writing the goals down as if you have already received them and are so grateful. Remember, you can’t ask for too much because you can never exhaust the supply of abundance that is available to you.

  1. I’m so happy and grateful that I received 5 new clients this week. I’m so grateful! Thank you universe!
  2. I’m so happy and grateful that I hired 2 new fabulous, responsible pet sitters this week. I’m so happy and grateful. Thank you universe!
  3. I’m so happy and grateful that I made an additional $50,000 in revenue this year.

You get the picture. Be specific as possible and always be grateful for it. Without that element you won’t get very far. Remember, you are the only person that can set the limits. Think BIG, dream BIG and BELIEVE you can do it. I believe in you.

Here is one of my actual goal cards

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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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YES! Send Me The Complete Checklist of 125 ways to get more PET SITTING CLIENTS!

 

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