Tag: how to run a pet sitting business

Become a Visionary of Your Pet Sitting Business

Become the Visionary of Your Pet Sitting Business

When I first started my pet sitting business, I was going through the motions. I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t have the slightest clue what I wanted to create. I would go day by day by day, and I pretty much flew by the seat of my pants for about a good five years… until this concept was introduced to me.

You think, well, of course, I know what I want to create, but most people don’t.

Today I want you to get clear on exactly what it is that you want to create in terms of your business.

#1 What is your vision for success?

It would be best if you get crystal clear on what you want to create in your business. You need to close your eyes, and you need to think about it.
– How much revenue do you want to generate?
– How many clients do you want to service?
– What services do you want to offer?
– How many team members do you want?
– What role do you want to play? CEO, Manager, Pet Sitter, Dog Walker etc.

Become a Visionary of Your Pet Sitting Business


Close your eyes and visualize in your mind what your successful business looks like.

For me, I created this business where I was the bottleneck, and I was working 7 days a week, 365 days a year, living in other people’s houses. I got clear on the freedom that I wanted, and I visualized the business to give me freedom.

And then I felt what that was going to feel like. That is part of it. It is not only seeing what you want to create in your life and your business, but feeling how it feels now and being grateful for it now, and trusting that it will come to you in the future.

#2. Create a daily practice of closing your eyes, painting a picture in your mind of what your future success looks like.

We are all creators of our own lives. What we think about and what we feel is creating the reality we live in. We’re manifesting stuff daily, and we can do it more powerfully, effectively, and intentionally if we connect with it and take small steps to get a little closer every day. Commit just 5 minutes every day to visualize what it is that you’re trying to create.

#3. Believe with the conviction that your vision for success is yours for the taking.

Trust in knowing that it’s on its way to you. Believe whole-heartedly that it’s on its way to you. You have to get yourself in a place where you believe that you can achieve your goals with absolute certainty, that it’s your destiny and your reality. Feel like success is already yours and on its way into your life.

Get clear on what you want, tune in with the vision every single day, and believe with conviction that it’s yours for the taking.

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How to Get Your Pet Sitting Business Back after COVID-19

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
  • Payroll
  • Internal Communications
  • Team Meetings
  • Marketing Systems

How to Get Your Pet Sitting Business Back after COVID-19


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:

  1. Use a cloud service to create an online business hub like Google Drive.
  2. Use a screen recording software like LOOM to record screen share videos of you walking through your SOPs.
  3. Write your SOPs in a step by step format to create easy to follow instructions.
  4. 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:

  1. Time to Pet
  2. Leashtime
  3. Precise Pet Care
  4. 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:

  1. Send a monthly newsletter with updates and filled with value
  2. A direct mail campaign
  3. An early summer booking promotion
  4. Social media posts
  5. Create video how-to’s
  6. Send gifts to your VIP clients
  7. Create video content
  8. Publish blog posts
  9. Add live chat to your website
  10. 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!

  1. 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.
  2. Run your monthly revenue reports to help with your goal setting.
  3. Conduct an audit of your expenses and see what you can downgrade or eliminate.
  4. If you don’t have a weekly accounting system, create one!
  5. Open a tax account, and make weekly deposits to it, so you will never be caught with a large tax bill.
  6. Begin to compile your documents for your tax returns, statements, receipts, etc.
  7. Make sure you have all of the correct financial records for your contractors or employees.
  8. Make year-end purchases to use as tax write-offs.
  9. Verify any loan accounts, amounts still owed, payment schedule, and estimated payoff.
  10. Meet with a financial professional to ensure that you have everything in order.
  11. 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.

  1. Pick a day that you will commit to engross yourself in your planning fully.
  2. 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!
  3. 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!
  4. 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?
  5. 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!
  6. Declare how much money you want to make in 2021. Be specific!
  7. Review what did work in 2019 and 2020.
  8. Design your marketing plan-How will you get new, ideal clients and have your current clients book from you more frequently?
  9. Add your income-generating activities to your calendar.
  10. 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.

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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The Myth That Stops Your Pet Sitting Business From Growing

Nothing bothers me more than pet sitters on their high horse spouting their negativity and completely false belief systems. For me, one of the worst lies out there is the myth that if you are an animal lover, you shouldn’t care about creating a successful pet sitting business and making money.

Like many of you, I started my business because I love animals and that hasn’t changed as my business has grown.

You can be an animal lover and a successful business owner

However, it’s common to hear some people in the pet sitting business communities criticize anyone who is focusing on expanding from being a solo sitter into a successful and profitable business.

Not only is it a myth that you can’t both love and care about animals and focus on making money in your business at the same time, but it’s not the least bit rational.

 

pet sitting business

 

There are only so many pets you can take care of if you are working as a solo pet sitter but just think of all the pets that you’ll be able to provide wonderful care for if you build a business and a team of heart-centered, pet care professionals.

Think about all the animals and pet owners in your community who you will be able to serve and help if you expand your pet sitting business.

Think about how the more money you make, the more you will have to give back to your favorite charitable causes.

With a successful business and a reliable team behind you, you’re going to have more time in your life to give back to your community, your clients, and the animals you love.

So let’s debunk that myth, once and for all, you CAN be an animal lover and build a successful and profitable pet sitting business.

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How to Track the Effectiveness of Paid Advertising for Your Pet Sitting Business

How to Track the Effectiveness of Paid Advertising for Your Pet Sitting Business

About 15 years ago, I spent around $450 or more per month on Google Adwords advertising for my pet sitting business without having a single clue if all that money was even bringing me one client per month. That is not a smart marketing strategy, and I wasted a ton of money.

You need to track the effectiveness of your paid advertising

With paid advertising, you have to get into the mindset of knowing that you need to track its effectiveness. If you find the advertising working, you’re going to put the same amount of money or more into that advertising. Otherwise, you’re not going to invest in that ad again. That’s the basics of it.

I learned this a long time ago from Dan Kennedy, one of the world’s marketing gurus. He’s got these fantastic books, the BS Guides To Grassroot Marketing, and The No BS Guide to Networking, and a whole list of them. They’re short, small, and easy to read.

If you don’t have any money to invest in yourself, or into a business coach, or a program, start here.

How to Track the Effectiveness of Paid Advertising for Your Pet Sitting Business

 

Understand whether the money you invest is returning to you

You need to have a direct response marketing to understand where every dollar you are putting out for your business is coming back to you.

For example:

Let’s say I run a Facebook ad, and I say, “Oh, I have this great pet sitting business.”

Then someone says, “Oh, that pet sitting business looks great. Let me click on this link.”

I’m just sending them to my home page. There is no way for me to know if they saw my ad on Facebook if they came to my home page and became clients. I’m just sending traffic to my website, having no clue if it’s converting or not.

Create a specific Call To Action for each ad

You need to understand I’m going to create this ad, and I’m going to make a specific call to action for this Facebook marketing campaign.

Let’s say, hey, Facebook audience that I’m targeting. I’m going to give you $25 off your first service order.

They click the link and go to a specific landing page. Then we’re going to see how many people got to the landing page and how many people gave me their first name and email to get the coupon.

Then you’re going to track the effectiveness. The potential customers gave me their first name and email address. How many of those people signed up to become a customer?

This is how you track the effectiveness of paid advertising.

Send the paid traffic to a specific URL created for the offer

It is the same thing for print advertising.

You don’t just want to say, Hey, come check out Pet Nanny, this excellent pet sitting business.”

You need to send them an offer. Go to this specific URL, petnannycoach.com.

If I’m doing print advertising in a specific magazine, I’ll know if somebody opens the magazine app and says, “Okay, I’ll go get that coupon.”

They clicked on the coupon and gave me their first name and email. They enter the marketing sequence and become a customer.

I can see then that the advertising is worth it.

Track your paid advertising’s effectiveness and conversions

How many people saw your ad and clicked on it?

How many people hit the landing page and gave you their first name and email address?

Out of that amount of people, how many people became customers, and then you tweak from there?

A lot of people see my ad, and no one’s clicking on it. Maybe try a new ad, a new ad image.

They’re getting to the sales page, but they’re not giving me their first name and email address. That means the offer and the page copy is not going to be great. Maybe change some of the wording, change the color of the submit button.

They’re getting into the sales sequence, but they’re not becoming customers. What do I need to change?

That’s how you become good at marketing and know every dollar you spend is coming back to you in the form of a customer. Otherwise, you’re just flushing money down the toilet, and we don’t want that.

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 - Email Marketing Ideas for Your Pet Sitting Business

Email Marketing Ideas for Your Pet Sitting Business

I get a lot of pushback with regards to email marketing. Most of my students don’t use an email autoresponder like MailChimp, Active Campaign, or Infusionsoft in their pet sitting business.

They say, “I don’t want to be pushy. I don’t want to send emails.”

I get that. I used not to like it either, and it made me feel uncomfortable.

QUOTE - Email Marketing Ideas for Your Pet Sitting Business


Thus, this is why people and business owners should have an email strategy in place in their business. Today, I want to go through different email marketing types you can implement in your pet sitting business.

Have a welcome email.

When you sign up with a new customer, you want to have an email that shows them exactly who you are, easy to follow steps and systems to go through to onboard them to your company.

They will now know who you are, how you do business, what their responsibility is as a customer and your responsibility as the business owner.

I’ve had many welcome emails that I keep making better as time goes on. A welcome email is one of the easiest ones you can start with. Have a welcome email to open your arms and welcome your new customers to your pet-sitting business.

Offer an educational email.

You’re keeping in touch with your customer base, or your customer prospects, to stay top of mind with them so that when they are ready to buy or are willing to schedule service, you’re going to be the first person they think of. You do this by offering value and educating them.

Think of what you can send to your customer prospects and customers that would make them think like, “Wow, that’s an excellent email.”

Think of anything newsworthy in the pet sitting industry. Think about cross-promotions with other pet businesses in your area. Would your customer love a $30 coupon to a local pet store?

You and these businesses can work together and cross-promote, educate, and provide value to the people on your email list.

Think of different, fun ways. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. What would my customer find value in? And if I were the customer, what would I like to see in my inbox?

Write promotional emails.

You’re allowed to promote yourself and your business. You are in business to make money.

“Hey, Christmas is coming up. Are you headed out of town for vacation? I would love to take care of your pets. Here’s a pop-up sale we’re doing. Book your summer services now. Pay in full, and you’re going to get $39 off your service order.” So on and so forth.

Don’t be shy about promoting yourself, even with social media.

Create triggered or transactional emails.

You are offering a free download, a free PDF, a free coupon. When a potential client sees those and they say, “Yes, I want that. Here’s my first name and email.” boom, an automation kick in.

You don’t have to go home and say, “Ooo, I have to send this person that asked for this PDF, the PDF when I get home.” It just happens automatically.

Use lead nurturing emails.

When someone does raise their hand and says, “Yes, I want what you have to offer on your website,” you want to have a campaign set up where you are nurturing them.

You are letting them know, “Hey, this is who I am. These are my pet care values. These are the paying points that I help solve for my customers.”

You always want to speak to the benefit and outcomes that your customer prospects will get by choosing your pet-sitting service.

You can easily do this in a well thought out, nurture sequence. Your customer prospects can get, let’s say, four to five emails from you, one a day, and each of those emails is going to help move them along the process to them becoming a paying customer because you’re the only logical choice. That’s what that lead nurture sequence does for you.

Create re-engagement emails.

Often, we have these pet-sitting clients come, sign up, and use us. We don’t hear from them again.

You can do different re-engagement campaigns to offer a big high-value coupon if they book service within the next two weeks.

You could say, “Hey, Christine. I haven’t heard from you in quite some time. Here is a 40% off coupon that you can use towards your next service. If you sign up by…”.

You want to add scarcity, so put a deadline date in, and then that is going to re-engage them. One, to become active on your list because they’re taking action within the email. Your email service provider is going to say, “Okay, this person’s active.” Then, they’re also going to book service, and you want to get them re-engaged with your company. You want to nurture them again, and you want to stay top of mind with them.

That is email marketing 101 in a nutshell. Don’t be fearful about it.

You can check out MailChimp; if you want to get started to test this out on your own. It’s free for the first 2000 subscribers. Then you can choose one of these emails to implement in your business.

Take action, and then really think out an email marketing campaign for your business. Because email marketing works.

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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TITLE - How to Manage Your Pet Sitter's Lack of Response Time

How to Manage Your Pet Sitter’s Lack of Response Time

I’m doing a follow-up to a video I did a few weeks ago, wherein I gave a tip to include due dates when requesting things from your team of pet sitters or customers.

I received a follow-up question from a community member.

“Colleen, I loved that video. I implemented it immediately. However, I still heard crickets from my staff of pet sitters. What would be your next step? Or what consequences would you institute if this happened to you?”

I would call a meeting with the said sitter and say, “I sent you this email on this date. I gave you this due date. Number one, I never received an acknowledgment. Number two, you did not turn in the video by said date. Why is that?”

Then you listen to their response.

QUOTE - How to Manage Your Pet Sitter's Lack of Response Time


You don’t want to be that person, just the talking head. Take time and listen to what they have to say.

Then I’d say, “Okay. A requirement for this position is I need this video to create a trust factor for our customer prospects. I also need you to respond to me when I request something from you. I’m going to ask you, is this still a position you are interested in doing?”

If they say, “Yes, absolutely,” say,

“Okay, wonderful. But moving forward, I’m setting this boundary, which is the personal responsibility that I’m requesting from you. This is how we do business around here. You ignoring my emails is no longer going to fly.”

If they say, “No, this isn’t actually for me,” you are better off.

Think of it this way. Let’s say your customer left a last-minute note. They’re running out the door, and they said, “Oh shoot, there are two new plants by the slider. I need to have the sitter water them.”

Do you want a sitter to be like, “I don’t know if I’m going to do that today. I don’t feel like it.”?

No, of course not. That is pretty much what that sitter did to your professional email, requesting a video from them and giving them a duty. They blatantly ignored you.

Now, it may have fallen through the cracks. There may be a reason. With this specific situation, people are often nervous in front of the camera, and instead of telling you that, they may have just tried to ignore it.

This isn’t a total deal-breaker. It would be best if you instituted what you’re going to allow and set the stage for what you expect from your team of pet sitters.

If they explain, “I’m just really nervous about being in the camera,” give them helpful tips and tricks.

If they say, “No, this position isn’t for me,” you’re better off. That is how I would personally handle it. It doesn’t have to be a contentious conversation.

It could be a friendly conversation. “You’re amazing. I love how my customers love you, and the pets love you. But here’s the deal. I am the owner of this company, and I need to know when I send you a request for something that you, one, acknowledge and, two, get back to me in a timely fashion. If that’s not going to work, then this business relationship isn’t going to work.

I hope that makes sense and you find that helpful.

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TITLE - Avoid Perfection Paralysis in Your Pet Sitting Business

Avoid Perfection Paralysis in Your Pet Sitting Business

I had a great coaching call with one of my Multiply Mastermind students, and we were talking about automations. Automations are what I teach my students to create on the backend that will take the manual processes out of their business, so things are happening without doing every last piece of it.

The number one automation we need to get is a lead magnet on their website. That is something you can offer your customer prospects in advance that will give them value, that’s going to add them to your email list, to convert them into a customer.

My student created several lead magnets. A lead magnet for dogs, for cats, one for summer, and one for winter. They were all excellent lead magnets, but she doesn’t need seven of them.

She just needs one.

She needs one to get it up and to run within her automation to get the campaign going.

That is what this lesson is all about. You have to be aware and mindful of the rabbit holes.

QUOTE - Avoid Perfection Paralysis in Your Pet Sitting Business

 

My student is staying stuck because she’s focusing too much on the rabbit holes and perfection paralysis. She was afraid to get it out in the world before it’s perfect.

There’s always plenty of time to get it perfect and add the bells and whistles to make it amazing.

Right now, get it up, get it out into the world and get it running because that’s how you’re going to build and grow your business.

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 - Quick Tip on How to Increase Response Time From Your Pet Sitters

Quick Tip on How to Increase Response Time From Your Pet Sitters

I had a weekly private coaching call with one of my students when she let me know that she had sent an email to her pet sitters requesting a video from them. She will use the videos on her website and marketing materials to create the know, like, and trust factor with her prospective customers.

The sitters didn’t respond or acknowledge the email.

QUOTE - Quick Tip on How to Increase Response Time From Your Pet Sitters


So I suggested the following.

(1) Rewrite the copy of the email.

Start with:

Dear First Name,

Last week, I had requested a video. This is why I am requesting it.

(2) Then, explain the importance of the request and include instructions on how to do it

For example:

Don’t stress out about it. It’s easy, peasy. Grab your iPhone, introduce yourself, let them know what your pet care values are, and that you’re super excited to meet them and their furry pals.

(3) Always include a due date

Anytime you are requesting anything from your staff or requesting a testimonial from your clients, always include a due date. People respond to due dates. Otherwise, it just sits in their inbox as something to do when they get to it.

I hope this helps.

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